• Tomato, Tamahto, IZ, Green Zone

    May 25, 2011

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq, Other Ideas

    The State Department talking points are clear: the Green Zone should now be called the International Zone, or IZ. This is to indicate that things have changed in Iraq (they really haven’t much) and that the old calculus, that only the Green Zone was safe (everything else in Iraq was the Red Zone) isn’t true anymore. Actually, that is true: on mortar and rocket nights, even the Green Zone isn’t safe.

    Also, International Zone just sounds better, conjuring up PR-friendly images of boutiques along sunny, tree-lined streets, a cafe or two, lots of foreign embassies with their interesting persons in native costume. Like pretty much everything else about Iraq, none of that exists outside the minds of the Embassy staffers. Remind me to write about the plans for a Baghdad Subway system, or the wonderful watercolor architectural images of what Baghdad was supposed to look like by now.

    Anyway, as dearly as the Embassy loves itself the IZ, the Iraqis are just being off-message again. The sign pictured here was put up by the Iraqis, and stands today at one of the entrances to the, um, Zone.

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