Matt over at Today in Iraq gave us the title of this post. He is referring to the Amerikan politicians who don’t want to concede that what’s happening in Iraq is a civil war. The choice of term is moot when as many people die daily as do in that nation. Our position is that the US must get out of Iraq immediately to have a modest hope of regaining peace there.
A Matter of Definition: What Makes a Civil War, and Who Declares It So?
By EDWARD WONG
Published: November 26, 2006
BAGHDAD, Nov. 25 — Is Iraq in a civil war?
The fighting in Iraq escalated sharply after the bombing in February of the Askariya shrine in Samarra, shown here shortly after the attack.
Though the Bush administration continues to insist that it is not, a growing number of American and Iraqi scholars, leaders and policy analysts say the fighting in Iraq meets the standard definition of civil war.
The common scholarly definition has two main criteria. The first says that the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. The second says that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side.
American professors who specialize in the study of civil wars say that most of their number are in agreement that Iraq’s conflict is a civil war.
In the United States, the debate over the term rages because many politicians, especially those who support the war, believe there would be domestic political implications to declaring it a civil war. They fear that an acknowledgment by the White House and its allies would be seen as an admission of a failure of President Bush’s Iraq policy.
They also worry that the American people might not see a role for American troops in an Iraqi civil war and would more loudly demand a withdrawal.
Read the rest here.