Friday, February 22, 2008

talking to Arabs

This is a post from the SANDBOX, the Milblog started by Garry Trudeau, the author of Doonesbury. This interview illustrates the vastly different view of reality that arabs can have (I am not making this up, research it).

I found this posted in the area and had to put it up because it's true of going out and talking to the Iraqi people. Some of it I think is that maybe our conversations get lost in translation between the Iraqi and the Interpreter, but it happens so often; like after an RPG was fired at our COP, no one in the area had heard the rocket launched.

This is a no bullshit conversation between a Platoon Leader (PL) from one of our sister platoons, and a Local National (LN):

PL: Good afternoon.

LN: Hello hello.

PL: Do you mind if I ask you some questions about the mosque?

LN: Yes, yes there are a lot of people who go there to pray.

PL: Thanks, does this mosque broadcast a message to the area on Fridays?

LN: Yes it does, it is Shiia mosque so every Friday around 12:15.

PL: It's 12:30, did it broadcast a message today?

LN: Umm no, but it should soon.

PL: Ok, thanks, so last week it gave a message?

LN: No, I don't think this mosque gives messages.

PL: But I thought you just told me it should broadcast a message soon?

LN: What? NO. What mosque I don't know of any mosque around here.

PL: (Pointing to the mosque 100ft away) That mosque right there.

LN: I don't see a mosque.

PL: Is this guy serious?

RTO: I don't know?

PL: Sir, do you see that building, it has a dome and two huge blue and purple towers right in front of you... That MOSQUE?

LN: Oh wow, I've never seen that before, it must be new.

PL: So....

LN: I mean I'm new to the area I don't know anybody.

PL: You just told me a lot of people go to that mosque.

LN: What mosque?

PL: Okay, thanks for the help, I'll see you later.

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