In a democratic society, keeping track of current events is important for all citizens. Each citizen has the right and obligation to know what its government is doing and why. Thomas Jefferson said, “. . . whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right.” He went so far to say, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
Knowing history and being able to see connections of events makes news more understandable. Seeing repeating patterns in wars and revolutions of the 20th century, can give clues to the causes of the 2011 Arab Revolution. Knowing the history of Israel and its relationship with its Mideast neighbors since 1950, can give some explanation as to why President Obama is having trouble with the peace talks in the Mideast.