Two of the Pentagon's most senior generals conceded to Congress on Thursday that the surge in sectarian violence in Baghdad in recent weeks means Iraq may descend into civil war.
"Iraq could move toward civil war" if the violence is not contained, Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.... Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the panel, "We do have the possibility of that devolving into civil war."
"The prospect of a low intensity civil war and a de facto division of Iraq is probably more likely at this stage than a successful and substantial transition to a stable democracy," William Patey, who departed from the Iraqi capital last week, wrote in a confidential diplomatic telegram to Blair that was obtained by the BBC. "Even the lowered expectation of President Bush for Iraq -- a government that can sustain itself, defend itself and govern itself and is an ally in the war on terror -- must remain in doubt."
It's getting worse, not better.
--Guest Post by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report