No Civil War?

by James Glaser
March 28, 2006

It isn't just President Bush trying to convince us that things are going much better in Iraq, now it is the whole Bush Administration. Condoleezza Rice, our Secretary of State said on a Sunday morning news program, "for the first time Sunnis and Shia and Kurds and others are sitting down, and they're working toward a Government of national unity."

Every one else who has been to Iraq lately, and it seems like most of our Congress has, (on our dime) comes away with the fact that Iraq is falling apart. Tim Pawlenty is the Republican Governor of Minnesota, and here is what the San Jose Mercury News reported on his trip. "Pawlenty went to Iraq last week as part of a U.S. delegation headed by Arizona Sen. John McCain. In a weekend conference call, Pawlenty told reporters that security in Iraq had deteriorated since his last visit, in 2004."

The Washington Post, in a piece by Ellen Knickmeyer and Bassam Sebti:

BAGHDAD, Feb. 27—Grisly attacks and other sectarian violence unleashed by last week's bombing of a Shiite Muslim shrine have killed more than 1,300 Iraqis, making the past few days the deadliest of the war outside of major U.S. offensives, according to Baghdad's main morgue. The toll was more than three times higher than the figure previously reported by the U.S. military and the news media.

Hundreds of unclaimed dead lay at the morgue at midday Monday—blood-caked men who had been shot, knifed, garroted or apparently suffocated by the plastic bags still over their heads. Many of the bodies were sprawled with their hands still bound—and many of them had wound up at the morgue after what their families said was their abduction by the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

CBS News reported these stories Monday

"At least 40 killed at U.S.-Iraqi Base near Tal Afar."

"Gunmen kidnapped 16 employees of an Iraqi Trading Co."

"21 more corpses were found Monday, Many with nooses around their necks."

"Mortar and Bomb attacks killed 4 in capital"

"Bomb on bus kill 2 in Sadr City"

"64 people killed Sunday"

"40 Policemen arrested by U.S. Forces at Interior Ministry"

"Iraqis claim U.S. Forces entered a mosque at sundown Sunday and killed 20 people"

Still the White House is clinging to the story that things are getting better in Iraq, and there is no civil war going on. Day after day we read about all the violence going on over there, and George Bush keeps talking about victory. Senators and Representatives from both parties shake their heads and wonder who is talking to the President and telling him that every one else in the world is wrong, and that things in Iraq really are looking up.

Three years into this war and the people of Iraq still don't have pre-war levels of electricity, or running water. Unemployment is reported as high as 60%, it is not safe to send your children to school in many sections of the country, and in Iraq, with all of its oil, there are long lines to buy gasoline.

In just a couple of weeks there have been 1,300 Iraqi citizens killed and who knows how many wounded. Add that to the tens of thousands killed and wounded since we invaded, and you will know that Iraq is a mess.

George and his whole staff can talk till they are blue in the face, but that will not change the truth about what is going on in Iraq. Factions are fighting factions. Neighborhoods are attacking other neighborhoods. A civil war is going on in Iraq, and no matter what, you can't spin that war and its violence away.

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