"It's rarely been Iraqis that talk about civil war. It's usually been outside foreign forces that have talked about civil war, like the al Qaeda forces who are operating there.”Rice’s notion that it is only "the bad guys” who are voicing fear of a full-fledged civil war is utter nonsense. Consider the following:
It’s not just Iraqi leaders who fear a civil war. So do many people who work in Rice's own circle:
* Referring to the actions of police from the Shiite-led government, Sunni leader Harith al-Dari said on Friday, "This is civil war declared by one side.”
* Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the supreme Shia leader, warned last week that Sunni leaders “are leading the country into civil war.”
* Last week, reported the Times of London, a member of the Iraqi National Assembly “called for the population to form local militias ... a move that many see as prelude to a sectarian war.”
* Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani said last week, "We should all stand hand in hand to prevent the danger of a civil war."
* Last week, a different Kurdish leader was quoted thusly: “This is the first time that I have heard politicians say they are worried about the outbreak of civil war.”
* Khalaf al-Ilyan, a Sunni who heads the National Dialogue Council, was quoted a few weeks ago thusly: “The (Shiite-majority) government is pushing hard toward a civil war.”
* And has Rice forgotten what former interim prime minister Iyad Allawi warned of last summer? “We are practically in stage one of a civil war as we speak,” he said then.
Another senior official said the concerns over a possible civil war (in Iraq) weren't confined to the CIA but are "broadly held within the government," including by regional experts at the State Department and National Security Council.