[Bush] will certainly face the current development as military leaders are expected to do: They are called upon to acknowledge a tactical setback, but to insist on the survival of strategic policies.They all may well be right, and I think a perfectly reasonable question right now is "in what way exactly has Iraq not already been in the grips of civil war for months?" Furthermore, the claim of conventional wisdom is bolstered by the simple fact that violence has an uncanny knack for perpetuating itself, as we have seen from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or the Troubles in Northern Ireland, or American gang violence.
Yes, but within their own counsels, different plans have to be made. And the kernel here is the acknowledgment of defeat.
That being said, if the current situation is not yet civil war, then I don't want to jump to the conclusion that civil war's beginning just yet. My hesitation exists despite what logic dictates, and may stem purely from misguided hope, but nonetheless it exists. Perhaps cooler heads will prevail. For once.
As a side note, Juan Cole, professor of history at UMichigan, has an excellect blog on the subject of terrorism and the Middle East. Unlike reporters, pundits, and most bloggers, he actually knows this subject well (I assume it's his academic specialty).