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<nettime> New US Embassy in Croatia
Ivo Skoric on Sat, 28 Jun 2003 14:35:36 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> New US Embassy in Croatia


For years the US embassy in Croatia, and, before that, during the times of
former Yugoslavia, the US consulate in Zagreb, was located in downtown
Zagreb, easily accessible to people, with a friendly face of a welcoming
country, as US was known to the world at that time.

With changing prerogatives - where the US doesn't care any more about it
being seen as open, welcoming, and free country, but is rather obssessed
with the security of its personnel - the US embassies are moving out of
downtown areas, out of historic buildings, and into remote suburbia, in
fortresses, preferrably surrounded with large open spaces.

Following that newest trend, the US embassy in Croatia re-located from
downtown Zagreb to Buzin, close to the Zagreb International Airport Pleso.
I suppose there are two possible interpretations for that move: either the
State Department wants its personnel to be close to airports for quick
evacuation, if such becomes necessary, or they want the embassy to serve
as the command and control center in case they need to take over the
country pre-emptively.

Particularly devious is that "for security reasons" (which are now used by
the Administration to justify all kinds of nonsense at home and abroad)
there will be no public parking available at the Embassy, as the US
Embassy Press Release stated. In other words the SUV nation does not allow
Croats to use their cars to come to the Embassy. Applicants are directed
to take public transportation or a cab instead.

Cabs are expensive for most of impoverished Croatian citizens, but then,
the US doesn't want those to visit, anyway; and bus #268 Zagreb - Velika
Gorica is notorious for being late, over-crowded, intermittent in its
scheduling - and, un-air-conditioned. The 180 minutes bus round-trip in
sweltering Zagreb's summer is perhaps meant to be an aditional deterrence
from visiting an unfriendly visa officer at the embassy (who may just say
that you need something else - so back to the city, and come another day,
during working hours, of course).

The real pains are going to be for Croatian citizens who do not live in
Zagreb, of course. Unless, they fly in by an airplane and stay at a hotel
close to the airport until their business at the US embassy is over. The
entire move, in my opinion, is designed to make it less attractive for
Croats to visit the US as tourists, now that the suckers adopted democracy
and free market, and are not interesting to be adopted as political exiles
any more.

ivo




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