SAMARA, Iraq -- While the intensity of this war has diminished considerably from what it was just several days ago, it is not over yet. Those Marines who are still taking fire and being wounded will attest to that. But great and historic progress continues to be made, and with each successful campaign, new evidence is unearthed justifying the president's correct and courageous decision to remove the terrorist threat posed by Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.
I'm reporting this week from the ancient city of Samara -- the fortress city on the Tigris River. This is a training site for the so-called Saddam Fedayeen, which was captured by U.S. Marines of the 5th Regimental Combat Team last week. In my last report, I wrote that it was the Fedayeen -- who have been identified as Syrians, Saudis, Sudanese, Somalis and Egyptians -- who were supplying Saddam's last line of defense. Not only were these "foreigners" -- as the Iraqi civilians have taken to calling them -- schooled in the ways of terror here, but also at the so-called Salman Pak education center -- a terrorist training camp in southern Baghdad.
The remains of this center are a testament to the accuracy of precision-guided munitions. After a single 2,000 pound bomb was dropped on this structure, it leveled the building and destroyed the headquarters, but left intact a house just 50 yards away. Once inside, the Marines found it to be full of terrorist training equipment. In addition, I found a French officer's pilot uniform and a French helmet at this facility.
Then there was the ammunition. It is fair to say that Saddam Hussein is to hand grenades what Imelda Marcos was to shoes. The weapons came from numerous countries -- places like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, France and Italy. Nearly every country that has weapons to deliver was supplying Saddam -- save the United States and Great Britain. I don't think Saddam ever saw a hand grenade he didn't want to buy. He was willing to pay a premium price for them, and he forced his own people to suffer as a consequence.
It seems no building or structure was immune from conscription. During this war, we've been reminded of Saddam's penchant for using human shields and utilizing mosques and hospitals for his military infrastructure.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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