Sunni militia strike could derail US strategy against al-Qaida
Maggie O'Kane and Ian Black
The Guardian, Friday March 21 2008
"The success of the US "surge" strategy in Iraq may be under threat as Sunni militia employed by the US to fight al-Qaida are warning of a national strike because they are not being paid regularly.....
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.
"The Americans got what they wanted. We purged al-Qaida for them and now people are saying why should we have any more deaths for the Americans. They have given us nothing.".......
"We need to get all the Sahwas in the country together and organise a national strike," said Ahah al-Zubadi, leader of 35 Sahwa councils, the largest group in Iraq. "When the areas started to cool down and the situation began to get better the Americans really cooled to us."
In the area south of Baghdad where more US troops have been killed than anywhere else in the country the Sahwa forces have formed the backbone of the surge. The councils first appeared in Anbar province a year ago when tribal leaders turned against al-Qaida and were tempted by offers of cash and jobs from the Americans, attracting many former insurgents to their ranks. Anbar today is one of Iraq's safest provinces........."