Just as "the brutal Afghan winter" that was supposed to mire shivering US forces in the graveyard of empire is now one-third of a decade behind schedule, so Iraq has now been "teetering on the brink of civil war" for coming up for two years. Brink-wise, that's quite a leisurely teeter. There's no danger of a "long-running civil war in Iraq". Instead, we've had a long-running hysteria about impending civil war in Iraq.
Indeed, as long runs go, predictions of Iraqi civil war are the Cats of doomsday scenarios -- except that, unlike Cats, it's all previews and no opening night. Tom Clark of Canada's CTV network was warning that "Iraq could be teetering on the brink of civil war" in August 2003. Graydon Carter, editor of the perfumed glossy Vanity Fair, was warning that Iraq was "on the brink of civil war" a month earlier.
To their credit, both men teetered on the brink of making a laughably inaccurate prediction and then plunged right in.
Lots of good punditry in the last week or so. Read the whole thing, I may have excerpted the least interesting part.
From Mudville Gazette