Monday, July 07, 2008

Doing Business from the Green Zone

Here's an example of a sales-pitch to an Iraqi host for casinos in Baghdad, via Mother Jones:
When you have a jack and a six and you hit, everybody's in it together. That rush transcends your language, your culture, your religion. And that's what I think is really bring people together, whether you're Sunni, Shia, or Kurd, you're going to wearing that same casino uniform. With the same nameplate, that says, "We're all one, we all work for the casino, there are not differences between us."
I'm probably soon going to be an adviser to the McCain campaign… and I can assure you that John McCain supports this effort. John McCain, who will likely be the next American president. And I think the people here in Baghdad should understand that a future American president supports this endeavor. And John McCain as the head of the Indian Affairs Committee in the Senate knows hands-on, full well the importance of development. And how a casino, how a sauna, how a golf course can transform a people, can transform a region, and bring peace to groups that otherwise fight.
We also had a racial conflict, between the Indians, the white people (the Caucasians from Europe), and the black people from Africa — and somehow casinos have managed to fix that divide. Where only 20 years ago, Indians were drunk and homeless and committing crimes. Today they're prosperous and wealthy, driving in Mercedes. Their kids with Gameboys and Playstations. Satellite dishes on their homes.
And so too the black people with the sports have managed to advance themselves in this kind of entertainment sector. And it's brought a harmony between all the people. And we intend to bring that kind of thing here to Baghdad.
The man speaking, Martin Eisenstadt, has since apologized, saying that he was "representing commercial interests in the Green Zone, and did not formally have a position with the McCain campaign." Yet, he means. He also claimed to be taken out of context....
Watch the video for "context," if you must.

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