Ambush in Samarra: The longest morning

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Combat reporter Jeff Emanuel was one of my traveling companions on the whirlwind tour of Israel I took courtesy of American’s Voices in Israel this past summer. Jeff went from Israel to Iraq, in search of the stories that the mainstream media are ignoring. He has told many such stories over the past three months (collected here), but he saved his best for the new issue of the American Spectator. Jeff’s “The longest morning” is the cover story of the November issue. In a separate message sent within the past hour, Jeff writes:

Six weeks ago in the Iraqi city of Samarra, four paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division became the object of a pre-planned, coordinated effort by dozens of al Qadea to kidnap and slaughter American soldiers only days before General Petraeus’s internationally televised testimony to the U.S. Congress on the state of the war in Iraq. Not all survived — but those who did fought like heroes, saving each other and preserving the honor of their nation.
This is their story.
Nobody anywhere has heard of this incident yet; the narrative, which is the cover story of the upcoming issue of the American Spectator magazine, has never been released to the public before…..
More: ON AUGUST 26, four soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division were manning a rooftop in Samarra when they were ambushed by dozens of al Qaeda (both Iraqi and foreign, including from the Sudan). The terrorists, supported by al Qaeda machine-gun positions in at least three surrounding buildings, attempted to reach the roof of the building that the Americans were occupying, and succeeded in killing two of the four soldiers. The remaining two kept their attackers at bay, despite weapons malfunctions, destroyed radio equipment, and shortages of ammunition, until their Company’s quick reaction force could arrive, all the while enduring machine gun fire, grenade attacks, shortages of ammunition, and attempts by al Qaeda to drag one of the two dead soldiers’ bodies off the roof and into the building.
Shortly afterward, the unit in Samarra, C Co. 2-505 PIR (82nd ABN DIV) obtained a press release written by the Islamic State of Iraq (aka al Qaeda in Iraqi) before the incident claiming that nine U.S. soldiers had been kidnapped in Samarra, and had been beheaded and had their bodies thrown into an Iraqi lake. The document itself is still classified.
This is the type of heroic story that has been missing from the mainstream media’s coverage of the War on Terror — and it is precisely the type of story that the American people need to hear. Having interviewed all participants — repeatedly — and having repeatedly walked through the situation that they faced, in the place that they faced it, so as to better understand those events, there is no doubt in my mind that the young men featured herein are deserving of the highest award that their country can possibly offer them: the Medal of Honor.
Everyone deserves to see a story like this, from those walking the Halls of Congress to those living in the heartland of America.

The subtitle of Jeff’s terrific article is “A tale of heroism, courage and loss in the face of impossible odds.”
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