Sunday, September 09, 2007

Lost in Translation?

The format coesn't make any sense to me, if they were going to allow questions to be asked in Spanish then be translated for the candidates that don't understand Spanish, it really made no sense to demand all of the answers be in English. So perhaps the real title of this Washington Post article should have been Lost in Translation:

Instead, what proved remarkable in this 90-minute forum, held at the University of Miami, was not the responses but the format: Questions were posed in Spanish by two moderators from the Spanish-language television network Univision, which broadcast the event nationally; interpreters immediately translated the questions into English for the candidates, while a written English translation was put on a screen in the arena for the crowd of more than 3,000.

Univision required candidates to answer in English, because only New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.) speak Spanish fluently. That prompted Richardson to criticize the network from the stage Sunday night.

Richardson had a point, since the questions were posed in that manner and he had the ability to answer they should have allowed him to answer then translated his answers into English. Or demand that all questions be asked in English...I realize it could be construed as bias, but let's be real here, he and Dodd have the ability to speak two languages.


Anonymous said...

Why We Should Exit Iraq Now
By Bill Richardson, first printed in the Washington Post
Saturday, September 8, 2007

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have suggested that there is little difference among us on Iraq. This is not true: I am the only leading Democratic candidate committed to getting all our troops out and doing so
quickly. In the most recent debate, I asked the other candidates how many troops they would leave in Iraq and for what purposes. I got no answers. The American people need answers. If we elect a president who thinks that troops should stay in Iraq for years, they will stay for years -- a tragic mistake.
Clinton, Obama and Edwards reflect the inside-the-Beltway thinking that a complete withdrawal of all American forces somehow would be "irresponsible." On the contrary, the facts suggest that a rapid, complete withdrawal -- not a drawn-out, Vietnam-like process -- would be the most responsible and effective course of action.
Those who think we need to keep troops in Iraq misunderstand the Middle East. I have met and negotiated successfully with many regional leaders, including Saddam Hussein. I am convinced that only a complete withdrawal can sufficiently shift the politics of Iraq and its neighbors to break the deadlock that has been killing so many people for so long.
Our troops have done everything they were asked to do with courage and professionalism, but they cannot win someone else's civil war. So long as American troops are in Iraq, reconciliation among Iraqi factions is postponed. Leaving forces there enables the Iraqis to delay taking the
necessary steps to end the violence, and it prevents us from using diplomacy to bring in other nations to help stabilize and rebuild the country. The presence of American forces in Iraq weakens us in the war against al-Qaeda. It endows the anti-American propaganda of those who portray us as occupiers plundering Iraq's oil and repressing Muslims. The day we leave, this myth collapses, and the Iraqis will drive foreign jihadists out of their country.
Our departure would also enable us to focus on defeating the terrorists who attacked us on Sept. 11, those headquartered along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border -- not in Iraq. Logistically, it would be possible to withdraw in six to eight months. We moved as many as 240,000 troops into and out of Iraq through Kuwait in as little as a three-month period during major troop rotations. After the Persian Gulf War, we redeployed nearly a half-million troops in a few months. We could redeploy even faster if we negotiated with
the Turks to open a route out through Turkey.
As our withdrawal begins, we will gain diplomatic leverage. Iraqis will start seeing us as brokers, not occupiers. Iraq's neighbors will face the reality that if they don't help with stabilization, they will face the
consequences of Iraq's collapse -- including even greater refugee flows over their borders and possible war. The United States can facilitate Iraqi
reconciliation and regional cooperation by holding a
conference similar to that which brought peace to Bosnia. We will need regional security
negotiations among all of Iraq's neighbors and discussions of donations from wealthy nations -- including oil-rich Muslim countries -- to help rebuild Iraq. None of this can happen until we remove the biggest obstacle to
diplomacy: the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq.
My plan is realistic because it is less risky. Leaving forces behind leaves them vulnerable. Would we need another surge to protect them? It gets our troops out of the quagmire and strengthens us for our real challenges. It is foolish to think that 20,000 to 75,000 troops could bring peace to Iraq when 160,000 have not. We need to get our troops out of the crossfire in Iraq so that we can defeat the terrorists who attacked us on Sept. 11. By hastening the peace process, the likelihood of prolonged bloodshed is reduced.
President Richard Nixon withdrew U.S. forces slowly from Vietnam -- with disastrous consequences. Over the seven years it took to get our troops out, 21,000 more Americans and perhaps a million Vietnamese, most of them civilians, died. All this death and destruction accomplished nothing -- the communists took over as soon as we left.
My position has been clear since I entered this race: Remove all the troops and launch energetic diplomatic efforts in Iraq and internationally to bring stability. If Congress fails to end this war, I will remove all troops without delay, and without hesitation, beginning on my first day in office. Let's stop pretending that all Democratic plans are similar. The American people deserve precise answers from anyone who would be commander in chief. How many troops would you leave in Iraq? For how long? To do what, exactly? The media should be asking these questions of the candidates, rather than allowing them to continue saying, "We are against the war... but please don't read the small print."

-Sepp said...

It appears that Richardson watched the GOP debate and is trying to copy Ron Paul almost word for word...which I can't blame him for doing since Dr Paul is snatching voters from each side, age group and social standing. Americans are simply getting sick of democrats who buy votes via handouts and pay for it via the middle class while claiming to be the carbon negative to the GOP's neocons and voting the exact same way IE Iraq and govt spending. The people are also sick of the lockstep members of the GOP who seem to be blind to the president's blunders and support the moron when good sense would tell a goat to dump that chump.
I'm sure we'll be seeing more candidates on both sides "borrowing" (read stealing) from Ron Paul's platform.
Fact is though, Paul is the only one with a 10 term record to put his money where his mouth is.