Monday, January 09, 2006

Parlez Vous "Torture, y'all?"

From Al Kamen's column, In The Loop, in The Washington Post today:

Almost overlooked in a week of major news . . .

President Bush said Wednesday that he will ask Congress for $114 million to teach Americans little-taught languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Hindi and Farsi. The initiative is vital, he said, because "we need intelligence officers who, when somebody says something in Arabic or Farsi or Urdu, knows what they're talking about." Diplomats also need to speak the local language.

The new funding, he told the U.S. University Presidents Summit on International Education, is needed to "defeat this notion" that the United States is "bullying" people.

People who speak the same language feel more at ease with one another, he said, noting how much easier it is to conduct foreign policy with foreign leaders who've studied here and speak English.

"In order to convince people we care about them, we've got to understand their culture and show them we care about their culture," Bush said. "When somebody comes to me and speaks Texan, I know they appreciate the Texas culture.

"I mean, somebody takes time to figure out how to speak Arabic, it means they're interested in somebody else's culture," he explained.

You know, people study for years to speak fluent Texan.
Just my humble opinion, but my past experiences have shown that if you stop blowing people up and electrocuting their testicles, they tend to be more at ease with you, as well.

Just a thought...

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:41 PM /


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