30 / November
30 / November
Semantic War

President Bush refuses to call the violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq a "civil war." U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says there is "almost" a civil war in Iraq. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell calls the Iraq situation a civil war. Thousands of Iraqis have been killed by other Iraqis this year. If it walks like a duck, if it talks like a duck, call it a pigeon--that seems to be the attitude of those conducting the occupation in Iraq.

posted at 12:01 AM

Surprisingly, I would agree with President Bush and not describe the violence in Iraq as a "civil war." A war carries certain implications that I don't think fit for Iraq. Civil unrest would be a better term. As the Iraqi government loses its legitimacy, and militias begin to provide the only kind of security, Iraq will spiral into an ungovernable, tribal society. Iraq is more like a scene out of Mad Max, than the U.S. civil war.

Posted by: Eric Wilds on November 29, 2006 09:38 PM

Gee, what would you call it when civilians are killing civilians with regularity? Bush is a stubborn dope.

Posted by: asdf on November 30, 2006 10:35 AM

I think the term 'civil unrest' would be best to describe Hell Night or what happened in Watts. Not what it is when 100 civilians kill eachother daily.

Posted by: asdf on November 30, 2006 10:38 AM

"Civil War" requires a society. Iraq is nothing. Its just lines on a map.

Posted by: Ben-T on November 30, 2006 11:40 AM

Then what constitutes an "Iraqi" if not living within those lines? And if you are an "Iraqi", you live within some social confines (as messed up as they may be) thus there has to be some semblance of a society.

Posted by: asdf on November 30, 2006 01:38 PM

There are three societies within one group of lines. Nothing constitutes an "Iraqi", within or without them.

Posted by: Ben-T on November 30, 2006 05:24 PM

Ok, so you concede that there are societies in Iraq. The fact that there are likely three distinct societies there, re-enforces the fact that when they attack and kill each other, that the term ‘civil war’ probably applies.

Random thought: In terms of separate societies in one country, it seems that's the way we in this country are going. Maybe there's some civil war on our horizon? Maybe when the Southwest decides they want to secede or become part of Mehico.?

Posted by: asdf on December 1, 2006 09:44 AM
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