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Fannie, Freddie...Iraqi

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"On the outskirts of this former insurgent stronghold, Munir Ibrahim Ismail and his family have taken up residence in an American military latrine.

They picked up the trailer full of toilets at a junkyard for about $5,000 — less than it would have cost them to build a real house — and set to work. They tore out the toilet bowls and scrubbed the trailer for days with disinfectant. They ripped off tiles, poured a concrete floor and added a window. They erected a divider to create two rooms and tacked on a concrete kitchen at the back.

Presto! A little piece of the American occupation had become a home."

Ah, yes--the American dream of homeownership, realized by a non-American family, thousands of miles away from America. No, Fannie Mae (FNM) or Freddie Mac (FRE) didn't help them out using your tax dollars. That's what's so dang funny about this world! Because your tax dollars were still requisitioned to buy the Ismail family's latrine, er, home--and sold to them at a deep, deep discount. So really, you and I and every taxpaying American just did a good deed for a family in need.

Mr. Ismail and his brood must be very appreciative, right?

Actually, no.

"It does disgust us that this used to be a toilet for the invaders," said Ismail, 34. "But we didn't have any other option. It's the best we could afford."

Then, there's day laborer Khamis Ghanem Khalif, 38, "who bought what is known in military parlance as a wet CHU, a containerized housing unit with a toilet and shower attached, to make a home for himself, his wife and four children."

"My wife says she doesn't like to stay inside because it gives her a strange feeling," he said. "When we have guests, after an hour they ask if they can sit outside. They say being here gives them a feeling that they have been taken captive by the Americans."

Well, golly, Khamis--isn't it the other way around? You've taken an American housing unit captive for a couple of dinars. And, when you think it about it further, isn't it American taxpayer money that bought that housing in the first place which has now been figuratively flushed down Munir Ismail's latrine?
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