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Good News in Iraq at Last: It's Not a Civil War!

Reported by Judy - March 14, 2006

On a day when 87 Iraqis are killed, Fox News found some good news: It's not a civil war.

On Tuesday (March 14, 2006) a segment of "Special Report with Brit Hume" focused on what is not happening in Iraq to divert attention from what is happening. Namely, there is not a civil war. There are just 87 people dead. Today. And 80 on Sunday.

"We're a long way from civil war," said General John Abizaid, chief of Central Command.

For the record, exactly how many people would have had to die today for it to be a civil war, so that we can judge whether we are a "long way" from a civil war? Abizaid didn't say.

But Fox News reporter Bret Baier did mention that the U.S. commander in Iraq, General George Casey, may seek a "temporary increase" in the number of U.S. troops in advance of a Muslim holiday, instead of going ahead with the troop cuts forecast earlier.

While American commanders don't think there is an Iraqi civil war, some Iraqis do. According to Juan Cole, a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, the influential Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr says he thinks so and went on to criticize Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Cole writes:

"Like many Iraqi and Arab observers, Muqtada was shocked when US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said last week that the US military would not intervene in an Iraqi civil war, leaving that to Iraqi forces.

'May God damn you,' Sadr said of Rumsfeld. 'You said in the past that civil war would break out if you were to withdraw, and now you say that in case of civil war you won't interfere. '"

Cole noted: "I have to admit, it is hard to see what use it is to have U.S. soldiers in Iraq if they won't be deployed in a genuine national emergency."

In case you don't know what something that is not a civil war looks like, here's a link, provided by Juan Cole's website, to pictures you probably haven't seen in your local newspaper.

As you look at the lines of bodies in the hospital corridor, just keep telling yourself how glad you are that this is not a civil war.

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