Tal Afar was one of the first tests of the new strategy, and Bush said the first step in its implementation was meeting with tribal leaders and local residents to listen to their grievances. That meeting resulted in the building of “a professional police force that all sides could have confidence in.”
Iraqi and coalition forces also began to win trust by careful focus on securing the safety of the population in their military operations against terrorists.
Tal Afar today is “a city that is coming back to life,” he said.
“You see that the terrorists who once exercised brutal control over every aspect of your city have been killed or captured or driven out or put on the run. You see your children going to school and playing safely in the streets. You see the electricity and water service restored throughout the city. You see a police force that better reflects the ethnic and religious diversity of the communities they patrol. You see markets opening, and you hear the sound of construction equipment as buildings go up and homes are remade,” he said.
The president added that election results from Tal Afar demonstrate that “Iraqis respond when they know they're safe.”
Why don't reporters go to Tal Afar? Say Laura and Cal.
'I say that Bush is 100 percent a liar because the city of Tal Afar has become a ghost town rather than the example Bush spoke about,' said Ali Ibrahim, a Shi'ite Turkmen laborer...
...But more than a dozen local people who spoke to a Reuters reporter on Friday said they had little faith in the future of their town, where the offensive fuelled sensitivities in an ethnically and religiously mixed region.
Sunni Turkmen Rafat Ahmed, 35, a shop owner said: 'As I'm talking now the Americans and the Iraqi army are surrounding my neighbourhood. If we leave our houses we could be arrested.'...
...'Anyone who says Tal Afar is good and safe actually knows nothing because the reality is we are unsafe, even inside our houses, because we don't know when we'll be arrested,' said pensioner Abdul Karim al-Anizi, 60, a Shi'ite Turkmen
Some of the anger is being directed back at the U.S. forces that pushed out the militants.
'The situation in Tal Afar is deteriorating and the smell of death is everywhere. People never know why they are killed. They only know that the Americans are the cause of their agonies,' said Hussein Mahmoud, a Shi'ite Turkmen university professor.
Yes, the Bush Family, defining "progress" the same accurate way they define "charity".