Monday, January 30, 2006

Civil War In Iraq?

According to Jack Murtha we are facing just that. In the Boston Globe from last week, Murtha opined that

"Our troops are the target," Murtha told the newspaper. "We're not fighting terrorism in Iraq. We're fighting a civil war in Iraq. We've got to give them an incentive. We fought our Civil War. Let them fight their civil war."
Enter today's interview in Townhall by W. Thomas Smith, Jr. of Brigadier General Daniel P. Bolger, an active General in Iraq, and a General that takes to the field several times a week because he feels it is better to lead from the front than push from the rear.
WTSjr: Is the war in Iraq devolving into “civil war” as some now suggest?

BOLGER: If we define a ‘civil war’ as Iraqis killing Iraqis, then we have that. We have had that here since before Saddam.

Saddam took killing his fellow Iraqis to a horrific level, which is a big reason why our operations in 2003 were so important to the Iraqi people. During his tyrannical rule, Saddam gassed and slaughtered Kurds, killed many Shiite Arabs, and executed plenty of Sunni Arabs as well. Naturally, many of these groups resisted. So there is a strong, living tradition of fighting the central government here. That was true under the Ottomans and under the British mandate, too.

But if we use a more conventional understanding of the term, ‘civil war,’ of a break-away or rebellious part of the country fighting the rest for political control or independence, that gives much more dignity to our enemies than they give to themselves. The vast majority of Iraqis, including the majority of Sunni Arabs, are not fighting the elected Iraqi government. Those who are fighting us call themselves ‘the resistance’ and though they claim to be against the Americans and other coalition forces: mostly they kill innocent Iraqi civilians. That's nihilistic terrorism, and not civil war.
We all have a choice of listening to seasoned veterans such as Jack Murtha, who some 20 years ago was active in our military, or we can listen to seasoned veterans such as Brigadier General Daniel P. Bolger that are currently serving on the ground in Iraq.

That the two disagree on military tactics should not be surprising because there are many such disagreements that take place. However, that Jack Murtha hasn't yet grasped the definition of terrorism should be an absolute shocker.

So, why isn't it?

No comments: