Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Why We Are Losing

Heck, it is the reason why we are in Iraq in the first place.

Our leaders are freaking idiots.

FOR the past several months, I've been wrapping up lengthy interviews with Washington counterterrorism officials with a fundamental question: "Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?"


But so far, most American officials I've interviewed don't have a clue. That includes not just intelligence and law enforcement officials, but also members of Congress who have important roles overseeing our spy agencies. How can they do their jobs without knowing the basics?

Someone should buy these clowns a program.

Take Representative Terry Everett, a seven-term Alabama Republican who is vice chairman of the House intelligence subcommittee on technical and tactical intelligence.

"Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?" I asked him
Mr. Everett responded with a low chuckle. He thought for a moment: "One's in one location, another's in another location. No, to be honest with you, I don't know. I thought it was differences in their religion, different families or something."

To his credit, he asked me to explain the differences. I told him briefly about the schism that developed after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, and how Iraq and Iran are majority Shiite nations while the rest of the Muslim world is mostly Sunni. "Now that you've explained it to me," he replied, "what occurs to me is that it makes what we're doing over there extremely difficult, not only in Iraq but that whole area."

Representative Jo Ann Davis, a Virginia Republican who heads a House intelligence subcommittee charged with overseeing the C.I.A.'s performance in recruiting Islamic spies and analyzing information, was similarly dumbfounded when I asked her if she knew the difference between Sunnis and Shiites.

The lack of understanding is just dumbfounding. We have been 'at war' in this region for 5 years now, and our leaders still don't know the players involved.



Lynne said...

I was holding out some hope that our leaders were just evil. Now I find they are stupid and evil. Great.
Is Canada accepting emmigrants?

trench doc said...

It is the same blunder that the west has been making for a hundred years in the region... you figure we'd eventually learn before they begin to export terror to our soil, but alas...