• Mother Jones: Inside the World’s Largest Embassy (c)

    September 28, 2011

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

    Mother Jones excerpts one of the funnier chapters from my book, focusing on the efforts by the World’s Largest Embassy (c) to grow green grass in the middle of the Iraqi desert:

    The ambassador, who fancied himself a sportsman, ordered grass to grow on the large sandy area in front of the main embassy building, a spot at one time designated as a helicopter-landing zone, since relocated. Gardeners brought in tons of dirt and planted grass seed. A nearly endless amount of water was used, but despite clear orders to do so, the grass would not grow.

    The ambassador would not admit defeat. He ordered sod be imported into Kuwait and then brought by armored convoy to the embassy. No one confessed to what it cost to import, but estimates varied between two and five million dollars. The sod was put down and hundreds of thousands of gallons of water were used to make it live, in what was practically a crime against nature. No matter what Iraq and nature wanted, the American Embassy spent whatever it took to have green grass in the desert.

    We made things in Iraq look the way we wanted them to look, water shortages throughout the rest of the country be damned. The grass was the perfect allegory for the whole war.

    Read the whole excerpt/article at Ma Jones.

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    • Ryan said...


      I want to follow your site via RSS but you do not seem to have that option. I find this odd since you seem to be be procommunication and talk about how the State Department is overly restrictive and how RSS is one way around this. It would be my way around some of our restrictions here as well.


      09/28/11 1:28 PM | Comment Link

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      I do have an RSS feed. Try:



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      09/28/11 1:46 PM | Comment Link

    • Ryan said...



      I couldn’t find that link anywhere on your site so I assumed you didnt have one.

      Twitter and FB are not an option here at work sadly.

      Thanks again and keep up the good work!

      09/28/11 2:14 PM | Comment Link

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