Up the Academy


Reason writers around town: At the Daily Star, I revisit the circular ruins of the academic debate on the Middle East—in particular the rise of the Pipes/Lewis/Ajami wing over the MESA faction, or whatever you want to call them. One thing I should have noted in considering whether the MESA types may be coming back in from the cold was the rise of Noah Feldman, who seems pretty close to the John L. Esposito school in mainstream Middle East studies.

And if none of the above makes any sense to you, you should probably be happy about that.

By the way, my man Pipes made an appearance on LBC the other night, and apparently made no effort to "fine tune the message" for the local audience. As one of my neighbors described it: "All he said was, 'You Arabs are all stupid. You should do everything we tell you to do.'" I think he was quoting Pipes with less than 100 percent accuracy, but I get the impression it didn't go over too well. Sadly, I'm stuck without telly, so I can't say for sure.