White House Hopes Attacks Will “Energize” Iraqi Troops to Fight

By Nitya

Aug 19, 2009 5:16pm

Jake Tapper and Karen Travers report:

Responding to the wave of explosions in Iraq today, a Senior Administration official tells ABC News that the attacks – which have killed at least 75 people — “indicate the depths these opponents will go in their attempts to destabilize Iraq. The indiscriminate nature of the attacks — and the blatant killing of innocent Muslims – is disconcerting.”

The official adds that “at the same time, we believe these attacks will energize our Iraqi partners to continue their efforts to build Iraq.”

Note the spin at the end that this will energize Iraqi troops, not scare them off – not a view held by all observers of the conflict. Since the Iraqi government took control of security earlier this year, attacks have grown more frequent and more deadly.

Pushed on the question of what if these attacks don’t “energize” the Iraqis, the official said he would not get into hypotheticals. 

“We believe they have increasing capacity and will continue to work with our partners consistent with the State of Forces Agreement,” he said.

At his briefing today, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs  was asked what the attacks say about the readiness of the Iraqi security forces to take responsibility.

Gibbs said there no concerns that the Iraqis were not up to the task of keeping the peace.

“I think you've heard General Odierno talk about this in the past, and I don't believe it's changed,” Gibbs said.

“There will always be those that believe they can or should be heard only through this type of violence,” Gibbs said. “It's obvious that the vast number of Iraqis believe and want to live in peace and security,” he said. “We will continue to assist the Iraqis in securing their country until the agreements denote that it's time for us to go.”

-Jake Tapper and Karen Travers

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