Monday, November 27, 2006

A War by Any Other Name is Just as Deadly

What’s the difference between Civil War and Anarchy? That splitting of hairs now underway in Washington and the Media, with NBC News officially referring to the War in Iraq as a Civil WarPresident Bush says it’s not—it’s just anarchy.

Webster's defines Civil War as "war between geographical sections or political factions of the same nation."
Just in case those nuances are too subtle, Political scientists like to impose a tangible threshold of 1,000 dead as a metric establishing when a conflict has truly reached the status of Civil War. suggests five criteria that must be met in order for Civil War to exist: The contestants must
  • control territory
  • have a functioning government
  • enjoy some foreign recognition
  • have identifiable regular armed forces
  • engage in major military operations.
Given those parameters, well, no, it’s not Civil War, so it must be anarchy. No doubt the citizens of Iraq are scrambling for their score cards so they can tell the difference.

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