Between 1998 and 2004, the military discharged 20 Arabic and six Farsi speakers. Bleu Copas, 30, was a decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist who was dismissed from the U.S. Army this July for being gay. But he was closeted and was outed by an unidentified email campaign and it was never proven. According to Andrew Sullivan the number of gay discharged Arab language specialists is now 55.
And if that news isn't disturbing enough
Very few people know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite. It's not easy to learn and to remember all of it, but you'd sure think that the fucking House and Senate members would know the difference.
Five term Texas Democrat, Sgt. Silvestre Reyes who is the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee doesn't know the difference between Sunni and Shia.
Jeff Stein interviewed him:
Al Qaeda is what, I asked, Sunni or Shia?So there you go. He's very wrong. Oh, but he wants to send more troops to the region. Read more and weep. Seriously.
“Al Qaeda, they have both,” Reyes said. “You’re talking about predominately?”
“Sure,” I said, not knowing what else to say.
“Predominantly — probably Shiite,” he ventured.
I am really curious as to what side we are supposed to be on. If we support the Sunni's, then we are al Qaeda's side, right? The Saudi's are Sunni's (and I don't trust them either). The US talks to the Saudi's. The president holds hands with the Clowned Prince of Saudi Arabia. The 9/11 terrorists were Sunni's and were mad because the US had bases in Saudi Arabia. The US no longer has bases in Saudi Arabia. Technically, the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 should not attack the US anymore because they got their way. (And I thought that we don't negotiate with terrorists, didn't you?)
Cheney went to visit with the Saudi's a few weeks ago to discuss them helping out with the situation (civil war) in Iraq. Who do you think they would help out? The Sunni's for sure. The US doesn't want to talk to the Iran and Syria. They are predominantly Shiites. Iran did offer to help the Iraqi leaders with the situation in Iraq. You can imagine that they would want to help out the Shiites. Jeff Stein implied in his article that Silvestre Reyes isn't the only one who doesn't know who's who.
I had a heated argument with a very avid Israel supporter and friend of mine the other night. (He watches Fox News and) he was telling me that we are in for a big war between Iran and Israel... and he stated emphatically that Iran was involved with 9/11. I told him that the terrorists were Sunni's. Iran is Shiite! This is hard stuff. I don't even know that much about it! But I know when things aren't adding up.
It makes my heart palpitate to think that we have so very few translators. Why so many gay men sign up for the job escapes me but for god's sake, who cares? We are in a global war against terrorism. And the nice folks in the House Intelligence Committee and Armed Services committee don't know what religious faction al Qaeda belongs to. It would behoove someone in a leadership position to send our congress critters and war mongers to some history classes.
George H.W. Bush knew more about Iraq than anyone his son knows.
Chapter 19 of Daddy Bush's memoirs "A World Transformed" discusses why Bush 41 didn't "finish" the job in Iraq. If Georgie would have read this, we wouldn't be in this mess.
"We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under the circumstances, there was no viable "exit strategy" we could see, violating another of our principles... Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different — and perhaps barren — outcome."Bush asked the voices in his head about invading Iraq. Defensively, Bush 43 told Woodward when asked if he went to his father for advice:
‘He is the wrong father to appeal to for advice. The wrong father to go to, to appeal to in terms of strength.’ And then he said, ‘There's a higher Father that I appeal to.’"And that's enough to make you palpitate for today.