Michael Totten is a rare Middle East journalist.
First of all, he actually reports - he doesn't repeat what other reporters are saying, but he comes to his own conclusions, first-hand.
Secondly, he knows what he is talking about.
Thirdly, he can write well about what he knows, and he is not shy about writing a lengthy piece to ensure that his words are not going to be ambiguous because of some editorial position.
And fourthly, he has a knack of finding really smart people to interview, people who can explain the mentality behind the players of the Middle East poker game. After reading his interviews - really, more like transcripts of bull-sessions between two smart and interesting people - I just wish I was there to hear them first-hand, to discuss the points made further, to enjoy the tangents and meanderings of their discussion which often illuminate more than the main topic at hand.
Just read his latest, with Israeli writer David Hazony.
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