Sunnis Who Battled Al-Qaeda in Iraq Now Being Slaughtered by ISIS

(Wall Street Journal) Col. Philip Dermer - A slick YouTube video shows ISIS thugs attacking captured Iraqis. Many of the men being taunted, tortured and killed were leaders of the Sahwa, the Sunni militants who once fought against the American military before they realized that their bigger enemy was al-Qaeda and joined us in the fight. The Sahwa's decision to ally with us was the primary contributor to the calming of central Iraq from 2007-09. Without the Sahwa, I suspect the outcome of the vaunted military "surge" would have been vastly different. In 2007-08, I worked with representatives of Prime Minister al-Maliki on how to reconcile with the Sahwa and integrate them into Iraq's post-surge environment. We, the United States of America, had made the Sahwa and their Sunni popular base a promise, a moral commitment, when they took up the fight beside us beginning in 2007. We told them we would work out the operational mechanisms with the Iraqi government and not leave them twisting in the wind. America's promises and moral commitments must stand for something. If not, no one will believe anything we say. Col. Philip Dermer, a retired U.S. Army officer, served two tours in Iraq.

2014-07-03 00:00:00

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