Skip to comments.Arabic-Language Training Cancelled for U.S. National Lab
Posted on 05/03/2012 2:53:02 PM PDT by Steve Peacock
A plan to provide Arabic language workshops to employees of the Argonne National Laboratories was abruptly cancelled by the U.S. Dept. of Energy this week. It had planned to hire a contractor capable of conducting classes twice weekly for 50 weeks.
According to a Statement of Work, the goal of the endeavor had been to:
improve the ability of personnel supporting Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs and other National Nuclear Security Administration programs and activities to communicate with their foreign counterparts and to reduce their dependence on interpreters in non-technical discussions.
It had sought instructors "experienced in teaching and testing Modern Standard Arabic at the college level. He or she should have a comprehensive understanding of the principle dialects, including Egyptian, Jordanian, and Gulf. "
DoE cancelled the procurement without explanation.
Source document: Solicitation Number #2-M101-Q-00468-00.
A mild WTF on this one. This sounds a bit like telling NASA that one of its missions was to help Arabs understand their contributions to science. While it sounds as if it is possible to study Arabic without religious and political indoctrination, I’m of the impression that a certain amount of Muslim sugarcoating is also included. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Allow Christians in Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, etc to immigrate here as refugees escaping persecution, instead of allowing Muslim immigration. Employ them as language instructors.
I have an Iranian born co-worker whose wife does translation for DOD. Id love to learn farsi and whatever language requires translation. Pretty good gig.
Probably discovered that half of them were on a watch list.
I don't know when educated folks decided that folks should not learn foreign languages, including Arabic. Xenophobia is always a bit of a conservative weakness. But, CIA, FBI, DoD have had lots of problems in the ME because we don't have folks with adequate language skills.
Excellently explained! When I wrote and subsequently posted the piece, I did so because it sounded like an “interesting” program — and I’d leave it to readers to discern whether it was insidious or simply good politics & policy. Thanks for leaping into the discussion — we’ll probably both get slammed for our comments.
The spread of the English language might be the most virulent toxic meme (see Dennett) in intellectual history, destroying resistance to all of the other Anglo-Saxon toxic memes, like constitutionalism, common law, and private property. It sort of worked on the Russians.
- I did not write this - But I should have:
"I for one do not agree with ANY foreign language being required, especially in grade school.
While I will agree that being bilingual can be helpful, I find that the vast majority of the youth (and adults for that matter) in this country are seriously lacking in English skills. How about learning to speak English correctly first ("Rev" Al Sharpton, "Rev" Jesse Jackson, and Barack "Tuh" Hussein Obama Junior cannot even speak basic English properly!) before learning to speak a language that you may or may not need to understand in your lifetime?
Seriously, how many of you had a year or two of foreign language in school? Spanish? French? Latin perhaps, you poor sap? Other then ordering a beer in Cancun, do any of you still use it or even understand it?
Why are we still allowing liberals to require our kids to become "worldly" at the expense of the most basic skills necessary to succeed in THIS country?
Hell, if a Mexican immigrant isn't required to learn English in this country (But a native born American must learn and speak Spanish to graduate from high school and to even work in Arizona) why am I required to learn their damn language if I wish to graduate school in my own country?
Maybe I'm just ignorant of the world today and how things should work.
It won't be the first time I've been wrong."