Monday morning on The Today Show, Matt Lauer announced a decision by NBC and MSNBC to reject administration pressure and begin referring to the situation in Iraq by the term "civil war." The decision put great pressure on other media -- including bloggers -- to either follow suit or be labeled as water-carrying shills for the White House.
In the ensuing days, we have resisted adopting the mainstream media's new description of the war. However, after careful consideration, Xark News has decided that a change in terminology is warranted -- that the situation in Iraq, with multiple armed militarized factions fighting for their own political agendas, and 2,000 civilians dead in the past month, and repeated policy blunders by U.S. political leaders, and neighboring countries acting out their geopolitical ambitions via insurgent proxies, and American troops caught daily in an endless crossfire in which their best efforts may be making things worse, and thousands of years of religious and cultural grievances that we have practically no hope of fully understanding -- can now be characterized as what it truly is: a massive cluster f**k (or, for the sake of brevity, MCF, as in "the MCF in Iraq" or "the Iraq MCF").
Calling the situation what it is represents an important step in helping Americans properly frame the decisions we face. Sorry, NBC. "Civil war" doesn't even begin to describe the complexity of the issues that confront us.