Powerline doesn’t think so either.
JOHN adds: I agree. A civil war is a species of war. If it isn’t a war, it can’t be a civil war. A “war” exists when opposing armies take the field; such is not the case in Iraq. What is happening there is not a war, it is terrorism, pure and simple.
What the terrorists are doing in Iraq, they could do here. If terrorists started exploding IEDs along American highways, would we be experiencing a “civil war”? No. The fact that most of the terrorists in Iraq belong to a particular religious faction does not convert their terrorism into war.
Actually, I think this point is an important one. What makes the situation in Iraq difficult is not that a war is going on. There was a war, and we won it easily. The situation is difficult in Iraq precisely because it is not a war, civil or otherwise; it is terrorism, which is far less devastating than war, but much harder to bring to an end. If we can’t outlast terrrorists in Iraq, what reason is there to think we can outlast them anywhere else, including here?