I came across this essay quite by accident over the weekend, and thought it was so good that I ought to promote it to a wider audience.
While the topic itself is interesting – Iran’s spymaster, and the strategic reality that he has been forging in the Middle East, through ruthless and bloody means, following the US invasion of Iraq – the essay is so much more. It is an unhurried and erudite exploration of espionage and what is happening in the region, which reads at an easy pace which both demands and rewards the attention of the reader. Its quality has caused it to stand out among the countless essays and other pieces that I read each year.
There isn’t really a ‘thinking and deciding’ angle to it. Possibly the closest we can get is to ask how the US got itself into a situation where it has become ‘the Islamic Republic’s security contractor in the Levant and Mesopotamia’, to quote from Weiss’ essay. This story is one that I would like to use to explore the nature of deception and of perceiving what we expect to perceive, and use as a cautionary example to my students.
Anyway, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did. For myself, ‘The Daily Beast’ has now won itself a place on my daily reading list.