This whole debate about civil war is surreal. What is the insurgency if not a war supported by one (minority) part of Iraqi society fighting to prevent the birth of the new Iraqi state supported by another (majority) part of Iraqi society?
By definition that is civil war, and there's nothing new about it. As I noted here in November 2004: "People keep warning about the danger of civil war. This is absurd. There already is a civil war. It is raging before our eyes. Problem is, only one side" -- the Sunni insurgency -- "is fighting it."
I confess that I have been one of the many who does not consider this a civil war, but Krauthammer's logic is convincing, as is his conclusion that:
But is it not our entire counterintuitive strategy to get Iraqis who believe in the new Iraq to fight Iraqis who want to restore Baathism or impose Taliban-like rule? Does not everyone who wishes us well support the strategy of standing up the Iraqis so we can stand down? And does that not mean getting the Iraqis to fight the civil war themselves?
I think that this all depends on what we categorize a 'civil war'. I would define it as a US-style civil war where there are two organized opponents. The MSM, who have little if any knowledge about war in general and their own Civil War in particular, would define anything a civil war- so long as it embarrasses the White House. However, I agree with Mr. Krauthammer in that a successful conclusion, where the Iraqis take charge of their own country and the Sunnis who are at the heart of the entire bloody mess slowly abandon their support for it, is definitely do-able, to use his terminology.
Further, I would argue that we have already made a strong start on that conclusion, in that we have successfully brought off three elections, and the Sunnis appear to have lost some of their fervor for the opposition. We are even receiving reports that the foreigners (al-Quaeda) are being attacked by the local Sunni 'insurgents' (I hate that word- it seems so inappropriate for the Sunni ex-Baathists and sundry thugs who are running the Sunni attacks). To mer, this seems to indicate that if we can only stay the course, we are going to win. But then, I actually have some military understanding and have studied war. Pity the MSM can't say the same. If they did, they might actually get something right once in a while regarding this war, instead of being the same old cowardly, anti-American herd that they were during the last American conflict.