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my experience with ME and its study

Reader comment on item: [Middle East Studies:] Wasted Money

Submitted by Jeff R. (United States), Jul 3, 2003 at 02:16

I am an undergrad student at University of Hawaii. I am also a former Arab Linguist for the Air Force, trained at Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, CA.

You should know that the richest source of area expertise and language ability of Category 4 languages (Chinese, Korean, Arabic) is fostered and found at DLI. Please realize that all resources that can be directed for the promotion of Foreign Area expertise should be allocated toward DLI east and west, which serve all departments in our government, and other entities dedicated to ADVANCING our country's Foreign Area expertise in its own right, without politically countermanding the foreign policy of whatever Administration occupies the Whitehouse.

You heard testimony about bias in ME Studies programs around the country; I will just add this: last semester I went back to college after four years, and took 4 political science courses from 4 different instructors. One compared a picture of U.S. servicemen in Iraq to WWII nazi troops (similar "helmet" design), another stated that the U.S. foreign policy objective in the ME region has been to support oppressive regimes to keep the Arab people paralyzed (I respectfully offered that we may offer aid to those governments "in spite" of their records, or for actual anti-American sentiment encouraged by those same administrations).

I have enough experience with the ME region to be able to discern between legitimate course content and misinformation; those other young people in the class certainly don't have that ability, and I fear that those young undergrads, many of them, now have a basic knowledge of certain issues that is skewed against our national interest.

PLEASE ALLOCATE MORE RESOURCES TOWARD PROGRAMS THAT WILL PROVIDE OUR COUNTRY WITH PROFESSIONALS WHO WILL ENGAGE THE REST OF THE WORLD, NOT ENABLE THE REST OF THE WORLD, AT OUR EXPENSE.
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