In March of 2009, when I was six months pregnant with my second child, I was invited to attend a tour of the 09L Army Interpretation/Translation program in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. For years, Chaldeans and Arab community leaders from all over the U.S. were gathered at Fort Jackson to be educated about the program, return home and spread the information they’d learned in order to recruit new 09L soldiers.
I wrote an article about this program, which included a quote by the chief instructor and course developer at the school. He’d told us, “Although there has been a slight shift in recruiting efforts, I don’t think it will slow us down. By end of the year, we’ll start recruiting Farsi, Dari and Pashto (Afghanistan) language. By next year, the African language.”
I wondered how far ahead of us the government really was. When I saw what was happening in Mali, then Algeria in the last couple of days, I figured, they’re so ahead of us that by the time we utilize our freedom of speech, it no longer matters. The event has been already set in motion some 50 years ago. Meanwhile, we’re crawling as slow as a snail to comprehended and catch up with a fraction of what the government did 50 years ago.