Thursday, May 15, 2008

Guess They're All Just Hajji to Him

I'm used to gently correcting fellow soldiers on this point, but it seems even Barack Obama hasn't gotten the news that Iraq and Afghanistan are very different places. Via ABC News (HT: PowerLine and Hot Air), Obama said in a recent speech in Missouri:

Obama posited — incorrectly — that Arabic translators deployed in Iraq are needed in Afghanistan — forgetting, momentarily, that Afghans don’t speak Arabic.

“We only have a certain number of them and if they are all in Iraq, then its harder for us to use them in Afghanistan.”
His campaign put out a nice response to ABC, of the usual "if you consider that I was actually referring to this and not that, you'll see I was right all along" line. Sorry, not buying it. I'm willing to grant that he probably did know -- if he stopped to think about it -- that they don't speak Arabic in Afghanistan, but simply misspoke. That doesn't absolve the issue for me, as mentally conflating two very. different. places. shows a significant lack of depth of understanding either one.

3 comments:

elephantschild said...

Has anybody wondered about his curious pronunciation of "Pakistan?" Is that correct, or is he just trying to be superior?

Shane said...

I criticized McCain for his Sunni/Shia and AQI/JAM errors before, so now it's only fair for me to say "wtf, dude."

I seriously had believed that Obama was the best guy to understand the nature of our conflicts overseas and to address them in an effective and efficient manner. But I'm no longer entirely impressed.

I guess nobody who will run for president is as interested as me in understanding the conflicts we face in our world, and understanding the motivations and the cultural background behind a lot of the fighting that affects us directly.

Evan said...

I guess it's not that surprising, when you figure the number of soldiers -- who are the most directly affected by these realities -- who show absolutely no interest in learning about them.