Who Needs It? Only Tiny Percentage of Baghdad Embassy Employees Speak Arabic

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We blogged a while back about how the U.S. ambassador to Iraq was complaining to Condi Rice about the quality of his people in the Baghdad embassy. Too young, he said. Or too inexperienced. Or couldn’t find work elsewhere.

Maybe the fact that only 10 of his foreign service folks speak Arabic fluently has something to do with his griping.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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