Hopelessness Over Our Brave New World …

A new poll of Americans is beyond depressing … And it adds to my long time contention that the best, and perhaps the only, way to improve US foreign policy is to improve fourth grade education in places like southwestern Kansas … I guess if I have the courage, sometime soon I will be coming to a rural schoolhouse near you to duke it out with the cretins of creationism … Oh, Lord, sayeth this supplicant, if only your “intelligent design” applied equally to the American educational system …

According to this report, roughly half of Americans believe today that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction when the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003 …

“After a 16-month, $900-million-plus investigation, the U.S. weapons hunters known as the Iraq Survey Group declared that Iraq had dismantled its chemical, biological and nuclear arms programs in 1991 under U.N. oversight. That finding in 2004 reaffirmed the work of U.N. inspectors who in 2002-03 found no trace of banned arsenals in Iraq.”

But still half of Americans believe … Shu? Come again? Huh?

One analyst answered: “‘People tend to become “independent of reality … ‘”

Really …? After seeing a poll like this, I think I could use a bit of that kind of “independence”?

The report also noted a recent FOX News bulletin:

“As Israeli troops and Hezbollah guerrillas battled in Lebanon on July 21, a Fox News segment suggested, with no evidence, yet another destination for the supposed doomsday arms.

“‘ARE SADDAM HUSSEIN’S WMDS NOW IN HEZBOLLAH’S HANDS?'” asked the headline, lingering for long minutes on TV screens in a million American homes.”

More fun facts (I will add links once my moral energy returns, but most are from CNN and Newsweek polls unless otherwise specified):

1. “A 2002 Time/CNN poll found that 59 percent of Americans believe that the prophecies found in the Book of Revelation are going to come true. Nearly one-quarter think the Bible predicted the 9/11 attacks.”

2. “According to a poll in April [199?], 44 percent of Americans think Jesus will likely return to Earth within the next 50 years. The poll was conducted by Princeton Research Associates for Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

3. “Another Princeton Research Associates poll conducted for Newsweek magazine in November found that 40 percent of Americans believe the world will end with the battle of Armageddon as described in the New Testament book of Revelation. Of those, some 47 percent believe the Antichrist is already on Earth.”

4. “After more than three years of combat and nearly 2,400 U.S. military deaths in Iraq, nearly two-thirds of Americans aged 18 to 24 still cannot find Iraq on a map, a study released Tuesday showed.”

5. “The study found that less than six months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, 33 percent could not point out Louisiana on a U.S. map.”

6. “The study, which surveyed 510 young Americans from December 17 to January 20, showed that 88 percent of those questioned could not find Afghanistan on a map of Asia despite widespread coverage of the U.S.-led overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 and the political rebirth of the country.”

7. “In the Middle East, 63 percent could not find Iraq or Saudi Arabia on a map, and 75 percent could not point out Iran or Israel. Forty-four percent couldn’t find any one of those four countries.”

8. “Inside the United States, ‘half or fewer of young men and women 18-24 can identify the states of New York or Ohio on a map [50 percent and 43 percent, respectively],’ the study said.”

How exactly again are we Americans supposed to teach those crazy Muslims and Arabs (I always forget the difference … ? They are both brown and crazy religious, right?) about secularism, democracy and global responsibility? Please do tell …

In addition, I would like to take this opportunity to remind my President, as former Lebanese Prime Minister Selim al-Hoss recently did in reference to the war on terror, that if he intends to bring human rights and enlightenment to the dark, nether regions of the planet, “charity starts at home …”

Oh, if only we could find say $300 billion in the federal budget for improving public education in the United States … ? If we cannot find such a sum, I wonder maybe if my Lebanese or Iraqi friends could start a campaign to strengthen democracy and education in the United States … We are after all a very young republic with a very large national debt … Maybe they will aver that the “American mindset” is simply not compatible with the intellectual and moral demands of liberal modernism … Perhaps they are right … Perhaps we only understand the brutal logic of the jungle and must be dealt with accordingly … Perhaps though, they could work with Natan Sharansky and take his advice by keeping expectations low and working on the institutions of democracy here in the United States before letting us have our own national interest or independent foreign policy … Perhaps, perhaps …

Until such time, I guess we Americans really need those laser-guided “smart” munitions … How else would we locate those we wish to bomb …?

And still some from the world’s only superpower ask: “why do they hate us?”

I would really appreciate it if someone could give me some hope about all of this …

Or at least a tab of soma

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5 thoughts on “Hopelessness Over Our Brave New World …

  1. sorry, i have nothing positive to say on the americans. we almost expect the politicians to be the way they are but the public here is where the problem starts. the country is mussulini’s vision of fascism, totalitarian regime funded by corporations, it turned around you as you sat and watched. those who do not see and do not care should not be forgiven for their ignorance.
    as giving away fliers for a cease fire in new york, the reaction from people spanned from ignoring me to giving me the finger. i’m a phd student, i would say i’m smart and presentable enough not to be treated like garbage on the street. no, not in the US and A where everybody is arrogant, we’re WE’RE AMERICANS only means fuck the world, where all people care about is a remote control and beer, southpark and baseball, the latest grill and the most expensive car, at the expense of lives.
    ignorance cannot be forgiven in a time of moral dilemma.
    i truly hope this country won’t be a superpower for long. i call for a miracle to save this earth from future disasters.

  2. i agree, and I think we should send in the Marines to liberate the U.S. There is something spooky about how much the U.S. has come to embody what it fears overseas. The deep religiosity strikes me as mirroring the kind of militant political Islamic groups that the U.S. claims to fear and loathe.

  3. here in the us, it’s seems obvious by making such geopolitical subjects of geography, history, and other social-political subject come across as irrelevant stream of unrelated facts that have anything to do w/ their reality, makes one unconcerned one sheltered and locally myopic in their world view. this coupled w/ the entertainment industrial complex leading the youth of today to increasingly infatuate themselves the material and supercillious further alieanates any such interests outside anything that intersects their comforts zones (and implicitly margionalizes one’s interest’s w/ such education to achieve a well informed world-view.). it doesn’t take much to dicern that the american (and other) powers that be are rather complicit in the current american educational state and entainment idol worship (etc).

    i have horror stories of graduate school educated kids here, and from my time t.a.’ing college kids here, but, you can already guess the ‘punchlines of such stories’….

    -aaron

    brooklyn

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