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Original or extra crispy in Fallujah

Posted by Richard on July 20, 2008

See update below. 

About 2½ years ago, in a post about how well things were going in Iraqi Kurdistan, I posted a picture of the McDonald's that had opened up in Suleimaniyah, and said, "I can't think of a more hopeful, positive sign than that."

But that was Kurdistan, where things have been peaceful all along, foreign investment has been pouring in, and the economy has been booming. For a long time, things didn't go so well in other parts of Iraq. Like, for instance Fallujah.

But that was then, and this is now — they're serving up wings in Fallujah:

Fallujah KFCOnly a short time ago the city of Fallujah served as stronghold for insurgents. Daily skirmishes, improvised explosive device detonations and public unease made operating a business in the city very difficult.

Today, with improved security throughout the region, the low price of 4,000 dinar, or $3.50, will purchase a full meal at the recently established Kentucky Fried Chicken in the Hey Al Dubat area of the city.

The KFC is the first to open for business in the city. Before improved conditions in the city, insurgents threatened business owners, demanding money to support acts of terrorism.

“I remember when I was here last in July 2004 and things were much different than they are now,” said Sgt. Steve J. Arnoux, a 25-year-old vehicle commander from Browning, Mont. “When we would go out on convoys in the city, the attitude was a lot different. It seemed like we were just waiting to get ambushed. Now we stop at KFC.”

Damn, that makes me feel good. 


UPDATE (8/8): According to TPMMuckraker, this isn't a legitimate Yum! Foods (owner of KFC) franchise, just some enterprising Iraqis' attempt to capitalize on the brand identity by ripping off the trademark. But, hey, it still speaks well of the situation in Iraq (if not of the ethics of the entrepreneurs involved). The image of Col. Sanders and the KFC name are valuable and marketable in what was once a hotbed of violently anti-American, anti-Western sentiments. That's a good thing — except maybe for Yum! Foods. Maybe they should negotiate with the owners about making it a real franchise?

(Hat tip for the update goes to LGF, too. Bloggers are better about corrections than the MSM.) 

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