I’ve often likened 21st-century American policy toward southern Asia to a game of darts, with Iran rightly wondering if it’s supposed to be the bullseye located directly between Afghanistan (invaded 2001) and Iraq (1990 and then 2003). Both invasions are the multi-generational clusterfucks that they are in large part because they proceeded without a clear knowledge of the forces at work in the region and of the historical legacy that set up, and continues to set up, the endemic strife of the land between the Mediterranean and India. With the United States insistent on rattling sabers at Iran even while recognizing that attacking the Shia theocracy would be an even worse idea than its 2001 Leroy-Jenkins-charge into the “graveyard of empires,” it seems prudent to have a look at the on-the-ground reality of the Persosphere. This level of realism hasn’t been lost on professional analysts of the region, including the one who produced this impressive map of what the Asian Middle East might look like if its borders more closely reflected ethnic and cultural realities. Hilariously, various conspiracy-minded peoplefrom throughout the Middle East now harbor the delusion that the United States has the partitioning of their states among its objectives, thanks to this speculative map.