Friday, November 25, 2005

The Iraqi Civil War

Pat (Lang),
Your most important point deals with a general failure of people to define clearly what they mean by the term "civil war." Almost a thousand days into this civil war in Iraq, and we still have only a few Americans -- such as yourself and retired Army General William Odom, to take only two examples -- willing to point out this glaring deficiency. I've had it out with Professor Juan Cole in e-mails over this issue, since -- at least until recently -- he refused to see a "real" civil war in Iraq because no large-scale clashes between rival armies, like "Gettysburg" or "Antietam" (my examples), had yet taken place. General Odom, on the other hand simply sees "Iraqis fighting Iraqis" (as you also say) for power and rescources; a fight that began almost immediately after we knocked over the political, economic, social, and military order in Iraq: thereby creating a predictable power vacuum that we could not fill. Iraqis now fight openly -- as they have for almost a thousand days now -- to fill it. Civil War. -- Michael Murry read more

"Al-Qa'ida." Only one apostrophe. It represents the consonant "Ain," pronounced something like a dog growling. "Al-Kayda (sic)" means "air conditioner." -- Alan Farrell


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