As I Said: I’m With Broder, John Doe Is Stupid. And Newsweek?

For those of you who are wondering whether John Doe really is stupid: today, Nick Rivera links to this poll. The results of the poll:

Even today, more than four years into the war in Iraq, as many as four in 10 Americans (41 percent) still believe Saddam Hussein’s regime was directly involved in financing, planning or carrying out the terrorist attacks on 9/11, even though no evidence has surfaced to support a connection. A majority of Americans were similarly unable to pick Saudi Arabia in a multiple-choice question about the country where most of the 9/11 hijackers were born. Just 43 percent got it right—and a full 20 percent thought most came from Iraq.

And if that’s not said enough, there is also this:

Closer to home, more Americans are able to name Jordin Sparks as the winner of the most recent season of American Idol (18 percent) than can identify John Roberts as the Supreme Court’s chief justice (11 percent). Only one in three (31 percent) know that Ben Bernanke is the current Federal Reserve chairman; a quarter (26 percent) think Alan Greenspan, who retired in early 2006, still holds the position. Still, more than half of those polled (59 percent) could identify Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker in a multiple-choice question.

But wait, there is still more to come!
– Only 37% could identify Abraham Lincoln as the first Republican president
– “Roughly half (53 percent) are aware that Judaism is an older religion than both Christianity and Islam (41 percent aren’t sure). And a quarter of the population mistakenly identify either Iran (26 percent) or India (24 percent) as the country with the largest Muslim population. Only 23 percent could correctly identify Indonesia. Close to twothirds (61 percent) are aware that the Roman Empire predates the Ottoman, British and American empires.”
– “only a small minority (17 percent) correctly chose “greater output from the sun” from a list of items as the lone factor that does not contribute to global warming (with 65 percent mistakenly believing that rice patties are not a contributing factor).” Damn that sun, causing global warming every day!
– “Geography is not the strongest subject for many Americans either. Less than half of the poll’s respondents (45 percent) know that South Korea is closer to Japan than Vietnam, the Philippines and Australia. Close to twothirds (64 percent) do know that the Amazon River is in South America. And despite Iraq’s ongoing relevance to current events, just half (50 percent) could select Libya as the only country out of a list of four that doesn’t border it.” Furthermore, Newsweek reports: “Less than half (42 percent) of the public was aware that Iraq only existed as an independent nation since 1920”

There are quite some sad results there – but I wonder about Iraq. 1920? I did not know that either. I thought that the Brits got a mandate and that it became messy, basically, and that it took quite a long while for Iraq to truly become an independent nation. So I did some research: Wikipedia – “Britain granted independence to Iraq in 1932.”

And here:

On October 13, 1932, Iraq became a sovereign state, and it was admitted to the League of Nations.


The merging of the three provinces of Mosul, Baghdad, and Basra into one political entity and the creation of a nation out of the diverse religious and ethnic elements inhabiting these lands was accomplished after World War I. Action undertaken by the British military authorities during the war and the upsurge of nationalism after the war helped determine the shape of the new Iraqi state and the course of events during the postwar years, until Iraq finally emerged as an independent political entity in 1932.

It 1921, Iraq got its own king, but it still did not get its independence. A lot happened in the 1920, until:

In 1929 Britain decided to end this stalemate and reconcile its interests with Iraq’s national aspirations. It notified Iraq that the mandate would be terminated in 1932 and a new treaty of independence negotiated. A new government was formed, headed by General Nuri as-Sa’id, who helped in achieving Iraq’s independence.

What gives Newsweek?

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2 Responses to As I Said: I’m With Broder, John Doe Is Stupid. And Newsweek?

  1. Ginny Cotts says:

    Stupid and Stupider?

  2. Darrell Prows says:

    “upsurge of nationalism after the war”
    I, too, am not familiar with the history in “Iraq”. As for current events, blowing up Mosques and car bombing markets seem pretty hostile. Was there a time as recently as the twenties or thirties when the locals got along better? Is the addition of multiple trillions of dollars worth of oil into the mix the complicating factor?

    (I did alright on the test, but I still can’t figure out how rice patties contribute to global warming.)