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December 9, 2005
Iraqis Take Another Step Towards Freedom

The Iraqis took a major step forward today towards freedom when the plain folks of Ramadi captured and handed over a major al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Amir Khalaf Fanus, known as "The Butcher of Ramadi":

Iraqi citizens turned over a high-ranking Al Qaeda member known as "the Butcher" to U.S. forces in Ramadi Friday a military statement said.

Amir Khalaf Fanus was No. 3 on the 28th Infantry Division's High Value Individual list for Ramadi, wanted for murder and kidnapping in connection with his affiliation with Al Qaeda in Iraq.

"He is the highest ranking Al Qaeda in Iraq member to be turned into Iraqi and U.S. officials by local citizens," Capt. Jeffrey S. Pool said in a statement released from Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi. "His capture is another indication that the local citizens tire of the insurgents' presence within their community."

The critics of the war have long remarked that the Iraqis have not done enough to fight the terrorists themselves, that they've left that to Americans, and that they secretly want the terrorists to drive us out. Ramadi supposedly comprised one of the insurgent's power bases. Yet the people there took it upon themselves to go through the danger to detain one of the leaders of the Zarqawi network and hand him over to the Americans. That seems passingly strange, if one accepts at face value the assertion of the Democrats that 80% of Iraqis want Americans to leave and 45% find the killing of American soldiers acceptable.

In truth, the Iraqis have seen the fruits of freedom and while they probably don't care for the necessity of foreign troops, they understand the necessity while lunatics like Fanus run around killing Iraqis. They want to enjoy their new-found ability to choose their own leaders for a government that serves their needs rather than one that feeds them into meat grinders. After living with Saddam for over thirty years of torture and terror, Zarqawi and his minions have little chance of scaring them away from their freedom. At any rate, they don't scare the Iraqis anywhere near the extent they scare the Democrats half a world away, and they proved it today.

Congratulations to the Iraqis of Ramadi that refused to be cowed by wannabe Islamofascist tyrants like Fanus. May we continue to be inspired by your example of courage and hope.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 9, 2005 10:05 PM

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