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IRAQ: Here we come, languagewise or unwise

After explaining the complexity of the language situation in Iraq, I found a solution: "My advice to our troops is to speak English, loud English". George Sassoon comments : "When I first went to Russia, I adopted the principle that all Slavs understand Serbian if shouted loud enough. It worked. The Serbs have a reputation for ferocity that goes back for centuries before the recent troubles. And one is treated with respect".RH: Seriously, who would be treated with more respect, a soldier barking loudly and firmly in English or one fumbling painfully with his language translation machine? Incidentally, yesterday a member of the congressional committee on intelligence said they were working on the language problem. I wonder what he meant?

Ronald Hilton - 10/9/02