General Betray-Us and his Potemkin Village in Dora Market, Baghdad
Good heavens! You mean Petraeus would actually fake a showplace in Iraq so he could show
the gullible and the Kool-Aid drinkers visiting dignitaries around, so they'd go home all happy, make speeches on The Hill, and say "It's Surgalicious"? Say it's not so! Say Petraeus isn't just another loyal Bushie! Sadly, he is, and it's so. WaPo does some actual reporting:
Nearly every week, American generals and politicians visit Combat Outpost Gator, nestled behind a towering blast wall in the Dora market. ... Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. military
leadercommander* in Iraq, frequently cites the market as a sign of progress.
Visits to key U.S. bases and neighborhoods in and around Baghdad show that recent improvements are sometimes tenuous, temporary, even illusory.
Even U.S. soldiers assigned to protect Petraeus's showcase remain skeptical. "Personally, I think it's a false representation," Campbell* said, referring to the portrayal of the Dora market as an emblem of the surge's success. "But what can I say? I'm just doing my job and don't ask questions."
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.
"Of sorts"? What's the difference?
"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."
Some shopkeepers said they would not do business in the market without U.S. support. "The Americans are giving money, so they're opening up stores," said Falah Hassan Fadhil, 27, who sells cosmetics.
I've always said we just should have air-dropped palletes of cash over Iraq, because it would be a lot cheaper than blowing up shit, and less lethal as well. Looks like I was ahead of my time.
But apparently, money isn't enough:
Security measures in the market are rigorous. Vehicles are not allowed inside for fear of car bombs. Customers are body-searched at checkpoints. Humvees constantly patrol the area, which is the sole focus of the 50 or so soldiers of Combat Outpost Gator.
Well, no wonder it's "safe" (enough for
Republicans and scum-sucking Bush Dogs visiting dignitaries!
And even if we are paying to keep the market open, business is still bad:
But the Dora market has not regained its former cachet as one of southeastern Baghdad's most vibrant commercial centers. Before the invasion, many of its stores stayed open past midnight. Today, they are open for just a few hours, and by noon the market is mostly deserted. The shopkeepers, who are mostly Sunni, said they rarely see customers from outside Dora because it is too dangerous to travel here.
Looks like the "magic of the marketplace" is saying the surge, er, needs more time to work. Yeah, that's the ticket...
Can anyone claim that the Dora market is going to scale to Iraq? Of course not. It only runs because it's Sunni, because we finance it, and because we've saturated the area with troops.
If you think of the Dora Market as a war-winning strategy, it's ludicrous, and a very bad investment.
If you think of the Dora Market as a Potemkin Village designed to give Bush and his cronies another two or three Freidman Units so they can keep sucking on the government tit and maybe elect some Republicans in fall 2008, it's a very good investment.
And with a Democratic Congress that seems curiously willing to be deceived by this bullshit, I'd say Petraeus's strategy will work out quite well for them.
NOTE * Too bad about your career, Sergeant Campbell. Bush's army has no place for truthtellers. You'll be better off outside the moral cesspool Bush is busy building for the loayl Bushies to swim in, as Ted Westhusing knew.
Now, a new article reveals — based on documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act — that Westhusing’s apparent suicide note included claims that his two commanders tolerated a mission based on “corruption, human right abuses and liars.” One of those commanders: the new leader of the “surge” campaign in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus.
No wonder suicides are the highest they've been in 26 years. And they say we hate the troops.
NOTE ** Yet another example of how even journalists who aren't lazy propagate the toxic leader meme.