Drawing from opposite ends of the political spectrum in a bid to confuse our readers is a hallmark of this blog, and today we have two offerings for you. First up is Lee Smith, a writer who spent several years in Beirut and Cairo after the September 11th attacks and, looking at the Middle East today from his perch at the right-of-center Hudson Institute, doesn't like what he sees. The Bush Administration, he writes, has never really recovered from Hamas's shock victory in the 2006 elections, and Abu Muqawama thinks he's probably right about that. (Note to readers: Lee is not to be confused with this Lee Smith -- though Abu Muqawama happens to know Lee Smith the writer did play a little college baseball.)
Next up is Ali Hashem, one-time journalist for Hizbollah's al-Manar and now a reporter for the BBC's Arabic-language service. Ali knows Hizbollah, so his article on Imad Mughniyeh (Arabic) is worth checking out.