Monday, January 30, 2006

Interesting tidbit

One of the books I got in my weekly libraray trip last week was the new book by James Carville and Paul Begalla, Take It Back. Mostly, it rehashes things I've already known/thought (although in a very humorous way.....) but they also have what i think is one very telling anecdote.

Evidently, just months before the US invaded Iraq, one of the Iraqi exiles/expats encouraging the invasion was invited to watch the Super Bowl with Bush..... and the Iraqi had to explain to Bush that the Arab Shia, Arab Sunnis and the Kurds in Iraq are three distinct/different groups with widely varying cultures and very (!!!) different ideas about how the world should work.

Now, it is one thing for Alan Jackson to sing about not knowing Iran from Iraq even though he watches CNN, but it is disappointing to learn (rather than just guess) that at least some high U.S. officials didn't know a bit more in the way of details about the 'colony' they were acquiring -- and how those details might impact their plans for the region.

Even if one doesn't share my dislike of Bush's invasion of Iraq, one should share my concern that anti-intellectualism in the US has gone far enough that ignorance like this among elected leaders is no longer a shameful and rare occurence. (Yeah, I know, YMMV and IMHO, and all that.......but, sheesh, some basic knowledge is [should be?] necessary before one has plans that one carries out, especially if those plans could cost hundreds/thousands of people their lives.)

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