Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Iraqis Need To Speak English

Over at ABC News, The Blotter, there is an entry about the shortage of Arabic speakers and readers in the new embassy in Baghdad.
Of the 1,000 U.S. employees at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, only 10 have a working knowledge of Arabic, according to the State Department.

That is still a slight improvement from last year when, according to the Iraq Study Group, six people in the embassy spoke Arabic.

In this administration, that wouldn't be important. You certainly wouldn't want any Arabists around. What they want is true believers. Where do the 1000 employees stand on abortion, or taxes?

When incompetency is the watchword for this administration, why would you expect them to have competent people with knowledge of Arabic and Arabs in Baghdad. It just wouldn't make sense.

Here is how the ambassador in Baghdad put it:

Ryan C. Crocker, the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq, bluntly told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a cable dated May 31 that the embassy in Baghdad -- the largest and most expensive U.S. embassy -- lacks enough well-qualified staff members and that its security rules are too restrictive for Foreign Service officers to do their jobs.

"Simply put, we cannot do the nation's most important work if we do not have the Department's best people," Crocker said in the memo.

The effort put into staffing the embassy in Baghdad is like the effort put into everything else in Iraq, inadequate.

Jim Martin

Thanks to The Moderate Voice for the link.

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