Disneyland in Bagdad?

This news is bizzare.  I can see how people would think this could be a good thing, but it flabbergasts me.  This developer is planning on making a huge themepark in the heart of Bagdad:

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Llewellyn Werner acknowledges he is facing obstacles most amusement park developers never have to deal with. Such as mortar attacks, stray gunfire and random looting.

But when you’re building your amusement park in downtown Baghdad, those risks come with the territory.

The California businessman is pouring millions of dollars into developing the Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience, a massive U.S.-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum.

“The people of Iraq need this kind of positive influence. It’s going to have a huge psychological impact,” said Mr. Werner, chairman of C3, a Los Angeles based holding company for private-equity firms.

The mayor of Baghdad has granted Mr. Werner a 50-year lease on a development property for an undisclosed sum.


So the obvious question here is:  What do Iraqi children need more?  Disneyland?  or security (the ability to grow up without fear of being killed by a carbomb or US fighter jet bomb, or apache helicopter rounds… the ability to grow up with two parents who weren’t killed in the violent mess we’ve created there… the ability to grow up without the high rates of cancer caused in children in Iraq by the depleted uranium we use in our munitions over there… the ability to grow up in the neighborhood of their families inheritance rather than as refugees internally displaced or living in Jordan or Syria, forced into prostitution to support their family… the ability have enough food, clean water and healthcare to survive childhood, to have a chance at education etc.)?  Forgive me for my cynicism, but I am flabbergasted.


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