It’s Only “Subterranean Strife”

Reporter after reporter recently cornered Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to ask him to defend US presence in the middle of an Iraq civil war. Rumsfeld’s repeated response—with slight variations—“Iraq is not in the middle of a civil war.” He calls the situation “subterranean strife” and says “there is tension.” But, he says, the insurgents and terrorists are “trying to start a civil war.” So far, maintains Rumsfeld, the Iraqi leadership has been “very professional and very responsible.”