Governor of the Province of Baghdad: Evict US from Green Zone

From Holden:

Sounds like someone has overstayed their [never extended] welcome:

“We want and demand that the Americans evacuate the Green Zone because it contains Iraqi state and private properties,” Baghdad Gov. Ali al-Haidari told The Associated Press. “We believe that Iraqi authorities should regain control of this area.”

While U.S. President George W. Bush insists that sovereignty was returned to Iraq three months ago, 10-square-kilometres in the heart of the Iraqi capital along the banks of the Tigris river – the site of several Saddam Hussein-era palace complexes and some of the city’s finest real estate – remains U.S. territory.

The American Embassy, military command centres, preferred embassies and U.S. contracting firms occupy some of the most prominent buildings, while dozens of trailer parks shielded by sandbags to guard against mortar shells and rockets are dotted around palace grounds.

“It’s a world within a world,” said a Western diplomat who has only left the Green Zone twice in three months. “I imagine there are some people here who never meet Iraqis.”

Turns out the Green Zone is not very hospitable after all.

But security officials fear the violence outside is threatening to intrude.

“There is a realistic threat of kidnapping there,” said a Western security official familiar with the Green Zone. “Because it’s so huge, it’s very, very difficult to secure the perimeter.” The Green Zone also suffers an average of three mortar attacks a day.


Nobody yet has been abducted from the Green Zone. But a U.S. serviceman out for a run in April was deliberately knocked down by a truck and assailants tried to bundle him into the back of the vehicle, security officials said. A group of nearby Iraqi workers intervened and the attackers fled.

In September, a U.S. government employee was beaten in the parking lot of the U.S. Embassy by two men who muttered something in Arabic before running away, according to a document circled among security officials in Baghdad.

And, as I noted earlier, a bomb was found hidden in a cafe within the Green Zone on Tuesday. My question is, who will play John Negroponte’s aide in the movie now that Spaulding Grey has left us?