QUESTION: Adam, to follow up on that, there's also obviously been several reports of reprisal attacks on Sunni mosques out of anger over this incident. What is your reaction to that?
MR. ERELI: Obviously we condemn them. And I checked before coming out here, there are reports of -- isolated reports of attacks against Sunni targets. Again, I think if you look at the statements by the political leaders of Iraq, they've all said the same thing, which is calling for nonviolence, calling for a period of mourning obviously, but calling for unity and calm in responding to these attacks. And that's something we will be actively promoting over the course of the next couple of days, as we have been, frankly, throughout the political process that has involved Iraq's development. I think we, on our part, are actively working with our partners in the region to speak out publicly to not only condemn the act but also to call on Iraqis to unite in opposition to what the insurgents and terrorists are trying to do.
So yes, we are, obviously, alert to the possibility of violence, but also I think very determined and energetic in acting to contain that threat.
QUESTION: If I can just follow up on that. This is not the first attack on a Shia target. Obviously, it's the most dramatic. You also have reports of death squads on the other side -- death squads. My question is this, are we right now in the midst of a civil war, an incipient civil war?
MR. ERELI: I think that's overstating the situation. Again, there are forces seeking to prevent democracy and obstruct the peaceful political and economic development of Iraq. That shouldn't be news to anybody. They seek to carry out the -- they seek to achieve their goals in a number of ways, but as I said before, promoting sectarian violence is -- and promoting sectarian violence is one of them. There's nothing new here and I think it serves as a reminder to all of us that there are some savaged and unprincipled elements out there that are going to stop at nothing, including attacking one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines, to promote the kind of unrest that the great majority of Iraqis have clearly demonstrated they don't want to see. I don't call that civil war. I call that attempts to undermine understanding an emergent compact among Iraqi society for a peaceful political future. And we don't think -- well, we are committed to preventing them from succeeding.
After reading some of the news items, and blogs on what is happening now in Iraq, I was speech less when I heard the State dept spokesman say: "There is nothing new here"!
If you want to argue that there is nothing new here, then you also have to admit that you have had three years since the fall of the Baghdad to try to resolve this. It is getting worst. So it is admission of failure of George W's policy. Shock and Awe doesn't work, Mission is not accomplished, capturing Saddam is not going to end opposition to occupation, destroying Fallujah didn't solve the insurgency....
But then I think I see his point. There is really nothing new here, Bush administration has no clue on how bad things are in Iraq, just as it never had. There is nothing new in that!
Like 7-Up, never had it never will.