A letter to the editor published in Thursday’s Financial Times went viral this weekend for its concise yet overwhelming description of loyalties and animosities in the Middle East. Above, we’ve visualized the letter by plotting the factions it mentions and using blue arrows to indicate support and red arrows to indicate opposition. Even as a simplification—Qatar, a Gulf state, does not support Egypt’s Gen. Sisi, for example—the letter shows how knotted the conflicts in Syria and Egypt really are. A similar chart made by Egyptian blogger Big Pharaoh is even more detailed and bewildering. Unfortunately, infographics seem incapable of illustrating anything more than the frustrating complexity of the Middle East, but we already knew that.
TODAY IN SLATE
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?
Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.
The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team
The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.