Make my summer

If you’ve come over from Matthew Yglesias, welcome. I’ve suddenly come up on his radar because I’m Middle East advisor to presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, whom he fears with a partisan passion. He promises to deal with me in future, but in the meantime claims I use this blog to “propound [my] view that the problem with US Middle East policy is that it’s unduly influenced by people who are knowledgeable about the Middle East, and insufficiently under the thumb of people like Kramer who recognize that the only thing these brutes understand is force.”

I have my share of critics, especially in Middle Eastern studies, but I don’t recall a criticism of my views as crude as this one. So I eagerly look forward to the substantive sequel to this glib little sentence, which presumably will be based on a thorough and thoughtful reading of all the work I’ve made readily available on this site. Until then, I offer a lecture I delivered in the fall, in which I do discuss the problem of US Middle East policy: the fact that it’s been unduly influenced by people toting big, transformative ideas. It might surprise you.