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Doh! Republican Congressman Joe Pitts Calls on Ariel Sharon (Coma) to Hold Talks with Yasir Arafat (Dead)

They say Americans are ignorant about the world around them, but you’d expect that your elected lawmakers in Washington would have at least a passing knowledge of who’s in charge of some of the most volatile places on earth, one of them arguably America’s closest ally. But if you live in Pennsylvania’s 16th congressional district, you’d be expecting a bit too much.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Rep. Joe Pitts, a Republican, was recently replying to a constituent’s email about the moribund Middle East Peace process when he made the flub of the century.

“It is now incumbent on Prime Minster Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat to clamp down on Palestinian extremists that have perpetuated violence and to restart a peace process,” Rep. Pitts wrote on April 20.

The only problem is, Sharon hasn’t been Israeli prime minister since 2006, when he suffered a massive stroke and fell into a coma he’s been in ever since. And Arafat is presiding over a free, independent and strong Palestinian state– in heaven, perhaps. He died in 2004.

As previously stated in this post, Americans are notoriously ignorant about world affairs and geography. In a 2006 National Geographic survey, 70 percent of college-age Americans (18-24) couldn’t identify Israel on a world map. Nine out of 10 couldn’t locate Afghanistan, despite the war that rages on there.

And most shockingly of all, only 11 percent of 18-24-year-old Americans could locate the United States on a world map in a similar 2002 Nat Geo survey.

“Young Americans just don’t seem to have much interest in the world outside of the US,” National Geographic’s David Rutherford said in 2006.

 

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