There is occasionally an improvised quality to Barack Obama’s critique of the conduct of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He sometimes seems to be making up his critique as he goes along. This improvised quality comes through clearly in the ABC News Political Radar blog report on Barack Obama’s appearance earlier this week in Cape Girardeau:
Sporting a shiny new American flag pin at an appearance in Rush Limbaugh’s hometown, Sen. Barack Obama came up with some novel reasons why the U.S. may be struggling in the war in Afghanistan.
“We don’t have enough capacity right now to deal with it — and it’s not just the troops,” Obama, D-Ill., told a crowd in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
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.
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