Iraq is in the early stages of a civil war, as events on the ground make painfully clear. At least 111 people have been killed since Sunni insurgents attacked one of the holiest Shiite mosques yesterday, in what the AP called "two days of rage." Sunnis claim that 168 of their own mosques have been hit in retaliation by Shiite militias. The crossfire claimed the lives of three Iraqi journalists and seven more US troops.
In the best-case scenario, the NIC said, Iraq could be expected to achieve a "tenuous stability" over the next 18 months. In the worst case, it could dissolve into civil war.
The White House, as they've been known to do, ignored the CIA's findings, labeling the professional intelligence community "pessimists and naysayers." Bush called the assessment a "guess."
Of course, prescient critics of the war, such as Senator Robert Byrd, raised these questions before the war authorization vote:
What plans do we have to prevent Iraq from breaking up and descending into civil war?
None, it turned out. Bush still doesn't understand the magnitude of the civil war or how America's troop presence inflames it.
You know things are going badly for the Administration when even Bill O'Reilly wants to cut and run.