January 28, 2011

NOBODY KNOWS WHAT A REVOLUTION LOOKS LIKE? Until after it’s happened. Or not. “It’s quite clear that Obama is totally bamboozled. He has no culture to deal with this situation, nor does Hillary. I wonder about Panetta. Does the Intelligence Community have people who know in detail who is who in the tumults? Historically we haven’t been great at this–the intelligence failures at the time of the Iranian revolution could fill a fat volume, with another needed to chronicle the failures during the following 31 years–but we’ve got a lot of Arabists and we may be lucky enough to have a few very good ones.”

UPDATE: Tim Cavanaugh says don’t expect too much from the Egyptian riots: “In a world where you can’t even count on The New York Times to go out of business, you can never underestimate the ability of a discredited institution to linger.” Heh.

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