September 4, 2007

Hola! Soy Dora!

The Washington Post has an article you absolutely must read if you've ever heard someone return from a delegation to Iraq and declare that they've seen with their own eyes that the surge is working.

Nearly every week, American generals and politicians visit Combat Outpost Gator, nestled behind a towering blast wall in the Dora market. They arrive in convoys of armored Humvees, sometimes accompanied by helicopter gunships, to see what U.S. commanders display as proof of the effectiveness of a seven-month-long security offensive, fueled by 30,000 U.S. reinforcements. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. military leader in Iraq, frequently cites the market as a sign of progress....

Still, the Dora market is a Potemkin village of sorts. The U.S. military hands out $2,500 grants to shop owners to open or improve their businesses. The military has fixed windows and doors and even helped rebuild shops that had burned down, soldiers and others said.

"We helped them a lot. We gave them money, security, even the locks on their doors," said a 36-year-old Iraqi interpreter at the outpost whom U.S. soldiers call Jimmy for security reasons. He asked that his real name not be used. "Everything we gave them. That's why the violence has stopped. That's why they cooperate with us."

Noted: Staff Sgt. Josh Campbell hates the troops: ""Personally, I think it's a false representation...But what can I say? I'm just doing my job and don't ask questions."

Juan Cole expands the story.

And by the way, Potemkin never really built Potemkin villages.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Why not open the PX to the public, call it Wal-Mart and announce that Bentonville is backing the surge?

"We helped them a lot. We gave them money, security...That's why the violence has stopped. That's why they cooperate with us"

Sounds good. When do we expand it to the rest of the neighborhood/district/city/province/country/region/planet?

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