Former Texas governor Rick Perry's political action committee has released a short Web video aimed at excoriating the Obama administration over its negotiations with Iran. The video also aims to position Perry (R) as knowledgeable on foreign policy issues with 2016 looming, of course. There's just one problem: The map of Iran he uses shows the nation surrounded by parts of the former Soviet Union. In other words, the world Perry is warning about is one that's been gone for more than 20 years, since the breakup of the U.S.S.R.
The video is below. Perry looks through his new hipster glasses into the camera, sternly warning of the past and present threat posed by Iran. Snippets of news videos and other footage fade in and out over his commentary. At the beginning, that map of Iran appears.
Did you catch it? If not, here is the key still.
Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkmenistan became independent in 1991. They are no longer "S.S.R."s —Soviet Socialist Republics. Note, too, the dashed southwestern border of Israel. That suggests that the map may be even older, dating to the period during which Israel still occupied much of the Sinai Peninsula.
Perry did not make this video himself. He did not, we assume, sit beside the video producer and select the stock globe imagery that would float in over his stern face.
But if his goal is to position himself as being savvier than his opponents on foreign policy, it's worth ensuring that he's not inadvertently using supporting materials that suggest he thinks that world boundaries still adhere to those of the Cold War era.