Friday, October 14, 2005


U.S. and Iraqi forces pulled one over on the terrorists yesterday:

BAQOUBA, Iraq -- Joint Iraqi and U.S. security forces foiled an attempt by terrorists to ambush a truck delivering ballots to the nearby city of Muqtadiya yesterday, one in a series of attacks ahead of tomorrow's vote on a permanent constitution.
A decoy convoy -- disguised to look like it was carrying ballots from the Iraqi Electoral Commission and heavily armed with Iraqi forces -- drew fire from terrorists hiding in a palm grove outside of Baqouba at midday.
Unknown to the enemy, three ordinary pickup trucks carrying the real ballots already were delivering the precious cargo to the city of Muqtadiya, an hour's drive away.
Thirty Iraqi soldiers, accompanied by a reporter-photographer for The Washington Times, were assigned to the dummy convoy. It was an all-Iraqi operation. No U.S. soldiers were present.
The Iraqis were ready for a fight.
"By the name of Allah, the most merciful," said Iraqi army Lt. Hayder, who, like other Iraqi soldiers, goes only by one name to protect his family from being targeted by terrorists.
"This mission is dangerous. Any civilian car moving between our cars should be seen as a threat," Lt. Hayder said before the mission got under way.
The attack began with the bone-jarring explosion of a roadside bomb followed by a barrage of rocket-propelled grenades and rifle fire.
Within seconds, Iraqi soldiers responded with a wall of automatic-weapons fire. The terrorists ran.


Later, U.S. Kiowa helicopters arrived to escort the convoy to Muqtadiya.
Back at Forward Operating Base Normandy in Muqtadiya, which U.S. Army Task Force 1-30 shares with an Iraqi unit nicknamed "Tiger Battalion." Lt. Col. Roger Cloutier reflected on the day's events.
"These [Iraqi soldiers] are ordinary guys that rose to the occasion. In their lifetime, they have never experienced freedom, and now they're defending it with their lives," said Col. Cloutier, commander of the task force.

Liberation will do that to a person. And just who is it that gave the Iraqi people that freedom... hmmmmm... let me see... Bill Clinton? No.... the U.N.? No... hmmmm... I'll have to keep pondering this...