What is a civil war?

Iraq: civil war or sectarian violence
What do you call a problem like escalating sectarian violence in Iraq?
A civil war,? said Matt Lauer on the Today show on Nov. 27. NBC brass had discussed it, he told viewers, and had come to the bold and publicity-generatingif not exactly jaw-droppingconclusion that democracy is maybe not flourishing quite the way we planned.
The other two broadcast networks, equally boldly, have not followed suit.
It was their decision to make and their process,? said Jon Banner, the executive producer of ABCs World News. We constantly discuss editorial matters hereall the time, every day. How that decis ion got made there I have no idea, nor do I want to guess.?
To be honest with you, I think its a political statement, not a news judgment,? said Rome Hartman, the executive producer of the CBS Evening News. We deal with the events of the day, and we decide the best way to describe those events based on the news of the day, not bynever mind, Im not gonna go there.?
Then he did.
It should be noted that the day that this pronouncementand who makes pronouncements anyway? But thats what it sounded likewas a quiet day, relatively speaking, in Iraq,? he said.
CNNs official statement on th matter is: CNN will continue to report on what is happening in Iraq on a day-to-day basis. And we will also report on the ongoing debate in academic and political circles about what constitutes a civil war.?
It perhaps goes without saying that the Fox News Channel has not leaped onto the civil-war bandwagon. Fox anchors will join most of their colleagues in television news in anticipating their own Cronkite Moments.

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