Heterodox Views on Politics and Public Policy from Michael Blaine

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Take That, Liberal Media! Baghdad's Hard-Won Distinction

Every year, Mercer Human Resource Consulting ranks 215 cities worldwide based on quality of life criteria such as ease of transportation, cleanliness and crime. New York City is assigned a benchmark rating of 100, and normally Zurich tops the list as the best city to live in with a score of around 107. Besides Zurich, this year Munich, Tokyo and London finished ahead of New York, while Beijing, Delhi and Moscow trailed far behind. In last place -- at number 215 -- was the US colonial showcase of Baghdad.

It has been suggested to me that before the American invasion of Iraq, Baghdad would have scored even worse. Not so! In pre-war 2002, Mercer ranked Baghdad — suffering under UN economic sanctions and the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein — 211 out of 215. Thus, in 2007 after more than 3,000 American deaths and $500 billion in direct expenditures, Baghdad has taken the place of Brazzaville, Congo to rank dead last.

Achieving the distinction of world's very worst city for Baghdad was difficult, but our military's Commander-in-Chief has done it. So, Take that, liberal media! It’s about time you saw that Baghdad, in the face of some truly dismal competition that most would have thought unshakeable, has made at least one singular breakthrough. Now, if you would like to live the life of a corporate expat in Iraq, just contact Mercer for placement opportunities.

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