Couric Suggests Iraqi Civil War 'Matter of Time'

Give Katie Couric a Best Supporting Actress in the MSM production of "Doom & Gloom: the Iraq Story." Interviewing NBC military analyst Gen. Wayne Downing on this morning's Today Show, Couric was skeptical that Iraqi forces would ever be able to defend the country, underlined the view of a "vicious cycle" there, and darkly conjectured that civil war was only "a matter of time."

Couric noted reports that U.S. and British troops will pull out of Iraq by the spring of 2007, then stated: "The U.S. military denies those reports saying there is no time-table and U.S. troops will withdraw when the Iraqi forces can secure and defend that country."

Continued a skeptical Katie: "Having said that, will [the ability of Iraq to defend itself] ever happen, given the slow pace of this transfer of military authority to Iraqi forces?"

It might be noted that Downing had been a White House anti-terrorism advisor before suddenly resigning amid reports of disagreements over tactics.

In any case, when Downing gave something of an equivocal answer, Katie returned to the charge. Dubiousness dripping, she asked "let me get to the heart of the question again: will Iraqi forces actually be capable of securing and defending that country, ever?"

Downey: "They probably will but we're in a vicious cycle" in which the destabilization of the country by violence makes it difficult to form a government and establish the military and the police, the very entities required to end the violence.

Katie drove home the message: "It's a vicious cycle?"

Downing: "It is."

Couric acknowledged Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace's statements over the weekend to the effect that Iraq is not on the verge of civil war, and the report by NBC's Mike Boettcher than in the past few days the attacks have decreased.

Couric was undeterred: "For now possibly it has been averted but," eagerness rising in her voice, "do you think it's a matter of time that Iraq will break out into an all-out civil war?"

Downing acknowledged the possibility of civil war but not "until we have a substantial reduction of coalition and U.S. forces." He saw it as a possible step on the path to Iraq becoming a new nation, similar to the process from 1776 to the end of our own Civil War.

For Katie and her MSM brethren, hope of disaster springs eternal.

Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY. 'Right Angle', the TV show he hosts, was recently named 'Best of the Best' among public-access shows in his area. Contact him at: mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.