Interview: Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV on Iraq and the Alleged Revenge Killings of GIs

A: Yeah, we just do not see that. There's, there's no question there's, there's a level of violence that still exists, but it's not increasing, it's about the same as it has been for the last two or three weeks. Slightly less than it was perhaps a month ago now, not a lot, but just slightly. If you go through and you look at the polling data that's done within the Baghdad area, you'll find that most people say within the neighborhood they live in, they feel very safe. They're very high percentage. But then when you talk to them about well, what's the security like in Baghdad overall, they'll tell you it's not that good. So their perception is where they are is okay, but not in other places. But we need to change that. There's no question that we have to reduce this level of violence. The death of one innocent Iraqi civilian is too many, and, and we're just going to keep focused on this, and we're gonna keep putting the effort, and the time, and the energy to bring them a more stable and secure environment in which to live.

Q: It may be that the level of violence is the same as a couple of months ago, but the perception is that things are getting worse. I guess there is a propaganda war here going on in addition to boots on the ground.

A: Well, I'd have to agree with you there. Because you do have some radical elements, I mean, that are way outside on the left and the right in both the Shiite and the Sunni communities, they're the extremists that inflict harm on each other, which is extremely sad when you look at what these people have gone through already over these many years. And those are the people we're targeting. Those who are operating outside the law and we're going to do everything we can to help these people have the hope, the future, you know, as we say in America, the life, the liberty, and the prosperity, and you know, to have that hope that we do in our lives, to give them that same kind of ability to hope for in their lives too.

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