New York

Lost in Translation


This morning’s bomb blasts in Baghdad, just before the scheduled (and later postponed) signing of the Iraq’s interim “constitution,” are sure to stir even more Iraqis to howl in anger. And the death toll from Tuesday’s bombings of Shiite ceremonies in Baghdad and Karbala has climbed near 200. Speculation about a full-fledged sectarian war mounts, but which U.S. officials will be able to figure it out? Only 54 State Department employees are fluent in Arabic, according to a report by BushCo’s own State Department people at the Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy for the Arab and Muslim World. Last fall, the panel concluded that “hostility toward has reached shocking levels.” What do you think it is now?

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