Friday, September 14, 2007

Was This The Iraqi Patrick Henry?

Funeral services were held today for Abdul Sattar Abu Risha. The 37-yr old leader of the Al Bu Risha tribe was killed in a bomb attack near his home by al-Qaeda. What makes this man any different than the thousands that are murdered by al-Qaeda every year? Why the reference to Patrick Henry in the title? Well let's get a little background on this man.

In September of 2006, angered by the killings of his father and two of his brothers, Abu Risha approached US military forces in Anbar with a proposition. In exchange for weapons, his tribe would:

a) halt action against US and Iraqi forces

b) pledge to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq

c) attempt to draw tribal militias into the Iraqi security forces (ISF)

Abu Risha was able to gather 25 tribes into his group, which he named the Anbar Awakening Council. These forces have been credited for wiping al-Qaeda out of the Anbar capital of Ramadi as well as forcing many al-Qaeda out of Anbar province. This council has sworn to continue fighting al-Qaeda to avenge his death. Abu Risha was a fiery orator with a knack of swaying opinion and inspiring people to fight for peace in Anbar. Sort of reminds me of a similar man in 1776 who said, "Give me Liberty or give me Death".

Whether Abu Risha will be remembered in the Iraqi history books the way we remember Patrick Henry is up for grabs right now ... after all, the victors write the history books. But if more Iraqi patriots stand up like Abu Risha did, victory should be assured. So when you hear people talk about the Iraqi people not fighting for themselves, you can remember this example, as well as the thousands of government workers who were killed for cooperating with US forces and the fledgling Iraqi government.

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lime said...

thank you for making me aware

Debbie said...

A brave man. But he has started a movement. His fellow Iraqis are banding behind what he stood for, and vowing to fight al-Qaeda. What a man. Iraq needs more like him. He's not the first to stand up with the US and be killed for it, he probably won't be the last.

In_spired said...

The picture on your post is the first image I've seen of him...unless it's been on the news and I wasn't paying that much attention. I have read a little about him and had him pictured as an 'Indiana Jones' type, with a turban instead of a slouch hat. Some descriptive words of him have been "young, flamboyant, courageous", and carrying a pistol at his waist....sounds like Indy Jones to me!

Again...thanks for an informative post. (Patrick Henry is much more impressive!)

The Lowest Rated Blog said...

Plenty of them

There are plenty of them [Iraqis] working with the coalition. And they know that working with/for the coalition "could be hazardous for their health." Same goes with the Iraqi politicians, we blame them for the lack of progress, but they are way too busy fighting to stay alive!


Terri@SteelMagnolia said...


Tapline said...

Good post. I haven't read that much about this particular individual, but he was indeed couragous and it should be remembered. I also recall another Iraqi who stood in the way of a bomb and saved 4 soldiers at the cost of his own life. They are truely a couragous lot....but this man in particular stands out because he stood up and took charge brings other sheiks with him in exchange for weapons he pledged cooperation with the coalition. Check out Omar and Mohamed's blog "Iraq the Model" for an update on the current situation in Iraq and upcoming visits to the US by the Sunni and Shia leaders...

Paul Champagne said...

lime ... you're welcome.

debbie ... there are plenty of brave Iraqis out there, doing what is right. Though from the news coverage and listening to the Democrats in Congress, the Iraqi people are doing nothing to help their cause.

inspired ... another description was "chain-smoking" ... it was hard to find a pic of him without a cigarette. Instead of Indiana Jones, I pictured him as a Lawrence Of Arabia type guy.

tlrb ... further threats were made today on a terrorist web site that anyone helping the government or coalition forces would be tortured and killed. It takes a brave heart to stand up to terrorists. Our politicians can't even stand up to polls.

terri ... very, very sad.

tapline ... thanks for reminding me about "Iraq The Model", I hadn't been on their in months. Seems even the tone of the blog has improved since the surge.

snowelf said...

Hey Paul :)

This is one of those really inspiring stories... I really felt for this brave man and I'm sorry to hear of his passing.


David said...

Isn't it too bad that we don't really hear about guys like Abdul Sattar Abu Risha until they are dead. I guess the he and people like him don't fit into the picture of defeat that so many are desperate for America and the world to buy into.

Paul Champagne said...

snow ... the sad part of heroic stories is that they tend to end tragically ... this is but another one. There are heros beyond count currently in Iraq ... they can be found both within the ranks of our servicemembers and in the Iraqi populace.

david ... defeatism seems to reign withing the media and Democratic party. The media, for the most part is poll driven ... they write the stories that their readers want to read. There are exceptions (the NY Times comes to mind), that are just puppets of the lunatic left, but most at least attempt to be impartial.