Iraq: Not a Civil War?

November 28, 2006

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While NBC along with other media outlets have decided that “civil war” is no longer an inappropriate term to use when describing Iraq, the US has continued to use guarded language.

“We‘re clearly in a new phase characterized by an increase in sectarian violence that requires us to adapt to that new phase,” National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley was quoted as saying by AP.

Hadley refused the notion of Iraq being in a civil war and rejected the suggestion that President Bush would address the issue of troops withdrawal when he meets with Iraq’s Prime Minister this week.

Yet Hadley is contradicting himself. Sectarian violence at levels its been at this week is a civil war. The “new phase” that he mentions is the civil war. Needing “to adapt” is adapting to the reality of a civil war. But the White House cannot directly say that and must use guarded language. If the White House declares Iraq in a state of civil war, it will be seen as an American (and British) failure.

With a declaration of a civil war, the United States will not be capable of declaring victory and will be blamed for not upholding the peace. Moreover, the declaration of a civil war will also give credibility to the need of having Iran involved in solving Iraq’s problems. The US, however, wants to deal with Iran on US terms, something that is becoming less and less likely. Civil war also makes the eventual exit from Iraq look bad, since the US will be seen as responsible for having created the conditions for the civil war.

So the White House confines itself to a “new phase.”

The above image is taken from Barney’s official website. It is not being used for profit and is thus claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.

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8 Responses to “Iraq: Not a Civil War?”

  1. lightcontrast Says:

    That’s a cute dog.

    I wonder what they believe a civil war is.

  2. lightcontrast Says:

    I like what you’ve done with the site.

  3. Doug Says:

    One wonders what has to happen before Bush admits something is not going according to plan in Iraq. Will the men in the white coats finally have to drag him out of the Oval Office, his tattered Mission Accomplished banner clutched desperately around him?

    Doug


  4. […] Ultimately, the Iraqi project’s goal was to bring democracy to the Middle East with Iraq as a starting point. And Iraq did get an electoral democracy with real elections and a real voter turnout. But democracy is more; it is fundamental for any democracy to have a judiciary that is independent and, in the end, fair. If Human Rights Watch is right in that Saddam Hussein did not receive a “fair trial” — and their report is quite compelling — then there’s a lot more work to be done in Iraq, in addition to ending the ongoing civil war in the country. It is imperative to address the problems with the Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT), which has been scrutinized for its poor handling of the Dujail trial. If these current standards remain, then Iraq will not get past an electoral democracy and can easily slip back into totalitarianism. […]

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