Iraq is Baghdad, and everywhere else. Like the old New Yorker cover, showing a New Yorker’s view of the world, looking west, Iraqis look to Baghdad as the crux of their society. Other cities are important, Basra and Kirkuk, but these cities are more closely identified with one dominant ethnic group, Basra by the Shii and Kirkuk by the Kurds. Solve the problem of Baghdad, and the vast majority of the rest of Iraq will follow on the same solution.
I do not like the current parlance of Civil War in Iraq: this is a sorting-out phase, a jostling for power, ethnic cleansing, gangs engaged in the ugly Realpolitik of struggle for turf. Though I do it all the time, it’s unwise to compare one war to another. Old Clausewitz teaches us to understand the war you’re fighting, each one is unique, and must be taken on its own terms.