A little while ago, I posted some words from a hero that should have eliminated all doubts about that.
If you still need convincing, or if you're one of those who doesn't see the relationship between Iraq and the War on Terror, you need to read this. Heck, I think everyone needs to read this.Received via email:
THOUGHTS ON THE BIRTHDAY OF THE U.S. ARMY
There are tremendous things being done by tremendous people. The United States Army recently celebrated its 230th birthday and as I sat, in safety, at my desk in Virginia, I started to remember where I was on the Army's 228th birthday. That day I was sitting in the city of Mosul Iraq. My Soldiers and I had just finished protecting local government buildings from violent riots a few days prior, and the contrast between that anniversary and this could not have been starker.
Upon the official end of Major Combat Operations on 01 May 2003, the daunting task of securing and rebuilding Mosul, the third largest city in Iraq with 1.25 million people, was at hand. My Infantry company, Charlie Company, 2nd battalion, 205th Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division, assumed control of the northwest section of the Mosul, which included a hospital complex (with 5 separate hospitals, an emergency room, 2 training schools, and an ambulance service), a police station, a large city market, 20 schools, numerous Mosques and other civil buildings, large residential areas, approximately 5km of the Tigris river bank, and the Mosul Hotel. Even though organized resistance no longer existed in Mosul at that time, there was still the danger of the random act of violence against not only the US Troops but the citizens of Mosul who showed any happiness that the US was there.
In conjunction with patrols, my Soldiers provided immediate security to key infrastructure and sensitive sights that were vulnerable to theft, vandalism, and sabotage. This security was placed at fuel stations, police departments, and the City hospital complex while security forces were being organized and trained by our Brigade. Benzene (gasoline) sales were nonexistent before U.S. forces arrived in Mosul. What little there was, was being looted and sold on the black market at extremely high prices. The Soldiers of my company, as well as the rest of the battalion, assumed control of these stations and very tightly controlled them while the benzene surplus was reestablished. Because of the efforts of our Soldiers the benzene stations were running without the supervision of US troops in a few months, and the people had enough to run their cars.
Propane availability and distribution was a problem very similar to that of the benzene stations. Propane was how the cooking and heating was done in people's homes. Our troops would move to a location in the city and wire off an area where a propane truck would enter and the people would line up and pay for a tank. This was done two sometimes three times a day in the intense heat of the summer. After a few months this too began running smoothly with the direct supervision of out Soldiers.
I tell these stories to make a point on what is going on in Iraq now. Thankfully I was able to conduct this all important missions with little to no enemy intervention. The Soldiers in my company as well as those across my Division were able to quickly bring security and safety to the city of Mosul. Local elections were held in Mosul in May and June of 2003, the first in the country and almost 2 full years ahead of the much publicized national elections. Again, all of this in relative security. There was a reason that it was referred to the "Mosul Model".
Today in Iraq Schools and Universities are open. Power output is a an all time high and despite this output there have been power shortages because people are buying appliances in record number. That is the sign of a growing economy. Every day new recruits are graduating from the Iraqi Army basic training courses and joining units that are taking control of some of the most dangerous sectors in the country. The terrorist's bombings of recruiting offices only delay their enlistment, it does not deter it.
American Soldiers, Marines, and other military personnel are getting these tremendous results while under fire. They are under fire of what many believe to be the last gasp of a dying terrorist influence in Iraq. And this is why Iraq is so important. The terrorists know, as we do, that this is the proving ground. The terrorists have chosen Iraq to make their stand. They believe that if the US and her allies fail here that the War on Terror will fail everywhere else. But this cannot and will not happen. Why? Because of the Soldiers that are rebuilding a school in Sader City, under fire; because of the Soldier that is repairing a city gutter and drainage system in Al Kut, under fire; because of the Soldier that is clearing the trash from a playground in Mosul, under fire. None of these have anything to do with the countless counter-insurgency operations that our Soldiers are conducting-with Iraqi army soldiers. Our Soldiers will not let the terrorist win. These tremendous Americans are, on a daily basis, securing us here at home by securing a country 7000 miles away. The least we can do here is recognize this and do our part by supporting them the best we can back home, where we live in safety.
CPT. Ryan Morgan
Newport News, VAAnd as if that wasn't enough, he also sent along these awesome photos of the 2/205 at work.
HOOAH!! and Thank you to all the Heroes of the 2/205 INF for all you do.
Update / Related : Greyhawk has a post up that serves as a reminder that terrorism DIDN'T start on September 11, 2001. I also posted a timeline quite a while ago here.
Fatwa issued by the Jawa Report
Labels: Iraq, My Two Cents, opinion