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21 March 2006

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You know, Colonel, the semantics surrouding Iraq have been just plain incoherent.

1) Once the invasion was complete, the "mission" was "accomplished" but when violence did not end, the war was not over, only major combat operations.

2) Iraq was a "central front" in the "war" on terror since day one and never stopped being that, so what has transpired there has been a war from the admin.'s point of view all along.

3) Yet, Iraq was not an insurgency, it was sporadic violence by dead-enders. Or foreign jihadists. Or both, pick your favorite comment from the appropiate official. But it was still a central front in a global war.

4) Then Iraq did have an insurgency, not just terrorists, but not a "civil war" even though, yes indeed, it was still a central front in a global war.

5) Now Iraq is not in a "civil war," just an unfortunate spate of sectarian violence, even though we must stay the course or lose on the central front in a global war.

(My head hurts.)

So, how can a nation be continuously the preeminent site of a global war but never a civil war, when most of the violence on that site has been at the hands of Iraqis and fellow Iraqis have always paid the highest price. Sectarian violence is up but Iraqis have been killing Iraqis and not just troops since the invasion.

Are we supposed to believe that there is a war going on in Iraq but only when coalition troops are killed? That when Iraqis die the violence reverts to sectarian strife? And if that sectarian strife threatens the stability of Iraq, why is it not also part of a global war? And why cannot a global war be sited principally in a civil war in a specific state?

Bush wants to call this a war when it suits him, or not when it suits him. The Appeals court that recently referred to Bush's Clean Air revision as "Humpty Dumpty" reasoning could very well say the same thing about the twisted, willful semantics of defining Iraq as not civil war, but a deader-ender/insurgency/ violent sectarian front in a global war.

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