Sunday, August 20, 2006

Say it with me: 'Civil. War'. Not 'sectarian violence'.

Front paged at Booman Tribune. Recommended at Daily Kos

Seriously, at what point can we stop dispensing the euphemisms? Have we as a country gotten so weak and feeble that our fragile minds can't wrap themselves around the fact that our not-quite-duly-elected "leaders" led us into a war based on lies, and the execution (no pun intended) was so poor that, despite many warnings, a full blown civil war is raging in Iraq?

Hell, it was nearly two months ago that I posted a diary titled "None dare call it a civil war" which started with this wikipedia definition of the term "civil war":

Civil War (wikipedia): A civil war is a war in which parties within the same culture, society or nationality fight for political power or control of an area. An insurgency, whether successful or not, is likely to be classified as a civil war by some historians if, and only if, organized armies fight conventional battles. Other historians state the criteria for a civil war is that there must be prolonged violence between organized factions or defined regions of a country (conventionally fought or not).

Yet, even as things have gotten progressively worse since much of `Murka was waving flags, swilling down cheap beer and eating hot dogs to celebrate Independence Day, there are still a precious few people who are taking a high profile position about the reality of the raging civil war in Iraq. Sadly for the Democrats (but good for the truth), one of the most prominent of these truth-tellers is one Senator Chuck Hagel, who followed up his comment that Iraq was a "hopeless and winless situation" with a comment today that said Iraq is in a "very defined civil war".

Good for Senator Hagel. Now more people should get on this bandwagon so we can get our troops out of Iraq and either redeployed to where they are really needed or home altogether.

Even today we see how futile it is to try and call it anything else. Despite a two day ban on vans and certain other vehicles in Baghdad because of the pilgrimage to the shrine of an eighth century imam, Musa al-Kadhim, to commemorate his death, we have this bit of news today:

Gunmen opened fire on crowds of Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad Sunday, killing at least 20 and wounding more than 300 others, according to police and health ministry officials.


Gunmen on the streets and snipers from the rooftops opened fire on the crowds in six Baghdad neighborhoods, police said.

Aware that this weekend's pilgrimage would be an opportunity for sectarian attacks, Iraqi authorities instituted a vehicle and cycle ban from late Friday to early Monday to try to prevent car bombings and drive-by shootings in a city where Sunni-Shiite sectarian strife has killed thousands.

Last week saw the following piece of news that barely registered a blip:

Leaders of Iraq's powerful Shiite Muslim political bloc have begun aggressively promoting a radical plan to partition the country as a way of separating the warring sects. Some Iraqis are even talking about dividing the capital, with the Tigris River as a kind of Berlin Wall.

Unfortunately, that is just one of many horrific confirmations of the bloody mess that is daily life in Iraq. A recent UN report indicated that over 14,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed so far this year. That same report also indicated how much that number has increased from one month to the next, and come in all different shapes and sizes:

Killings of civilians are on "an upward trend," with more than 5,800 deaths and more than 5,700 injuries reported in May and June alone.


The report lists examples of bloody suicide bombs aimed at mosques, attacks on laborers, the recovery of slain bodies, the assassinations of judges, the killings of prisoners, the targeting of clergy.

And it was nearly a month ago to the day when there was the following "incident", which has become all too common:

At least 45 people were killed and 60 others wounded Tuesday morning when a suicide car bomber detonated in a busy Kufa marketplace where day laborers gather.

As noted above, the number of deaths has increased from month to month, and July was no exception As reported last month by Robert Dreyfuss, who has some pretty good credentials (other than his work with LaRouche...), the violence isn't just massive, but it is also widespread:

The violence is not only engulfing Baghdad--home to approximately one-fifth of Iraq's population--but Basra, Iraq's second city and its only port. In the north, there is violence in Kirkuk, in what has been, until now, the relatively unscathed heartland of the Shiite south, as well.

Back in early July there was the discovery of 20 bodies, abducted for no apparent reason, and another nine people were killed:

Twenty people were found dead Wednesday northeast of Baghdad after gunmen kidnapped 24 civilians, an Iraqi official said.

The abductions occurred Wednesday morning at a bus station in Muqtadya, a city northeast of the Diyala provincial capital of Baquba.

The victims were civilians and bus drivers, said the official from the Diyala Joint Coordination Center.

In other violence Wednesday, nine Iraqis died in the capital: Seven were killed and 20 wounded in a suicide bombing at a southern Baghdad restaurant; and two civilians were killed and two others wounded in a car bombing in central Baghdad, police said.

Just days later, over 40 people were killed and 60 more injured when gunmen open fired in a crowded marketplace.

And just last week, a dozen bodies were found trapped in a grate by the Tigris River, while 50 violent deaths were reported in Iraq IN JUST ONE DAY.

This isn't even a small list of the violence and deaths which are a daily occurrence in Iraq. In pretty much all of these instances, the violence was by "parties within the same nationality who were fighting for political power or control of an area." Certainly, this has been going on for well over a year now, which seems to fit the definition of "prolonged violence between organized factions or defined regions of a country".

Both of which describe a textbook civil war.

Now if we can be spared the babying and euphemisms so that this country's fragile and "beautiful minds" can actually begin to process the truth and we can then FINALLY do something to constructively deal with what Bush and the neocon war criminals created in Iraq.

But the first step is to actually call the civil war that has been raging a "civil war" and not some watered down abstract term which is designed to hide the truth, further the greed and war crimes of our so-called "leaders" and turn our troops into referees and sitting ducks for something that they have no business being a part of.

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