The Southern (reporting from Southern Illinois) tells a heartwarming story. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Grayson Gile of Marion, Illinois, while serving in Afghanistan as an officer in the Combined Joint Special Operation Task Force, met an elderly Hazara man who had taken a year, working in secrecy, to hand knot a rug as a personal gesture of thanks for the liberation of Afghanistan to the American President.
While in the country, Gile got to know many of the natives. “We got to have quite a bit of interaction with the people of the host nation, probably more contact than most soldiers. It took time to establish a rapport with them, but once we established trust, we had friendships,” he said.
One of those friendships involved a Kabul rug merchant who pulled Gile aside before he left the country. The merchant told Gile the story of an elderly man, so overwhelmed with gratitude to the United States for its intervention in the conflict that he made a gift for President Bush – a gift that was a year in the making and made, given the conditions of the country, under penalty of death.
Gile was astonished when he saw the hand-knotted rug, a portrait of Bush, filled with Christian and Catholic symbolism. Filling the center of the rug is an incredible likeness of Bush, dressed in religious vestments, standing at a podium decorated with the official seal of the country and flanked by two waving American flags.
Directly above Bush is Jesus with a sacred heart and stigmata carefully knotted into the rug’s pattern. The rug also shows cherubs and, apparently in an homage to both Bush and a fallen Northern Alliance leader, two lions.
“(Ahmed Shah) Masood was often called ‘the Lion of Panjshir.’ As one of the country’s military leaders, he put some very, very heavy licks to the Soviets and then turned around and delivered the same to the Taliban,” Gile said. “He was assassinated two days before 9/11.”
One corner of the rug reads, “President George W. Bush,” while the opposing corner has the words, “Number one champion.”
I can hear the leftists’ teeth grinding even now.