A while ago, reflecting on approaching geezerhood, I said:
Whenever I teach an undergraduate class, I ask the students what’s the earliest major news event they can remember. When I started teaching at Arizona, most students could remember the Challenger disaster. Then it was the fall of the Berlin Wall. Then the first Gulf War. Then Bill Clinton’s first-term election. At the moment it is the Oklahoma City bombing. Soon it will be the death of Princess Diana.
But this isn’t just a kids-these-days complaint. Today’s college freshmen probably don’t remember much about politics before President Bush, and the war as been going on for most of their teenage years. Combine that with the administration’s fine line in disinformational BS and, as Rob remarks in a comment elsewhere, this is what you get:
I have now received three (3) student papers that discuss Iraq’s attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11. All three papers mention it as an aside to another point. I’ve had two papers on the virtue of forgiveness that argue that if we had just forgiven Iraq for the 9/11 attacks, we wouldn’t be at war right now. I just read a paper on the problem of evil which asked why God allowed “the Iraq’s” to attack us on 9/11. The thing that upsets me most here is that the the students don’t just believe that that Iraq was behind 9/11. This is a big fact in their minds, that leaps out at them, whenever they think about the state of the world.