Qasim al-Aranji was an Iraqi held as a prisoner in America over a decade ago, spending nearly 27 months detained, with much of it in solitary confinement. Al-Aranji was charged for weapons smuggling and involvement in assassination cells. However, he has since reformed his life and has become the head of the top Iraq ministry.

Despite his tumultuous past with the U.S., he has been very vocal in his support of U.S. led coalitions against the Islamic state in Iraq. He adamantly denies any feelings of lingering hostility toward U.S. forces.

“That’s life,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I was their prisoner and now I meet with their ambassador.”

He has even gone so far as to defend the U.S. coalition on the floor of the Iraqi parliament, something often unheard of in modern Iraqi politics.

“My most important goal is to bring security to Iraq,” he said, “and Iraq is in need of the friendship of the Americans.”

The U.S. now works closely with many of the border crossing and security agents that now fall under his command, and so far reports show that he is doing an excellent job of whipping them into shape. As the last remnants of Mosul fall under Iraqi control and the remainder of the Islamic State terrorists flee to Syria, al-Aranji remains dedicated to the new position and life he has found serving his country for the greater good.

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