From Informed Comment
Young Shiite nationalist leader Muqtada al-Sadr said Monday that Iraq is in a state of civil war.
He responded to guerrilla provocations against Sadr City, with bombings and mortars having killed over 50 persons there Sunday, by ordering his Mahdi Militia not to engage in reprisals.
Like many Iraqi and Arab observers, Muqtada was shocked when US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said last week that the US military would not intervene in an Iraqi civil war, leaving that to Iraqi forces.
' "May God damn you," Sadr said of Rumsfeld. "You said in the past that civil war would break out if you were to withdraw, and now you say that in case of civil war you won't interfere." '
Cole says: I have to admit, it is hard to see what use it is to have US soldiers in Iraq if they won't be deployed in a genuine national emergency.
Truly, just what kind of thinking does it take to hold those two positions simultaneously?
Rumsfeld chides Americans at home who are pressing for troop withdrawal that if American troops withdraw, Iraq will break into civil war. And yet, faced with the fact that Iraq is now breaking into civil war with US troops there, he says our troops will not intervene. And all the while, Rumsfeld is incapable of giving the American people any kind of timetable for withdrawal.
So, Mr. Rumsfeld, just what the hell are Americans dying for now? What new reason is there for our being there? Hurry, quick, think of something.