They Are Using the Term “Civil War”

Army Gen. John Abizaid, head of US Central Command, and Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, Joint Chiefs Chairman, both acknowledged, when questioned by lawmakers at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday, that the threat of civil war could erupt in Iraq. Abizaid said that he had just returned from the region and had “rarely seen it so unsettled or volatile.” Note that both Abizaid and Pace cautioned the Senators that they believe it is “possible” but not “probable” that Iraq would devolve to civil war. Still, this is a far cry from last fall when Administration officials would not even entertain the use of the term. At that time, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld used the term “subterranean strife.” A lot can happen in a year.