See more proof the Surge is working

We just give the shopkeepers some money to stay open. The military calls them grants,  but my family calls them bribes.

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.

other than that though, the market is a shining example of all that is right in Iraq. I just don’t know why the media doesn’t report these kind of stories.

“If the Americans were not here, we would close earlier, maybe one or two hours,” said shopkeeper Alaa Hussein Mahmoud, 32. “I’m always scared about the militias.”

Salih said later that his men could protect the market on their own but that they depended on the Americans for support and weapons. “If the American soldiers leave, you’ll find the Iraqi army destroyed in one month,” he said. “We still want and need the Americans to stay for a long time until we are strong.”