What Do You Call a Cross-Border Multi-Nation Civil War?

A big, fat mess is what you call it. Or the new normal as the devolution of the Middle East continues, now across the increasingly meaningless Iraqi-Syrian border:

Combat-hardened Iraqi fighters, meanwhile, are crisscrossing the frontier. Al-Qaida-linked Sunni militants are cooperating with hard-line Islamists among the Syrian rebels, while Iraqi Shiite fighters are joining militiamen from Lebanon's Hezbollah to fight alongside forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad's Iranian-backed regime. U.S. officials believe Iranian arms are still being shuttled to Damascus through Iraqi airspace.

"What is going on in Syria has a big, clear impact on us ... especially since there are attempts to move the battle to Iraq," said Ali al-Moussawi, spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

It's happening as the deadly drumbeat of violence is growing louder across Iraq. Nearly 2,000 lives have been violently snuffed out across the country since the start of April.

What I find interesting about this piece is that reporter Adam Schreck chose to use the word "frontier." Using that word to describe international borders went out of style after the horrors of the First World War. A frontier is something be crossed; a border hems one in.

Schreck knows something our State Department dare not admit.