Yesterday, President Bush said “You know, I hear people say, Well, civil war this, civil war that. The Iraqi people decided against civil war when they went to the ballot box.”
Well let’s just ignore what “people say” and listen to the “experts”.
Gen. George Casey (highest-ranking military commander in Iraq): “[civil war in Iraq] “certainly is possible.”
CentCom Commander Abizaid: “I believe that the sectarian violence is probably is as bad as I’ve seen it in Baghdad in particular, and that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move toward civil war”.
Donald Rumsfeld, on the day he was suddenly available to report to Congress on Iraq was asked: “And the question, Mr. Secretary, after your most recent visit and this spike in violence, do you believe that Iraq is closer than ever to the brink of civil war?”
"Clearly, there's sectarian violence. People are being killed. Sunnis are killing Shia; Shia are killing Sunnis. Kurds seem not to be involved… There undoubtedly are some people who are leaving the country and going to safer places because of the violence. Does that constitute a civil war? … And we can all go to the dictionary and decide what you want to call something. But it seems to me that it is not a classic civil war at this stage".
Apparently it’s not yet a civil war; so what is it? Let’s take Rumsfeld’s advice and consult “the dictionary” to decide for ourselves, shall we?
Cambridge Online Dictionary; a civil war “is a war fought by different groups of people living in the same country”.
Merriam-Webster: “a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country”.
Gosh, it’s all so complicated!