Saturday, July 26, 2008

Aggravating mistakes

Forgive me if this post makes me sound like a pretentious ass, but one thing I find pretty unforgivable is when people mix up the difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. By "people" of course, I mean those employed by the federal government to do some sort of work involving foreign affairs. (See the disturbing (hilarious?) article here that came out a while ago in the Times.) As the author points out, "After all, wouldn’t British counterterrorism officials responsible for Northern Ireland know the difference between Catholics and Protestants??"

Bob Herbert's latest column bring up the sad fact that John McCain is one of these people. Considering he's the contestant who uses his world affairs and military experience as a way to one-up his opponent, it's pretty disturbing how much the media has let his factual gaffes slide.

Obama has plenty of flaws (his FISA vote was more than disappointing) but at least I take comfort in knowing that he knows his basic geography -- McCain has talked about the "Iraq-Pakistan border" when they don't border each other at all. For all the scrutiny, circus stunts and invasive personal probing we put our candidates through, shouldn't knowing the ABC's of Middle Eastern politics be one of the more important tests?

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