27 March 2008
Iraq: This is Civil War
What else are you going to call it when government forces trade heavy fire with a renegade militia and insurgents rain mortars down upon the Green Zone? No one should be afraid of using the right words for the occasion. If al-Maliki wants to have any kind of legitimacy, he has to do what he's doing now, and he ought to have done it long ago. Muqtada al-Sadr is little more than the George W. Bush of Iraq -- the son of a respected leader who thinks himself entitled to leadership -- the more being his willingness to wage war in his own streets for what he wants. He needs to be taken down, or if he wants to be a player in post-occupation Iraq, he has to disarm the "Mahdi Army." In any nation, the definition of sovereignty is the possession of a monopoly on force. Whatever you feel about the U.S. role in the country, you can't want an Iraq where militias run amok. But if you feel about that U.S. role the way I do, you might agree that all that talk about stability and pacification we've been hearing from Bush and McCain lately needs to go down the toilet now.