Want to buy US military wares in Afghanistan? Go to Obama Market.
Afghanistan vendors in the 'Obama Market' in Kabul sell MREs, military cots, and goggles like those used by the American military. It's not clear where they come from, but the Otis Spunkmeyer cookies are popular.
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"No, that's not true," said Tor. "Actually a translator maybe gets it as a gift, or the soldiers give these things to small villages and the villagers are afraid to eat it, they think that maybe it is forbidden under Islam. Then someone offers it to us."Skip to next paragraph
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He declined to say whether anyone regular checks the market.
"Our guys go out for a lot of different things, but for security reasons I can't really talk about what they do," he said.
The shopkeeper offering the sleeping bag and knock-offs of clothes favored by security contractors said he bought some things from the sister market in Bagram.
"Now, where they get it, maybe the base, maybe a businessman," said Sherdil, 28, who, like many Afghans, uses one name. "I don't know exactly where they get it and I don't really care."
Across the way, Wahed Wahedzada was sitting behind the counter of a shop that sells disposable dishes and eating utensils. "People who work on Bagram sell it to people who sell it to us," he said. Then his boss, too, jumped in to correct him.
"No, Maybe of 100 items I have, only two or three are American," said Muhamed Qauem, 35, who then gave a version of the party line in several of the shops; that most of the goods are cheap Chinese-made items and the shopkeepers buy a few things from Bagram as bait to lure customers.
"American businessmen take their products and go to China and make fakes," he said. Most people here can't tell the difference."
His shop, though, was essentially a white cave, its walls lined almost exclusively with huge stacks of disposable plates that were made in Missouri, Solo foam cups and American-made latex gloves of the kind used by food service workers. "When Afghans see American goods, they want to buy them," he said. "Everybody loves American stuff."
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