Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Inhofe's Optimism Flies in the Face of Facts

Sen. Jim Inhofe is just back from another visit to Iraq. To the surprise of absolutely no one, he's sees the Iraq glass as half full.

"Now we are getting total cooperation of all the people there," Inhofe told the Tulsa World's Jim Myers in a story on today's page one.

Apparently, Inhofe believes in the power of positive thinking.

We'd like to be optimistic too. But first we have a couple of questions for the senator. First, how can you (or anybody) know that "all the people there" are cooperating? On its face, the senator's statement doesn't make sense. Iraq is—we can all agree—a complicated place with many religious and political factions who disagree about many, many things. Why do think they keep shooting and blowing up their fellow Iraqis?

Second, how do you explain reports from Iraq like the one that appeared on the World's page A-10, just a few pages back of Inhofe's happy thoughts. The headline says: "Iraq's school system collapsing amid war." The AP story goes on to make this grim but realistic assessment: "The education crisis mirrors the breakdown of nearly all public institutions across Iraq."

Sen. Inhofe can practice happy talk till he's blue in the fact. But until he comes to grips with the actual conditions in Iraq, he's unlikely to fool many voters.

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