MESOP Arguments & Analysis – “How the ‘Green Zone’ Helped Destroy Iraq” (Emma Sky, Politico Magazine)

“Originally established in 2003 to protect the American occupiers, the walled-in Green Zone was supposed to have been temporary. But Iraqi elites took it over after the Americans left, spending public money on their mansions, generators, cars, security details, homes overseas and payouts to cronies. In this way the Green Zone has come to symbolize all that is wrong with the legitimacy and capability of Iraq’s government. Safe behind the concrete blast walls and razor wire — at least until Saturday — Iraq’s political elites live in splendid isolation, totally unaccountable to the Iraqi people and using the country’s oil wealth to fund their own luxurious lifestyles.

Inside their air-conditioned buildings in the Green Zone, politicians have bickered over how to divide up the country’s budget among them. In stark contrast, ordinary Iraqis have long been afflicted by car bombs, lack of running water and intermittent electricity — without their government seeming to either care or be capable of improving their situation.”   Read all