In a bold move reminiscent of Walter Cronkite in the Vietnam era, NBC has now officially declared that there is a civil war … in the Iraq Study Group.

The move was announced by Matt Lauer, who was deemed qualified to opine on the subject, after his intense on-air battles with Tom Cruise.  

For many months, the media had been in denial, as they continued to characterize the partisan bickering between Republicans and Democrats on the panel as low-level sectarian strife.

However, recent reports of spitballs and paper airplanes  being exchanged between James Baker and Lee Hamilton, the Chair and Co-Chair, respectively, have punctured any pretense of unity.

In fact, Keith Olbermann, at the conclusion of his Oddball segement, even demonstrated the spit-ball throwing technique utilized by Baker, after Hamilton dared to raise the issue of a phased withdrawal by 2029.

Nevertheless, the White House continues to deny this reality. Tony Snow insisted that “civil war is usually characterized by well-defined combatants in different uniforms, which is not the case here, since everyone is wearing¬†Brooks Brothers suits, blue shirts and red ties.”

Snow also¬†maintained that this situation is not “two sides¬†clashing for territory and supremacy, but merely an attempt to destabilize an Administration — namely, ours.‚Äù¬†

On CNN,¬†foreign correspondent Michael Ware said that while he’s logged hundreds of hours in Ramadi and Fallujah, he wouldn’t think of setting foot anywhere close to the deliberations of the Baker Commission: ‚ÄúIf that isn’t a civil war, I don’t know what is.‚Äù

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BLOGWORTHIES:

Norm Jenson with the Daily Show’s take on “Civil War.”

John Amato on Washington Post’s resistance to “civil war.”

Michael Winship at BuzzFlash: Throwing Iraq into Reverse.

Lisa Casey with Bush’s Facial Incontinence.