A thank you for America

Iraqi mayor gives thanks to U.S. soldiers

After being bombarded by the tragically ridiculous "Cartoon Intifada" for a week, this should be a welcome counterpoint. The commander of Coalition forces in Iraq recently received a remarkable letter from the mayor of Tall 'Afar honoring the soldiers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (3rd ACR) who quite literally saved the city from the bloody grip of terrorists. Some of you may have already seen it, as it's quickly making its way across the Internet. But allow me to flesh out some details.

Members of the 3rd ACR call themselves "troopers" and belong to one of the most decorated combat units in the U.S. Army. Whenever possible, they sport wide-brimmed cavalry hats. The history of the unit -which began as the U.S. Third Cavalry - stretches back over 150 years to the Indian Wars, and through almost every major American conflict. Twenty-three 3rd Cav troopers have been awarded the Medal of Honor. Earlier this month, the Regiment began redeployment back to Ft. Carson, Colo. For most, this was their second tour of duty in Iraq.

As for Tall 'Afar, this city of about 250,000 is situated in the "wild west" of Iraq just 40 miles from the Syrian border. As a traditional smugglers' enclave, it became a natural hub for the terrorist insurgency. Many of the main routes (aka "ratlines") for moving money, arms and suicide bombers from Syria flowed right through Tall 'Afar.
By the summer of 2005, foreign jihadists - allied with al-Qaida - were ruling the city through intimidation and brute force. The situation seemed similar to Fallujah in 2004. Local police and tribal leaders were cowed, the population terrorized. Bombings, assassinations, beheadings and torture perpetrated by the terrorists against Iraqi citizens became commonplace. Even some victim's corpses were wired with explosives to kill family members coming to retrieve them.

Clearly, decisive action was needed and "Operation Restore Rights" was launched in early September. The battle of Tall 'Afar, however, did not proceed as violently as the taking of Fallujah. The 3rd ACR worked closely with local Sunni leaders to minimize civilian casualties, gather intelligence and destroy enemy strongholds with precision. A newly capable and confident Iraqi Army also played a huge role. Fighting side-by-side, American and Iraqi soldiers killed many of the terrorists and captured hundreds more.

Today the situation in Tall-'Afar is vastly improved, with local government re-established, police stations rebuilt, municipal restoration projects underway and children back in school. There are still attacks by terrorists, but they're less frequent and less lethal. This is the kind of progress that so many of our servicemen and women see and experience in Iraq. And it's the kind of effort that many of the Iraqi people are truly grateful for, as evidenced by Mayor Al-Jibouri's letter. The closing paragraph reads:

"God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute.They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land. Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life. Finally, no matter how much I write or speak about this brave Regiment, I haven't the words to describe the courage of its officers and soldiers. I pray to God to grant happiness and health to these legendary heroes and their brave families." - Najim Abdullah Abid Al-Jibouri, Mayor of Tall 'Afar.

Click here, for the full letter, scroll down to see a picture of the people and local authorities with the US Soldiers. A picture not fit for publication by CNN or BBC (*SPIT*)

Thanks OpiniPundit, Mudville Gazette

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments containing Chinese characters will not be published as I do not understand them