Meanwhile, Back On Planet Earth

Goldbergmap

One antidote to campaign insanity is a brief purview of what on earth has just happened to the Middle East and what that might mean for the future. If that sounds worthy, you're wrong. Jeffrey Goldberg's new essay is one of those big, blue-sky think-pieces whose black humor actually made me laugh out loud at several points. Here's a flavor from a Kurdish prison in Iraq:

The interrogator asked me if I had any questions for Omar. Yes, I said: Have you been tortured in this prison?

“No,” he said.

“What would you do if you were to be released from prison right now?”

“I would get a knife and cut your head off,” he said.

At this, the interrogator smacked Omar across the face with the Koran.

Omar yelped in shock. The interrogator said: “Don’t talk that way to a guest!”

Reality is likely to make one no more pessimistic than optimistic. The region defies both responses, I think. There's a great NPod anecdote too.