Sunday, October 22, 2006

State Department Official: "There Was Stupidity From The United States In Iraq." (But Department Disputes Translation)

The United States has shown "arrogance" and "stupidity" in Iraq, a senior U.S. diplomat said in an interview aired today. Or did he?

"We tried to do our best (in Iraq) but I think there is much room for criticism because, undoubtedly, there was arrogance and there was stupidity from the United States in Iraq," senior U.S. State Department official Alberto Fernandez, director of public diplomacy in the bureau of Near Eastern affairs, told Al Jazeera, according to a translation on Al Jazeera's web site, and a translation done by Reuters.

Fernandez was speaking in Arabic. The State Department -- which has long been at odds with the Pentagon over Iraq according to several recent books -- has said that Fernandez' comments were not translated correctly on Al Jazeera's website.

Here's a thought: The media should have independent translators settle the dispute.

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