Picture this. Somewhere in the Iranian desert there is a mid-sized American city of about 7.4 square miles. It consists of modules that can be moved around. There are churches, synagogues, even a mosque. The city is completely wired for the sounds of a typical American city, including rock, rap and country. It`s called an Urban Warfare Training Center.
Well, maybe it`s in the Yemeni or the Syrian desert.
What would we make of it? Would it set off alarms in our intelligence community? Would it infuriate us? Would our extremists demand that it be taken out? Would it make the headlines? Would we take it as hostile intent?
Baladia City "just such an urban warfare training site "exists in Israel`s Negev Desert. It was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the same corps that was unable to protect New Orleans from drowning. And our tax money was spent on it.
So what does the Arab world make of it? Do you think it`s a safe bet most Arabs aren`t thrilled? If you run Baladia City on your search engine you won`t find much mainstream press attention, but you will find some Marine Corps and Army stories about it.
Balad is the Arab word for village, and Arabs themselves have named a few innocuous things Baladia.