Barack Obama: Middle East Expert

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: May 14, 2008 10:49 AM

Just compare the coverage of this to the McCain's Sunni/Shia terror funding "gaffe" of a couple months ago, which of course was actually not that much of a gaffe at all since terror funding crosses such religious lines frequently:
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," Obama said.

The vast majority of military translators in both war zones are drawn from the local population.
Naturally they speak the local language. In Iraq, that's Arabic or Kurdish. In Afghanistan, it's any of a half dozen other languages -- including Pashtu, Dari, and Farsi.
And, then again:
"We need agricultural specialists in Afghanistan, people who can help them develop other crops than heroin poppies, because the drug trade in Afghanistan is what is driving and financing these terrorist networks. So we need agricultural specialists," he said.

So far, so good.

"But if we are sending them to Baghdad, they're not in Afghanistan," Obama said.

Iraq has many problems, but encouraging farmers to grow food instead of opium poppies isn't one of them. In Iraq, oil fields not poppy fields are a major source of U.S. technical assistance.
Combine this with the fact that even Obama's most committed foreign policy supporters admit his entire philosophy is "accidental," and you've got a real recipe for geopolitical success, here. That is, if you like your success crispy and nuked with a side of smoked Western civilization. Yummy!

Now, with as much flack as the Left has given the Bush administration (sometimes rightly) for its incomplete understanding of the Middle East before moving into Iraq and the high premium they place on Obama's superior "judgment" on such matters, don't you think this comment from him will get a ton of coverage from Left blogs and Chris Matthews? Yep, I'm waiting.