Monday, March 20, 2006 at 10:47 AM

Civil War in Iraq is at hand!

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

“It is unfortunate that we are in civil war. We are losing each day as an average 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more….If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is.” [Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi yesterday on BBC TV]

When the truth is plain to see, there’s nothing more irritating than some idiot trying to convince me otherwise. But the consequences for me in such cases have never been anything to lose sleep – let alone my life – over. Alas, the same cannot be said for the families of loved ones serving in Iraq. Because they must suffer far more than irritation when idiots – up and down the chain of command in the Bush Administration – try to convince them that reports of a civil war brewing in Iraq are not true. After all, an open and notorious civil war there is plain for all to see, and the consequences for them are, indeed, a matter of life and death.

Yesterday marked the 3rd Anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. And, if I were gullible enough to take President Bush and his salute-and-obey generals at their words, I would have expected to see Yankee Doodle-inspired parades in the streets of Baghdad – as grateful Iraqis fête U.S. military and civilian personnel with “rose petals and air kisses” for their liberation. The truth, of course, is that neither U.S. personnel nor most Iraqis dare walk the streets of Baghdad for fear of being caught in the crossfire of civil-war factions battling for control of this and other cities all over Iraq.

But, imagine the absurdity, indeed, the tragedy, of the man the U.S. Congress hailed as the Abraham Lincoln of Iraq just 16 months ago, Ayad Allawi, now proclaiming that Iraqi union is a lost cause and having Oval-office generals like Bush and VP Cheney trying to convince him and the world otherwise….

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell “lying” out the WMD case for war against Iraq at the UN. He now regards his impressive performance on that infamous day in February 2003 as “the lowest point” in his life.

Before irritating you by belaboring the obvious, however, I shall suffice to note that where Bush can be excused for his reliance on the faulty intelligence that misled America to war, it’s inexcusable for him to continue his triumphal rhetoric with the U.S. death toll in Iraq now at 2,318…and the maimed, wounded and disabled at 17,124. (And, betraying the merely incidental notice they get from our western media, the Iraqi death toll is 17,315…and the maimed, wounded and disabled simply too numerous to count.)

But as I’m neither a pessimist nor a fatalist, I believe there’s still a chance to honor those who have died for this cause (whether that cause is to impose American-style democracy on Iraqis or to use their country as a front in America’s war on terror). I’ve laid it all out in my previous commentaries (see here and here) and they are my homage to this foreboding Anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

There is no greater indictment of the U.S. “rebuilding” effort than the wholly reasonable assertion that this little girl would have been better off in Iraq three years ago than she is today….

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  1. ric March 20, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    Hey ALH

    I like the way you put things into context. Comparing what Allawi says about civil war with what Cheney says is all anyone needs to know about whats going on in Iraq. That reference to Lincoln is priceless by the way. And ending with the allusion to the famous Reagan line, are you better off today than you were four years ago.

  2. glenda March 20, 2006 at 1:50 pm

    Nice commentary.

  3. mary ballard-bernstein March 20, 2006 at 1:54 pm

    I have a son in the Air Force Academy, Freshman year, who will perhaps be involved in this war if it in fact is still taking place several years from now. That is where my son and I part company, I do not believe that violence is the answer, yet he always wanted to be in the military and now he is doing just that. I speak to many soldiers online because I have a son in the military and in a sense I feel a maternal sense towards each of them. They are just young people, they want to come home and they are frustrated. I feel for them and their agony. I wsa an anti-war protestor in the beginning and I am going to start attending anti-war demonstrations again in the hopes that maybe this will apply pressure to end this. I am tired of a certain class of our young people being used as canon fodder. We do not see the higher eschalances’ children being maimed..we have so many “issues” in our own country, it makes me sick that by the end of this year something like 450 billion dollars will have been spent on this war, not to mention the lives which are priceless…

  4. Michelle March 20, 2006 at 1:54 pm

    I agree with the comments above. This is a really good article. You draw on so much and give your readers so much to thing about. The picture of that little girl though is heartbreaking.

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