Monday, November 27, 2006

It's Called a Civil War

Last year, I read Roméo Dallaire's memoir "Shake Hands With The Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda." The book made me realize what is taking place in Iraq is a civil war. Since then, I started calling the conflict in Iraq a civil war when almost everyone - including the Iraqi people - called it different names. Many people are afraid of facing the reality of the miserable situation in Iraq.

In October, The Dallas Morning News journalist Jim Landers wrote an article about the situation in Iraq. In that report my opinion conflicted with Gen. Casey's opinion:

Army Gen. George Casey, who commands U.S. forces in Iraq, argued last week that Iraq has not plunged into civil war.

"Ninety percent of the sectarian violence in Iraq takes place in about a 30-mile radius from the center of Baghdad," Gen. Casey said. "It is not a country that is awash in sectarian violence."

Others say a civil war has started.

"When scores of people die every day by the hands of the opposite ethnic group, then it's definitely a civil war in my dictionary," said Fayrouz Hancock, an Iraqi-American living in Beaumont who runs an Internet blog about the war and who keeps in touch with Iraqis. "When neighborhoods get divided along ethnic lines, then that's a civil war. If we look back at Lebanon's civil war, we'll find many similarities and better understand the situation."


After last week's mass murder in Iraq, whoever calls what's happening in Iraq anything other than a civil war dives deep into de Nile river. We're facing a big problem in Iraq. Until we identify the problem correctly, we won't find a practical solution for the suffering of Iraqi people by the hands of the sectarian militias, insurgents, terrorists or whatever you want to call them.

CNN is still debating whether to call it a civil war or whether it should wait a little bit longer. NBC took the brave step today:

WASHINGTON - NBC News Monday branded the Iraq conflict a civil war — a decision that put it at odds with the White House and that analysts said would increase public disillusionment with the U.S. troop presence there.

NBC said the Iraqi government's inability to stop spiraling violence between rival factions fit its definition of civil war.


Good for them. We need more realists in the media. We need to stop this bloody civil war before it's too late. Years ago, we said we'll never let another Rwanda or Kosovo to take place. Here we're in the 21st century. Darfur, Chad, Lebanon and now Iraq are sliding into a bloody ethnic war. The world, including the United Nations, continue to act as if the TV video clips are scenes from a Hollywood movie. This is not fair for the innocent people living in Iraq and other troubled areas. Something has to be done and it has to be done fast.

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