Monday, July 16, 2007

Civil war, what civil war?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Libby just posted on the latest Kristolizations of the neocon-in-chief, but Krazy Kristol was at it again on Fox News yesterday with this madness (via Think Progress):

We're not in a civil war. This is just not true. American troops are attacking al Qaeda. They're attacking some elements of the Shi'a militias. They're doing other things, helping with reconciliation. They are not in the middle of a civil war. It's not true.

Kristol thinks he knows everything about Iraq -- and perhaps he does, in his own mind -- and increasingly his protests are like temper tantrums. Controlled tantrums, to be sure, the sort that play well on Fox, but tantrums nonetheless. He's like a little child now: No civil war! No civil war! Not true! Not true!

But what does he know that the Director of National Intelligence does not (see below)? And how are his views more credible -- and more factual -- than, say, Colin Powell's?

Consider how the DNI put it in the National Intelligence Estimate of January 2007:

The Intelligence Community judges that the term "civil war" does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq, which includes extensive Shia-on-Shia violence, al-Qa’ida and Sunni insurgent attacks on Coalition forces, and widespread criminally motivated violence. Nonetheless, the term "civil war" accurately describes key elements of the Iraqi conflict, including the hardening of ethno-sectarian identities, a sea change in the character of the violence, ethno-sectarian mobilization, and population displacements.

That was six months ago. Even allowing that Petraeus's surge may have had some success so far, and this is debatable, what has changed since the NIE was released? Has enough changed, for the better, that what was civil war then is no longer? How is that even remotely possible?

The longer this war drags on, the more utterly divorced from reality the chief warmongers seem to be. There is a bubble at the White House, with Bush and Cheney and their minions cut off from the outside world, but make no mistake -- there is a similar bubble around Krazy Kristol and his cabal. Every utterance speaks to the madness within.

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