Today's big debate over Iraq seems to be: Is there or is there not a civil war? ... This debate appears to be important because the perception that there has been an outbreak of civil war following the Samarra bombing pushed some waverers to jump ship on their support for the war. Most famous of these is William F. Buckley Jr., who after Samarra declared that it is time for "the acknowledgment of defeat." Defeat? Yes, because of the inability of the Iraqi people to "suspend internal divisions" to allow a new democratic order to emerge.As an aside, this inability to "suspend internal divisions" is a key problem, and there doesn't appear to be any resolution close at hand. As long as the political factions are closely aligned along religious and ethnic lines, Iraq may be a representative government, but one which exists perilously close to a tyranny of the majority. I don't however, think that it's time to call this a defeat and walk away. Embryonic democracy beats developed dictatorship any day. Back to the main point...
This whole debate about civil war is surreal. What is the insurgency if not a war supported by one (minority) part of Iraqi society fighting to prevent the birth of the new Iraqi state supported by another (majority) part of Iraqi society?Exactly. And I think in the end, the Sunnis will either accept the new order in Iraq and play ball on the political level, or they will be beaten into submission by the Shi'a Arabs and Kurds. That's the choice the Sunni Arabs have to make, accept it now, or accept it later -- with bruises.
By definition that is civil war, and there's nothing new about it. As I noted here in November 2004: "People keep warning about the danger of civil war. This is absurd. There already is a civil war. It is raging before our eyes. Problem is, only one side" -- the Sunni insurgency -- "is fighting it."
Open posted on Stop the ACLU.