Magazine article The American Conservative

Can We Win Their Civil War?

Magazine article The American Conservative

Can We Win Their Civil War?

Article excerpt

[IRAQ]

Almost forgotten in the midst of the turmoil of the Lebanon war and the London airliner scare is the ongoing mess in Iraq. Earlier this month the Pentagon's top Iraq generals laid out the bad news before the Senate Armed Services Committee: Iraq is on the verge of devolving into civil war. Countering the Bush/GOP line that things in Iraq are better every day-or if that is no longer believable, that we are "adapting to win"-Gen. John Abizaid testified that sectarian violence in Iraq was as bad as he had ever seen it July proved the bloodiest month to date for civilian deaths. Moreover, the committee met amidst reports that two-thirds of U.S. Army units are unprepared for combat because of the strain of the Iraq deployment.

And the Iraq mission is now what, exactly? If the country has begun to slide to civil war, breaking up into ethnic cantons, what is the role of the American mission? Clearly enabling a less bloodsoaked partition could be better accomplished by a UN force, or indeed almost any non-American one. …

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