Has Bush Acknowledged the Civil War in Iraq?

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Dan Froomkin observes today that the Bush administration has finally realized that there’s a very bloody and very frightening civil war going on in Iraq, and that U.S. troops need to change their strategy:

[I]t’s a historic admission: That job one for many American troops in Iraq is no longer fighting al-Qaeda terrorists, or even insurgents. Rather, it is trying to quell an incipient — if not already raging — sectarian civil war, with Baghdad as ground zero.

Arguably, that’s been the case for quite a while. But having the White House own up to it is a very big deal.

No, kidding. The thing is: Can American troops actually “quell” the civil war? Can they stop Sunnis from killing Shiites and Shiites from killing Sunnis and all the rest? Is that even possible? They haven’t been able to so far. At this point, it’s looking more and more like 130,000 U.S. soldiers are going to be stuck in the middle of a bloodbath they’re powerless to stop.

Indeed, yesterday, Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of a major Shiite party, called on Shiite citizens to start attacking Sunnis. The entire country is rapidly disintegrating, and if U.S. troops can’t do anything about it, then keeping them in Iraq serves no purpose except putting them in extremely grave danger.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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