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One reason Americans were denied the cleansing vision of the last U.S. diplomats fleeing Baghdad by helicopter is because, haha, we sort of left the diplomats there — all 16,000 State Department personnel and military contractors and poorly disguised CIA torture spies and oil company representatives. But now, with “hard times” or whatever the current phrase to explain why the superbillionaires have whatever they want and even the American Empire must scale back, due to lack of money, Washington is planning to cut the staff and contractors in Iraq by half.

The New York Times reports:

BAGHDAD — Less than two months after American troops left, the State Department is preparing to slash by as much as half the enormous diplomatic presence it had planned for Iraq, a sharp sign of declining American influence in the country.

Officials in Baghdad and Washington said that Ambassador James F. Jeffrey and other senior State Department officials are reconsidering the size and scope of the embassy, where the staff has swelled to nearly 16,000 people, mostly contractors.

But we just finished the $750 million U.S. Embassy! It’ll probably cost at least twice that much to reduce its size. [New York Times]

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