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Civil war? What civil war?

Iyad Alawi, the ex-prime minister of the interim Iraqi government, said that the country has descended into civil war. John Reid, the British defence minister said that it hasn't; that there are merely warring factions and the fighting is between sectarian groups.

Riiiight. Would he care to explain to me the difference? As far as I'm aware a civil war is fought between nationals of the same country. The situation in Iraq matches that criterion. A war must involve warring. Well, John Reid said there were "warring factions". How can you have "warring" without a war?

So when does fighting between sectarian groups become civil war? The only possible distinction I can see is that civil war would involve some form of coherent organisation. The past situation in Bosnia was described as civil war; but on 1 side of the conflict was the organised Serbian army. The fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan has been called civil war, but allegedly there is no coherent command structure on either side.

Maybe the nearest correlation is between Iraq and Rwanda. In Rwanda there was no coherent command structure on either side, merely groups of armed civilians going round killing each other. That was called a civil war. In Iraq, similarly, the fighting is between loosely allied, smaller groups; there is no overall command structure on either side.

Or what about the Russian or French revolutions? Were they civil wars or not? I've not heard them called that. I would assume that a revolution needs to have the overthrow of the government as its objective. But in northern Ireland, both sides were more-or-less coherently organised and the aim of 1 of those sides was the overthrow of the northern Ireland government. The catholics wanted the protestant, British rule to end; yet that was never called a revolution nor a civil war.

But does whether it's not organised or not make any real difference? Iraqis are being killed by other Iraqis for no reason other than they belong to a different branch of Islam. I think John Reid's denying there is a civil war going on is more a question of semantics than anything else. Where are the dividing lines between armed civil unrest, fighting between warring factions, revolution, uprising, and civil war?

To the average Iraqi in the street, there is no difference. All that matters to them is that they are being killed.
Ofcourse it is Civil War.

Some Politicians don't want to call it by its name but it is and it will remain so for the forseeable future.

I'm afraid we are looking at a situation like Libanon was in for many years, just spiced up with more hot sauce and oil, with many countries wanting to abuse the situation for profit.

The same reason which started it in the first place ,,,,,,unfortunately.
The Philosopher Princess
Doc, Bush is talking the same exact crudola. Their making an issue of -- “Civil War!” -- “No! Not Civil War!” -- “Yes, Civil War!” -- . . . -- is just one more way to
Arrow Distract from the fact!
Arrow Bait and switch!
Arrow Lie and falsify!

How do they get away with spending tax dollars to go around pushing their own stupidities!? Bush is worse than a drug dealer. These last days, Bush has been trekking around the country that he runs (Rolling Eyes) spouting his pro-war religious crapolito, trying to gather even more baa-aah-aaaaaaah sheeples to believe in his:

(1) rewrite of history (Bush: “To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong...”.) (Lie! Con! Lie!)

and his

(2) strategy for getting out of Iraq.

Bush’s Iraq “Exit Strategy” is like Napoleon’s strategy for conquering Russia and England.

It’s like Johnson’s strategy for winning the war in Viet Nam.

It’s like Custer’s strategy for pacifying the Sioux and Cheyenne.

It’s like my strategy for safely driving around blind-folded.
With Bush leading (Laughing), the U.S. is like a dinosaur caught in a tar pit. It may have been the biggest baddest beast around. But if it doesn’t jump out quickly, it’s doomed to sink ever deeper and deeper into the mire.
Princess - everything you've said there can be applied to Tony Blair. Any time he's asked an awkward question he adopts his now-standard affronted demeanour and spouts off about backing our troops. Yes to backing our troops (and the troops of every other nation that are there)... but NO to backing the continued occupation of Iraq.

P.S. Maybe I've got this wrong, but I get the impression you're not a great fan of George Dubya. Razz
The Philosopher Princess
Yeah. American sheeples have bumper stickers saying “SUPPORT OUR TROOPS”. If they were more honest or less sheeply, they'd rub out the “TR”.

(Oh, I'm sorry. It wasn't an OOPS! It was planned. Rolling Eyes)
Very Happy I like that
The Philosopher Princess
DoctorBeaver wrote:
P.S. Maybe I've got this wrong, but I get the impression you're not a great fan of George Dubya. Razz

Smile I hold a philosophy whose principles include not being a fan of anyone who steals, commits fraud, or otherwise initiates force against other human beings. I say: If you want your way, you must persuade others that your way is better, not force them to follow it anyway. My pro-Freedom anti-Force philosophy does not single out CON-serve-va-tives, LIE-ber-alls, or any other gangs who initiate Force. Smile
My philosophy is "Do what the hell you want so long as you don't impose your own will on others against THEIR will"
Some argue that the defination of "civil war" depends on organization of forces and convential battles. It can spread even to the point of actually establishing a separate governmental structure or system of future governance. Are insurgants fighters in a civil war? Some historians would say, "definately." Others would argue (in looking at the Iraq example), "not so fast." The convential battles part is especially a sticking point. Is a kidnapping spree part of a civil war? What about the fact that there are many different groups with many different agendas? Does the lack of unity undermind the concept of a unified enemy? I guess for me static doesn't make a new picture clearer. Sometimes static is simply static. I'd have to see a lot more clear direction and post-war planning to believe this is the lead-up to a civil war in Iraq. It would probably require a collaspe of an Iraqi government before we'd really see that IMHO.
I was in college in the states at the time the march to war in Iraq began. my two favourite channels on TV were C-SPAN and the Spice channel (Spice channel got too expensive so started liking Lifetime instead!!). I remember watching this Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on C-SPAN - when Joe Biden was still chairman - shortly before the dems lost the majority in the mid-term election of 2002. There were some experts on Iraq testifying. and Biden asked them what would happen, not likely, would, happen if the US invaded Iraq. and they all said the country would descend into [b][blue]CIVIL WAR[/blue][b]. And that's simply because at the time the country was being held together by Saddam's firm grip. once that grip went and was not replaced by anything, that patch-work society that is Iraq would unravel. And then I switch the channel to FOX news and there is some republican half-brain talking about 'probably being seen as liberators - hugs and kisses for everyone!'

And why do i remember that particular Senate hearing? Because it made perfect sense what those guys were talking about. And its happening right now. Now what kind of moron thinks starting a war won't destabalise a country? Like it will be a walk in the park with your boo on an autumn evening. Please!!

The administration won't admit its a CIVIL WAR because those are the two words they don't want being repeated over and over on Hardball with chris Matthews! No they would rather SECTARIAN VIOLENCE be used.

I blame all the stupid republicans who voted for Bush in the South Carolina primaries in 2000 instead of John McCain for all this mess!! coz had bush lost those primaries he would at least still be governor of Texas - where he could start as many civil wars in Austin as he pleased!!!

So what's the thing to do? Get the F out of there! I know it sucks to go a cause a big mess and leave someone else to clean it up. But they don't have any other choice. They are not making things better by sticking around. Cut your loses and go. Yeah, the world will think you are an even bigger a-hole for leaving. But you know what? YOU ARE. It's an expensive lesson to learn. One you should have learnt in Vietnam. But the US being the US, it won't learn anything.
The Philosopher Princess
Jolly great post, lyndonray!

lyndonray wrote:
I know it sucks to go a cause a big mess and leave someone else to clean it up. But they don't have any other choice. They are not making things better by sticking around.

Unfortunately, they do have a choice. And, it’s very likely that they’re going to continue their thuggish interventionary schemes. As long as they can steal citizens’ earned incomes, and can put the country into more and more debt, they will continue.

I hear it on the news every day: Bush is still going around the country bushwhacking his war hawk stupidities. Some citizens were finally coming to their senses and stopping their support of this war and occupation -- so Bush’s ratings were going down. That’s why Bush is doing his drug-pushing, I mean war-pushing, even harder.

lyndonray wrote:
I blame all the stupid republicans

Don’t forget the war-hawk Democrats! Joe Lieberman (current Senator who lost 2000 V.P. race) is a HUGE admitted war-hawk; he happens to be in the news lately because he’s so pro-war and being reviled for it, but he’s just one. Oftentimes, the Demos will work very hard at trying to prove they're just as “tough” as the Repos. Disgusting!
I fully support the war, and our efforts in Iraq. While the decision to go might have been made on unstable grounds, we are there, and we must stay there. If we simply leave, Iraq will collapse, and then blame it on us. Then they will pull out the hidden nukes they have and kill us.

Okay, so I went a little far. But I don't think it's that Bush likes war, it's that he is trying to get everything stable before we leave. Like I said above, if we leave, the entire country will simply collapse on itself and another dictatorship will take over. Then we will be all the way back at square 1.
Soulfire wrote:
Like I said above, if we leave, the entire country will simply collapse on itself and another dictatorship will take over. Then we will be all the way back at square 1.

First of all George Walker and his buddies should have seriously considered the aftermath of the war. All they saw was the glorious Shock and Awe campaign that would show just how much ass america can kick with their USS Chester Nimitzes and Tomahawk Missiles. But they forgot about the all-important clean-up after the party!!

second of all, its going to be civil first, then dictator(s)!! Look at Africa my friend!: civil war-dictator-civil war- dictator (or is it the other way around?!) And i honestly don't think the US citizens will sit through a civil war, which helps drives the country further into debt. It's best to just get out now. it's a tough decision. but sometimes one has to make tough decisions if one had previously made a very stupid and asinine decision.
Soulfire wrote:
Like I said above, if we leave, the entire country will simply collapse on itself and another dictatorship will take over. Then we will be all the way back at square 1.

If we went in to stop the potential use of WMDs like you keep saying, then it wouldn't be" square one". There are no WMDs there. Now if the reason we attacked was to remove a dictator , THEN you could argue that leaving now and allowing a new dictator to take over would be going back to square one.

But if our purpose was to remove a dictator, then
a)Bush lied to us
b)we are being very selective in our choice of dictators
c)we broke international law (I'm guessing here, but invading a country SHOULD be illegal, shouldn't it?)

So which is it?
The Philosopher Princess
Here's an excerpt from an “Apr 8, 9:38 PM EDT” article “by MARIAM FAM” entitled Official: 'Undeclared Civil War' in Iraq.

Associated Press wrote:
Despite the violence, U.S. officials have discounted talk of civil war. However, a senior Iraqi official said Saturday that an "undeclared civil war" had already been raging for more than a year.

"Is there a civil war? Yes, there is an undeclared civil war that has been there for a year or more," Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal told The Associated Press. "All these bodies that are discovered in Baghdad, the slaughter of pilgrims heading to holy sites, the explosions, the destruction, the attacks against the mosques are all part of this."

Does it surprise anyone that U.S. officials care only about their own political agenda rather than the truth?

Of course those who are to blame for the situation want to couch it in the best terms possible, so that they don’t look so guilty. They want it to look like the mess they caused isn’t so bad. They want to be able to say that things are “better now than before”. Of course they would like to deny that there is now a civil war -- with no end in sight -- and a destabilized country -- with no likelihood of becoming stable anytime in the near future -- and that the US and its allies are stuck trying to police the situation (likely for the next 50 years), and that it will cost trillions of dollars and millions of lives.

War addicts are like alcoholics, drug addicts, and tax addicts. They are in denial about the problems their addictions cause and the fact of their addiction.
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. You can call it waterfowl, or a mallard, or a fine feathered friend but it is still a duck. When dozens of people are being killed every day, by their own people, within their own country, it is a civil war.
The Philosopher Princess
Soulfire wrote:
I fully support the war, and our efforts in Iraq.

Feel free to support whatever you want to support.

But! There’s the very important issue of you, Bush, and the neocons forcing the rest of us to support this war.

Do you believe that you, Bush, and the neocons have a right to force the rest of us to support this war, or any war?

Arrow If so, from where do you believe this right to force others to support what you support comes?

Arrow If not, why do not challenge others with the following questions, along with me?
Arrow Why should we be burdened with high taxes, runaway inflation, and high gas prices?

Arrow Why must we all suffer from having our friends and loved ones sent overseas to be killed, maimed, or psychologically disturbed for life?

Arrow Why should we have to live with the increased fear of terrorism?

Arrow Why should we lose our Constitutional rights to trial and habeas corpus?

Arrow Why should our guarantee of freedom from government spying, snooping, and wiretapping be taken away?

Arrow Why is it okay to subject us to the threat of incarceration without trial, being held incommunicado, and possibly tortured for the suspicion of being “an enemy” (whatever that means)?
That’s the trouble with war. It isn’t only those who cause it and those who support it who get hurt by it. War is hell. It is not healthy for children and other living things. One casualty of war is almost always Freedom.

When some maniac like Napoleon, Hitler, or Bush decides to use deadly military force to push his (and your) agenda on other countries, all the people of the world suffer to some extent, but the people of the invading countries and the people of the invaded countries suffer the most.

Remember, it will cost trillions of dollars and millions of lives to support this war. And most of us are forced to support it against our will. We may already be mired in it up to our necks, but is that any reason to continue to “Support our Oops”?
I end as I began. Support what you want to support. But only bullies, thugs, and hatchet men FORCE OTHERS to support things that they don’t want to support. This war has been, and is being, forced on those who don’t want to support it. Are you sure that you really want to be part of that FORCE?
This is a civil war that the United States started.

And about not calling it a "civil war," it sounds just like American media to switch around the names for a more "PC" term. Just like Katrina and "evacuees" versus "refugees."

To hell with political correctness, the truth will set you free! Katrina victims took refuge and there is a civil war in Iraq!
It's wonderful to see the cake flip. Four months ago this topic would be really full of chickenhawks yellin' and yellin'... Now we are all hippies and all...

Bleh ignore the last part I'm still with jetlag. What I wanted to say here is that it's cool to disagree with the Commander in Chimp, it's cool to realize what their agenda really is... but... wouldn't it have been A LOT OF FUN to have realized about it when it did matter? Like before the reelection...
Geez, I lose internet for a month and this forum has gotten almost as bad as the DU. Sad
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