The people of West Iraq can defeat Da’esh, build a vibrant state in which security, prosperity and justice are real, and preserve the secular idea of Iraq if we have a reason to do so. The time has come for autonomy for West Iraq: no more sectarianism, no more power vacuums, no more endless suffering. We can do better, and we will.

The Committee to Destroy ISIS is comprised of Iraqis and Americans who understand that the current configuration of Iraq serves neither the Iraqi people nor the international order well.

It is time for an independent region in West Iraq that can be a homeland to secular Sunnis and people of all faiths and ethnicities who have been forced to flee the violence and insanity of the so-called Islamic State, or Da’esh.

During the Awakening movement from 2007-8, Iraqis in Anbar defeated Al Qaeda with the support of U.S. and multinational forces. But those freedom fighters were ultimately betrayed by an Iraqi government more concerned with serving the political will of a rising Iran than serving the needs of its own people.

The violent rise of Da’esh came on the heels of the peaceful protests of people in this region, who were simply demanding that their rights be observed.

Autonomy for West Iraq is the best way to ensure that the sectarian abuses that led to the current situation do not continue. Already there are reports of genocide against the civilians in Falluja in the wake of its fall to Shi’a militias. The central government in Baghdad either cannot or will not restrain these forces.

That is why the people of West Iraq must be given the means to protect themselves.

The Committee to Destroy ISIS advocates for a humane, democratic and just resolution to this crisis.

While the United States withdrew its forces from Iraq in 2011, abdicating responsibility for what is happening now would be immoral.

Real American leadership will recognize the need for these basic values to be respected and observed in a country the United States has militarily invaded twice in the last two decades.

Join us, as we work to bring balance and stability to the region.