According to an opinion poll, 45% of the American public believes the U.S. should help the Syrian rebels if the government uses chemical weapons against them. Should Assad be quaking in his jackboots?
Well, he probably should, but not because the U.S. population is finally fed up with him. Left to their own devices, they might one day be in favor of bombing Damascus back to the Stone Age but would need a little help finding it first. Nearly nine out of ten Americans can’t locate Afghanistan on a map of Asia or major regional countries on a smaller one of the Middle East. Three-quarters did not know that Indonesia is a majority Muslim country. It’s the most populous one. (Oh, and our president, who lived there as a child, is not a Muslim – though 17% of Americans think so).
Heck, even our information outlets get confused, as the above map of Egypt from Fox News shows (Hint: it’s not really between Iran and Jordan). And if our best and brightest are a bit fuzzy about geography, our cutest and sweetest are really in the dark. Take the now infamous audience question for Miss Teen South Carolina 2007:
Question: “Recent polls have shown that a fifth of Americans can’t locate the US on a world map. Why do you think this is?”
Answer: Miss South Carolina Lauren Caitlin Upton
“I personally believe, that U.S. Americans, are unable to do so, because uh, some, people out there, in our nation don’t have maps. and uh… I believe that our education like such as in South Africa, and the Iraq, everywhere like such as … and, I believe they should uh, our education over here, in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa, and should help the Iraq and Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”
Oy! Bombs away.