“They Can Handle It,” Says General Odierno

Among the most attractive features of the Obama administration is the upbeat manner in which they portray the world outside, as well as inside America. The president continually assures one and all, if not for his actions, millions more would be unemployed, and he notes US forces will be leaving Iraq by August, 2010. Of course, they all won’t exactly be leaving. About 50,000 odd men and women will remain behind to assist our Iraq allies. General Ray Odierno, told the media of his confidence in the ability of Iraqi military forces to keep the peace. “We believe they are ready to assume full operations in Iraq.” As he spoke, on Saturday, 43 were killed in Basra, and on Sunday, 8 were killed and over 20 wounded in Baghdad. A positive attitude is wonderful, but Iraq is now into its fourth month without a functioning government. Odierno admits Iraqis have to understand “the importance of forming a government.” We agree.

Of course, there is always the possibility that as American forces leave, even greater violence will erupt. The question is, although Odierno says, “I believe they can handle it,” the possibility is always present that they can not handle it. Then, what?