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This is the largest US Embassy built – roughly the size of Vatican City – and at $600 million (£300 million) the most expensive. At a time when millions of Baghdadis outside the green zone receive only a couple of hours of water and electricity daily, Iraqis observe that this project has been completed on time, on budget, and is entirely self-sufficient with its own fresh water supply, electricity plant, sewage treatment facility, maintenance shops and warehouses.
“People are very angry,” said one young Iraqi. “It’s for the Americans, not for the Iraqis.”
The embassy was built with imported labor. This year a congressional committee heard charges that First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting told a planeload of Filipino construction workers that they were flying to Dubai to build hotels and did not admit that they were heading for Baghdad until they had taken off, forcing them, in effect, to work there.