The first paragraph of Thomas Friedman's opinion piece made me laugh out loud. I read it to an Iranian friend who also laughed. Neither of us had to read the second paragraph to know the right response...
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: A Political Arabesque:
"I have long believed that any American general or senior diplomat who wants to work in Iraq should have to pass a test. It would be a very simple test. It would consist of only one question: 'Do you think the shortest distance between two points is a straight line?'
If you answered 'Yes,' you would not be allowed to work in Iraq. You could go to Korea, Japan or Germany - but not Iraq. Only those who understand that in the Middle East the shortest distance between two points is never a straight line should be allowed to carry out U.S. policy there."