Would you care to guess who said this: "To the courageous men and women of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall Afar (Iraq) from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life"?
Is this an excerpt from a Pentagon or presidential citation? Nope.
"To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months." Was that on a plaque from the local Kiwanis Club? Wrong again.
"To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city."
Give up? That is a letter from the mayor of Tall Afar in the Iraqi province of Nineveh. Mayor Najim Abdullah Abid Al-Jubouri wrote it to express his gratitude to American soldiers. Chances are you have not read this letter. I have only found it in a few small-circulation U.S. newspapers. It certainly conveys an impression opposite what much of the mainstream media and some politicians have been telling us.
Tall Afar was the main base of operations for the terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The mayor says his city was held hostage by al-Zarqawi. "Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young."
The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) arrived in Iraq in 2003 and began attacking insurgents in Fallujah. Last year, they went back for a second tour, this time in Tall Afar. The mayor's letter sums up the result: "This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered ... the courageous soldiers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of al-Zarqawi's followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3rd ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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