THE WAR IN IRAQ: PAYING TRIBUTE TO
THE VALIANT EFFORTS OF COALITION SOLDIERS
By Thomas G. Tancredo
Take, for example, the case of Salvadoran Corporal Samuel Toloza. According to a recent Associated Press story, "One of his friends was dead, 12 others lay wounded, and the four soldiers still left standing were surrounded and out of ammunition. So Toloza said a prayer, whipped out his ..... knife and charged the Iraqi gunmen.''
The story goes on, "In one of the only known instances of hand-to-hand combat in the Iraq conflict, Toloza stabbed several attackers who were swarming around a comrade. The stunned assailants backed away momentarily, just as a relief column came to their rescue.''
According to the reports, Toloza and 16 other members were trapped by members of Muqtada al-Sadr's al-Mahdi militia. They initially did not fire their weapons for several hours, for fear of inflicting civilian casualties, despite the fact that insurgents were peppering the group with small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. Finally, after fighting back, the group, comprised of Salvadoran and American soldiers, ran out of ammunition. Faced with mounting casualties, they placed wounded soldiers on transports and tried to make their - way back to the base. Unfortunately, they ran into a contingent of about 10 insurgents on the way. That is when Toloza, out of ammunition, rushed the insurgents with nothing but his knife, buying enough time for reinforcements to arrive.
"We never considered surrender,'' Toloza reportedly said, "I was trained to fight until the end.''
Phil Kosnett, who heads the Coalition Provisional Authority in Najaf, also has nothing but praise for the nearly 400 Salvadoran troops fighting shoulder to shoulder with American troops in Iraq. In fact, he is so impressed with their valor and dedication to duty, he has nominated six of them for the Bronze Star, and for good reason. The AP story goes on to explain that Kosnett himself believes he owes his life to them. Salvadoran troops, the story continues, "repelled a well-executed insurgent attack on Kosnett's three-car convoy in March.''
Let us pay tribute to the sacrifices and heroism of our soldiers, as well as those of our allies, like Corporal Toloza, for their efforts and contributions to protecting freedom and for their efforts in the war on terrorism.
The Problem of Rogue States:
Iraq as a Case History
The Middle East & the Arabs
Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three Page Two Page One
War & Peace in the Real World
Page Two Page One
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
U.S. National Security Strategy
Thomas G. Tancredo is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the Sixth Congressional District
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