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Young Sunni Arabs: Islamic State only viable alternative

Let’s say you are a young Arab man in the late teens. You live in Northern Iraq where Americans have beaten the military to a pulp. A new government appeared while you were still a youth and you watched and listened as your elders complained that Sunnis aren’t getting fair treatment by the Shia-led Maliki government. What future is there for the youth of Iraq?

Pay attention to Hillary Clinton
Photograph by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

A cloud of dust appears on the horizon that is the Islamic State, a strong military force that promises to bolster the Sunni population and to form new and powerful caliphate.

“A caliphate (in Arabic: خلافة‎ khilāfa, meaning "succession") is an Islamic state led by a supreme religious and political leader known as a caliph – i.e. "successor" – to Muhammad.”

The leaders make a compelling appeal because you either join or you could lose your head.

On the other hand, there were peaceful people offering Iraqi youth the opportunity to attend summer camp devoted to helping them become Iraqi leaders. The summer camp was being conducted somewhere in which the Islamic State has yet to arrive.

There people and organizations who are committed to peaceful alternatives, but Iraqi federal government didn’t embrace them and neither did the Islamic State. That’s the problem, the people in power and their stumbling institutions are not as thoughtful as private organizations armed only with a noble purpose.

The question is, how does the free world and its actors accomplish the following:

  1. Stand up pluralistic democratic governments that are devoted to individual freedom and ideals
  2. Tear down and replace antiquated culture that is repulsive and hostile to peace and freedom
  3. Educate a new generation of leaders, equipping them with capabilities to produce self-sufficient and sustainable economies

American foreign policy would address these questions, answer them, and engage the free world with support as if our lives depend upon the outcomes. They do, course depend upon these outcomes. This is an instance of outcome-driven government on a “braod and grand” scale about which Secretary of State John Kerry speaks, but for which the outcomes elude him.

Here is a vision from ACDI-VOCA. They conduct summer camps for Iraqi youth.

A world in which people are empowered to succeed in the global economy.

To promote economic opportunities for cooperatives, enterprises and communities through the innovative application of sound business practice.


ACDI/VOCA strives to promote positive economic and social change worldwide. It is distinguished by commitment to its overseas beneficiaries, wise stewardship of development resources and a knowledgeable, experienced, diverse and effective team.
Commitment to Beneficiaries

ACDI/VOCA is dedicated to poverty alleviation and broad-based economic growth. Our respect for host societies and our commitment to the involvement of beneficiaries as true partners in development projects result in improved local capacities, enhanced opportunities, and vibrant, sustainable communities, cooperatives and enterprises.

ACDI/VOCA's business model of development is designed to increase incomes and wealth, permitting beneficiaries to fully participate in the global economy.
Stewardship of Development Resources

High-quality work and strict standards of accountability characterize ACDI/VOCA’s programs. We take pride in being a technical leader, but with a human focus. Projects are based on a clear focus on development goals, proven approaches and a results-orientation. ACDI/VOCA adopts for its own management the same enlightened business tools and techniques that we promote abroad. To maximize the effective use of public resources and sustainable impact, we favor expandable, replicable methods, local ownership, an emphasis on broad-based participation and alliances with the private sector and other partners.

Qualified, Empowered and Diverse Staff

ACDI/VOCA’s effectiveness depends largely on the quality of its staff. Our organization values communication, teamwork and enlightened leadership. We believe in fair hiring and promotion practices, which contribute to a healthy diversity. We are committed to the empowerment of all employees and to a rewarding quality of life in the workplace. We emphasize technical proficiency, staff development and a participative culture.”

The news is that hostile forces are winning this war.

“Officials: ISIS recruiting on the rise in Sunni areas of Iraq
By Mohammed Tawfeeq and Chelsea J. Carter, CNN”

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