Iraq: Is It a Civil War?
The new question in Iraq is whether what we're seeing augurs war or is war. Since the tail end of foreign policy week yet wags, here's a two-minute opinion. The question is of course semantic--how you determine the answer depends on how you define war. So there's not an actual answer to be had.
That said, it's obviously a civil war, and has been a civil war for months. Sunnis and Shias have wanted to lop off each others' heads for decades, and a US-imposed "democracy" ain't gonna change that. Insurgent attacks on the colonial government were incipient shots in that war. Kurds were engaged in the democratic process to the extent that it protected Northern oil fields, which they have eyeballed since the invasion. Shi'ites wanted control of the government so they could replace Saddam as ruling oppressors (which reports of government-run death squads confirm), and Sunni's were busy bombing everything because it was the way a 20% minority managed to avoid getting whacked.
The US can stay or go, but short of re-installing a strongman or dividing the country in thirds, the cival war that began in March 2003 will play itself out. That no one in the US government could see it coming is illustrative that our great empire was in decline before it ever started.
Consign yourself to an Iraqi civil war--the Iraqi's did long ago.