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Letter: Actually, Benghazi isn’t in the Middle East

I find it mildly amusing that the Monitor republished the quote from U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster about Benghazi that went viral because apparently a lot of people thought it illustrated her ignorance (“The year in quotes,” Forum, Jan. 1).

According to news reports she declined to talk about the Benghazi attacks because the topic of discussion was supposed to be the Middle East. Well, it’s been shown for years that many Americans have a less than functional knowledge of geography. This is one case where those who ridiculed the congresswoman are those who displayed their ignorance. Benghazi, Libya is, by any accepted geographer’s definition in Northern Africa, not the Middle East. That area extends only as far west as Egypt. Benghazi actually lies even further west than most of Greece. If you don’t believe me, look it up.



Legacy Comments5

The correct response would have been: "Thank you for the question, although we are talking about the Middle East let's put that into the parking lot and if time allows we can come back to it at the end of this Q&A"....that is how a professional would handle it. Or still better, be honest and answer the darn question.

Geographically, Libya is located in North Africa. However, The State Department considers Libya to be a part of the Middle East. Ms Kuster's unwillingness to answer her constituent's question is just one more reason for her to be unemployed next November.

Excellent points, I see shades of Hodes here, he did the same thing as well, he would not discuss anything with his constituents, his mind was made up.

The location of Libya is irrelevant, a constituent asked Annie (their congresswoman) a question and the response was having her handler step in because she is incapable of answering unscripted questions. I thought she would have been capable of sputtering something from the dems cut sheet by mentioning " working families" and " the middle class", however she was incoherent at best without a script. Now we see why she does not hold town meetings.

According to Acting Assistant Secretary Beth Jones........ Regional policy issues regarding the Middle East peace, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, and political and economic reform, deals with U.S. foreign policy and U.S. diplomatic relations with Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. NUF SAID

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