Prague Twin

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Unfit for Service

Copy Editor has a post up regarding the incoming Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

From the Reuters article:

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.

I'm sure he is not the first or the last to make such an absolutely idiotic mistake. I'm sure there are plenty of keyboard kommandos out there who think Iran supports al-Qaeda, but they don't lead the freaking HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE.

This is unacceptable.

Update: Be sure to read the original aritcle here.


  • As I mentioned over at Edit Copy, Silvestre Reyes is fairly well-liked and has represented TX-16 (my home town El Paso) for about 10 years, my mother puts it, "He's a bit of a dolt."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:41 AM  

  • I like his "why ask me tough questions at 5 pm" defense. The CQ article is here.

    By Blogger copy editor, at 2:34 AM  

  • Good eye! Good eye!

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:31 PM  

  • Kvatch,

    A bit? A BIT? Well, he is in good company on Capitol Hill.

    Copy Editor,

    Thanks for pointing this out, and linking the original. I'll update the post with that link.


    Be sure to read the whole article.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 5:18 PM  

  • PT

    I did. What am I missing?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 8:03 PM  

  • This is where the games really begin. How committed are these reps to the real job at hand?
    Surely the principle role in opposition was to gather the facts; a) to properly review government business and b) in preparation to govern.
    This is worrisome.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 10:16 PM  

  • Arch,

    Nothing I presume. Just realize that they are just as clueless on both sides of the isle.


    Ditto above. Anyone who thought that the Democrats were going to infuse the system with fresh ideas or even some kind of intelligent perspectives is going to be sadly disappointed.

    Buch of moronic crooks all the way around.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:02 PM  

  • When Reyes was in Vietnam our leaders knew little to nothing about our enemy, or their rules of engagement. Doesn't seem like much has changed. I wonder if any of them have ever read The Art Of War, By Sun Tzu?

    God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

    By Blogger David Schantz, at 4:30 AM  

  • wow. That is all I have to say

    By Blogger GraemeAnfinson, at 6:17 AM  

  • Pretty bad.

    I have to admit, I don't really like Nancy Pelosi much. Never have, actually.

    Still, I prefer her to Denny Hastert, if only because I think we need to have somebody perform oversight on the administration, and if Denny and the gang were still in power, there would be no oversight. There would only be whitewashes - like the ethics committee whitewash of the Foley matter and the non-existent pre-war intel manipulation investigations.

    Nonetheless, it's embarrassing that Pelosi is so fucking stupid and apparently tin-eared politically. If you're going to run against the incompetence of the administration, you ought to appoint competent people to positions of power and oversight. Reyes ain't one of them.

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 10:26 PM  

  • RBE,

    In the lesser of two evils argument, we must always remember that the lesser is still evil.

    One of the differences I see from us on this side of the aisle is the ability to at least be critical of those in the Democratic party, such as Reyes and the leadership that appoints them.

    While those on the right will defend "their guys" until they are in prison, and sometimes even after that.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 7:18 AM  

  • Wow! That is genuinely scary. It's not April yet, is it?

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 9:19 AM  

  • Stephanie,

    Welcome back! April, no, I wish. We just got our first real frost here.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:30 AM  

  • We've already had a foot of snow, and now it's all about melted. A hearty frost would be kind of nice compared to the yo-yo affect we're having.

    But, back on topic, I just wonder why he'd guess Shi'ite. It doesn't make sense. That he has to guess at all is wrong from the point of being "fit," but Shi'ite isn't even a logical guess.

    In college, they drill you with Grecian logic skills. I've gone over it in three different classes so far. And I haven't even taken the Critical Thinking class yet. And yet, these people who are supposed to be oh-so-educated can't even grasp the basics.

    I just wish there was some clear-cut way to get Americans to vote for brains over money. Charisma is nice, but handing over the reins of our government on the basis of charisma and wealth...sometimes I think we really do deserve what we get out of all this b.s.

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 11:58 AM  

  • Maybe he guesses Shi'ite since they have been demonized by the Administration and the government at large.

    But I figure it was just a shot in the dark. I could say that he made the connection with Hezbolla, but I don't even give him enough credit to know that Hezbolla are Shi'ites.

    On a side point, one of the things that bothers me about some people's lack of understanding of the Sunni Insurgency is that it is run by al-Qaeda which is not correct. However, the fools who think this at least understand that al-Qaeda is Sunni and thus would have a natural connection with the Bathtists, even though they hate each other. At least there is some logic there.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 1:01 PM  

  • See, and I'm not overly comfortable with phrases like "Sunni Insurgency," because it's more complicated than that. There's truth to it, but when there's ethnic cleansing battles between various neighbors... It's a bit more complicated than "Sunni Insurgency."

    Then again, breaking down the human condition in general into sound bytes bothers me. Breaking down a war into sound bytes is just ridiculous.

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 4:44 AM  

  • Well there is a Sunni insurgency. That is one of the many problems, but it certainly doesn't cover everything.

    It beats GWB's favorite: the enemy. Every time I hear that I think to myself: can I get a definition?

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:07 AM  

  • PT

    You dont know who the enemy is?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:47 PM  

  • Not all of them. I could name several, but that hardly covers it.

    Why don't you list them all for me?

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 10:48 AM  

  • A bit? A BIT? Well, he is in good company on Capitol Hill.

    Hey...hey go easy. You're talking about the opinion of my 72 year old mother here. It's hard being a genteel woman who finds herself getting more liberal and more cranky with each passing year.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:56 PM  

  • Ok Kvatch,

    Fair enough. I didn't mean to bash your Mom, but from my perspective "a bit of a dolt" is the understatement of the year.

    I'd say she has every reason to get crankier year on year, especially with guys like Reyes in Congress.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:51 PM  

  • PT

    The enemy is anyone or group whom actively and/or knowingly seek to destabilize the fledgling democracy in Iraq. Fair enough?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 2:54 PM  

  • No, not fair enough!

    That is just the point I'm trying to make. You don't know who that is! Sure, you know some of them, but not all of them. Remeber when I argued that the enemy was more complex than you thought and just labeling them all "terrorists" was a mistake? Well now you see that the term insurgent has meaning, yet you still don't even know who they are to a large degree.

    How can you defeat an enemy if you don't even know specifically who they are?

    Also, according to your definition, a large majority of Kurds are the enemies because they want to be independent of Baghdad.

    You'll have to do better than that, I'm afraid.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 3:00 PM  

  • PT

    Fine, acknowledge that the statement would be indicative of how the enemy behaves and I will name the names.

    Fair enough?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:25 PM  

  • I would say that the statement describes some of the enemies but not all. Go ahead and name all that fit your somewhat restrictive definition, and then we can proceed.

    I have to say that this is the only war I can think of where simply naming the enemy turns into an excercise in rhetoric.

    My point (that defining the enemy is a complicated venture in itself) has already been thus proven.

    But please, I'm curious to hear what your list of "the enemy" would include. That is more than George Bush has ever offered to do for me.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 12:13 AM  

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