Saturday, November 28, 2009

CIA Seeks Arab Speaking Recruits in Michigan

From an appeased Reuters:

CIA goes hiring in heart of Arab America By Soyoung Kim

"DEARBORN, Michigan (Reuters) - At Tuhama's Lebanese deli in Dearborn, and at bakeries and barbershops throughout town, it's no secret the CIA is looking for a few good spies.

"There is a lot of talk, and nobody likes it," said Hamze Chehade, a 48-year-old Lebanese-American, taking a bite of his chicken shawarma.

In dire need of agents fluent in Arabic, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has made an unusual public show of its recruiting effort in Dearborn -- a city of 100,000 with the densest Arab population in the United States.

The agency has bought full-page ads in Arabic-language newspapers and it is rolling out TV ads aimed at luring Arab-Americans and Iranian-Americans to spycraft.

But despite a weak economy and high unemployment, the CIA will find it hard to hire here, residents say. Many see U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East as misguided and anger over the perceived mistreatment of Arab-Americans runs deep.

It won't be easy to win hearts and minds here, they say.

"If anyone goes, they would be just going for the money, not following the heart," said Chehade, a cabinet-maker who immigrated from Lebanon 21 years ago.

CIA recruiters said the agency sorely needs speakers of Arabic and other languages due to the intensifying insurgency in Afghanistan and the continuing U.S. occupation of Iraq."

"...not following the heart?" Why would that be, if these immigrants wish to defend & protect the open democratic society which allowed the freedom for them to immigrate, live and worship, in the first place?

I'm no expert, but perhaps Sura 4:92 in the Koran provides that answer. Or not. Still, actions speak louder than words:
"Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, agreed that many Arab-Americans were torn between feelings of patriotism and resentment of U.S. government policy at home and abroad.

"I think transparency will do a lot more than airing TV commercials. There's a large amount of fear and mistrust with the government," Walid said.

People of Middle Eastern origin make up more than one-third of Dearborn's 100,000 residents, an influx that began a hundred years ago when Henry Ford hired Lebanese immigrants to work in the nearby River Rouge plant. More recently, many Iraqi refugees have also settled in Dearborn.

On Warren Avenue, where signs in Arabic outnumber those in English, other residents said they doubted the CIA would find many willing recruits in Dearborn.

"It's not lack of patriotism. It's questioning of wrong policy," said Mohammed, a 24-year-old graduate student of Libyan descent who asked not to use his last name.

Inside Tuhama's, Chehade said he would warn his adult sons to consider the consequences of signing on with the CIA.

"People are going to hate you," he said."

"Chinatown." "Little Italy." Now, "Dearbornistan." Plus, "don't be snitch" - Arabic style.

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