Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Ralph Peters reports from Baghdad on the civil war that isn't. That doesn't mean Al Qaeda boss in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, won't keep trying to stir one up and it definitely doesn't mean that moonbats suffering from BDS (Bush derangement syndrome) here at home won't keep hoping for one, but it is good news from on site.
I FLEW over the streets of this city on Sunday. The calm made a striking contrast to the media hysteria. No mosques burned. No demonstrations seethed. The closest thing I saw to violence was a children's soccer game played in a suburb.
Baghdad isn't Candyland, of course. We skimmed the city at 300 feet — combat altitude — with the Blackhawk's guns up.
But it sure wasn't civil war. For now, at least, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his blood-cult terrorists haven't succeeded in pitting Sunni against Shia.
Our effort to help Iraqis build a rule-of-law democracy may yet fail. But it remains a better bet that Iraq will become the most equitably governed major Arab state and that a democracy, however imperfect, will stand where a monstrous regime fell.
Last week, the terrorists scored a temporary win by bombing the Golden Mosque in Samarra. Retaliatory attacks pocked Iraq's urban landscapes, providing striking TV images. Starved for headlines, the global media declared a civil war.
But the Iraqis didn't sign up. Yes, there was "unrest." And a daytime curfew was imposed. But after an initial spate of bickering, Iraq's key leaders came together — as they could not have done under Saddam — to calm the situation.