What civil war? (Part CLXVI)

Damned liberal media.

The battle lines of a full-scale civil war in Iraq have been drawn in Baghdad.

Highway 60 has become one of the bloodiest fronts in the war between Sunni and Shia. Known to its frightened inhabitants as the “street of death”, the road in the south-east of the capital is a symbol of the sectarian violence that is pushing the country ever closer to the abyss.

An American armoured vehicle patrols a road south of Baghdad

A nondescript suburban street containing half a dozen schools, the local hospital and a children’s nursery, it has become the dividing line between the Sunnis and Shia, who once lived side by side yet now face each other across a mile-long strip of no man’s land.

Members of the once mixed community have been forced to move their homes to what are, in effect, two sectarian enclaves.

In an escalation of the violence which is claiming hundreds of lives in Baghdad each week, the skies above Highway 60 resound, day and night, to the blast of home-made mortars as militiamen shell each other’s communities – safe in the knowledge that they will not be harming their own.

How do we define civil war? What has to happen before America acknowledges that Iraq is no longer in danger of slipping into civil war, but that it is there already? (And this article is from the conservative Telegraph, not the Village Voice.) Wake up, people.

The Discussion: 3 Comments

I notice that none of the chorus of chickenhawk Bushie Cheerleaders have even attempted to respond to this.

July 17, 2006 @ 3:47 pm | Comment

I don?t know if this is still valid, but Fred Kaplan writing in Slate back in February, noticed that the Iraqi insurgency was still primarily an anti occupation effort. Numbers released by the Government Accountability Office show the number of attacks were between 2000 and 3000 per month. Most of the attacks, around three quarters, have been aimed at Western forces not Iraqi. This is in contrast to media reports of rising sectarian violence and attacks on Iraqi police.

I don?t have the time to look up the updated numbers but it looks like we want to stay in Iraq and we need the excuse that we?re there to stop the violence. Let?s start pulling out some troops and see what happens. It can?t get any worse.


July 17, 2006 @ 8:35 pm | Comment

The situation has most definately changed. In 2005, the violence in Iraq was mostly insugency directed against the Americans and the Iraqi police forces. These were the car bombs running into police recruit lines and the constant roadside IEDs targeted against coalition forces. Then Zarqawi started attacking Shia civilans in the fall of 2005, which the moderate Shia leaders were able to control retaliation. There was a lull that winter until the Samarra bombing of 22Feb06. This pretty much marks the beginning of the Civil War with civilian casualties and retribution attacks rising almost every month after that. I am afraid to say that Iraq is now reaching or has already reached the point of no return. Bahgdad now resembles Beruit during their civil war. The comunitees are segregating and with that goes any chance of a sense of a shared Iraqi identity.

July 18, 2006 @ 1:03 am | Comment

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