Left: President Bush and former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi
Former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi offered a bleak assessment of conditions in the war-torn country yesterday.
"It is unfortunate that we are in a civil war. We are losing each day an average of 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more," he said. "If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is."
Allawi, long a staunch ally of the United States, believes the nation is at a turning point.
"Iraq is in the middle of a crisis," he said. "Maybe we have not reached the point of no return yet, but we are moving towards this point. We are in a terrible civil conflict now."
Meanwhile, President Bush and his advisors yesterday offered more upbeat views of the situation in Iraq.
"The Iraqi leaders are working together to enact a government that reflects the will of the people. I'm encouraged by the progress," the President said, who did not mention the word "war" in his remarks. "We are implementing a strategy that will lead to victory in Iraq."
Vice President Dick Ceney believes the media is partly responsible for the declining American support for the war.
"There is a constant sort of perception, if you will, that's created because what's newsworthy is the car bomb in Baghdad," the vice president said. "It's not all the work that went on that day in 15 other provinces."