Aug 3, 2006

Abizaid: "Iraq Could Move Toward Civil War"

General John AbizaidLeft: General John Abizaid, photo courtesy AP

(Washington, DC) General John Abizaid, the head of US Central Command, publicly acknowledged today what many have long assumed: Iraq could descend into civil war.

"Sectarian violence probably is as bad as I've seen it, in Baghdad in particular," he told the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington. "If not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move toward civil war."

Abizaid said that the ongoing violence diminishes prospects for reducing US troop levels in Iraq, which currently stand at approximately 133,000.

Abizaid noted that the top US priority is to secure the Iraqi capital, and said that the battle for Baghdad is at a "decisive" stage.

"It is clear that the operational and tactical situation in Baghdad is such that it requires additional security forces, both US and Iraqi," he said.

The general's assessment increases the likelihood that the war in Iraq will be a millstone around the necks of congressional Republicans in the fall elections.

Whether the Democrats will take advantage of the declining support for the war - and President Bush - remains to be seen. This observer is skeptical that either party has a vision for the future beyond their immediate electoral goals.


Dariush said...

Could move? Toward?

What the hell are these people sniffing?

Will it take the appearance of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart riding into Sadr City on horseback to convince them that the "CW" phrase is an accurate reflection of reality on the ground?

Kathleen Marie said...

Civil War is already under way in Iraq and people should not be surprised. Most people can't see it, because it is not following the Sunni/Shi'ite/Kurd fault lines. We are the victims of self-deception.

There is no 'state' yet of Iraq. The 'government' has yet to be properly developed and without a state you have no true governement. Our government's goal and many Iraqi's goala are for Iraq to become a true independent state. What are the chances? Without US intervention the chances are nil. There lies the division.

The "government" is the wealthiest and strongest factor in Iraq: more money, more troops as seen in Fallujah.

I don't agree that US troops are hated by all in Iraq, hence another division.

I agree that the Democrats at this point are much more concerned with their electoral goals than what is truly occuring in Iraq.

McCaskey said...

We broke it; we own it.

historymike said...

(laughing - hollowly - at the dark commentary of Dariush and McCaskey).

historymike said...

Agreed, Kathleen, that this runs deeper than a simple Shiite/Sunni/Kurd trichotomy.

There is also the possibiity of a return to power of the Ba'athists, especially if post-execution Sadaam becomes an iconic martyr.

That is, of course, assuming that Sadaam is not the beneficiary of a last-minute jailbreak.

liberal_dem said...

Gosh, who could have predicted such a situation?


Billy Pilgrim said...

Another sobering piece, Mike. DC-area journalists--at least those 'in the Beltway'--rarely fling the phrase 'civil war' other than on the editorial pages of the Washington Post. While my heart goes out to all of the innocent civilians in Iraq, Lebanon, and Israel these days, I can't help but remember something I saw when I was a kid. A street magician distracted a crowd of tourists on the National Mall while several homeless people mulled around them, begging for change...

Dariush said...

Some greatly discouraging, disconcerting and heartbreaking reading.

Swopa - "From the Department of Euphemistic Creativity"

24 Steps to Liberty (Iraqi blogger) - "If Just The Mullahs Die, We Will Be Fine!"

Swopa - "It's not every day you see a demonstration in favor of civil war"

Swopa - "I fear a man in a uniform"

Name withheld to protect the guilty said...

I'm surprised nobody (not even The Daily Show) pointed out Rumsfeld's denials (at the same press briefing) that he was ever overly optimistic about Iraq...given all the times he's said it's almost over.

Hooda Thunkit said...

"If Just The Mullas Die, We Will Be Fine..."

So simple, but how true?

However, if you cut the head of a snake off...

Kate said...

How could anything other than civil war occur? The MSM has hampered the military and diplomatic endeavors by swaying public opinion here in the states.