Myths and the Middle East

Brooks Kraft / Corbis for TIME

President Obama campaigns in Ohio on Nov. 4, 2012. His re-election does not mean he is unencumbered by politics

"You Americans just don't understand us." Having worked on Middle East issues for almost 30 years, I can't tell you how many times I've heard that dismissive comment — from Egyptians, Yemenis and just about everybody else in the region. I'm sure members of the Obama Administration are hearing it too, as they struggle to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and figure out what to do in Syria.

But it cuts both ways: Middle Easterners don't understand the U.S. either. "You wouldn't have invaded Iraq in 2003 had it not...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!