Speed Reads

Crisis in Iraq

Jon Stewart despondently dusts off his 'Mess O'Potamia' chyron to cringe over what's happening in Iraq

Jon Stewart, like many of us, is watching the steady advance of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants toward Baghdad and wondering "What the f--k is going on over there?" On Thursday night's Daily Show, he walked through, in his Daily Show way, the situation in Iraq, including a short primer on ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Baghdadi, an expert talking head informed us, is more anti-American than even Osama bin Laden, a claim that drew Stewart up short: "So you're telling me that if Baghdadi and bin Laden are having an argument about America, bin Laden is the one going 'No, look, I hate them, too — I'm just saying...'?"

The situation is grim for Iraq's government, with ISIS picking off one city after another and picking up the U.S.-financed weapons the Iraqi army is leaving behind as they shed their uniforms and flee. "Is there any good news here?" Stewart asked, warily. And he did find one silver lining: With Iraq's government begging for help, "we finally got it so Iraq will now greet us as liberators!" Senior Iraq War Correspondent Jason Jones offered a little less snark, and an unorthodox solution to Iraq's woes. --Peter Weber