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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Iraqi war: 'Proxy,' not 'civil'

Though I disagree with some of the author's views, I think the distinction between 'proxy' and 'civil' is an important one.

When is a "civil war" not a "civil war"? Simply put, when it's not a civil war.

We're no fans of the war in Iraq. As we opined nearly a year ago, it's time for the United States to leave. Saddam Hussein was ousted, captured, tried, convicted and soon will pay the ultimate price for his crimes. And if our goal truly is Iraqi "self-determination," well, there's no time like the present. Iraq must step up to the plate.

That said, some "experts" and many media outlets seem to think they can nudge the process along and further turn the American people against the war by calling the exploding sectarian violence a "civil war." The thinking appears to be that, branded as such, Americans will have no stomach for fighting the proverbial "somebody else's war" and demand our withdrawal.

The Bush administration disputes the "civil war" moniker. And it's not a semantic argument. Just Tuesday, The New York Times reported that "the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah had been training members of the Mahdi Army, the Iraqi Shiite militias led by Moktada al-Sadr." It's not the only outside influence.

Such a proxy war is not a civil war. Neither is it unreasonable or naive to believe that sans those proxies, Iraq might not be the hellhole it now is. Nonetheless, this remains a matter for the Iraqis to settle.

Though I agree that "Iraq must step up to the plate," what does our withdrawl do but empower these proxies (Syria and Iran) and reward the murder, mayhem and subterfuge they're bringing?

Via Instapundit, who adds:

Yes, and they're the proxies of Iran and Syria. These people are not our friends.

Update, 11/30: In case there was any doubt, "incontrovertible proof now exists of Iran's material assistance to Iraqi Shiite forces:"

U.S. officials say they have found smoking-gun evidence of Iranian support for terrorists in Iraq: brand-new weapons fresh from Iranian factories. According to a senior defense official, coalition forces have recently seized Iranian-made weapons and munitions that bear manufacturing dates in 2006.

Iranian-made munitions found in Iraq include advanced IEDs designed to pierce armor and anti-tank weapons. U.S. intelligence believes the weapons have been supplied to Iraq's growing Shia militias from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is also believed to be training Iraqi militia fighters in Iran.


(Please keep in mind that each commenter's opinions are only his/her own.)

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