Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A True Martyr

Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu al-Rishawi, the founder and leader Anbar Awakening, was killed yesterday afternoon by a bomb planted near his home. Two of his bodyguards were also killed, and others, including a nephew, were wounded. Initial reports indicate that al-Qaeda terrorists took advantage of Sheik Sattar's gesture of charity at the start of holy month of Ramadan, infiltrating a gathering of local poor at the home of the Sheik in order to plant the bomb that killed him.

Under his stewardship, the Sahawat Al Anbar, or Anbar Awakening Council, grew from a loose organization of 20-odd tribes to a council of 42 Sunni tribes today. He endured attempts on his life, including a full-blown suicide assault on his home. He lost four brothers and more relatives, but he never backed down. In a way, he couldn't- he would either have the pleasure of seeing al-Qaeda finally and completely banished from Iraq, or he would give his life in the attempt. The forces he fought are too brutal and violent to allow any half measure. In the end, it has come to exactly that.

His death is a grievous loss to all who long to see a free Iraq. He provided vision, determination, and stubborn perseverance in his leadership of the sons of Anbar. His brother Ahmed has been selected to replace him as head of the council- there is no turning back in the face of terror. As one deputy chief said: "if only one small boy remains alive in Anbar, we will not hand the province over to al-Qaida."

Muslims believe that a man who is martyred during the holy month of Ramadan will be especially blessed for his sacrifice. My hope is that Sheik Sattar's blessing will be the continuation of his efforts and an even stronger determination among his kin to see terror driven completely from Iraq.

Rest in Peace.

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  1. Tonight we heard our commander in chief say something he has not said for 4 years:

    "Because of the measure of success we have seen in Iraq, we will be able to see troops coming home.. ."

    While some will never admit the troops success, Iraqi people like Sheik Sattar did and are seeing the opportunity our warriors have provided for them.

    Indeed, rest in Peace Sheik Sattar, and gratitude and prayers for all our warriors.

  2. Hopefully his followers will be motovated by his death, I am thankful for men like him.

  3. Thanks, TD, for your post on the death of our Sunni Shiekh ally. May he rest in peace. I linked to you today on my sequel blog by the same name....

  4. "My hope is that Sheik Sattar's blessing will be the continuation of his efforts and an even stronger determination among his kin to see terror driven completely from Iraq."

    Amen to that. I was deeply saddened to learn of his death.

  5. TD-

    The reaction to this murder will be opposite the result that the AQI cowards intend. It will only reinforce the drive by the local population to drive AQI evil back to hell.

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  7. I continue to be baffled by men who claim to be devout Muslim and yet carry out these horrific deeds. At the time of Ramadan Muslims are supposed to be reflective and forgiving and are not suppose to harm others. To kill a man who is seeking only good for his part of the world does not seem to me to be what Allah had in mind.

  8. The Sunni were fooled far too long. The terrorists of al Qaeda were the ones who lived to kill and take over Iraq, not the American soldier.

    When Sheik Sattar realized this, he changed the outcome of this war and started the beginning of the end of terrorism in Iraq as a free entity.

    For this reason, Al Sadr will also find his end in Iraq as well.

    I am so proud of you men for your long effort!

    Lorin Friesen

  9. Ironically, his death has seemed to encourage the Shiia tribes to consider a similar group as Anbar Awakening.

    Whatever comes of it, I mourn the Shiek's death.

    He seemed a good sort.

  10. Anonymous20/9/07 16:01