Say NBC: Is Iraq Still In 'Civil War'?

As the first anniversary of its grand declaration fast approaches, does NBC continue to believe that Iraq is in a state of civil war? Readers will recall that as we described here, Matt Lauer opened the Today show on November 27th, 2006 with these words:
Good morning. Civil war. A bloody weekend of sectarian clashes in Iraq and no sign it's letting up.
A bit later, Lauer portentously declared:
For months the White House rejected claims that the situation in Iraq has deteriorated into civil war. For the most part news organizations like NBC hesitated to characterize it as such. After careful consideration, NBC News has decided the change in terminology is warranted and what is going on in Iraq can now be characterized as civil war.
Lauer then brought in retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey [as pictured in the screencap from that day] to make the case for the change in terminology. McCaffrey dismissed the White House's rejection of the "civil war" terminology, saying "I think a lot of that is nonsense."

View video of McCaffrey's "nonsense" comment here.

So here we are a year later, on a day when, coincidentally, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have acknowledged remarkable improvements in the security situation in Iraq.

So how about it, NBC?
  • Were you right in declaring Iraq to be in civil war a year ago?
  • If so, is the country still in civil war?
  • If not, when did the civil war cease -- and why?
It's too early to declare victory, yet it might not be premature to say that there's been a loser in Iraqa: al Qaeda. They've been flushed from their Sunni stronghold in Anbar Province, and the MNF recently declared that al Qaeda has been driven out of all Baghdad. In civil wars, one side or the other wins. But if the country continues on its current path, you would have to say that the winner, rather than the Shias or the Sunnis, will be the Iraqi people as a whole.

We'll be watching next Tuesday to see how NBC marks the one-year anniversary of its civil-war-in-Iraq declaration. Can you expect humility from a peacock?

Note: Ace asks: NBCNews' explanation was that they were compelled to term Iraq as being in a state of civil war in order to honestly report to their viewers. Does honesty now dictate a similar but opposite statement? Or is their "honesty" a one-way ratchet permitting only dire declaration which can never be retracted?

Foreign Policy Iraq NBC Today Video Barry McCaffrey

Sponsored Links