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As Common …

And dumb as dirt – that’s the Congress of the United States.

Doctors Without Borders sends out world maps with its fund raising letters. If I had the money I would pay them to send a world map to all 535 members of Congress. It probably wouldn’t do any good, as envelops are probably too intricate for them to deal with.

Mustang Bobby wrote:

Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House subcommittee on issues related to U.S. policy in Africa. So eyebrows went up when he expressed his concern about our role in Libya:

Where does it stop? Do we go into Africa next? I don’t want to sound callous or cold, but this could go on indefinitely around the world.

Mustang Bobby was tipped off by The Washington Monthly, and there were people in the comments at the Monthly actually saying that they could understand the confusion because Libya is considered part of the Middle East.

The only people who think that Libya is part of the Middle East are those that are as ignorant as Marino.

I certainly think that most people took World History in high school, and they would have certainly read something about World War II [It was in all of the newspapers at the time]. Part of WWII was called the North African Campaign, which involved a large amphibious landing, Operation Torch and battles against the Axis forces led by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox. The German troops under Field Marshal Rommel were called the Afrika Korps and had their headquarters at Tripoli.

The United States military divides up the world into six regions which are each assigned a Unified Combatant Command. The Combatant Commander for a region has control of all US forces operating with the region, without regard to their branch of service, and reports directly to the Secretary of Defense, not through the Joint Chiefs of Staff. When Operation Odyssey Dawn was initiated it fell under:

Africa Command

That’s right, Africa Command, because Libya is obviously in Africa, just like it was when Thomas Jefferson sent the US Navy & Marines into Tripoli the first time. [Congress did pass the first version of an “Authorization for the Use of Military Force”, but declined to actually declare war. This is not a new problem.]


1 Badtux { 04.02.11 at 6:36 pm }

Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) is truly representative of the people of his district, the majority of whom similarly couldn’t tell the difference between Libya and Laos if you switched the names on a map and sent it to them. You wonder how these people get elected to Congress, and then you realize they got voted into office, every one. We have met the enemy and he are us…

H.L. Mencken once said that democracy is the notion that the common folk know what they want and deserve to get it, good and hard. As long as Americans continue to vote for the most corrupt candidate (i.e., the one who has accepted the most bribes err “campaign contributions” and thus has the most petty lying attack ads on the air) rather than the best candidate (the one who is most intelligent and has the best solutions for the nation’s problems), well.

– Badtux the Cynical WASF Penguin

2 hipparchia { 04.02.11 at 7:00 pm }

they have oilo under their desert sands, and we want it [the oil, not the sand].ergo, they are in the middle east.

3 oldwhitelady { 04.02.11 at 7:40 pm }

Ha! Even I know Libya is part of Africa. I wonder if it was an accidental slipup?

4 Bryan { 04.02.11 at 9:42 pm }

They are definitely getting it “good and hard” in Florida. Mosquitoes are currently more popular than our newly elected governor.

I don’t expect them to know where every country in the world is, but I expect them to be curious enough to find out where the countries we are currently bombing are located. It becomes rather pointless to “consult with Congress” when Congresscritters don’t even know what continent is under discussion. These are the sorts of things that Congressional staff would once brief their bosses about, but the staff seem to have become just as ignorant as the Congresscritters.

If they want oil, Hipparchia, they can suck it off my beaches, because I want the sand, not the oil.

OWL, you probably stayed awake and listened in school, so that makes you part of the “intellectual elite” in the eyes of everyone in Congress with a R after their name, and too many with a D.

“I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.”

John Stuart Mill in a letter to the Conservative MP, John Pakington

5 Badtux { 04.05.11 at 12:51 am }

The thing about the Republicant Congressmen is that they already learned everything they need to know from the Holy Bible (or the complete works of Ayn Rand, same difference, it’s all religion), so they see no reason to listen to their staff’s briefings.

The Libyans being Arabs rather than Negros probably is what tripped him up. Everybody knows that Africa is where black Americans came from — not the tea-colored Americans, the by-god black ones. It can’t be Africa if the residents aren’t at least as dark-complected as President Obama, right? 😈

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

6 Bryan { 04.05.11 at 5:17 pm }

Well, other people have implied or said it was a racial problem, Badtux, but I’ll stay with ignorance. I don’t doubt that some of the people in Congress think Africa is a borough of New York City.

Since they don’t occupy this space/time continuum it is difficult to determine why Repubs act like they do.

7 Badtux { 04.05.11 at 6:12 pm }

But one constant is the know-it-all’ism that leads them to ignore things like staff briefings because “I know the Holy (Bible|Rand), I don’t need any of them thare librahl ‘fact’ thingies”. Sort of like when Gee Dubya came into office, Richard Clarke tried to give a briefing on the al Qaeda threat, it got kicked by down by Gee Dubya’s staff as “too long, he won’t read anything that’s more than a paragraph long, pep it up.” If you won’t let your staff give you the kind of in-depth informative briefings needed to have a firm grasp on the background of a situation, well. Ignorance seems to be a point of pride with these types… they’re *proud* that they’re not one of them thare intuhlecshual egg-heads like made them feel stoopid in skool. Siiiiiigh…. WASF.

– Badtux the Waddling Penguin

8 Bryan { 04.05.11 at 7:32 pm }

“Some guy in a bar” is the authority on everything.

I have serious doubts about the ability of most Congress to either read or comprehend the Bible or the works of Rand, even the Cliff Notes versions. They celebrate being dumb as a post, and let lobbyists write the laws.