Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Famed Berlin gate cracked: Is Uncle Sam responsible?

Berlin’s famed Brandenburg gate has a huge crack in it that just developed. The crack is in the north gatehouse and is about 12 feet long. The authorities say the gate is not in danger and that they will repair it. The mystery is the actual cause for the crack. The authorities have two theories, I have a third as well.

The Berlin government recently refurbished the gate at the cost of $5 million and some change. They confess that the reburbishment may have been faulty and could be responsible. They posit a second theory as well. It could have been caused by vibrations from the construction of a nearby subway station.

If vibrations from the construction of subway station could be responsible what about all the work being done by the US government just yards from the gate. The United States is building a monstrosity of a building as their new embassy in Berlin. Locals call it Fortress America. It is large, blockish, and ugly.

What exactly goes on in the new fortress is not precisely known. Even when only top German officials attended an opening vast areas of the structure are verbotten to them. The US government forced Germany to change the location of streets in order to fit their demands that no car can get within 82 feet of the building. Odd that. You would think that the US government would have been able to find space big enough that it didn’t require moving streets. But, of course, the US government wanted this one spot because it is so dominant and US policy today, particulary foreign policy, is based on dominance.

Of course there will be no parking places allowed either. So diplomats will be forced to walk to the Embassy and arrive on foot. I guess that already gives them the “proper attitude” and helps teach them their place. I’m just surprised they haven’t planned on forcing foreign officials to use the servant’s entrance.

Massive concrete posts have been rammed into the ground. And the US installed a three foot thick concrete plate into the ground. If you look at this satellite photo of the site you will see the massive building site for the embassy. Right near the top of the photo is the Gate itself and, if you look closely, you will see the famed horses and chariot.

I have been past this construction site many times. It is hard to explain exactly how huge Fortress America actually is. I have also traveled extensively on the Berlin U-Bahn, for a rather extensive period I took it on an almost daily basis. It would be hard to imagine any Berlin U-Bahn station rivaling Fortress America when it comes to impact on surrounding structures.

I just wonder why it is that no one has mentioned the extensive building going on just yards from the Gate. Of course, perhaps they were just being diplomatic -- that is foreign policy lingo for avoiding the truth.

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