I would fail the most basic pop quiz about its players, the players' religious beliefs and political motives, and the region's history and geography. If you showed me a map of Iraq with only its exterior border showing, I couldn't even identify the spot where Baghdad should be.
(I can now, though — writing that last sentence shamed me into looking up the answer.)
I have been struggling to make sense of this. Clearly, if it were just me, the answer would be obvious: Heath, you're a moron. But whenever I bring up this subject with a friend, they seem to share my feeling of loathsome ignorance.
Scarier yet, the politicians who are leading the nation don't seem to know much more than I do. Jeff Stein is the national security reporter for The Congressional Quarterly; when he interviews politicians, he's started asking them questions such as these: "What's the difference between a Sunni and ...