Friday, October 16, 2015

Cameroon: The latest attempt to educate Americans about the world

Remember that old Mark Twain quote about the geographic illiteracy of Americans?  What?  You don't?
God created war so that Americans would learn geography.
Are you not impressed that he said that a long time ago?  And, therefore, are you not mighty relieved that our collective ignorance about the rest of the world, and the apathy, is not anything new?  I suppose if there is one thing that we can hold on to as a truly American trait, it is that we don't know much about geography and we don't care either.  After all, that ill-informed view was what led to the formation of these United States, thanks to Christopher Columbus stumbling upon "India"!

But then, we try our best to learn about the countries and people in different parts of the world by bombing the shit out of them.  In the past seventy years, since the ending of the world war that followed the world war that was supposed to end all wars, the US has bombed an impressive list of countries:

Awesome, right?

How many Americans will be able to accurately identify all those countries on a world map, and say something substantive about those countries and the people?  We try our best but Americans still don't care.  (BTW, a special note on Syria: for the first time since the end of WW II, the US and Russia will be bombing the same country!)

In this important task of continuing education, we are dispatching the next set of teaching assistants--armed with the latest gadgets, of course--to Cameroon.  Hey little boys and girls, do you know Cameroon?
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the mission would be "part of a broader regional effort to stop the spread of Boko Haram and other violent extremist organisations in West Africa".
More details, please?
The force, which will be 300 strong, will conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations in the region.
Cameroon and Chad have been targeted by the Islamist militants from northern Nigeria.
Mr Obama said the forces would remain in Cameroon until "no longer needed".
I am sure "until "no longer needed" means that the US forces will be there only for a couple of months,  Like how our forces came back from Japan after the war ended and how we no longer have military bases there. Yeah, right!

Sometime soon we will have to start educating Americans about the planetary system and outer space, given our scientific illiteracy.  Maybe we should think in terms of bombing those Martians?

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