Most of the world may have turned against recently arrested Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo, but he’s still got one friend: James Inhofe. The Oklahoma senator took the floor yesterday and showed a picture of Gbagbo smiling. “This is the happy face of President Gbagbo,” Inhofe said. “This is the face I know.” Then, with evident lament, he showed a picture of Gbagbo looking sad and bruised following his arrest.
“Our State Department has got to wake up,” he said. “You can’t assume that if the United Nations is doing something it’s right.” He then showed photos of Simone Gbagbo, and alleged that the couple were being mistreated at the hands of Ouattara forces. How did Inhofe get so chummy with Gbagbo? Well, Talking Points Memo explains, Gbagbo has ties to the Christian right in the US, including Inhofe and Pat Robertson. Asked recently about the atrocities Gbagbo has allegedly committed following his election defeat, Inhofe replied, “I don’t believe it. If you learn to know these people, you draw your own conclusions.” (Read more Ivory Coast stories.)