Pollack panned

The Asia Times' Kaveh Afrasiabi trashes Kenneth Pollack's new book, The Persian Puzzle. I haven't read the book but I'm glad someone's taking Pollack to task, as his The Threatening Storm was probably the most influential pro-war book in the run-up to to the invasion of Iraq. It was particularly admired by Washington liberals (notably Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, who interviewed Pollack) who now seem to have forgotten that, well, Pollack was completely wrong: there was no serious WMD threat in Iraq. But then again they should have known not to trust any Beltway think tank "expert" who conveniently releases books when their subjects are in the news.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.