When I just heard this news on the radio I really thought someone was quoting an article from The Onion. But no. It seems to be something that's actually going to happen. On the taxpayer's dime.
General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced today the establishment of an Essay Contest to honor Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz who passed away last week. This contest will take place at the National Defense University (NDU). Defense.gov reports:
“This is an important opportunity to honor the memory of the king, while also fostering scholarly research on the Arab-Muslim world, and I can think of no better home for such an initiative than NDU,” Dempsey said in a statement announcing the competition.
The competition will focus on issues related to the Arab-Muslim world and is designed to encourage strategic thinking and meaningful research on a crucial part of the world. The program will be in place at NDU for the next academic year . . . .To HONOR a man who reigned over a nation that beheads people and treats women like chattel in the twentieth-first century.
Now, don't get me wrong. I have no objection to NDU students engaging in scholarly research concerning the Middle East or Muslim nations in general. Such endeavors have led to important policy measures in years past about our relations with, and approach to, emerging powers such as Russia, China, and the like. After all, as GI Joe informed us, "Knowing is half the battle."
To do so, however, to "honor the memory" of a beast -- and he was a beast, regardless of his "friendliness" toward the United States -- is distasteful at best, and Lord only knows how bad at worst.
But, should we be surprised by this development? Remember this?
No envoy to the recent multi-nation march in Paris. No envoy to Margaret Thatcher's funeral. No envoy to the funeral for the first two star general killed in action in Afghanistan. But, Obama cuts short a trip to India to "pay his respects" to this pig. Pay something anyway.
Oh, pardon me. I'm certain the term "pig" is offensive to the deceased.