This article is from the archive of our partner .

Yesterday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee considered America's response to Syria, and everyone in attendance was all ears. Well, almost everyone — it seems John McCain found his game of internet poker more interesting. "Hey man, is this possible global conflagration interrupting your video poker time?" Jon Stewart asked. Stewart suggested that if McCain was bored in Senate, he could get a motor scooter, a bucket of coins and head over to a casino for 99 cent prime rib. "Instead of playing pretend poker in the actual Senate, go to an actual casino and pretend you know what the government should do."

But Western leaders only putting in 50 percent on foreign affairs issues is nothing new. "Maybe it's time we just went back to where a lot of these problems started," Stewart said,"with a British man a hundred years ago, drawing a map of a place he'd never been to, filled with people he'd never met, forming new countries with no attention paid to ethnic or religious tensions." Stewart welcomed Sir Archibald Mapsalot III, played by John Oliver. Mapsalot offered to redraw the lines since they'd caused so many problems the first time around, transferring land from Turkey and placing a Kurdish population in a disputed zone, Stewart pointed out.

"A what in a who living in a where, Jon?" Mapsalot said. Besides giving Oliver a chance to use a ridiculous British accent, the scene touched on the slapdash way the Western world works in the Middle East. At one point Mapsalot said "To call me racist would imply that I cared enough to hate them, or was interested enough about them to learn things about them to dislike." Later Mapsalot pulls out a cellphone and started playing poker, like another previously mentioned Western leader. 

"Why am I playing poker?" Mapsalot asked. "Because you're boring me Jon. And this is what real gentlemen do. They play poker on their iPhones whenever they become inexplicably bored by something incredibly important." In that case, play on McCain, play on.



This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to