Better Expertise Now in Hand

I remember a time when Marc Lynch was a junior professor blogging pseudonymously as Abu Aardvark at least in part because he feared negative consequences for his career (Campus Watch on other institutions exist for the sole purpose of trying to intimidate Middle East Studies professors out of expressing insufficiently hawkish political opinions) and occasionally having his ideas quoted by liberal bloggers. And now what's in my morning Tom Friedman:

“We have created a real case of moral hazard in Iraq,” said Marc Lynch, a Middle East specialist at George Washington University. “Because all the key players think the Americans are going to bail them out, they have no incentive to make any real concessions to one another.”

In the aftermath of 9/11 there were a lot of people out there in academia and in the government and to some extent in the think tank world as well who had a lot of knowledge to offer the country. Unfortunately, though, those voices mostly weren't heard by people who matter (many of them were, however, featured in the November 2002 Atlantic). Not just by the people running the government, but also by the broader community of opinion leaders including many left-of-center people. That we're seeing voices like Lynch's start to get heard in prominent fora like a Tom Friedman column is a good sign and I like to think the progressive blogosphere's played a role in making it happen.