From the New York Times:

Sunni Fighters Say Iraq Didn’t Keep Jobs Promises

The American military marked another milestone the other day in the initiative perhaps most responsible for taming the violence in Iraq: All but 10,000 of the 94,000 Sunni militiamen — many of them former insurgents who agreed, for cash, to stop killing American soldiers — had been turned over to the control of the Iraqi military.

Significantly, the militiamen themselves were not celebrating.

The same day, one group of the fighters north of Baghdad announced they were resigning from their Awakening Council, the Iraqi name for what the Americans call the Sons of Iraq. And in the town of Salman Pak, councils in southern Baghdad and its suburbs, an area once called “the ring of death,” met to denounce Iraqi efforts to integrate them.

These are among the signs that the fighters’ patience is fraying badly at a difficult moment. After months of promises, only 5,000 Awakening members — just over 5 percent — have been given permanent jobs in the Iraqi security forces. Those promises were made last year when Iraq was flush with oil money. Now with Iraq’s budget badly battered by falling oil prices, the government is having trouble even paying existing employees, much less to bring in Sunni gunmen already regarded with much suspicion by the Shiite-led government.

In interviews with leaders from a dozen local Awakening Councils, nearly all complained that full-time jobs were lacking, that pay was in arrears and that members were being arrested despite promises of amnesty.

….Sheik Awad al-Harbousi, who lost a son, a father and four other close relatives to Al Qaeda, and who still leads the council in Taji, just north of Baghdad, [said,] “We sacrificed to kick out Al Qaeda, and this is their thank you?”

Wow! Who could have seen that coming, eh? The insurgents that the Americans bribed to stop killing them so the “surge” could look good long enough to get the Iraq War off the front pages back home are being cast aside now that they’re no longer of use? But wait — weren’t we just talking about this kind of thing, here and here?

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