McMansions in the Kurdish capital in northern Iraq

McMansions pop up all over the world, including in new developments in Erbil, Iraq:

Imagine this: Marble courtyards, lush palm trees and exclusive gated communities a drive away from ISIS aggression. Malibu has come to Iraq.

A robust real estate market has made Erbil, the Kurdish capital in northern Iraq, home to the country’s wealthy elite and the site of their palatial mansions.

Iraqi and Kurdish millionaires, politicians, oil tycoons and wealthy Iraqi refugees have flocked to Kurdistan, according to Shwan Zulal, managing director of Carduchi Consulting, a firm based in London and Erbil…

A broken banking industry and lack of faith in Iraq’s government have forced the country’s rich to find other places to put their money…

The increased demand for luxury homes like the ones in Erbil are attributed to several factors, including an increase in oil money, a sense of security from terrorist threats and an increase in the size of an Iraqi middle class…

Meanwhile, ISIS hasn’t scared off investors or homeowners, Zulal said, adding that buyers have been assured protection by the U.S.-led coalition.

Several quick thoughts:

1. Such mainstream media stories about McMansions in foreign lands interestingly don’t often contain much commentary about American-style large houses in other places. Perhaps the goal is to simply show that American housing styles are used around the world? While the term McMansion is generally negative, the news stories are often pretty neutral.

2. It is hard to tell the motivations behind the construction of these McMansions. For American McMansions, critics suggest people want to show off their wealth and live private lives in their big homes. This may be the case in Iraq as well though a limited financial industry changes things a bit. Are wealthier Kurds also all about aspirational homes that attempt to impress others?

3. I assume the last line quoted above means that the coalition is protecting a larger area of land beyond just these developments of McMansions. However, I could imagine some odd futuristic book or movie that involves American troops or security groups defending outposts of American McMansions throughout the world, perhaps as the last vestiges of a crumbled American empire.