Liberal Grace

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Reyes must withdraw his name

If Silvestre Reyes is confused about the difference between Shiite and Sunni, then he doesn't understand even the basic framework of the Iraq war or the War on Terror.

Never mind that Bush didn't know there were different types of Muslims on the eve of the invasion, the GOPs are having great fun with Silvestre Reyes muffing a couple very basic questions about Islam.

New House Intelligence Committee Chair Short on Intelligence

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Is al Qaeda a Sunni organization, or Shi'ite?

The question proved nettlesome for Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, incoming Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

"Predominantly -- probably Shi'ite," he said in a recent interview with Congressional Quarterly, a periodical that covers political and legislative issues in Congress.

Unfortunately for Reyes, the al Qaeda network led by Osama bin Laden is comprehensively Sunni and subscribes to a form of Sunni Islam known for not tolerating theological deviation.

In fact, U.S. officials blame al Qaeda's former leader in Iraq, the late Abu Musab al Zarqawi, for the surge in sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi'ites.

I hate to agree with FOX, but Reyes must withdraw his nomination. He just doesn't know enough -- not even close.

If he couldn't answer those questions off-the-top-of-his-head, it means that he hasn't even been reading the newspaper.

Living over here in the middle east, I know all that basic stuff -- it is elemental to everything over here. But I don't criticize Americans who can't keep it straight, since it is a little confusing. Many Muslims are similarly confused between, let's say, Protestants and Catholics. But if a Muslim were an ambassador to the Vatican, I'd expect him to know!

Anyone on the intelligence Committee absolutely must know this stuff back and forth, up and down -- and in great detail. The fact that he doesn't know it at all means he can't even have an informed opinion on ME foreign policy.

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