|Thugs strangling a traveler, early 19th century. Via Wikipedia.|
Intellectually, though, he can be pretty ordinary or unimaginative (who can't?), and this bit of analysis from Professor Cole on the situation in Iraq and Syria struck me as kind of important:
Obama seems guilty of some old-fashioned Orientalism here.
If he really believes (as I'm afraid Clinton did in his views on the South Slavic states) in illiterate young people giving in to "ancient hatreds" as the problem in the Middle East, he needs to stop reading Friedman and start reading Cole. The biggest problem in Iraq and Syria is the economic destruction together with the surfeit of armaments, both wrought by the 2003 invasion.
Cross-posted at Booman Tribune.