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03/06/2006

What if they gave a civil war and nobody came?

Fort_sumter_1

The MSM continues to scour Iraq (and inside the beltway) for signs of an imminent civil war:

After Crisis, a Lull—but Iraq Leaders Gloomy

In Case of Civil War, What?

Congressman Questions Iraq Assessment

Expert on Iraq: 'We're In a Civil War'

And—not surprisingly, given the tenor of the news coverage in the wake of the Askariya mosque bombing in Samarra—eight out of ten Americans now believe that civil war in Iraq is "likely," according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. (Only a third, however, believe that such a scenario is "very likely.")

Disappointingly, however, Ralph Peters in Iraq can find no evidence to support the current MSM gloom:

I'm trying. I've been trying all week. The other day, I drove another 30 miles or so on the streets and alleys of Baghdad. I'm looking for the civil war that The New York Times declared. And I just can't find it.

Maybe actually being on the ground in Iraq prevents me from seeing it. Perhaps the view's clearer from Manhattan. It could be that my background as an intelligence officer didn't give me the right skills.

And riding around with the U.S. Army, looking at things first-hand, is certainly a technique to which The New York Times wouldn't stoop in such an hour of crisis.

Let me tell you what I saw anyway. Rolling with the "instant Infantry" gunners of the 1st Platoon of Bravo Battery, 4-320 Field Artillery, I saw children and teenagers in a Shia slum jumping up and down and cheering our troops as they drove by. Cheering our troops.

All day - and it was a long day - we drove through Shia and Sunni neighborhoods. Everywhere, the reception was warm. No violence. None.

And no hostility toward our troops. Iraqis went out of their way to tell us we were welcome.

Instead of a civil war, something very different happened because of the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra. The fanatic attempt to stir up Sunni-vs.-Shia strife, and the subsequent spate of violent attacks, caused popular support for the U.S. presence to spike upward.

Think Abu Musab al-Zarqawi intended that?

Probably not. But if civil strife doesn't break out soon, expect the far left to advance the theory that U.S. intelligence was behind the Golden Mosque bombing.

No, wait. They already have.

Posted by Rodger on March 6, 2006 at 11:28 PM | Permalink

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