Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lack of Geographical Knowledge and Low Support for War No Coincidence

I am neither a political scientist nor a geographer, so I am perfectly qualified to link the following recent news: publicly educated children can’t find Iraq or Afghanistan on a map, and support for the war in Iraq is waning. Hmmm, see the connection? Even a layman like myself can see by only reading the highlights of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comments that surrounding Iran with democracies is a good thing. Could anyone possibly doubt that Iran having nuclear weapons is the biggest possible danger the world faces, given its President’s recent comments, its lack of moral constraints, and its sponsorship of international terrorism?

Since the best reasons for the War on Terror have always been to de-stablize the region (yes, this is a good thing when madmen have control over millions), promote democracy in a theocratic world, and discourage Iranian fanaticism, the war is not without solid logical foundations, though war is never a qualitatively good thing by any measure. These foundations bear themselves out clearly when one knows the simple geography of the region: Iraq on the west of Iran, Afghanistan on the east.

If it is true that Iran has been a ticking time bomb for every administration since Carter’s, every president has likely been waiting for the opportunity and the justification to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, if for no other reason, to surround Iran. Forget “blood for oil,” WMDs, or even the truly good reasons to invade both struggling countries. Geography is enough justification as far as I’m concerned, given that Iran is the gravest threat out there, and 9/11 provided all the justification we needed to establish bases around Iran.

So why is support for the War on Terror waning? Well, it seems most American children, and I would imagine even more of their parents (since they haven’t even been to school in 2 decades) don’t understand that Iran is surrounded by Iraq and Afghanistan! If they don’t even know where these countries are, how they understand the very basic strategic advantage of having Iran surrounded?

In the clearest English I can muster, suppose you’re a psychic police captain, and you know at 4:00 today a bank will be robbed by a madman with a gun, who will kill every teller and customer without hesitation. Would you rather have the place surrounded by 3:00, or wait until the alarm sounds from the bank after everyone is already dead to respond? Of course, you (being the savvy police captain that you are) want to have the place surrounded clearly and loudly, so that the madman will never rob the bank to begin with, or if he does, he will be quickly overwhelmed. Iran is the bank robber, America is the police captain, and it doesn’t take a psychic to know that Ahmadinejad is spoiling to kill as many Israelites and Israelite sympathizers he can find. If we had moderate geography skills, this would be as plain to us as killing Jews is to Iran’s president, and support for the War on Terror would undoubtedly be higher.

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