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What Does It Take to Rate Civil War Status?

Bob Owens cites the five criteria for a conflict to be deemed a civil war and notes which conflicts do and don't fit the bill:

According to Global Security, there are five recognized criteria for a civil war:

civil war: A war between factions of the same country; there are five criteria for international recognition of this status: the contestants must control territory, have a functioning government, enjoy some foreign recognition, have identifiable regular armed forces, and engage in major military operations.

1. Both Hamas and Fatah control territory.
2. Both Hamas and Fatah have their own political organizations and function (dysfunction) as part of a recognized government.
3. both enjoy some foreign recognition via support from governments such as ours (Fatah) and Iran (Hamas).
4. both have identifiable and mostly uniformed armed forces.
5. both have engaged and continue to engage in major military operations.

By this definition (and others), the Palestinian Civil War in Gaza is clearly underway, and has been for some time.

A supermajority of the world media organizations refuse to recognize this conflict as the civil war that it is.

Anyone want to guess which conflict is regularly referred to as a civil war despite the fact that it does not meet the five criteria?


Comments (22)

Sorry, Lorie. Around here w... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Sorry, Lorie. Around here we use the dictionary.com definition. Right, Jay?

Brian, I can win any argume... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Brian, I can win any argument if I get to decide the parameters. Since when is it you who decides what we use around here to define anything. Your only interest is defaming anything anyone says that does not agree with your twisted view. There is no civil war in Iraq, there is however civil war in Gaza. Put that in your hooka and smoke it.

Since when is it you who... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Since when is it you who decides what we use around here to define anything.

It's not. I'm just following the precedent already established by the Wizbang authors.

You should know what you're talking about before mouthing off again. You have a habit of challenging things that are easily demonstrated.

OK, Brian, if you're going ... (Below threshold)

OK, Brian, if you're going to defer to me as authoritative on matters, I hereby designate Global Security as the superior source for a precise definition of a civil war. I'll grab dictionary.com for an occasional word definition, but for actual military terminology I'll go with experts in the field, not generalists.

I've also cited my copy of Luttwak and Koehl's "Dictionary Of Modern War" on occasion, as well as editions of "Jane's Fighting Ships." I'm afraid they don't have much to add here, though.

J.

Of course, Brian, by the "o... (Below threshold)

Of course, Brian, by the "official" Dictionary.com definition, the Darfur conflict is also a "civil war."

I presume you do not want us interfering there, since you so badly want us out of the "civil war" in Iraq?

Or are you going to be inconsistent and say we should get involved in that civil war?

Let's have your response, for the record.

BrianSign up for the... (Below threshold)

Brian
Sign up for the OED! It's an investment.

Well, Jay, according to Zel... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Well, Jay, according to Zelsdorf, you can win any argument if you get to decide the parameters. But since it's your henhouse, I'll accept your deference to experts in the field. So I suppose then you'll defer to the US military historical records, and the WWII war crimes trials as experts over dictionary.com generalists, as well?

I presume you do not wan... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I presume you do not want us interfering there, since you so badly want us out of the "civil war" in Iraq?

Correct.

Or are you going to be inconsistent and say we should get involved in that civil war?

Nope.

Let's have your response, for the record.

You have it.

Sorry if I deflated the zinger you no doubt had at the ready.

I doubt he'll be that defla... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

I doubt he'll be that deflated, Brian. After all, when your opponent makes it clear that he or she is willing to stand by as evil marches, it's pretty hard to lose the debate, regardless of how poor a misquotation of Burke the saying is.

I doubt he'll be that de... (Below threshold)

I doubt he'll be that deflated, Brian. After all, when your opponent makes it clear that he or she is willing to stand by as evil marches, it's pretty hard to lose the debate, regardless of how poor a misquotation of Burke the saying is.

Precisely. Brian wants to let evil take over the world, hoping it will never come here.

News flash: It has. Multiple times. One of the most famous was during a period of the very same "stick-your-fingers-in-your-ears-and-sing-la-la-la-" isolationism that Brian apparently subscribes to.

The day evil came to us in that instance was 7 December 1941. The US was very very isolationist up to that point.

And look what happened.

Do you want to let it happen again, Brian?

Truly?

If so, I pity you. Truly.

Brian:Sorry if... (Below threshold)
marc:

Brian:

Sorry if I deflated the zinger you no doubt had at the ready.

Thank goodness! The answers in this comment will save us from ANY Brian posts as related to ANY U.S. non-action in Darfur by ANY U.S. president no matter the party in the future.

Let the killing continue.

Brian, then you must agree ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Brian, then you must agree it was wrong of the previous adminstration to get involved in the Bosnia situation. Brian, Democrats must use names that do not apply to situations they oppose or promote. Example are global warming, civil war, outing of covert agents. Actually the list is quite long. Like the bozo Edwards, leftists must minimize and rationalize situations like the global war on terrorism, because they have such a terrible record of doing anything about national security. If you only purpose is ecomonic redistribution, national security always comes in second. Those on the left like you Brian must deny threats because your base has no stomach for a fight.

C-C-G,I think we n... (Below threshold)
Matt:

C-C-G,

I think we need to work out a definition of isolationist.

The U.S. was isolationist prior to Dec 7, 1941 if you ignore the Spanish-American War, WWI, actions in Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, the Boxer Rebellion and the Phillipine insurgency. I've potentially missed a couple here and there. Prior to WWII the U.S. was pretty good at Gun Boat diplomacy. I think they might of even coined that term because of us.

Dec 7, 1941 happened because Japan thought, mistakenly that one good attack against the U.S. would show us to be a paper-tiger and we'd at least not get involved in the War in the Pacific.

Matt, you need to learn the... (Below threshold)

Matt, you need to learn the concept of different eras in American history.

America entered its isolationist era in the 1920s, according to historians. Prior to that it wasn't. The isolationist era ended (ahem) 7 December 1941. After that it wasn't. However, in between those two dates, it was.

Please try to understand that America under George Washington was different in many respects from America under Abraham Lincoln, which differed from America under Teddy Roosevelt, which in turn differed from America under Woodrow Wilson, which differs from America under George W. Bush.

Even a conservative understands that some things change with time, ya know. Cheese gets better in many cases, for instance... mmmm... aged Cheddar.

Thank goodness! The answ... (Below threshold)

Thank goodness! The answers in this comment will save us from ANY Brian posts as related to ANY U.S. non-action in Darfur by ANY U.S. president no matter the party in the future.

I doubt that. Brian will soldier on no matter how idiotic he makes himself look.

He'll just say he's "grown" in his opinions.

Oh, wait . . . You... (Below threshold)

Oh, wait . . .

You mean now war is a good thing?

It's so hard to keep up with the left these days.

Ken, as best I can determin... (Below threshold)

Ken, as best I can determine, to the left, war is a good thing when it does nothing to advance America's interests, as in Bosnia, Somalia, and Darfur.

When it does advance America's interests, as in Iraq, war is bad.

It's all part of hating America.

Wow, it's dizzying how you ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Wow, it's dizzying how you took my "we shouldn't be in Darfur" comment and spun it into "the left says war is a good thing"! That takes some mad skillz. Especially when I don't recall the right advocating for going into Darfur!

Now to elaborate, yes, I would like the US to intervene and help where possible. But not after showing how incompetently such intervention would currently be handled, let alone no longer having the manpower available.

OK, carry on with your spin.

Ahh, so now it's not "we sh... (Below threshold)

Ahh, so now it's not "we shouldn't intervene," it's "I'd like for us to intervene."

Thanks for proving me right when I said that your comments wouldn't prohibit you from saying something different later.

'Intervene'The new... (Below threshold)

'Intervene'

The new Leftist euphemism for war.

"brian" aka Mr. Flipflopper... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"brian" aka Mr. Flipflopper.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahah... (Below threshold)
mac:

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

sorry, i just had to laugh




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