Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Marc Lynch and the Arabic language

Just a quick note on Marc Lynch's Arabic skills, which he touts...

He mistranslated the title of this column as "... and now we see the departure of the Awakenings from Iraq" (check out his links column on his new blog). He mistook the word "ghedir" (which means 'betrayal') for "mughadara" (which is 'departure').

This is part of a pattern that's been going on for some time. Lynch claims fluency in Arabic, and plays it up as a big draw to his 'expertise'. It is a trick that works on the gullible, and there are plenty of them in DC.

I've had things to say about Dr. Lynch before, check here and here. The key words are "intentional intellectual mendacity".

A guy who pretends to have fluency in Arabic and who had never been to Iraq was busily advising the Obama transition team on what to do in Iraq, and across the region. So much for clarity...

Watch him transform himself into an Af-Pak 'expert', and an Urdu linguist, in a couple of months...(Doesn't Google have translation software now?)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd be very interested to get your take on Chalabi's long al-Hayat interview. Lots and lots of tales from your opposition days. Since so much of this is new even to people who follow Iraq fairly closely, I was wondering if you could comment specifically on what you think were the most significant details to emerge from the interview.

12:41 PM, April 15, 2009

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An error with one word? Wow, N.K., you are quite petty, a stereotypical high school girl. You're also a massive tool, Chalabi's lapdog. Woof,woof...

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