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deadparrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 11:07 AM
Original message
US military struggling to recruit Arab-Americans
DEARBORN, Michigan (Reuters) - The U.S. military is struggling to recruit Arab-Americans for its war on terrorism some five years after September 11, with many in the community wary of U.S. foreign policy and fighting wars in the Middle East.

Pentagon officials have often bemoaned the shortage of soldiers with Arabic skills that would be invaluable on the ground in Iraq, and could help translate a backlog of captured or intercepted material that could be critical to fighting militants.

Officials say that in a military of roughly 1.4 million people, about 4,000 have some proficiency in Arabic. The Pentagon says it will spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the next five years to beef up its foreign language capabilities, especially in Middle Eastern languages.

"What we're looking for is people who have native skills, who speak it fluently and who are also very familiar with the culture over there," said Capt. Hatem Abdine, a recruiter for the California Army National Guard who is a naturalized American of Syrian descent.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060427/pl_nm/security_mili...
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
1. And in tonight's news
It is proven that water in its solid state is, in fact, wet.

:crazy:
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. LOL...
Exactly. Nothing shocking there, mi gente!
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Maybe Atta's brother can help recruit a few Pilots
LOL

No need to train them.

They have all the skills needed

Except GCIA-GCA approaches and landings
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DrRang Donating Member (415 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. Um, if they hadn't fired a bunch of Arabic speakers for being gay . . n/t
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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. I forgot about that!
Duh! Good point.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. Please, somebody tell them
"I fucking told you so!"
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xultar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
2. ...
ahhh o.k.

the ignorance of these fuckers is stupendous.
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Daphne08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
3. I cannot imagine why. n/t
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
5. What drugs are these people taking?
Edited on Thu Apr-27-06 11:24 AM by ThomCat
Would they bemoan the trouble they'd have recruiting African American's for a campaign of lynchings?

Would they bemoan the trouble they'd have recruiting Jews for a worldwide Pogrom?

Are they truly this blinded by ideology, this totally incapable of seeing reality? Or are they just monumentally stupid?
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OKthatsIT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
19. Its those Chemtrails...they didn't stop to think first, that maybe...
they'd have to breath the same air(containing barium, titanium, aluminum oxide, pharma and disease transporting polymers) as the rest of us.

Sorry...I'm just punchy today.
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sutz12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
21. Yes.
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CottonBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
6. Back in 2001, the gov't tried to recruit a relative's Farsi speaking wife
to do translations. She refused. She was born in Iran, came here to go to high school and got stuck here and separated from her parents and siblings for years and years because the revolution.
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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. Chaplain Yee
Chaplain Yee (West Point grad officer who converted to Islam and served as chaplain at Guantanamo) got shafted by the Army, for not much more than aimless suspicion over the fact that he had converted to Islam.

It would be a miracle if any Moslem joined the US Army after what happened to Yee. Yee also has a book out, which is supposed to be very good.


http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-05-16-yee-cove...
Posted 5/16/2004 9:55 PM

The ordeal of Chaplain Yee
By Laura Parker, USA TODAY
Last fall, he was the Muslim chaplain who had betrayed America.


All criminal charges against Army Capt. James Yee
were dropped by the U.S. government March 19, 2004.
By Erik S. Lesser, Getty Images

Accused of espionage, Army Capt. James Yee saw his notoriety bloom overnight. He was vilified on the airwaves and on the Internet as an operative in a supposed spy ring that aimed to pass secrets to al-Qaeda from suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where Yee ministered to them. After his arrest, Yee was blindfolded, placed in manacles and taken to a Navy brig, where he spent 76 days in solitary confinement.

Eight months later, all the criminal charges against the 36-year-old West Point graduate have melted away. A subsequent reprimand has been removed from his record. And while many legal analysts are questioning whether a security-conscious military over-reached in its investigation, Yee is back home at Fort Lewis, Wash., pondering what remains of his military career.

Military officials involved in the case won't say what they thought they had on Yee, or why they pursued him with such zeal. Prosecutions are proceeding against three other men two Arabic translators and an Army Reserve colonel who worked at Guantanamo, where the military is holding nearly 600 suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

<snip>
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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Oh, and also the
powers that be (that were?) at Guantanamo did not like the fact that Yee and the other Islamic soldiers stationed at Guantanamo tried to intervene and stop torture of the "enemy combatants."
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Truly an outrage
What on Earth happened in the US military? The men seemed to have been trained to hate all Moslems.
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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. When you know the details, it is even more of an outrage.
I haven't read Yee's book, but here is a review of the book that I read a while back, featured in the New York Review of Books. It will make you cry and/or scream.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18550


Volume 52, Number 20 December 15, 2005


Review
The Strange Case of Chaplain Yee
By Joseph Lelyveld
For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire
by James Yee with Aimee Molloy
Public Affairs, 240 pp., $24.00


1.
Each time the Muslim prisoners held in open-ended preventive detention at the Guantnamo naval station in Cuba have to be moved from their cells to interrogation rooms, they're fitted in what their military police guards sardonically term "a three-piece suit," which consists of shackles attached by chains to a heavy belt: one shackle for each ankle, the third for the wrists.

Captain James Yee, a 1990 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, witnessed innumerable such fittings during the ten months he was a daily presence as a Muslim chaplain inside the cages of Camp Delta where supposed al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists were dumped as a way of holding them beyond reach of any US court. This might have prepared him for his own fitting in a "three-piece suit," which occurred at the naval brig in Jacksonville, Florida, shortly after his arrest in September 2003 on what he was eventually advised were charges of mutiny, aiding the enemy, and espionage, on any of which prosecutors could have demanded the death penalty.

Al-Qaeda, anonymous investigators suggested to the press, had infiltrated Guantnamo in the person of this West Point graduate, a third-generation Chinese-American from New Jersey who had made his first profession of faith as a Muslim at a Newark mosque, three months after completing his officers training.

<snip>
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-28-06 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #10
28. that is the filth of rummy permeating their minds.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #10
32. Be careful
I was warned about "disrespecting the troops"

But in this case I agree with you

here is something rotten to the core going on here
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One Honest Guy Donating Member (228 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
12. Plenty of Arab Christians joining up.
Lot of Arab Christians (Assyrians from Iraq) are joining up as translators and interpreters. I know several of them personally here in Chicago. $120,000-150,000 for the first year, and if you sign a longer contract, or extend your contract you get lots more + bonuses.
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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Wow-- those are big bucks.
If you know-- Are they signing up with private contractors or directly with the US military?
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One Honest Guy Donating Member (228 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Yep, pretty good money.
They are signing up with US military. I know a bank teller that made $35,000 per year at her job. (She's Arab Christian, Assyrian from Iraq) She made $120,000+ the first year, and she just went back for another year. She just bought a house up in Michigan. She's not the only one. Lot of Arab Christians joining up.
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eissa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Correction
Assyrians are NOT Arab Christians. Though both are semites, they are ethnically and linguistically separate. And my husband, who was been practically harassed by phone calls from government agencies offering him amounts up to $167,000 to do translation work, has steadfastly refused to go.
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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. That's interesting. Thanks.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Good for him!
:applause:
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One Honest Guy Donating Member (228 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. I knew that. Assyrians are a separate ethnic group.
But this is DU, and Arab Christian is way more intellectually palpable to your average American than: "Assyrians are NOT Arab Christians. Though both are semites, they are ethnically and linguistically separate." Heck, "Arab Christians" is how BBC refers to all Iraqi Christians, and has been for years.

Anyways, most Assyrians here in Chicago dream of an independent homeland, stretching from Georgia in the east and Syria in the west. Although, I think nearly 400 million muslims living in the region would have something to say about it, especially Kurds. Modern day crusaders. Quite literally in case these "volunteers". $167,000 sounds about right. Assist in cleansing operations against those ungodly muslims hordes and get paid too? Eh? :sarcasm:

I think most Assyrians forget that once America/west looses interest in that region (when the oil runs out), those 400 million Muslims will be looking for somebody to take it out on. I'm afraid Arab Christians (Assyrians, that is) will be the first to suffer. Most of em have these delusions of Russia coming in to help em, just like in 1915, and we know how that ended up. They are just setting themselves up for slaughter.



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eissa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-28-06 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #24
27. Agree with the last part
I don't know many Assyrians who are that dillusional. Yes, as the indigenous people of Iraq, we would like to see a small portion of our land returned -- be it through an administrative region as our representative in the Iraqi parliment has called for, or even a safe haven of some sort. I assure you the Christians are not the only translators, and our community has been just as split as any other in terms of support for this war. Trust me, we learned our lesson back in 1914 when we thought the Brits and the Russians would save us from the Ottoman Turks and that didn't work out too well.
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Orrin_73 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-28-06 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. eissa are you armenian?
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eissa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-28-06 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. No, I'm Assyrian
But I do have Armenian relatives.
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
23. And yet....
Just since 1998, the military has discharged 20 Arabic and six Farsi translators because they are gay. About half were discharged after Sept. 11, 2001, according to Department of Defense data as reported recently in the New Republic magazine. One Arabic translator, a soldier named Ian Finkenbinder, had served eight months with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq in 2003. In December 2004, he revealed he was gay and was discharged just as his unit was about to return to Iraq. His company commander was said to be "distraught" at the loss.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/0...



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Zenlitened Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #23
33. Yep. I was about to go looking for that same report.
Astonishing, isn't it?

"Your skills are urgently needed for matters vital to our nation's security and well-being... unless yer one o' them there gays."

Outrageous. :grr:

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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
25. O RLY??????
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-27-06 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
26. Winner of this month's "You Call This NEWS?" award
They're "wary of U.S. foreign policy and fighting wars in the Middle East"? I can't imagine why!

:eyes:
rocknation
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onager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
31. They need to speak the right kind of Arabic, too.
I've lived in two Arabic-speaking countries: Saudi Arabia and I'm in Egypt right now. Both had their own distinctive regional forms of Arabic and I'm sure Iraq has several as well. Let alone the distinctive dialects.

Saudis speak a more "classical" Arabic...similar to the language of the Koran. Egyptians have their own argot, called Colloquial Egyptian Arabic.

If you don't know the local version of Arabic, according to one expert who put this in equivalent English terms: you can end up sounding like William Shakespeare trying to speak his version of English to a modern Brooklyn native.

And about the only way to know the local version, of course, is to grow up in the neighborhood (or around people who did).

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