… for mind-numbing stupidity.
It seems that if a person knows how to say one word — say, “thank you” — in another language, that means they speak that language.
Steve Benen has more:
During a visit with Saudi King Abdullah today, President Obama briefly responded to praise by saying, “Shukran,” which is “thank you” in Arabic. It was only a matter of time before we saw a post like this one from Michael Goldfarb. The headline readers, “Does Obama Speak Arabic?”
Obama has said before that he speaks “barely passable Spanish” and “a smattering of Swahili,” as well as some Bahasa from his youth in Indonesia. But Obama has at other times denied speaking a foreign language, saying in July of last year, “I don’t speak a foreign language. It’s embarrassing!” And even today, Michelle Obama is delivering the commencement address at Washington Math, Science, Technology Public Charter School, where Mark Knoller reports that she implored graduates to learn a language, and that both she and the president “regret they never learned another language.”
It seems there is some legitimate confusion on just what languages Obama speaks, and as far as Arabic, the only real hint has came from Nick Kristof, who heard Obama recite the Muslim call to prayer in Arabic and with a “first-rate accent” back in 2007. With even the White House now smearing Obama as a Muslim, one wonders if the president hasn’t been concealing some greater fluency with the language of the Koran.
If Goldfarb was kidding, it wasn’t apparent in his post. With his work, it’s sometimes hard to tell.
D-Day noted the hyperventilating on the right this morning over Pres. Obama telling a French television station that the U.S. is one of the largest Muslim countries in the world (his actual comment was that, considering the size of the Muslim-American population, the U.S. could be considered one of the largest Muslim countries in the world), and remarked that “[t]he pace of mini-controversies coming from the right can now be measured in minutes.”
Spencer Ackerman has news that will make the wingnuts’ heads explode:
… David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, has nefariously concealed his Muslim heritage. But now it can be told! Just look at what he told the press as he was ending his tour as U.S. commander in Iraq last September:
GEN. PETRAEUS: Well, again, As-Salamu ‘Alaykum, masa’ al-kheir, good afternoon to all of you, and shukran jaziilan for joining us for today’s roundtable.
Can we really trust military commanders who speak other languages on occasion? Everyone knows that by adopting a different language you disrespect the monolinguistic United States and effectively become a citizen of the country in which that language is uttered. Come to think of it, have we ever really seen Petraeus’s birth certificate?