Not so fast, Sunnis are saying. Those 90,000 "concerned citizens" the escalation has seemingly turned to supporting the American effort aren't so happy after all, according to a video investigation by The Guardian. The paper interviewed 49 of the councils across the country that make up the "concerned citizens." It found widespread Sunni dissatisfaction and anger at American claims. Sunnis say they drove out al-Qaeda militants but American forces are taking the credit. Sunnis are promised $10 a day to fight alongside Americans. They claim they're not being paid. Now they're being abandoned.
The "concerned citizens" are staging strikes and planning a nationwide protest. If The Guardian's report is tapping into an authentic and deep strain of dissatisfaction, then it appears that the Americans have again repeated their customary blunder: mis-judging the locals, underestimating their grievances, taking them for granted, then letting them loose once they're no longer of any use to American strategy. The Iraq war is serial blowback from such short-sighted presumption. The Guardian's report suggests that another blowback is in the making. This one may unravel the "surge"'s claims.