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.

You’d think this was eloquent enough to define the incompetence and arrogance of our White House Wizards?

In April, the director of the International Affairs Office at the GAO said the State Department had started taking action to correct the problems from last year’s report.

The geniuses running this country decided to invade the Middle East virtually from Day One of their “mandate” – and it’s taken till April of 2007 to comprehend that the absence of staff who can speak the language of the region is a problem.

I guess they’ll continue to rely on translations from the Saudi kingdom.

  1. Smartalix says:

    “As if understanding the local populace or its point of view had anything to do with this war.”

    It would have helped.

    As an EW/SIGINT traffic analyst during the Cold War I worked with a lot of linguists. If you can’t understand what the enemy is saying you really don’t know shit and make big-ass stupid mistakes. Which is the complete legacy of this administration.

  2. Milo says:

    RBG: Honestly, the point you raise couldn’t be stupider.

  3. Ralph says:

    #25, Winston,

    In that case I apologize for my hasty comment. It is also reassuring we share the point of view.

  4. RBG says:

    32. For those who didn’t catch your scintillating logic, maybe you could explain to the world why that might be.

    You write: “there are NO Arabic speakers at the American embassy in Saudi Arabia.” In a country of Arabic speakers, it just didn’t make any sense that absolutely no one commissioned at an Embassy might speak the language.

    While not a 100% surety, I’m willing to bet that some of those LOCAL people I proved employed in the American embassy are Saudis or Arabic speaking – maybe even working as translators. Perhaps you meant to write “there are no American Arabic speakers…”


  5. RBG says:

    26 / 29. You can have your own opinions but you can’t have your own facts.

    Ford M. Fraker was sworn in on April 11, 2007 as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia…
    He has served as a banker in the Middle East for more than thirty years…
    He was born in Princeton, NJ and speaks French and Arabic.”

    “Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley joined the Foreign Service in 1985 and served as Consul in Baghdad…”
    “After a year of advanced Arabic, she served as Political Officer at the Embassy in Tel Aviv with responsibility for the Gaza Strip. Before her current posting as Consul General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, she was Policy Advisor to the Director of the Near East – South Asia Center for Strategic Studies…”



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