Thursday, November 21, 2002

Geographical Black Hole?

Political scientists considered the possibility of a geographical black hole in the Middle East as CNN reports that "only about one in seven -- 13 percent -- of Americans between the age of 18 and 24, the prime age for military warriors, could find Iraq. The score was the same for Iran, an Iraqi neighbor."

Although the majority, 58 percent, of the young Americans surveyed knew that the Taliban and al Qaeda were based in Afghanistan, only 17 percent could find that country on a world map. A U.S.-led force attacked the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan in October 2001, and President Bush has said he is prepared to use force to rid Iraq of any chemical, nuclear or biological weapons programs.

The survey asked 56 geographic and current events questions of young people
in nine countries and scored the results with traditional grades. The surveyed Americans got a "D," with an average of 23 correct answers. Mexico ranked last with an average score of 21, just three points from a failing grade.

For anyone who doesn't know, Iraq is here:

The countries next to it are Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey (unlabeled).

Don't take this as a portent of failure in a possible war against Iraq. Young American males tend to be geographically-challenged in general. "11 percent cannot find the United States."

(Full Text)


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