Is Iraq Really In A State Of Civil War? Or Are There Signs of Freedom and Prosperity?

It’s been almost 3 years since the Iraq war began. How do I know? Because I was constantly reminded of this fact by CBS’s "The Early Show" this morning. Four different people, 2 co-hosts and 2 reporters either mentioned that we are approaching the three year anniversary, or that it’s been almost 3 years since the war began. If you listened to CBS News Chief Foreign Correspondent, Lara Logan, you’d believe not much has been achieved in that time:

Lara Logan: "Three years after this war began Iraqis are still facing an uncertain and violent future. Much of the blame for that is placed on the shoulders of the Americans by many people here who still resent the occupation."

So, in her book American troops are occupiers, and what does she mean by "uncertain and violent future?" Based on coverage, one can only conclude she means civil war.

Bill Plante, CBS News’ Senior White House Correspondent, was the first to mention civil war this morning in citing a new CBS poll that shows most Americans believe civil war has broken out in Iraq.

Bill Plante: "There are fewer than three in ten Americans who believe that the Iraq war is not already a civil war, something that the United States does not wish to see."

Later in the program, Lara Logan reported from Baghdad. She was skeptical that civil war in Iraq has been averted in the wake of recent violence in Baghdad.

Lara Logan: "Well it seems on the surface as if civil war has been avoided here for the moment."

But, later in her report, she seemed to suggest that civil war was inevitable.

Lara Logan: "The threat of civil war hangs like a dark shadow over any hope of withdrawing American troops as early as the summer."

However, when pressed by Hannah Storm as to how the latest violence in Baghdad has effected the United States’ effort to bring a better life to the Iraqis, Logan conceded:

Lara Logan: "Well, you know, we're here in the Capital, in Baghdad, where people are extremely unhappy and the level of violence is extremely high.Up in the north of the country where the Kurds are, they are enjoying a period of unprecedented freedom and prosperity. In the south that's dominated by the Shiites, things are still somewhat unstable there, but the Shiites have never had this much power and authority in their own country."

I’m confused Ms. Logan, if the violence seems to be centered in Baghdad and the North and South are relatively calm, how was Iraq on the brink of civil war to begin with? How is the threat of civil war hanging like a dark shadow?

Later, Logan goes even further to contradict the idea of civil war by quoting Iraqi politicians:

Lara Logan: "But, what is very significant is senior Iraqi politicians said to me if you leave out the Sunnis, if you leave out all the groups who are affected by this, there will be no winners in Iraq."

It seems no clear thinking individual wants civil war, and that Iraqi politicians realize the only people who would benefit are the extremists. Wouldn’t the American people be better served if perhaps the media spent more time reporting the facts in Iraq as a whole and less time sensationalizing the idea of civil war due to violence in Baghdad?

Iraq War on Terrorism Middle East CBS Early Show