Tuesday, October 09, 2007

on securing one's embassy

The Wall Street Journal last week had an article about the new, bomb-proof US embassies being built around the world to replace the 1950s concept of the embassy-as-goodwill-ambassador. Evidently this sort of bunker mentality isn't new. In 1956, Eric Newby had occasion to visit the embassy on Legation Hill outside Kabul:

The British Embassy lies beyond the town. Built at the express order of Lord Curzon to be the finest Embassy in Asia, it is strategically situated so far from the bazaars that none but the most heavily subsidized mob would dream of attacking it.
(A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, 1958)

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