Most News Organizations Buckling To White House Pressure, Won’t Call Civil War In Iraq A ‘Civil War’


Today, MSNBC and NBC News announced their decision to call Iraq a “civil war.” The Los Angeles Times has consistently used that term to describe the violence, and the Christian Science Monitor started to do the same today.

But most media organizations, caving to White House pressure, continue to avoid the phrase. Some examples:

Fox News:

WARD: In response to today’s attacks and snowballing sectarian violence, a curfew has been imposed in Baghdad and the international airport closed to all commercial flights. [11/23/06]

Washington Post:

But fear ran high that the fighting would not end, as clashes in Ghazaliya and elsewhere illustrated the inability of Iraqi security forces to rein in the violence that has propelled the country closer to full-blown civil war. [11/27/06]

USA Today:

Abizaid didn’t have much to offer besides faith, hope and the familiar but elusive objectives of stabilizing the country, reining in sectarian violence and preparing Iraq to manage on its own. [USA Today, 11/16/06]

Boston Globe:

It was one of the largest mass abductions since the US-led invasion in 2003, startling even by the standards of a nation reeling from sectarian strife, daily bombings, and death squads. [11/15/06]

San Francisco Chronicle:

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki faces intense pressure from the United States to eliminate the militias and their death squads, which are deeply involved in the country’s sectarian slaughter and are believed to have thoroughly infiltrated the police and security forces. [11/15/06]

Chicago Tribune:

As the prospect of civil war in Iraq festers, the U.S. military has identified three options – add more troops, start a graduated retreat or embrace a speedy one – according to a Washington Post account that quoted sources familiar with the written Pentagon options. [11/26/06]

New York Times:

The two [Bush and Maliki] are expected to talk about the widening sectarian war in Iraq and to try to reach agreement on ways to stop it. [11/27/06]


FRANKEN: But President Bush is focused on what can be done in Iraq without leaving behind a country consumed by sectarian war. [11/27/06]