Warning: political post ahead. If you don’t enjoy politics (I was a PoliSci major for my undergraduate degree), skip this post!

At his press conference Thursday, the president characterized the current state of war in Iraq as a showdown with Al Qaeda and warned that withdrawal would risk “mass killings on a horrific scale.” Critics have called his assertions that the organization is responsible for both the violence in Iraq and the 2001 attacks on the U.S. an oversimplification. Last month’s poll found that 41 percent of Americans still believe Saddam Hussein’s regime was directly involved in financing, planning or carrying out the attacks on 9/11, even though no evidence has surfaced to support a connection.) The NEWSWEEK Poll, conducted June 18-19, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points for questions based on Census Current Population Survey parameters for gender, age, education, race and population density. In conducting the poll, Princeton Survey Research Associates International interviewed 1,001 adults aged 18 and older. – MSNBC

Someone ring the proctologist, because 41% of the Americans that MSNBC polls have their heads stuck in their recta.

Even President Bush himself has said that there’s no connection whatsoever.

“No, we’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th.” – President Bush, September 13, 2003.

No matter your political persuasion, please, someone find this 41% – or at least the 411 people selected by Princeton Survey Research Associates – and slap some reality into them.

Of course, this is the same country that produces these dazzling results:

After more than three years of combat and nearly 2,400 U.S. military deaths in Iraq, nearly two-thirds of Americans aged 18 to 24 still cannot find Iraq on a map, a study released Tuesday showed.

The study found that less than six months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, 33 percent could not point out Louisiana on a U.S. map.

Inside the United States, “half or fewer of young men and women 18-24 can identify the states of New York or Ohio on a map [50 percent and 43 percent, respectively],” the study said.

When the poll was conducted in 2002, “Americans scored second to last on overall geographic knowledge, trailing Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Sweden,” the report said.

The National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study paints a dismal picture of the geographic knowledge of the most recent graduates of the U.S. education system. – CNN

Whatever we decide to do as a nation with inexpensive laptops for students, someone please install Google Earth on every single one of them, and a quiz module, too.

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