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Guess who that “familiar villain” happens to be. It shouldn’t surprise you, though it horrifies me that this is happening again, in the west, in civilized society, and among the so-called intellectual elites of the U.S. and Europe.
If you are really serious about understanding what has been going on in the Middle East these past few months, make sure you read the entire article, carefully, and slowly. The conclusion will tell you a great deal about what is going to happen in the coming years. The fact that most intellectuals in the West will be caught with their pants down when it does happen can best be summed up by how that conclusion begins:
Because a gap has opened here between the way things are and the way they are described, opinions are wrong and policies are wrong, and observers are regularly blindsided by events. Such things have happened before. In the years leading to the breakdown of Soviet Communism in 1991, as the Russia expert Leon Aron wrote in a 2011 essay for Foreign Policy, “virtually no Western expert, scholar, official, or politician foresaw the impending collapse of the Soviet Union.” The empire had been rotting for years and the signs were there, but the people who were supposed to be seeing and reporting them failed and when the superpower imploded everyone was surprised.