The U.S. military says that the danger of an Iraqi civil war is past. Well, one wouldn't expect them to say it was already here, after all that would probably contribute to touching off the hot war everyone is dreading and those guys are in the firing line. So they have their happy-happy-joy-joy faces on today. I don't blame them for it one bit.
But the signs and auguries are not good. The Air Force are having to send their AC-130 Gunships back in - and if things were really going well they wouldn't expect to need that kind of massive close-support firepower. At least 19 have been killed in a sectarian attack by Sunni on Shi'ite Muslims in a small town near Baghdad while at least 36 people died in various incidents the day before. Someone is taking potshots at the convoys of prominent Sunni politicians, including the Defense Minister. There is a leadership crisis brewing as Sunnis, Kurds and secularists oppose the nomination of Ibrahim al- Jaafari as Prime Minister and the Shiite majority tell them "Whatever". Up to 75% of the corpses arriving at the Baghdad mortuary each month show signs of torture or execution. Oh, and Sadr's militia have announced they are taking over providing security for the Sadr City area of Baghdad - and one thing all the experts have been telling us for two years is that the militias taking over major security roles from the government is a primary sign of balkanisation.
No wonder Gen. George Casey is being upbeat but then adding that "I think it's safe to say that a major attack, particularly on a religious site, would have a significant impact on the situation here coming in the next couple of days."
(Allawi said something similiar a couple of days ago but was even more blunt. He said the next attack like Samarra will be the last straw that begins the civil war.)
Ridiculously, the Busheviks of the Fighting Keyboarders here in America have been trying to trump up support for the meme that the media created the civil war out of whole cloth. Maybe they would like the entire editorial and journalistic staff of the New York Times arrested and asked if they were anywhere near Samarra last week? The explosion and the deaths that followed it are as undeniable as a kick in the balls.
They are trying to hide a simple fact - if anyone created this civil war, it was the neocon chickenhawks. They it was who were so sure everything would go well, that liberty and freedom would be embraced, that everything would be rosy. It was them, no other, who advocated the invasion so staunchly. Everything else followed from their warmongering. They didn't blow up Samarra but they set in motion the events that led to it.
At least some neocons have joined Buckley and Fukayama in admitting their mistake and their culpability but for the majority it seems no number of deaths can be too many if it prevents the death of their opinionating careers. For those who don't have the courage to recant their past warmongering, the only option is to pretend that they knew it would go wrong all along.
George Will now admits that the Iraqi elections were more of a census and says that Bush should speak clearly and put the blame for the neocon's Iraq mess firmly on the Iraqis who didn't ask to be invaded. Meanwhile Victor Davis Hanson, whom I have already castigated for his lack of guts and integrity, is now advocating that we "keep a low profile and promote consensual government, but without bullying or grand moral pronouncements when the odious are elected." All without ever admitting what a massive volte face this is for his opinionating!
The neocons, most of them, must be awake all night every night trying to salvage their reputations while making sure as few people as possible realise how badly they were wrong in the first place. (Although for Herbert London, the president of the conservative Hudson Institute, it is a cse of trying to fool all of the people all of the time.)
It's like the old Caplin joke about the cat that falls of the sofa and hurts itself - it pretends it meant it then dodges behind the sofa to go "Fucking Meeowwww!"