Monday, February 7, 2011

James Zogby: Know Something About Arabs, Or STFU

James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, remarks on the breathtaking ignorance of American politicians of both parties regarding matters in the Arab world, as especially evidenced by the stupid statements they have made recently about Egypt. According to Zogby, our pols seem to think it is either all about Israel, or all about U.S. partisanship. Here's a sample:


In other words, Ros-Lehtinen supports a democracy where we (not they) set up the criteria. Not quite "respect for the will of the people", but still better than former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's partisan tirade. 

Gingrich, who is reported to be considering a presidential run, is shallow and remarkably uninformed about most Middle East issues. He gets by largely because he sounds so authoritative and always has a clever quip or two. In Gingrich's assessment of the current situation "there's a real possibility in a few weeks... that Egypt will join Iran, and join Lebanon, and join Gaza, and join the things that are happening that are extraordinarily dangerous to us". Having thus displayed almost no understanding of the Middle East, Gingrich goes on to ridicule President Obama's "naiveté"...


No one is an expert on everything, but today's crop, especially the Republans, seem to think that any statement is better than nothing. One of these days that attitude is going to get America into serious trouble. The American people would hold its politicians in higher regard if, when they are ignorant of an issue, they either a) learn something about it before speaking to it, or b) STFU.

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