Topic: "Bring the Bowl"
Somewhere in the depths of the White House a meeting was held today, and the subject was words. Two words to be specific; those words are "Civil" and "War." It has been determined that those words should not be used in any form of communication describing the situation as it exists in the geographical boundaries drawn and presented as "Iraq." It remains the official position of the US of A that an Iraqi national government will emerge from the "process," and that the violence will become subordinated to the cause of freedom.
Frodo learned a lesson a long time ago. That lesson came in response to a test given to all the Hobbits of the Shire on the first day of class. The essay question was, simply, "Is There an American Civilization?" Frodo remembers the shocked look on the faces of his fellow Hobbits as they all struggled with the idea of a test on the first day of class. The shock gave way to panic because there was no point of reference in which to respond to such an open-ended question.
The weeks that followed in those classes were all geared to answering that question, and it was made clear that the same question would be asked on the test given at the end of the term. Frodo learned that every "Civilization" is composed of "institutions," which distinguish it from all other "Civilizations." The "institutions" can be military, they can be religious, they can be cultural, and so on, and they reflect how people band together in order to co-exist.
The military was a dominant "institution" in the Soviet Union. When the military failed to maintain the orderly process of government, Communism as a political system fell. The political "institution" was not strong enough to stand, especially without a religious "institution" to support it. The Communists had sown the seeds of their own demise by suppressing religion as an integral part of Soviet society.
The flaw in the planning of the Neo-Cons and Sauron was that they ignored the above lessons. They felt that by destroying the political "institution" of Saddam Hussein, and by the subsequent dismemberment of the "military" institution, that a desire for freedom would take hold and grow. They underestimated the strength of the religious "institution," which, especially now, dominates the divisions between peoples, and fills the vacuum created by the elimination of political processes.
Frodo imagines being a "fly on the wall," when a group of befuddled social neophytes decide that if we don't call it a "War," then it won't be. Today may not be the beginning of the collapse of order in that part of Mesopotamia, but it is damn close. All those people dead, all that wealth wasted on guns and bullets, and the result is something we can't even call a "Civil" "War."
Frodo understands how Pontius Pilate must have felt.