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The Civil War in Iraq Has Begun

Reading a <i>New York Times</i> article on Iraq listing the casualties from one day, there's only one conclusion to draw -- this country is well into the middle of a civil war.
 
 
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Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse in Iraq, Nic Robertson of CNN reports the most grotesque story I have ever heard in my life: "One international official told me of reports among his staff that a 15-year-old girl had been beheaded and a dog's head sewn on her body in its place; and of a young child who had had his hands drilled and bolted together before being killed."

My God, what have we done? What have we unleashed?

The answer, unfortunately, is all out civil war. There is no way we, or anybody else, is going to get this genie back in the bottle. Through our arrogance, carelessness and even malice, we started a sectarian battle between the different ethnicities of Iraq. And that battle has now blossomed into an absolute war.

If you're conservative or a Republican or just hopeful, you might think and wish I am wrong. But you can wish until your blue in the face and it isn't going to change facts on the ground. The bloodletting is in full effect and the results are horrific.

My God, will we please try to get on the right course instead of running into this brick wall over and over? Iraq is done. It's finished. We have to stop the bleeding. We have to separate these people into their respective corners; otherwise it's only going to get worse.

Our best hope is a semi-civil partition of the country into three areas. The later we start this process, the more violence and bloodshed we are going to see. Iraq has already turned into a house of horrors. And we're doing absolutely no good sitting there completely clueless.

If the idea that a civil war in Iraq has already begun, look no further than this New York Times article covering just one day's carnage in Iraq:

The sudden surge in violence began Sunday morning when a group of Shiite gunmen appeared on the streets of a predominantly Sunni neighborhood in western Baghdad and began executing people. This vigilantism appeared to come as retribution for the bombing of a Shiite mosque the day before.

It was closely followed on Sunday by what seemed to be retributive car bomb attacks against another Shiite mosque.

Estimates of the number of killings in Baghdad on Sunday ranged from at least 30 to more than double that number. And at least 30 died in violence on Monday, officials said.

In Tuesday's most deadly attack, two pedestrians wearing vests made of explosives blew themselves up near a restaurant outside the walls of the Green Zone, within a few hundred yards of three busy entrances, Iraqi and American officials said. Soon after the initial blasts, a hidden bomb was detonated nearby, adding to the carnage, the American military said. Some Iraqi authorities said the third explosion was caused by a car bomb.

At least 15 Iraqi civilians and an Iraqi police officer were killed in the explosions, and 4 people were wounded, according to the American military command.

In an Internet posting, two prominent insurgent groups claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council in Iraq said it was behind the two suicide bombings, according to SITE Institute, which monitors jihadist postings on the Internet. The Islamic Army in Iraq claimed in a separate posting that it was responsible for the third explosion, which it said was a car bomb, according to a translation provided by SITE.

The claims raise the possibility of a coordinated strike by the two groups, though they do not have a history of working together and, moreover, are thought to be rivals.

The Islamic Army said it had struck in revenge for the rape and slaying of an Iraqi girl and the killing of three other family members in Mahmudiya. Five American soldiers, and a recently discharged soldier, have been implicated the case.

In a predominantly Sunni area of Dawra, a district in southern Baghdad, gunmen ambushed a bus carrying Shiite mourners from the holy city of Najaf, where they had buried a relative, government officials and family members said. The gunmen pulled 10 people from the bus and executed them, the Interior Ministry official said.

An hour earlier, in Taji, north of Baghdad, gunmen ambushed another bus, killing one person and wounding five, the official said.

Two mortar grenades hit a Shiite mosque in Dawra, killing 9 and wounding 11 civilians, the Interior Ministry official said.

In other violence, a family of five -- a father, mother, grown daughter and two teenage sons -- were found beheaded in a predominantly Sunni sector of Dawra, according to an official at Yarmouk Hospital, the main medical facility in western Baghdad. ...

The account of the killings just keeps going. That's all from just one day. If that's not a civil war, then what the hell is?

Cenk Uygur is co-host of The Young Turks , the first liberal radio show to air nationwide.