The Iraqi delegation, fresh off meetings in Washington with President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, declared they had achieved victory over al-Qaida insurgents during a visit with Vermont veterans at Norwich University Thursday afternoon. Though insurgent violence is largely quelled, they said, continued U.S. support is necessary to rebuild infrastructure and the economy in Al Anbar province.
"We have defeated al-Qaida in this very large province of Al Anbar as a result of our cooperation with your forces," Mamoon S. Rashid Al-Alwani, governor of Al Anbar, said through an interpreter. "This victory came as a result of our cooperation with your forces and our bloods have spilled together."
The Iraqi delegation told veterans they would look to the U.S. as a model in crafting their own unity government.
"You managed to unite all 50 states in one country despite your diversity and different religions," Al-Alwani said. "You managed to build this country despite those differences."
When the reconstruction is complete, the Iraqis said, Vermont veterans will be their guests of honor.
Said Al-Essawi, "We will welcome you and your families to come and visit Iraq"
You can see a video of the meeting here.
The delegation met with Sec of State Condi Rice and President Bush back on November 1 but the media has been very quiet about this. Here's a picture of Madame Secretary with the delegation...
The delegation, selected by the US Embassy in Baghdad, includes the head of the Anbar Awakening Council Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha, Anbar Governor Maamoun Sami Rashid Al-Awani, Ramadi Mayor Latif Obeid Eyadeh, Chairman of Anbar Provincial Council Abdul-Salam Abdullah and three other members of the council, in addition to the Iraqi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Rafeh Al-Issawi.Sadly the above news snippet came from a news outlet from India. But who is shocked at the failure of the media to report such great news? Anyone... anyone...