Talking Points

Is It Civil War in Iraq?

NBC News has declared that there is indeed a civil war in Iraq. Now that's not shocking, because NBC is the most aggressive anti-Bush network these days, as they have made a calculated effort to woo left-wing viewers.

The question is: Is NBC wrong about Iraq? The answer is yes — at this point.

The Iraq War has morphed into a number of conflicts, much like the chaotic Baltic situation under President Clinton. Because the Bush administration miscalculated the problems after Saddam, the ensuing chaos has given power to a number of bad guys.

First is Iran. That country is training and arming Shiite killers to cause chaos in Iraq. Iran clearly wants to dominate the world's oil flow and controlling Iraq would be a major part of that.

Second is Al Qaeda, which simply wants to do damage to the USA and is using the Sunni fear of the majority Shiia to provoke conflict. It is Al Qaeda doing much of the bombing of Shiia sites and that, of course, leads to murderous revenge. The Sunnis have aligned themselves with Al Qaeda, feeling they need protection.

Third are organized criminals who are running wild because there is little Iraqi police presence.

Add all that up and you have violent, out-of-control chaos — not civil war.

The problem in Iraq is not American. The problem is the Iraqis themselves. They're not fighting for their freedom in a way that puts the bad keys on the defensive.

There is only so much the USA can do. If the Iraqi people are unwilling to challenge the bad guys, the bad guys will win — period.

The vital problem now is how to protect U.S. troops from the bad guys in Iraq. If we pull a John Murtha and bail out, Al Qaeda and Iran win big. But clearly, the status quo will not hold.

If the Bush administration will not consider dividing the country into three autonomous regions, then it must consider allowing the Iraqi military to run the place, much like Musharraf runs Pakistan. Yes, that would be brutal, but clearly, the Iraqi people are not embracing freedom. So imposing order through a military strong man might be the only way.

Of course, the American media is not helping anyone by oversimplifying the situation and rooting for the USA to lose in Iraq. And that is what some media people are doing.

This is a brutal issue that affects all Americans. And we need to think about it very carefully and avoid foolish descriptions that define nothing.

And that's the Memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

A wild ride in Texas today with a twist:

Police chase a stolen pickup truck from Fort Worth to Dallas before the driver had a little car trouble, a little truck trouble. She — yes, she — made a break for it. Tried to jump in the water. There she goes. But, of course, didn't work. Predictably the cops caught up with her and she was apprehended.

Now why do these things keep happening? Now the ladies are doing this stuff? Why? You're not going to get away. Don't steal a truck. You're not going to get away. It's ridiculous.