This past Saturday, I attended the NC Democratic Party had a state executive meeting. This was about 400-500 people from around the state who gather a few times per year to do the work of the Democratic party. There was a Progressive Democrats caucus before the meeting, and I covered what we accomplished under the blog post "Voting to Impeach" below.
While at this meeting, I met a man named Mr. Tim Dunn, who is running for the US House of Representatives in the Eighth Congressional District in NC. He was at a table there that was promoting his campaign. He is a tall, good looking, articulate man who is also a veteran of the Iraq war. He is a lawyer. He is in the Marine Reserves. He claims he can "help America chart a better foreign policy course" on his campaign materials. He is one of the "fighting Dems".
He told me that while he was in Iraq, he was responsible for investigating for the upcoming trial for Saddam. This man does not know how to read, write, or speak Arabic, yet he is supposed to prepare data and evidence for this trial. I suppose that one cannot tell the Marines that one is incompetent to do the job. I suppose you do what you are told.
While talking to him, he claimed that we (meaning America) can make Iraq a success, if we "finish the job" which to him means getting an Iraqi army and police force to defend the country. He showed no signs that he understood the overall purpose of what the Bush administration intends to do there. He seems to believe that we (meaning America) can make a success of this project called 'the war in Iraq.'
I left him for a few minutes and then started thinking: if he has been in Iraq, and he thinks that we can make the invasion of Iraq a success, he should be able to respond to the common greeting in Iraq. So, I went back up to him and said "assalam aleikom". He had no clue what that meant or how to respond. So, I finally told him the response is "aleikom assalam" and what these expressions mean ("peace be to you" and "to you, also peace"). I went back to the meeting.
After the meeting, I was walking out with a group of my friends from here in the mountains. I bumped into Mr. Dunn again, and again said "assalam aleikom" to him. He grabbed my hand, and I don't really remember what he had to say, since I was saying "you can let go of my hand now". I don't know why men do this, but it creeps me out when they grab hold of your hand without asking and then don't let go.
But, Mr. Dunn still did not know the common response to the Iraqi greeting. I turned to a friend and said "assalam aleikom" and he immediately said "aleikom assalam" back to me. Neither of us has been in an Arabic country. I turned to Mr. Dunn and said "see, it's not that hard!"
My opinion of Mr. Dunn is that he is patriotic, loyal to the Marines, well educated, but he is also a fool.