Image via WikipediaNot one to ever pass an opportunity for a contest, WaPo’s Al Kamen has a new In the Loop contest inspired by a report that “The State Department plans to spend up to $250,000 for 21 12-foot light poles and cables to upgrade lighting in the 104-acre U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad along “Negroponte Way,” a pathway up to the embassy.”
Apparently the former Ambassador John Negroponte was none too happy with this:
Negroponte Way? As in the former ambassador there, John Negroponte? Indeed, the same. Negroponte, now an international business consultant here, says he didn’t know of the plan to name the walkway for him. He said he saw his name engraved in a stone when, as deputy secretary of state, he returned to Baghdad a couple of years ago for the new embassy’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“It was done without prior consultation or approval on my part,” Negroponte said. “I objected at the time and, subsequently, in a message to the embassy, asked that my name be removed.”
So here is the In the Loop contest details – note the deadline is Monday, April 11.
Yes, it’s the first Loop Iraq Naming Opportunities contest for 2011, to propose to embassy officials — and a grateful Iraqi nation — the streets and places that might be renamed for deserving American officials.
For example, the Kurds might want to name a mountain “Snowflake Peak,” in honor of former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s famous Pentagon action memos. Or maybe there’s a tunnel, overpass, bridge, river, building, city or such that needs a new name, such as the L. Paul Bremer cul-de-sac?
Send your entries to NamingOpps@washpost.com. The contest deadline is April 11. You must include a telephone number to be eligible. Winners, to be chosen by an independent panel of experts, will receive mention in the column and one of those coveted In the Loop T-shirts. Ties broken by date of entry. Don’t delay!
You know, of course, that the official residence of the US Ambassador in Japan was called at one time “Hoover’s Folly,” right? The chancery and the residence with imported Georgia walnut wall panels and Vermont marble flooring, were completed during The Depression at a cost of $1.25 million dollars.
The following is not very original but since the US Embassy in Baghdad cost
$592 million 736 million to build (according to the CRS) and about $1.8 billion in operational cost annually (a drip compared to DOD funding in Iraq), I think we can call it any of the following:
Georgie Boy’s Grand Folly
Dubya’s Grand Folly
The Bush Baghdad Money Sinkhole or TBBMS
Baghdad Blenda, that Elephant is Dazzling
The water and waste treatment facilities? We might call it Condoleezza’s Water & Waste Management Disruption Tower or Condi’s W2MD Tower, for short.
The power station? Why not Rummy’s Light Footprint Station?
The cinema at the embassy – for sure, Dick Cheney’s Mushroom Cloud Cinema
Future of Hope Alley – after L. Paul Bremer’s My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope
End of Evil Way – after Richard Perle’s An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror
Political Lives Parking Lot 1 or PLPL1 for short – after Tony Blair’s A Journey: My Political Life
Gym: Stuff Happens Sports and Recreational Facilities, after you know who.
Cafeteria: Slam-Dunk Corner in honor of George Tenet
Anyway, so you’re going on a date at the Dick Cheney’s Mushroom Cloud Cinema, and you’ve just park your official vehicle at the PLPL1 when your phone rings:
Caller: Where are you?
You: Just pulled in at the PLPL1. Where are you?
Caller: Waiting for you at the End of Evil Way. Can you please hurry, we’ll be late.
You: I’m coming on the running, will take the shortcut by foot at Future of Hope Alley.
Caller: Okay, see you in five, bye.
What, too lame? If you got a better dish, send it to In the Loop.