Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Vietnam Redux

Iraq has become another Vietnam. The Left has been screaming this ever since Ted Kennedy and his press lapdogs declared Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) a “quagmire” three weeks into the fight. But lo and behold, even Teddy Kennedy can be right sometimes. For in some key aspects, OIF has become another Vietnam.

As with Vietnam, we are winning the war on the ground. But, as with Vietnam, the national Democrat Party works relentlessly to sabotage the war effort. As with Vietnam, the national news media lies, obfuscates and misinforms. As with Vietnam, failure may be the ultimate consequence.

In September of last year, the U.S. Army began operation Restore Rights in the city of Tall’Afar, Iraq. This was the second offensive there in one year. The city rests about ten miles from the Syrian border in Northern Iraq and had become a hotbed of terrorist activity for Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s al Qaeda in Iraq. The following letter, addressed to the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, was penned by a very grateful Mayor of Tall’Afar for their efforts in ridding the city of terrorists:

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, Zuma 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.

Mayor of Tall 'Afar, Ninewa, Iraq

This letter brought tears to my eyes. Now, I ask you, would a proud nation not want to splash this moving tribute to our brave fighting men across the front page of every newspaper in the country? Wouldn’t that grateful mayor be the subject of wide ranging interviews and TV appearances?

Virtually no one picked it up. But it is not because they didn’t know about it.

The mayor sent a second letter to Gen. Casey, again praising the Army’s actions but also pleading with him to allow the 3rd ACR to stay longer. I ran a search on “Mayor of Tall’Afar Letter” and came up with pages of headlines that read: “Mayor Upset with Gen Casey for Early Pullout,” or words to that effect. Now what conclusions would you draw from that?

When our national news media becomes so shamelessly partisan that it even ignores such an unimpeachable testimonial as the mayor’s high praise for the 3rd ACR, I have to agree with Teddy, Operation Iraqi Freedom has become another Vietnam.