Geographically Illiterate Americans Dream of Bombing North Korea — But First They Must Find It
Back in April, when many people on the Internet earnestly believed that nuclear war with North Korea was only days—if not hours—away, your favorite and most trusted news source (Russia Insider, obviously) calmed its readers by reminding them that America would first have to find North Korea on a map before bombing it.
Apparently the New York Times reads Russia Insider every day, because a few weeks later, the Gray Lady commissioned a study which asked Americans to locate North Korea on a map—and then weigh in on how the US should “deal with” the North Korean menace.
The results will not shock you: Only 36 percent of respondents were able to locate North Korea, and respondents who could correctly identify North Korea tended to view diplomatic and nonmilitary strategies more favorably than those who could not. As the New York Times points out, “They also viewed direct military engagement – in particular, sending ground troops – much less favorably than those who failed to locate North Korea.”
These findings are consistent with similar experiments which show that Americans who can’t find the Equator love to bomb things.
As we noted in our exclusive report from April, “Kindergarten Geography Skills Continue to Hinder America’s Ability to Bomb People“, several years ago a group of American academics asked a simple and extremely rude question: Americans want to rescue Ukraine from Russian invasion—but can they find Ukraine on a map?
The answer: No. (Only about 1 in 6 could, and the experiment found that the further the respondents thought that Ukraine was from its actual location, the more they wanted the US to intervene militarily.)
We know that war is God’s way of teaching the US geography, but sometimes even God can’t deliver:
Returning to the recent NYT “study” :
Americans’ inability to identify countries and places is not new. A Roper survey in 2006 found that, in the midst of the Iraq war, six in 10 young adults could not locate Iraq on a map of the Middle East; about 75 percent could not identify Iran or Israel; and only half could identify New York state.
But how important is this, really?
In “Why Geography Matters,” Harm de Blij wrote that geography is “a superb antidote to isolationism and provincialism,” and argued that “the American public is the geographically most illiterate society of consequence on the planet, at a time when United States power can affect countries and peoples around the world.”
Source: Russia Insider