Pottery Barn Rule?

The Washington Post is running a story with the headline, "U.S. Sets Plans to Aid Iraq in Civil War."

The first 16 words are, "The U.S. military will rely primarily on Iraq's security forces to put down a civil war..."

I expect this sort of double speak from Rumsfeld (who was giving the briefing) but I thought the Post would be able to actually write a headline that reflected the content of the story. How 1990s of me.

Sectarian violence in Iraq has reached a level unprecedented since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and is now eclipsing the insurgency as the chief security threat there, said Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, who appeared with Rumsfeld.

"The plan is to prevent a civil war, and to the extent one were to occur, to have the . . . Iraqi security forces deal with it to the extent they're able to," Rumsfeld told the Senate Appropriations Committee when pressed to explain how the United States intended to respond should Iraq descend wholesale into internecine strife.
Civil War is the last thing that the Bush Administration wants in Iraq. Not because it would destabilize the region, result in the deaths of thousands (or more) or because it will interrupt the flow of oil. (Ok, maybe a little bit about the oil...) The reason that a civil war would be so catastrophic is because it would ruin the narrative that BushCotm has so carefully lied into existence.

People, even uniformed, disinterested people, can understand the motives behind a civil war. The combatants aren't driven by 'evil.' Each side is driven by the belief that their group deserves to be in charge. There might be atrocities on both sides but the underlying motivation for the conflict is able to be examined. The Sunnis fear reprisals for years of keeping the Shiites majority out of power. The Shiites feel they deserve to hold power because they are the majority. The Kurds, also severely abused under Saddam, have built a largely autonomous region in Northern Iraq over the last 10 years and don't want to give up a good thing. (Dreams of independent Kurdistan, unrealized for hundreds of years, drive separatist ideas too.)

None of this fits with the grand 'battle between Good and Evil' that the Bush Administration sells to the American Public.

Besides, it sounds a lot like "Iraqification" to me...

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