By Grady Hawkins
The notion that our American Empire is the exception to history has long been a theme of the propagandists that control the thoughts and actions of both our leaders and ordinary citicens.
One example that comes to mind is the American crusade against the non- existant International communist conspiracy in Viet Nam. Years before the French had failed to protect her Empire in Indo-China against the Viet Minh and was humiliated. The United States would not, could not repeat that defeat. The United States of America was the exception to History. Losing a war to a rag-tag Asian (gook) military was unthinkable. American generals were so certain of victory that they were not intersted in help from anyone. Even their South Vietnamese client's own Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN) was shuffled off to the side. American soldiers, tactics, and firepower would grind their Viet Cong and North Vietnamese enemies into the jungle muck.
Victory, glory, and promotion would all belong to the Americans and Americans alone.
South Viet Nam would be free. Even if it didn't want to be.
But the unthinkable did happen. The cost was thousands of dead and mangled American soldiers and countless Vietnamese. In April, 1975 it all came to a tragic end. The last American helicopter lifting off the roof of the abandoned U.S. embassy in Saigon. North Vietnamese armor, artillery and Infantry brushing aside any ARVN resistence and sweeping into the city.
And now we have another American embassy to consider. Its a world away and generation removed. The new American embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.
This embassy has become a $600 billion dollar boondoggle. Its cost overruns have become remarkable even by Iraqi standards, where billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars have been squandered, lost, and stolen.
Critics have called this compound the most expensive air-raid shelter in history.
Conscript labor from all over the Empire have endured slave wages and third world working conditions on this modern day pryamid. They have managed to produce shoddy and sloopy and expensive constuction to the bewilderment of Inspectors.
American employees working and living inside the so-called "Green Zone" (it seems the rest if Iraq must be considered the "Red Zone") have been enduring the hospitality of their Irqai hosts for weeks on end. Rocket attacks and mortar barages are escalating to the point that folks are forced to remain inside their (hopefully) blast-proof offices.
Few details concerning the embassy itself are being revealed. The State department is keping information very close to its diplomatic vest.
The British and former Soviet empires both failed in their attepts to play The Great Game in Asia. But neither of them had an embassy like this one. It is the exception.
And American exceptionalism is now the way of the world. Forget that chopper lifting off the roof of that other embassy in that other country.
That was just an exception