Senator Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) was quoted today as saying he didn’t understand why Sunni and Shiite Muslims are killing each other in Iraq. Does he really mean this? I hope to heaven he’s attempting to make some other point. Because, if he really doesn’t understand this, then we are in far worse shape than I thought.
Mr. Lott's direct quote,
It's hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what's wrong with these people," he said. "Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israeli's and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me.
was reported today by CNN after a meeting at the Capitol with the President. He also responded that the subject of the Iraq War didn't come up and that the media was the only group obsessed with the war and that
We don't and the real people out in the real world don't for the most part."
Oh, really? It would seem that perhaps Mr. Lott and whoever makes up the mysterious "We" he refers to would be wise to obsess over Iraq. After over $300B spent and almost 3 thousand dead US soldiers, one would hope that the United States Senate,
The Most Deliberative Body in the World
would spend some time figuring out why Sunnis and Shia's are blowing each other up.
The statement Mr. Lott makes would almost be funny if it didn't portray the type of institutional ignorance our government has regarding other cultures. This isn't the first time Mr. Lott has opened his mouth and inserted his wingtip. Most of us recall the lauditory comments regarding Strom Thurmond that got him stripped of his Senate Majority Leader post.
Mr. Lott, it's not hard to understand sectarian violence. It's not hard to understand the violence between the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq. One simply has to read. There's this thing called the library. You might want to try visiting one some time and taking advantage of the people who have actually taken the time to understand the problem. Your decisions and votes might just be a little better informed and the people of Mississippi might be a little less embarassed that one of their elected officials is without a clue as to what is going on in Iraq.
If Mr. Lott's comments are indicative of the opinions held by the majority of our elected officials in the Congress, then this provides a terrific example of why the incumbents in Washington need to be run out of town on a rail.
Either Mr. Lott is a total ignoramus or simply attempting to distract the electorate from the cesspool that Iraq has become.