The Pentagon's top general acknowledged Sunday that "anything can happen" in Iraq, but he said things aren't as bad as some say. "I wouldn't put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say they're going very, very well from everything you look at."
The comments drew criticism that Gen. Peter Pace is glossing over problems in the three-year-old US campaign.
"Why would I believe him?" asked Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, a major critic of the Bush administration's handling of the war. "This administration, including the president, (has) mischaracterized this war for the last two years."
Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cited political progress such as holding elections and writing a constitution as well as military progress like training Iraqi security forces.