FACT CHECK: Data Bolsters Notion Of Iraqi Civil War

Conservative Cybercast News published an article today titled “Data Contradicts Notion of Widespread Iraqi Civil War.” It argues that critics are wrong that Iraq has devolved into a civil war since, as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said last week, high levels of violence are concentrated in “Baghdad and two or three other provinces, and yet in 14 other provinces there’s very little violence or numbers of incidents.” From Cybercast:

A vast majority of Americans say they expect the current sectarian violence in Iraq to become a full-scale civil war, but U.S. military data compiled in Iraq indicates that over a two-month period ending on July 21, most of the violence happened in just four of Iraq’s 18 provinces.

The U.S. military figures cited by Cybercast show the four provinces with the highest levels of violence are Baghdad, Al Anbar, Salah ad Din, and Diyala. Those four provinces are precisely where one would expect violence if a Sunni-Shiite civil war were taking place, since they are the provinces where the vast bulk of Iraq’s Sunnis (who make up just 1/3 of the population) are located.

Baghdad has several large Sunni-dominated neighborhoods from which Shiites have fled in a wave of violent “ethnic cleansing.” Al Anbar, Salah ad Din, and Diyala are the only three Iraqi provinces in which Sunnis are the dominant majority.

Cybercast News has demonstrated the exact opposite of what it intended: the current trends of violence in Iraq all point to civil war.