- Jun 22, 2004
While I don't doubt the authenticity of the letter,I can't help but wonder at the sentiment of it!After all,his city is occupied by armed men with the ability to shackle and blindfold him and fly him to a secret prison anywhere in the world,torture him and imprison him without trial for as long as they like and without any sort of accountability.It would hardly be prudent to be critical of anyone with that sort of power,would it?roadhog said:If you are interested in evidence that we have shifting and varying strategies to win the "hearts and minds" as you say, read this letter from the mayor of Tal Afar recently. The letter is authentic, and corroborated by multiple sources if you want to skip the web research. Of course this doesn't mean we're "winning" or even that things are going "very, very well" as someone recently said. But it is evidence that we're trying to do good, which you seem to be skeptical of.
In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful
To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.
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.
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.
Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. 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. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of 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 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.
I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism.
The leaders of this Regiment; COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision and wisdom. Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.
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, Ninewa, Iraq
What sort of letter would the mayor have written to al-zarqawi or saddam hussein?I rather suspect,a very similar one.
When singapore fell to the japanese in WWll,a number of allied prisoners were paraded in front of the cameras by their captors,the intention being to allay any criticism of their treatment.The prisoners praised the japanese in such absurdly fulsome terms that their friends and relatives were left in no doubt that they were indeed being treated very badly.Of course the japanese ,unused to the vagaries of the english language,had no idea what was happening and stood in front of the cameras beaming at the praise.
All this proves is that a small town mayor will say anything to preserve his position,or his town,or both.