Michael Totten

Late is Better Than Never

Barry Rubin, one of the sharpest Middle East analysts and always worth reading, also notices that the U.S. government is suddenly a little less dense about the Middle East than it was last year, or even earlier this year. There are a lot of things our current government doesn’t get yet, and giving the Obama Administration credit for its progress so far is a bit like praising a man for re-inventing the wheel, but I’ve been hard on the president and his staff lately, and it’s only fair to point out improvements.

It takes years to understand how the Middle East works, and when Barack Obama was first elected almost everything he thought he knew seemed to come from the bubble of the university campus. He should have had a better understanding of such a strategically critical region before running for president, but late is better than never.