« Governor Richardson Endorses Obama |
Blog Home Page
| Justice Denied »
March 21, 2008
US Backed Sunni Militas in Iraq not getting paid
This is such a disturbing story on a couple of levels that we have to be careful before all the facts are in before we start assessing blame.
Evidently, the hugely successful strategy of employing Sunni militias to help fight al-Qaeda is in jeapordy because their promised pay of $10 a day has not been forthcoming:
A telephone survey by GuardianFilms for Channel 4 News reveals that out of 49 Sahwa councils four with more than 1,400 men have already quit, 38 are threatening to go on strike and two already have. Not only are these timebombs not being paid, they're not getting jobs they feel were promised to them by Prime Minister Maliki. Indeed, the US promised the Sunnis that they would eventually be incorporated into the regular Iraqi police. But the Shia dominated government has balked and the fighters are getting restless.
Improved security in Iraq in recent months has been attributed to a combination of the surge, the truce observed by Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army, and the effectiveness and commitment of the councils, which are drawn from Sunni Arabs and probably the most significant factor, according to most analysts.
In his speech marking the fifth anniversary of the war George Bush highlighted the significance of what he called "the first large-scale Arab uprising against Osama bin Laden". Iraq, he said, "has become the place where Arabs joined with Americans to drive al-Qaida out."
But dozens of phone calls to Sahwa leaders reveal bitterness and anger. "We know the Americans are using us to do their dirty work and kill off the resistance for them and then we get nothing for it," said Abu Abdul-Aziz, the head of the council in Abu Ghraib, where 500 men have already quit.
Let's hope that this is just some snafu that is easily explained. Because if these guys quit, chances are pretty good they go right back into the insurgency and start killing our boys again.