Fears raised of Iraq Civil War
Thursday, August 3, 2006
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General John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, warned the Senate Armed Services Committee that "Iraq could move toward civil war" if the violence is not contained and stopped soon adding "Sectarian violence is probably as bad as I have seen it."
General Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated "We do have the possibility of that devolving into civil war." He added that this does not need to happen, and is controlled more by the Iraqis than the U.S. Military.
President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have refused to call the current situation in Iraq a civil war, even with Rumsfeld admitting in a press conference on Wednesday that violence in Iraq is on the increase, overall.
The statements by the two top U.S. generals echoed a warning to the British government by William Patey, its ambassador to Baghdad, who predicted in a confidential memo that Iraq would break up along ethnic lines and that "the prospect of a low intensity civil war and a de facto division of Iraq is probably more likely at this stage than a successful and substantial transition to a stable democracy."