Tuesday, December 12, 2006
don't drag me down I'm not falling down:
Not often that I say this, but Marty is unquestionably right about Silvestre Reyes, the House intelligence committee chairman who doesn't know the difference between Sunni and Shiite. It's a bit rich to read this from someone who typically conflates all distinctions between Arabs and generally thinks that all Arabs not named Fouad Ajami or Kanan Makiya are subhuman creatures. But still.
--Spencer Ackerman
off topic comment here:

I love this blog, but I think the name of it has passed its shelf life date. Time for a new upward trajectory name, rather than a pissedoffatformeremployer name.
Blogger Roger Gathmann | 10:02 AM

And the worst part is that Reyes wants to send MORE troops into a situation he clearly doesn't have the faintest understanding of.
Blogger Eric the Political Hack | 11:00 AM

Speaking of ignorance, I didn't notice this until Sully linked (approvingly) to the column, but Niall Ferguson recently wrote an article for the Torygraph in which he stated that Baker recommended "'flip[ping] the Syrians' by appealing to Sunni solidarity."

What Baker actually said was, "The Syrians are the transit point for arms shipments to Hizullah, and if you can flip the Syrians, you will cure Israel's Hizbullah problem."

What *Ferguson* said was too stupid for words, as if he had suggested that we try to "flip the Iranians by appealing to Arab solidarity," or court the Southern Baptist vote by attending gay pride parades. The fact that a Harvard historian, late of Oxford, can't be bothered to tell the difference between Sunni(!) and 'Alawi -- and is seemingly ignorant of what effects encouraging Sunni nationalism would have in 'Alawi-dominated, post-Hafez Assad Syria -- should disqualify him from ever speaking on matters Middle Eastern ever again. Or at least until he's sat in on a few lectures at CMES.
Blogger Watchful | 12:56 PM