Taking a page from Axl Rose's
songbook, the White House and its cronies insist on singing, "I don't need no civil war
." But to paraphrase another poet by name of Shakespeare, a rose is a rose is a rose, and it doesn't matter what you call it.
The de facto Administration and its Fox News trained mouthpiece Tony Snow are saying the mess in Iraq isn't a civil war because it isn't a place "where you have two clearly defined and opposing groups vying not only for power but for territory." Gosh, didn't realize the definition was so precise. I'm surprised Snow didn't also specify that the two sides have to wear blue and gray.
Now, referring to a dictionary to define something is a rather lame technique usually resorted to by 7th graders who haven't bothered to do their homework. But that is just about the right intellectual level of the Decider in Chief, so it's appropriate to do so here. At Dictionary.com, three definitions of civil war
show up. All include the idea that a civil war is between factions within a country. One of the definitions in fact OMITS any mention of a war between different regions within a country. None of them specify that the factions have to fight over a particular patch of land.
In any case, the factions in Iraq clearly ARE fighting over land. The Sunnis are fighting to retain the dominant position in Iraq they enjoyed under Saddam, where although a minority concentrated in the center of the country, they also dominated the Kurdish regions in the north, and the Shiite areas in the southeast.
In any case, the Iraqis see this as a civil war -- the Prime Minister included -- and it seems to me they should get a vote in what to call the violent bloody convulsions wracking their country. The de facto Administration is fighting THIS particular war -- the war of terminology -- because they have no clue how to win the REAL war in Iraq. The optional war, Mr. Bush's War, the war against a tyrant who was going to give weapons of mass destruction to just about everybody. Except that was wrong, too. Oops.