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He's trying ... he's trying


World-class brilliant neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson is having a real hard time understanding foreign stuff. Like, he gets that, "In the United States, we have Republicans, Democrats, and independents." But when it comes to other countries, like Israel, which he loves, well, its un-American system "sounds complex." Thus, his reasonable (and diplomatic!) question: "Why don’t they just adopt the system we have?"

It's not as if his advisers haven't been trying to learn him how the rest of the world works. But dang it if the doctor just can't grasp ... anything.

“Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,” said Duane R. Clarridge, a top adviser to Mr. Carson on terrorism and national security. He also said Mr. Carson needed weekly conference calls briefing him on foreign policy so “we can make him smart.”

The Carson campaign immediately denied that Ben Carson is, in fact, an idiot and accused the New York Times of tricking this crazy old bat Clarridge fellow into saying false means about the good doctor:

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The 83-year-old former C.I.A. agent who's been trying to teach Dr. Carson's brain some foreign policy things might not know all the details of Carson's briefing, but then, neither does Carson. During a recent interview with the Miami Herald, Carson asked the reporter to explain to him America's Cuban immigration policy before he could answer any questions about it, since he hadn't been "briefed fully":

"You’re going to have to explain to me exactly what you mean by that,” Carson said, asked about wet-foot, dry-foot. “I have to admit that I don’t know a great deal about that, and I don’t really like to comment until I’ve had a chance to study the issue from both sides."

But obviously, Carson's foreign policy adviser was inaccurately gossiping out of school to the Times when he suggested it might be physically impossible to implant any intelligence in Carson's broken brain. Or maybe it's exactly as Carson's favorite adviser and chief apologia strategist Armstrong Williams said, and the presidential candidate simply does not care for "silly" questions and hypotheticals:

Williams offered another take on the Republican presidential contender's seeming inability to name which allies he would reach out to first to defeat the Islamic State terrorist network.

“Dr. Carson is very dismissive of the question,” Williams said Tuesday on Bloomberg's With All Due Respect. “It was a hypothetical, and Dr. Carson does not like answering hypotheticals and so he intentionally did not answer the question.”

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Perhaps Carson only likes to discuss old-timey hypotheticals, like how the Jews might not have perished in the Holocaust if only they'd had MORE GUNS and bum-rushed the Nazis like a Real American Tough Guy should.

As to the more relevant hypothetical question about Carson's ability to name American allies he'd dial up to help kick some ISIS ass, meh. He could have named a country or two, but that would just make the other countries he didn't name feel bad and jealous:

“I wasn’t interested in answering that question,” Carson said on PBS. He claimed that if he cited the name of an individual country—say Egypt or Israel—that critics would question why he hadn’t named another country.

It's not as if Dr. Carson is completely ignorant of his ignorance, though. And he has a perfect explanation for it, that none of us would understand, because we are not medically trained experts:

Ben Carson admitted he has a lot to learn about foreign policy during an interview with “PBS Newshour” on Tuesday night.

“We have something called continuing medical education,” Carson said, using this as his defense. “I think that applies to everything in our lives.”

We have no idea what this highly technical term "continuing medical education" could mean. Anyone know a brilliant neurosurgeon who could explain to us?

[NYT / Bloomberg / Daily Beast]

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