10 Things Our Generation Doesn’t Know, and What We Know Instead

Quick, what is the Secretary of Defense’s name?

Yeah, I don’t know either.

Ok, how about this, name a Kardashian.

Did you come up with one? Me too.

If you asked a random person from any high school across the country to name a Kardashian, it would be almost guaranteed that they could tell you, whether they actually cared about the Kardashians or not. If you asked a high schooler something about the Iraq/Iran/Afghanistan wars, they would most likely look at you dumbfounded.

I’m not saying that we need to know everything, we don’t. We’re not bad for knowing all these trivial things, it’s human nature, we’re just a different generation. We grew up with 9/11, and although we didn’t know much about it at the time, we experienced it and the subsequent wars. But we never learned much about them, most of us couldn’t even tell you who we are still at war with or why we went to war in the first place.

1. Al Qaeda committed the attacks on 9/11 because they thought U.S. foreign policy was harming Muslims
“Al-Qaeda’s leader (Osama Bin Laden) was motivated by a belief that U.S foreign policy has oppressed, killed, or otherwise harmed Muslims in the Middle East, condensed in the phrase “They hate us for what we do, not who we are,” says former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer in Imperial Hubris. While we all know that attacking civilians is never right, and that 9/11 was a horribly tragic event that can’t be made up to the families of victims, most of us probably couldn’t tell you why it happened. Although it had nothing to do with the people working in the towers it was for a purpose to Al Qaeda.

What we know instead: That Taylor Swift was broken up with by Joe Jonas in a 27 second phone call, then she made a YouTube video about it. Also, Kanye was ‘Mean,’ but she says he’s still an ‘Innocent.

2. Even though we are no longer in Iraq we are still in the War On Terrorism
The war on terrorism began on October 7, 2001 and still going today. It has been ten years and some odd days. The War on Terrorism is actually in several countries and the United Kingdom is also in it with the U.S., along with 14 other countries.

What We Know Instead:
Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees totally took steroids, he admitted it. Also, steroid abuse commercials play at games when he comes to town, coincidence? I think not.

3. 9/11 wasn’t the only reason for the war
President Bush has a list of defined objectives for the war on terror, which you can see here. Among these are to identify and destroy terrorists all over the world, with Osama being the main focus, but also other organizations that did not participate in the attacks on 9/11.

What We Know Instead:
There’s an app for that! Most of us have played Angry Birds, or Words with Friends, Apple currently has 500,000 apps.

4. Operation Enduring Freedom
While most of us know that while we took down terrorist organizations, we also tried to help the people of Iraq and Iran. Well, we also have Operations of Enduring Freedom in the Philippines and the Horn of Africa. In Africa we went to combat piracy and terrorism, and in the Philippines we are assisting the armed forces in their fight on terrorism.

What We Know Instead:
Kim Kardashian’s marriage lasted 72 days, creating the most interesting list of things longer than a marriage ever produced.

5. We didn’t technically go to war with Iraq until 2003, but we did go to war with Afghanistan in 2001.
The war in Iraq began on March 20, 2003, the first CIA invasion into Iraq was July 2002. In 2006 the UN nations described Iraq as a ‘civil war like situation.’ Their first parliamentary election was in 2005, which killed at least 44 people.

What We Know Instead: Lady Gaga showed up to the Grammys in an egg.

6. Osama Bin Laden Didn’t Fully Confess to the 9/11 Attacks Until 2004
Shortly before the presidential election in 2004 Osama Bin Laden released another video tape publicly acknowledging Al-Qaedas involvement. He stated that “We are free … and want to regain freedom for our nation. As you undermine our security we undermine yours.”

What We Know Instead: Justin Bieber was accused of fathering a baby at 17.

7. Out of the 19 hijackers from 9/11, 15 were from Saudi Arabia
Two hijackers were from the United Arab Emirates, one was from Egypt, and one was from Lebanon. Many of their possible residences were in the United States, meaning it wasn’t all foreigners who attacked, nor was it the countries we went to war with, it was also people taking up residence here.

What We Know Instead: Whitney Houston’s funeral cost in police officers alone was $187,000. The flags in New Jersey were also lowered to half mast for her funeral.

8. There was a terrorist cell in operation years before 9/11 that was working against the U.S
In this document of the indictments from 9/11 there are several mentions of members of Al-Qaeda being advised to take actions against ‘non believers’ as far back as 1989. In 1998 Muslims were encouraged to kill Americans anywhere they found them, according to the Al-Quds al-`Arabi which was an Osama Bin Laden supported movement.

What We Know Instead:
Every detail of Prince William and Kate’s marriage, even though they don’t  live in the U.S.

9. There was a World Trade Center Bombing in 1993 by Middle Eastern Terrorism
On February 26, 1993 a group of terrorists a bomb went off in the world trade center that killed 6 people, it left a “100 foot crater several stories deep and several more high,” according to the FBI article. One of the terrorists even confessed afterwards that he wanted to topple one tower and have it fall down on the other to crush it.

What We Know Instead: Brad Pitt and Angelina 

10. We are the future of the world.
No, this is not really a fact about the world or an event, but it’s almost more important. Our generation will soon vote (if they aren’t already) and hold jobs, become taxpayers, and eventually a select few will become politicians. Just like all our parents and grandparents did before us, we will soon have the spotlight and be making the decisions about the issues. What we need to know first though is what those issues are and the facts that go with them.

What We Know Instead: All of our peers relationship statuses

I’m not saying that this our generation is bad, or stupid, or anything like that, I’m just saying that the things we don’t know about the world around is something we need to change.
P.S: The U.S. Secretary of Defense is named Leon Panetta.

Rachel Ulfers

Rachel is currently a PSEO student at NHCC during her senior year. She is in DECA, Hoofprint,and enjoys photography and playing with her overbearing yellow lab.

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