"Boehner: ‘Iraq is Improving,’ Insurgents Only in a ‘Handful of Places’"
Today on ABC’s This Week, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) shared his latest rosy assessment of conditions in Iraq. Watch it:
As George Stephanopoulos mentions, a new government report actually paints a “somber portrait of Iraqi discord” and undermines Boehner’s spin. But Stephanopoulos allowed Boehner to incorrectly assert that the report found that “12 of the 18 [Iraqi] provinces are safe.” The report actually shows that only three provinces are stable. All other provinces are still considered in critical, serious or moderate danger.
Additionally, Baghdad has, on average, eight hours of elecriticy a day, compared with the 16-24 hours it had before the U.S. invasion in 2003. Potable water availability, sewage system coverage, and water treatment capacity are also down from pre-war levels.
Like Boehner, we’d love to hear some good news from Iraq. But we’re not willing to make it up.
BOEHNER: Beyond a few hot spots, the situation in Iraq is improving. More kids in Iraqi schools than any time in their history. Their electricity grid is up and running. Their water plant. Their economy is growing. It’s in a handful of places that are still under attack by the insurgents.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say that, except the front page of The New York Times says a “U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord” and they show that according to U.S. government reports six of the 18 provinces are in serious or critical condition. That’s not just a handful.
BOEHNER: That means 12 of the 18 provinces are safe, the economy is growing. We are improving our situation there. But back to the point.