Wednesday, May 03, 2006


New report shows that young Americans are unable to find Iraq and other important geo-political locations on a map, 5 years after September 11th, and more than 3 years after the war in Iraq began.

Young Americans are still unable to find Iraq and other well known locations on a map.
They are hugely uninformed about the world. Every few months we see a study or survey confirming this fact.

This new study reminds me of a 2002 survey also reported by National Geographic during the lead-up to war in Iraq. The 2002 survey found that more than 80% of American high schoolers could not locate Iraq and other important locations on a map. The new report shows that not much has changed since then, despite 2 wars and possibly another war coming at any time. It raises questions about how and why it is so easy for the U.S. to get into foreign policy trouble.
The U.S. literally has a population that is either not paying attention and doesn't want to or is so uninformed about the issues that it cannot possibly have much of an impact on what is going on. If you have a population that is not engaged and not informed about the geo-political situation in the world, then it is a lot easier for politicians to sell them a war, like the war in Iraq.

The American school system is a complete disaster. This is why it is so important to require all school districts to have courses in civics, geography, international relations, politics, international politics, world history, International law/human rights, world cultures, foreign policy, world religions, and related courses. Students should be required to take AT LEAST 4 or 5 of these courses before they are allowed to graduate….or a minimum of 2-3 of these courses for each year of high school.

Currently, most American school districts either do not offer an adequate amount of these types of courses, or they do not require that students take a sufficient number of them.

Other articles on this new survey:

Articles from the Seattle Times, and CBS News.

Read the full 2006 survey report from National Geographic.

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