Today Reuters reports that the US Military is saying the same:
Attacks on civilians had jumped 90 percent across Iraq since a Shi'ite shrine was bombed in February, but "ethno-sectarian" bloodshed had more than halved in Baghdad in the past week, U.S. spokesman Major General Rick Lynch told a news conference.
"We are not seeing widespread militia operations across Iraq. We are not seeing widespread movement of displaced personnel," he said. "So we do not see us moving toward a civil war in Iraq. In fact we see us moving away from it. . . ."
". . . We believe that the people of Iraq ... have grown tired of the insurgency, have grown tired of these casualties and indeed are going stop this cycle of violence," Lynch said.
"And when the government is formed and truly reaches out to the people, we believe you'll see a great decline in violent activities in Iraq."
So now that that's settled, sort of, let's move on to a related issue: why are folks so anxious to declare civil war in Iraq? Here's the SWNID analysis.
One reason, of course, is polarized politics. The Rs have power; the Ds want it. 'Nuf said.
Another reason, of course, is romantic nostalgia for the Vietnam antiwar movement. Antiwar protesting is like YMCA camp for people too old to attend. A crucial step to getting traction for the antiwar movement is to declare Iraq a Vietnam-like failure. 'Nuf said again.
But here's the reason we want to press today: short attention spans. In a media world where Jack Bauer can personally stop any global threat in 24 hours, even when he is personally dead, folks just don't have the patience to deal with the pace of change in the Middle East.
It's worth remembering that folks in Iraq live in a place where, as far as anyone knows, civilization has existed for just about as long as it has anywhere. We know that, but in that part of the world, they really know it. Everything is really old there. In such a setting people are patient and persistent politically. So change happens slowly.
The great strength of the Bush presidency has been its ability to stay on task and wait for results. Criticized as arrogant, insular and unchanging, Dubya and his homies live by the maxim that the race goes not to the swift but to the strong. They accept their own mistakes as inevitable, but keep their compass pointing to true north. They don't live by the second guess or the arbitrary timetable.
We believe that there's something to admire in that.