Many many years ago I had a research assistant in Washington who told me the following story: He had been an exchange student in a North African country and they made him roommates with the leader of the pro-regime student group (to keep an eye on him of course). One day he came back to the room when he was supposed to be in class to find that his roomate had another student tied up and was torturing him. The roommate looked up and said: “Oops! I didn’t expect you back so soon.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books, go to http://www.gloria-center.org