Speaking with CNN reporter Hala Gorani in Dubai today, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Iraq’s violence meets the standard of a civil war and thinks President Bush needs to acknowledge that. According to Gorani’s report, Powell said if he were heading the State Department right now, he would recommend that the Bush administration adopt that language “in order to come to terms with the reality on the ground.” Watch it:
GORANI: Well, within the context of the leaders conference in Dubai and also within the context of this debate, this semantics debate, over whether to call what is going on on in Iraq a civil war, the former Secretary of State Colin Powell says he thinks we can call it a civil war and added if he were still heading the State Department, he probably would recommend to the Bush administration that those terms should be used in order to come to terms with the reality on the ground.
I’m paraphrasing what he told me. This was closed to cameras and this was something he said within the context of this academic debate with 2 or 3,000 people watching on in the region.