The conflict in Iraq has changed from a predominantly Sunni-led insurgency against foreign occupation to a struggle for the division of political and economic influence among sectarian groups and organized criminal activity. As described in the January 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, the term civil war does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq, which includes extensive Shi’a-on-Shi’a violence, al-Qaida and Sunni insurgent attacks on Coalition forces, and widespread criminally motivated violence. Some elements of the situation in Iraq are properly descriptive of a civil war, including the hardening of ethno-sectarian identities and mobilization, the changing character of the violence, and population displacements. Illegally armed groups are engaged in a self-sustaining cycle of sectarian and politically motivated violence, using tactics that include indiscriminate bombing, murder, and indirect fire to intimidate people and stoke sectarian conflict. Much of the present violence is focused on local issues, such as sectarian, political, and economic control of Baghdad; Kurdish, Arab, and Turkomen aspirations for Kirkuk; and the political and economic control of Shi’a regions in the south. Although most attacks continue to be directed against Coalition forces, Iraqi civilians suffer the vast majority of casualties.
This is incredibly depressing, but at least the military planners demonstrate they've got a handle on the problem. I know this comment seems absurd, but consider the recent comments from Dick Cheney:
In the sharpest White House attack yet on critics of the Iraq war, Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday that accusations the Bush administration manipulated intelligence to justify the war were a “dishonest and reprehensible” political ploy.
Cheney called Democrats “opportunists” who were peddling “cynical and pernicious falsehoods” to gain political advantage while U.S. soldiers died in Iraq.
Oh wait, that was from 2005. Cheney's still blabbering and lying about this even today. Perhaps our president can inform America about what the real situation in Iraq is, and how we can achieve our goals (or at least cut our losses).
Well, no. He can't. He lives in his bubble in the "beautiful" White House, and can't give an assessment to the American people.