The local rag here, The West Australian (never even a particularly good provincial newspaper) obviously took the story and the attendant headline "Pentagon admits: It's civil war" straight off the wire and was too lazy to bother reading it.
I mean, how else to account for a headline and opening paragraph that actually runs counter to and is contradicted by the detail in the article?
There is the tell-tale sign of a biased hack projecting his or her opinions onto a story, irrespective of the facts.
It's almost always a dead give away - the actual report or whatever else is being discussed isn't directly quoted from until well into the article.
Keep an eye out for this. You'll see what I mean.
Sure enough, it isn't until the fourth paragraph that the report's views on whether the situation in Iraq is a civil war or not are referred to, and the fifth paragraph before there's an actual quote from it.
Now, the truly astounding thing here is that it is the fourth paragraph itself that contradicts the headline and opening paragraph, and shows that whoever wrote them was either deliberately lying or was simply incompetently projecting their own views onto the story.
It's right there. And in English too! "The report agreed that the term [civil war] did not capture the complex situation [in Iraq]."
Er, that doesn't sound much like an admission of anything does it? Didn't anybody at The West pause and think about this clear disjunction between claim and reality?
The nearest you get is the fifth paragraph's direct quote from the report that "some elements of the situation in Iraq are properly descriptive of a civil war..."
Again, not exactly the red meat the headline screamingly promised is it?
Surely the logical corollary of "some elements" being descriptive of a civil war is that other elements are not descriptive of it.
It seems pretty clear that what the report is saying is little more than the situation remains essentially unchanged - the country remains on a knife edge and one possible outcome is civil war.
But large sections of the media, who opposed the overthrow of Saddam from the very beginning, are forever seeking to justify their 'progressive' judgement to effectively support the continued rule of a mass-murdering fascist.
The Sydney Morning Herald's Paul McGeough has been calling civil war in Iraq since about, oh, the day after the invasion began some four years ago! ;)
And what they want to see is what they make sure they see, and inconvenient facts are not going to be allowed to get in the way of their real target - George Bush.
And if that means betraying the Iraqis and refusing to listen to them (what would they know about Iraq before and after the invasion anyway?), so be it.
But hey, guess what? Some of us do think that the ordinary Iraqi is central to this and more important than giving vent to arrogant and elitist disdain for poor Dubbya.
So what do the Iraqis think? A new poll, involving a large sample of 5,000 people in Iraq makes for interesting reading.
First off, seeing as we've talked about the so-called civil war there, fully 61% of Iraqis (against 27% with a contrary opinion) believe that the country is in the grips of such a conflict.
But again, what would they know eh?
And talk about ingratitude for the selfless work of the "peace" movement, which tried so hard to protect Saddam and keep him and his two psycho boys in the lavish lifestyles they had become so accustomed to!
Most Iraqis still think that they are better off now than under Saddam and remain confident about the future.
But this just reconfirms previous polling.
So what were the "anti-war" protestors actually protesting about yesterday, here and around the world?
The invasion happened and Saddam was deposed. Now, even if you honestly believed that was on balance not a wise foreign policy choice (fair enough), the fact remains that we are now in support of a democratically elected government which is being assailed by a mix of secular and religious fascists.
To leave now would increase the likelihood of this embryonic democracy failing and being replaced by people such as those who have recently tried to set off chlorine gas bombs in the midst of civilians. People who have shown themselves to be remorseless and indiscriminate killers.
But of course the truth is that the "peace" movement couldn't care less about ordinary Iraqis and were quite happy to let them continue to die pointless, degrading and horrible deaths every day, as long as the Americans couldn't be blamed, as they were under Saddam. And gee, it didn't take them long to forget about Saddam's specially trained police rapists did it? Or that women were often raped in front of their children.
Or the interesting variation of children being tortured in front of their parents.
And so too the real motivation of too many in the media.
It's all Bush, all the time.
And everything has to be fitted into that overarching schema.
But those "ignorant" Iraqis don't care about the meta-cause, the defining principal of Bush Derangement Syndrome, that underpins so much of this nonsense.
They want the violence to stop and the Americans to go. But they are glad Saddam is gone and they want a better future for their kids, and they are smart enough to know that if America loses its courage now that that better future will not arrive.