Way back in February, I remember hearing Mitt Romney claim that Syria is Iran's "route to the sea."
Even at the time, it was immediately laughable. Iran and Syria don't share a border, and Iran already has two long coastlines. I remember thinking to myself, "Well, that's embarrassing. I bet Romney doesn't screw that one up again."
And yet, eight months later, there he was in last night's debate, saying the exact same thing.
"Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea."
Look, this isn't complicated. For one thing, there are large countries in between Iran and Syria; one is not a route for the other.
For another -- and this is key -- Iran has a massive coastline and its own navy. Iranians don't need to hopscotch over other countries in order to reach water; they merely have to go to their own north or south coasts. There are landlocked countries in the region, but Iran isn't one of them.
I don't think it's too much to ask that if you're running for president, and you're participating in a debate over foreign policy, you take a minute to look at a map of the Middle East. Indeed, I'd put this in the "bare minimum" category.