Feb 162003
Authors: Oliver Cook

Wow, there are certainly a lot of events going on outside of the United States right now. In fact I would argue, without need of a lengthy argument, that most events that transpire at any given moment are outside of the United States.

Why then are Americans, for the most part, ignorant of these events that are really of global proportion?

I would like to point the finger at the mind-numbingness of the sports industry, but I think it is far more accurate to look at the mass media, as its perpetrator, for this general ignorance and apathy.

Instead of watching the American corporate news, like MSNBC or CNN, or even something informative like the BBC, ITN or IWPR, many Americans are content to sit in front of their “pacificationovision” and put their priorities into such “useful” activities like watching the latest episode of “FOX is paying me to occupy your precious time with mindlessly regurgitated material Part VII”.

It’s no wonder that individuals from foreign countries with more active political cultures, and some from countries with less, usually don’t like talking to Americans about politics. That’s funny because most people outside the United States realize just how important politics, and especially international affairs, are to their daily lives.

A great example of this is Afghanistan, and more specifically the Taliban. A lot of people, mainly from Rambo movies, knew there was a war in Afghanistan at some point when Sylvester Stallone has been making movies.

What they didn’t know was that the Taliban had been exporting destabilization throughout the world for years before Sept. 11 occurred. It has been a haven for terrorists for a very long time.

Hence the story of Osama Bin Laden.

Could the September 11, 2001 attack have been prevented if American citizens would have known: a) The war in Afghanistan and both the role we played in aiding the Soviet defeat, as well as the role we did not play in helping to redevelop the country in which we fought a proxy war; b.) The rise of the Taliban, their mad dream of reestablishing a Caliphate in Central Asia, and their harboring of terrorists whose primary target is the United States.

Nobody can say if the attacks could have been prevented, but had there been more of a public interest, then there would have been a lobby in Washington, D.C. to deal with both terrorism and underdeveloped countries that breed terrorism.

At least there would have been a lobby that would have the ear of useful politicians. I hope that the events of the past year and a half have helped to catapult some of you out of the boring existence that is complacency in front of your “advertisement box”.

Ultimately it is knowledge of other peoples, global events, and a desire to be part of a more globalized community that will lead to the prevention of devastating terrorist attacks, unnecessary wars, petty dictators, and the general ignorance that leads to these terrible events.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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