Speed Reads

Love is a Battlefield

Jon Stewart takes the U.S.-Iran 'strange bedfellows' line literally, imagines Iraq as a love triangle

Yes, Jon Stewart is a comedian, and no, The Daily Show isn't a hard news-and-analysis show. But on Monday night's show, Stewart gave a remarkably cogent and creative explanation of the geopolitical situation in Iraq. The U.S. and Iran are discussing coordinating their efforts in Iraq to defeat a common enemy, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militia. Meanwhile, ISIS is getting financial support from one of America's biggest Arab allies, and Iran's biggest Muslim enemy, Saudi Arabia.

Forget "strange bedfellows" — this is a romantic Gordian knot. But it makes a lot of sense when Stewart presents the situation as a love triangle. "Sure, you say 'Death to America' and burn our flags, but you do it to our face," Stewart tells Iran. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has been funding America's enemies behind our backs — but what about its sweet, sweet crude oil? Like all good love triangles, this one has a soundtrack — Stewart draws on the hits of the 1980s to great effect. In fact, the only '80s song Stewart left out that would have tied this all together: "Love Bites." --Peter Weber