Thursday, February 16, 2006

Victory At Tal Afar - January 27th, 2006

Be sure to check out:

Children in Tal Afar talking to US Solders
(from
http://www.carlisle.army.mil)

Here is the transcript of Col. McMasters giving a Pentagon Brief regarding Tal Afar on January 27, 2006. However you can watch the briefing on streaming video or download it to you computer (h/t Powerline Blog):

  1. Go to the Pentagon Channel.
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  2. Click View Programming.
    A screen pops up.
  3. Click the Search button.
    The Search field is displayed.

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  4. In the Search field, type mcmaster and click the SEARCH button.
    -
  5. Click Multinational Division-North Brief.

I'll provide some juicy quotes for the lazy:

"...in terms of the enemy's long- term vision for Iraq, ...the enemy wants Iraq to fail, to descend into civil war, it was the perfect place to incite ethnic and sectarian conflict. And what we saw among this enemy was an alliance of convenience, really, between former regime elements, Saddamists, and Islamic extremists known as Taqfirists, who believe that not only is anyone who doesn't adhere to their narrow definition of Islam an apostate or rejectionist, but it is their duty to wage jihad against them. And this enemy was particularly brutal, and this enemy had choked the life out of the city after conducting really systematic attacks throughout the region in September of 2004. "

"I was patrolling after an attack on police recruits. It was a suicide attack immediately after the operation. And I was walking with a small element up the street of Hasan Koy, which previously was a hostile area. I saw an Iraqi coming toward me on crutches, a young man, and I thought, well, is this an insurgent, a terrorist who we wounded? So I went up to him and started asking him some questions. It turns out he was wounded in that attack where he was waiting in line to be recruited for the Iraqi police. He was now walking on crutches across town to join the Iraqi army so he could defeat these terrorists and bring security to his family. I mean, I guess what people don't get to see is, they don't get to see how resolute and how determined these courageous Iraqis are."

"Whereas before the operation, only about 60 percent of the people had electricity, only 40 percent of the people had water; virtually all the city has both now because these things are now possible based on the security situation."

"The most tangible thing we can see is that people are happy. Hope is rekindled. Children rush to our soldiers. People spontaneously express their gratitude to us and the Iraqi army. There are bonds of trust, mutual respect, common purpose forming between the Iraqi army and the people, and we're working on now reintroducing the police force and rebuilding its credibility after the difficult period that the city is emerging from. Courts are back open."

"And what the critical thing is, now that the pall of fear is lifted from the people, now that the intimidation is gone, they're free to cooperate, to help us help them secure their neighborhoods and secure their towns across the region. "

"It was also a very important psychological defeat to the enemy because people now understand that these anti-Iraqi forces want Iraq to fail....They now know...that we, the Iraqi army, the Iraqi police, the leaders who have emerged from Tal Afar want Iraq and want Tal Afar and western Nineveh to succeed...I think [another] key was the brutality of the enemy. I mean, we ought to give the enemy credit for helping isolate themselves from this population. And their utter, utter brutality and inhumanity revealed what their true intentions were and allowed us to get after the enemy very effectively while protecting the population."

"...the standard for success for the enemy is much lower than it is for us. I mean, these are people who are willing to commit mass murder by suicide. These are people who are utterly unscrupulous. And of course what we have to do is, we have to succeed for the Iraqi people and for the future of this country."

"And anybody out there who wants to invest in Tal Afar, I encourage you to do so, because the people need jobs and they need hope for the future, and the security situation supports that now. And we're doing everything we can to facilitate the investment of Iraqi government and other money to help these people who've suffered for so long."

"So anyway, I just hope you [reporters] can tell people how great their soldiers are. I know the American people are grateful for their service, and it is a tremendous privilege for me to serve alongside of them."

Me too Colonel.

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