Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's A 'Civil' War, So Be Polite When Arguing

At least one dictionary site defines a civil war as "A war between factions or regions of the same country."

So is Iraq in a state of "civil war?" The debate has certainly been heating up, and was further fueled Monday when NBC News announced that from now on that is exactly how it will define the conflict in Iraq. Not surprisingly, President Bush was quick to respond, saying that Iraq is NOT in a state of civil war.

Somehow Bush's response isn't all that surprising. After all, the man can barely put together a coherent sentence in English, so how could he possibly be expected to know the definition of a complicated term like "civil war?" Besides, this is the same man who also believes that evolution is still open to debate. Obviously Bush is not a man who will allow mere facts interfere with what he already believes.

And what about the Iraqi government? Well, they're essentially powerless. Anytime any of them wander outside the heavily fortified Green Zone they become targets.

As exhibited by events last week, the war in Iraq has primarily become a battle between the Sunnis and the Shiites. It was just a week ago that a series of bomb blasts ripped through a Shiite slum and killed over 200 people. It was the Mahdi Army--the principle Shiite militia--that stepped up and began aiding the victims.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military itself now concedes that Anbar province in western Iraq is lost, and that a military victory over the insurgency is no longer possible. In fact, according to this report, the reason Al-Qaida has become so entrenched in the region is because the Sunnis in Anbar feel that the central government in Baghdad has fallen under the control of the Shiites and Iran. Consequently the people feel it's necessary to turn to Al-Qaida for protection.

I know, I know.... Once again I'm ignoring the good news coming out of Iraq. Which raises an interesting question: WHAT good news? The country is in total chaos. One city, Baquoba, had to be completely shut down because the fighting in the streets had become so fierce. The central government is virtually non-existent, and control of the nation has been ceded to two groups that are out to kill one another.

Iraq has a population of 25 million people, and an average of 100 a day are being killed. Compare that to the United States and its population of 300 million. That's 12 times as many people as Iraq. An equivalent daily loss of life here would be 1200. That means that every three days, Iraq is experiencing a greater loss of life than America did on 9-11.

If there's some bit of good news hiding in those figures, I'd like to hear it.

0 thoughtful ramblings: