The region combines a long history of Ottoman oppression, lingering resentment from the fleeting period of Western colonialism, ballooning populations and shrinking economies, a malign fascination with Nazi racial theories and Soviet-style politics, and the skewed absurdities of oil wealth and Western aid. Shake it all up with the murderous and nihilistic resentments of Islamic fundamentalism, and you get lots of angry, well-armed people with no experience in self-governance and lots of scapegoats in need of a good killing. This will get worse before it gets better.
After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, British scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 200 years. They came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 150 years ago.
Not to be outdone by the Brits, in the weeks that followed an American archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet. A story was subsequently published in the New York Times: "American archaeologists, finding traces of copper wire 250 years old, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network - 50 years earlier than the British."
One week later, the Dublin Times reported: "After digging as deep as 30 feet in his backyard in Nenagh, County Cork, Seamus O'Reilly, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. O'Reilly has concluded that 250 years ago, Ireland had already gone wireless."