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Pentagon: No Civil War in Iraq


The recent proclamations that Iraq is on the brink of civil war appear to be premature. In spite of the media's reports about civil war in Iraq, the Pentagon doesn't see things that way. Instead, it says the current violence in response to the bombing of the Golden Mosque is the largest challenge so far but doesn't see Iraq moving into a civil war:

"What the extremists are trying to do is to foment a civil war. But we don't see it. We don't see it succeeding," said Peter Rodman, assistant secretary of defense.

Rodman, however, said the burst of sectarian violence is the biggest test of US efforts to stabilize the country since the assassination in August 2003 of Shiite leader Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim in a car bombing in Najaf.

A key indicator, he said, will be whether political leaders resume negotiations on forming a new government, which broke off after the mosque bombing.

And this may happen as the elected Sunni leaders are prepared to return to government negotiations:

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The main Sunni Arab political bloc said Saturday it "will not hesitate to reconsider" its decision pulling out of talks on a new government if Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari takes steps he promised to ease the sectarian crisis.

The Iraqi Accordance Front welcomed a statement Friday by al-Jaafari promising to rebuild the Shiite shrine in Samarra that was destroyed in a bombing Wednesday and Sunni mosques that were damaged in reprisal attacks.

Al-Jaafari also appointed a committee to establish responsibility for the Samarra bombing "and what followed."

In its statement, the Sunni front said the statement included "positive signs" indicating the government wanted to address the concerns of the Sunni Arab community in the sectarian crisis.

Don't count out the Iraqis yet. Cooler heads will most likely prevail

Update: President Bush placed phone calls to seven Iraqi leaders urging them to push forward with the new Iraqi government:

Bush made phone calls to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd; Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari, a Shiite; the leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party, Tarek al-Hashemi, a Sunni; and other prominent political leaders from different religious and ethnic communities, the White House said. It was the first time Bush had spoken to Iraqi leaders since Wednesday's bombing of a major Shiite mosque that triggered reprisal violence claiming at least 140 lives.

Fox News is also reporting about the Shiite/Sunni talks:

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Sunni and Shiite clerics reached an agreement Saturday in Iraq that could quell sectiarian violence with has claimed nearly 50 lives in the last day and riddled the country with attacks after this week's bombing of a Shiite shrine.

This is a very good development.

However, the MSM will be a bit disappointed.

Kim Priestap blogs at Kim Priestap: A Conservative Blog in Flyover Country


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Comments (29)

Civil war - the leftist pre... (Below threshold)

Civil war - the leftist press' wishful thinking, if it will embarrass the Bush administration.

Typical media response, spe... (Below threshold)

Typical media response, speculation = reporting facts.

Let's hope it doesn't erupt... (Below threshold)

Let's hope it doesn't erupt - still though, 7 US troops and about 200 Iraqi's in multiple bombings since Wednesday. Not promising.

Btw: Does it drive the radical right crazy knowing Howard Dean has been more correct about the outcome of this war than BushCo.?

"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."

1)recognize the Kurdish st... (Below threshold)

1)recognize the Kurdish state 2) rapprochment with Iran 3) give the opium concession to Afghanistan... W would be the new Metternich instead of a Nixon.

Hmmmm."My... (Below threshold)


"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."

Your problem jp2 is that the historical evidence is that the above quote is correct. We *were* greeted as liberators. Specifically by the Shia'a and the Kurds. More specifically by the Kurds.

Nobody I know suggested that the Sunni would embrace us for driving them out of power.

Take it from someone that l... (Below threshold)

Take it from someone that lives and works in Baghdad. It's not a civil war here. I think the MSM is praying it becomes that though.

However the truth is it's just the opposite. All of the religious leaders on both sides have been sending a strong message for peace. In the south they (the religious leaders) are blaming Al Zarqawi and here in Baghdad Al Sadar is sending out an anti-US stance to his people. Time will tell but for now we have the curfews for a few more days to calm things down.

No, I agree with the Pentag... (Below threshold)

No, I agree with the Pentagon. War is decidedly un-civil. At least MY neighbors think so.

Or am I off track here?


You heard it here first - w... (Below threshold)

You heard it here first - we were greeted as liberators in Iraq.

Meanwhile, in the reality based community, we were not greeted as liberators. Ask one of the 25K casualties.

oddly enough, when I was th... (Below threshold)

oddly enough, when I was there...they seemed awful glad to see us.

or, maybe I was missing all the throngs of people who would gather on the sides of the roads cheering our presence, yelling "George Bush, number 1!" funny thing was, these were just the poor, normal people. I don't remember seeing any leaders out there (or Iraqi Republican Guard).

but, ya know, I don't live in the "reality-based community"

however, I did live in Iraq.

America is not seen as the ... (Below threshold)

America is not seen as the liberator by most normal people across the world.

They are seen as "The Invaders"

Loss of life on both sides, loss of money, and a horrible public image that's what America has got after invading Iraq.

I can't see peace anywhere. Sorry.

You heard it here first ... (Below threshold)

You heard it here first - we were greeted as liberators in Iraq.

No, we didn't hear it here first -- we saw it on the news networks that showed the Saddam statue being pulled down and the locals celebrating that fact. We saw it in the photographs of Iraqis of all ages smiling and talking with coalition troops.

Where were you getting your news, jp2 -- DemocraticUnderground?

America is not seen as the liberator by most normal people across the world.

And how, Muslim Unity, would you know what normal people think?

Btw: Does it drive the r... (Below threshold)

Btw: Does it drive the radical right crazy knowing Howard Dean has been more correct about the outcome of this war than BushCo.?

(snort) Yeah, right. This is about as accurate as his claim that "not one dime" of Abramaff's money went to Democrats.

But hey, if the Dems want to put Screamin' Howie into the media spotlight as their expert political analyst, they should go right ahead. Every time the guy opens his mouth, Karl Rove smiles.

it might be more accurate t... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

it might be more accurate to say that some people were very happy to see us, and others certainly were not. iraq has 25 million people in it, and i doubt they all think identically.

lets not oversimplify this.

side note: i think its funny that "the media" can either be cited as horribly biased in some instances, but can also be quoted as a reliable source in others, depending on the point that someone is trying to make. funny. and both side--left wing moonbat hippie liberals, and right wing jesus freak warmonger conservatives--do it. funny.

im personally hoping that civil war does not break out, and that iraq gets a government that represents its people. thats what i hope for.

I can't see peace anywhe... (Below threshold)

I can't see peace anywhere. Sorry. - Muslim Unity

From reading your blog, and your previous comments, it is clear that you cannot see peace. You only see muslim domination and violence to anyone that dares to disagree with you.

You only see muslim domi... (Below threshold)

You only see muslim domination and violence to anyone that dares to disagree with you.

Well of course. Afterall, that is what the koran tells him so. He is one of the submissive one's who still cannot see that he has been lied to and made a fool of by Islam.

Maybe he should go here: www.faithfreedom.org to finally find out the truth.

The truth will set you free Muslim Unity. It has already freed many others.

How different is the sectar... (Below threshold)

How different is the sectarian violence outbreak from the LA riots over the Rodney King dude? They seemed to be caused by a similar motive - revenge. While the Muslim religion has a more violent history in these reactions, we still had a violent result here from the acquittal of the police. There was no talk of "another civil war" here. I think that it's a hot button but cooler heads will prevail. And it appears that the Muslim leaders are taking charge. That's good.

remind the Iraqis about the... (Below threshold)

remind the Iraqis about the bounty on Zarqawi's head, $25 mil, that would go a long way to rebuilding the golden dome mosque

Muslim Unity: You se... (Below threshold)
Moon Monkey:

Muslim Unity:
You seem to promote the fact that you and your ilk have all the answers. Are you suggesting that your sensibilities tell you that Islam and Muslim logic is the"Way"? The only Way? If the answer is yes,then what does that say for the rest of us? Are you suggesting that Muslims alone can form cohesive thought and conduct a more perfect society?
If the answer is no, then that suggests that you accept and respect other peoples rights. That choice would indicate that you are acceptable to both moderation and reasonable thinking.
Can you embrace the fact that "most" turmoil,violence,terrorism and civil unrest live where Muslims live? The world and all its non-Muslims are not wrong...Fundamentalist Muslims are wrong. Can you spell, "True Believer"?
Think about it. Belief in the teachings of the Koran is one thing, if substantiation of that belief further requires a blind allegiance to a system that keeps the "followers" in check with fear...give me a break!
Lastly, all your Middle Eastern bretheren don't seem to be doing so well despite your supposed moral correctness and thousands of years of social existence. If you are such a know-it-all, why don't you move to the Cradle of Wisdom, get a gun and demonstrate all day with the other unemployed losers.

I have recently come across... (Below threshold)

I have recently come across an Iraqi shia ( in the uk) and let me tell you something he is very anti american as he tells me is the general shia arab population. The only people glad to see the american there were the Kurds, thats 20% of the population, now you may well think that I am making it all up but then asks yourself why is the largest block of Mps in the Shia coalation belong to Sadr who of course is the Anti American cleric. So if the elections were fair it proves that the sunnies voted 100% for anti occupation parties and that the majority Shia voted for anti American Cleric Sadr. It should be preaty straightforward to work out but your never going to convince the brainwashed bufoons like ed.

Hell, David -- France</i... (Below threshold)

Hell, David -- France is anti-American these days. So is Berkeley. You're not exactly describing the End Times, you know?

Mcgehee, Did... (Below threshold)

Did you not understand the point i was making, well i'l try explain it idiot proof way for you now..

All sunnies+majority Shia equals overwhelming majority population of Iraq against the USA and the occupation so dont go round talking about how the Iraqis love you and want you to stay there...do you comprehend

okay, David, let's put this... (Below threshold)

okay, David, let's put this in perspective:

Iraq population: ~26,074,906
Allied forces: ~190,000

ya think it they wanted the Americans (and all the other "occupation" forces) out of Iraq tomorrow, that they couldn't vote them out tomorrow. one of us has the numbers completely wrong.

more proof that moonbattery isn't just an American invention.

I wish everybody here stopp... (Below threshold)

I wish everybody here stopped thinking I am a Muslim and looked at me just as a human being.

I just want to spread love and peace in the world. I want everybody to learn and respect Islam the way I respect other religions.

Allmost all of you here are blinded with hate. Learn before it is too late.

Hmmm.1. <blockquot... (Below threshold)



All sunnies+majority Shia equals overwhelming majority population of Iraq against the USA and the occupation so dont go round talking about how the Iraqis love you and want you to stay there...do you comprehend

Nothing like extrapolating the views of 12 million people from the attitude of one.


Allmost all of you here are blinded with hate. Learn before it is too late.

Ridiculous. I don't hate anybody so don't pin that nonsense on me. But I don't let political correctness prevent me to clearly seeing what's going on in the world.

Muslim Unity,When yo... (Below threshold)

Muslim Unity,
When you stop preaching hate on your blog, and start being HONEST on this one, maybe people will treat you with the respect you want, but do not bestow.

Macstansbury, ... (Below threshold)

The Iraqi are voting, they are voting attacks that injure on average with 25 occupation foces troops per day which includes 3 deaths of soldiers per day, this is the average for the last 3 years, this is with the majority Shia not taking part not because they love america but for the intervention of Sistini who has advised Shia not to take part in violence for the moment. What if the Shia starting taking part too I guess what voting record would go upto at least around a hundred casualties per day, and looking at the histroy of insurgencies there is nothing America will be able to do about, not even the wild fantasies of ED would be able to save the day.

Hmmm.this... (Below threshold)


this is with the majority Shia not taking part not because they love america

Amazing. I never would have believed that anybody could have forgotten Al-Sadr. Ignorance is bliss.

not even the wild fantasies of ED would be able to save the day.

Only a complete imbecile would even suggest my "wild fantasies" could possibly be associated with "saving" anything or anyone.

My view is extremely simple and very straightforward. That muslims are collectively making themselves so unwelcome through their extremism and violence that the use of a nuclear weapon by Iran would serve as a pretext for a retaliatory nuclear response coupled with widespread local retaliation against muslims. That this would then trigger a mass Islamic response that would escalate into a global war.

So if these are "fantasies" then am I wrong to conclude:

a. Muslims are in fact making themselves extremely unwelcome all over the world?
b. That muslims are involved in acts of violence and terrorism in nearly every area on Earth?
c. That Iran is acquiring a nuclear weapon?
d. That Iran has threatened to use that nuclear weapon?
e. That France has reiterated it's position on the use of a foreign nuclear weapon on French soil? That the French have stated for the record that they would respond with nuclear weapons?
f. That America's long standing policy requires a nuclear response to any attack using a WMD on either America or an ally?
g. That no sitting American President or Congress could politically survive not responding forcefully to the detonation of a nuclear weapon?
h. That the response of America, or another country, to a nuclear attack must be a nuclear response?
i. That a nuclear response to Iranian nuclear aggression must include the utter destruction of Tehran?
j. That Tehran's architecture is similar to Bam's. Where houses have very heavy roofs with walls of mudbrick. Which are prone to collapse if subjected to lateral stress and the heavy roofs would then pancake the entire house onto it's occupants? So that even a minimal nuclear strike could result in the deaths of millions of Iranians.
k. That the muslim world would take this as an opportunity to declare an Islamic war against America and/or the West?

So what do you think happens then in my "fantasy" David. Is anything that I've outlined untrue? Is anything I've listed incorrect? Are there different interpretations?

Somebody here said I am pre... (Below threshold)

Somebody here said I am preaching hate on my blog.
I am sure you mustn't have read my blog or mustn't have understood it.
In fact my blog is aimed at spreading peace and unity. I am just opposed to racists and evil policy makers. My aim is to unite people against the evil oppressors so that we can all live together in peace.
Do not try spreading out such false rumors about my blog without understanding it.

MU: That was me.My ... (Below threshold)

MU: That was me.
My rebuttal: Same thing I posted on the 21st of Feb.
Explain to us why after reading your blog we should just be feelin the love.
Just calling someone a liar, and ducking back into your hole isn't much of a response. Reminds me of another Muslim poster that said the Koran never, ever called for violence, and anyone who said different was a liar. When faced with a dozen surrahs that said different, oddly enough, he STFU. I do wonder, if his IP and yours are the same, since you both have the same diction and the same talking points and tactics.

It is very clear who really are the wild savage barbarians and who are the lovers of peace. - Muslim Unity

From his own blog:

here are the people I would love to see killed wiped out beaten to death crushed alive burnt alive chopped into tiny pieces fed to live hungry lions:
George Bush
This guy is definitely a "Modern Day Hitler" and a War Monger. He has united the entire World against America. He will soon be visiting India and Pakistan in March. I assure you there will be millions people protesting against him. I just wish one of them gets rid of him. We could all celebrate.

And this

Afghanistan has already declared a fatwa of 100 kilograms of gold for killing the cartoonists. Until the Danish Government doesn't apologize this will not stop.
The UN and Kofi Ananan have also urged newspapers in the E.U. not to publish such sick cartoons. If things go the way they are going, violence and riots will spread to Europe.
This will be a global disaster.

Yes, live in peace dhimmis, or we will bring violence to you whenever you disagree with us!

And lest you think MU loves the west, and just wishes to come to an understanding

It has become clear now. This isn't only about 'so-called' freedom of speech. It's a war against Islam. France has printed the cartoons once more. This only proves their evil goals and aims. It seems they have not yet learnt a lesson from the past riots. What freedom are the French talking about? Girls are not allowed to wear the Hijab in schools? What type of freedom is this. Muslims need to fight for their rights in Europe and the West. Muslims living in Europe need to be respected and not treated as terrorists.
Iran has decided to hold a contest on the Holocaust in order to challenge the West's biased perceptions of freedom of speech. If the West can do it, so can we. I am sure now each and every Western country will pretend to be upset over the cartoons, even though it was they who caused the holocaust. Iran has also cut of trade with Denmark. This will cost Denmark more that $ 250 million. All countries should follow the same example. Iran is a country which needs to be emulated by everybody.
The Muslim World should put economic sanctions on not only Denmark but the entire West who is plotting against our holy religion. We should stop buying anything from them. This will cause them to loose billions of dollars. They have always depended on exploiting us, we need this to stop. We should encourage trade between countries in Asia like China, India and Japan. They are also culturally more advanced than the West Once this is done, we will be able to teach them how to respect other's and live in peace.

Join and support the movement my dear brothers and sisters. Declare Economic Sanctions on the entire West. Do not trade or buy anything from them. We must bring an end to the era of colonization and bullying done by the West.
emph mine

I'll end with another quote from Muslim Unity:
It is very sad to read such racist comments over here

That was my reaction to reading his own blog.






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