So what exactly constitutes civil war?


Well-Known Member
Jul 14, 2006
Ive heard it mentioned on quite a few news programs that Iraq is in "civil war" or headed into "civil war". Would you call it a civil war or is it more like sectarian violence or ethnic cleansing for that matter?

The Baghdad area recorded an average of 34 major bombings and shootings for the week ending July 13, the U.S. military said. That was up 40 percent from the daily average of 24 registered between June 14 and July 13.
U.S. officials believe control of Baghdad -- the political, cultural, transport and economic hub of the country -- will determine the future of Iraq. But the city's religiously mixed communities have become the focus of sectarian violence.
I think with as many factions in Iraq who seem to hate each enough to kill each other, that's pretty close to civil war. Or my definition, anyhow.
Ok Ive done a little research on this ...

A war between factions or regions of the same country.
Is the dictionary term for civil war.

The mess in Iraq is indeed a classic civil war. Iraq has rightly been referred to (even pre-invasion) as the "Yugoslavia of the Middle East." It was arbitrarily patched together by Great Britain subsequent to WWI and combined three groups who for centuries despised one another (though, to be honest, the Kurds pretty much just kept to themselves as they do today). The Shiites and Sunnis have been at each other's throats since the death of Mohammed. Just as Yugoslavia survived as a nation only under the iron rule of Josep Tito and flew apart just a few years after his death, so too did Iraq remain unified only under the iron hand of monarchs and dictators. Once the last dictator was removed, of course the country flew apart along ethnic and religious lines.
Civil will surely ensue. You have three (Shia, Kurds, and Sunnis) all vying for power. Now, imagine, you have a culture that has resorted to violence to solve any dispute. How can you establish a lasting Democracy with this kind of childish behavior? Exactly. You can't. So this is one reason why the Iraq conflictm and our continuation is pointless. The only way anything will ever work, is to utilize a triumvirate of the three most popular factions, and give them a legislature resembling that of Great Britain's.