And I am very confused. Take for example Iraq. (Without getting into who is right and wrong about what is going on there.)
I was reading over at opinionjournal.com where they had an positing for a site called Iraq The Model. It was interesting and disturbing at the same time. When I went to the site, I found, at the time, the lead post which was concerning the present discussions between coalition government which is forming in Iraq.
If it were not for the fact that it is Iraqis shooting Iraqis (based on whether they are Sunni, Shiite, or Kurdish it seems) it read alot like the aftermath of an election in any country, including Israel. One coalition party thinks it should have the premiership, the other partners counter that it should not be X but Y or possible Z from one of the junior members of coalition.
But all this going amidst "troubles". The left calls it a civil war. The right insits that it is not. My question then becomes what do you call it? There are quite clearly organized groups of people shooting at each other and setting off bombs. Yes, there are probably a number of foreigners who are shooting at U.S. and allied troops, but they are not, so it seems, the majority of the people involved in the violence.
What if it is a civil war? Is that much removed from an "insurgency"? I have read more than a fair share of military history. It seems that the two are pretty closely related. I understand that the right may believe that calling the "troubles" there a "civil war" would be an admission of failure of the mission. However, it seems that to call it anything else is disingenous. According to the American Heritage dictionary definition I found, a civil war is defined as "A war between factions or regions of the same country." Let's see. The Sunnis are a faction. The Shiites are a faction. The Kurds are another faction. They, or members of each group in a somewhat organized fashion, seem to be conducting violence against one or more of the groups and the elected government. So it would seem that it meets the definition of a "civil war"
According to the same site, which attributes it definitions to the American Heritage dictionary, an insurgency is "1. The quality or circumstance of being rebellious. 2. An instance of rebellion; an insurgence." Technically, there is an elected government in Iraq, even if some parties did not particpate as much as people would have liked them. There are people rebelling, through acts of violence, against that government. This sounds an awful lot like a civil war.
It may be interesting to note that the official title, in government records, of the Civil War fought between factions of the United States between 1861 and 1865, is The War of The Rebellion.
It seems to me that it would be better to just call what is going over there what is, instead of trying to paint a rosier picture.
Now for the people who are glorying in this Iraqi Civil, I have to ask them: Are you freaking sick?
Do you have any idea of what war does to people. I personally do not, but I do not wish it to happen to anyone. However, it seems that people are happy that this is going on. They seem to think that if they can get the Bush Administration to admit that there is indeed a "civil war" going on in Iraq, then it will lead to the fall of the Bush Administration, the pull-0ut of troops and peace in our time.
For those who believe that I have a couple of bridges to sell you. Leaving aside the debate of whether the invasion of Iraqui was right or wrong, pulling up stakes in Iraq now would be a huge mistake. It would signal a retreat. It would allow an already unstable situation to get worse. It would repeat the mistakes of Somalia, the Persian Gulf War of 1991, Lebanon in 1983, Iran Hostage Crisis of 1981, and the Vietnam-era.
It is things like this that make me despise both wings of this country. One seems unwilling to say what is happening while the other hopes for the worst to happen.