Senator Chuck Grassley says increased fighting in the Iraqi city of Basra is a true test for the American-backed Iraqi Army. At a town hall meeting in the Cedar County town of Tipton on Thursday, Grassley defended his stance on the war in front of members of the University of Iowa’s Anti-War Committee.
Grassley says he won’t rush to judgment on the Iraqi Army’s performance against Shiite supporters in Basra. "I’m always hesitant in a war situation to say exactly what you’d do down the road a month or two months and the further out you get the more difficult it is because wars are unpredictable," he says. Grassley says the Iraqi Army’s offensive is an important political test to show they are capable of fighting on their own.
Grassley says: "Will they pass the test? I don’t know because it started a week ago. The Iraqi Army, on their own and without immediate help from American troops, they have taken the Iraqi troops down there to stop the intervention. It’ll be a test." David Goodner, of the U-of-I Anti-War Committee, told Grassley the American troops’ presence in the Middle East is making Iraq less safe.