With riots against the U.S. (over an abominably stupid video) the Middle East has again forced itself into the center of the US news cycle (although the Syrians must be happy, since they aren't on the front page. One hates to be cynical, but four dead Americans trumps about 100 dead Syrians. Over at Politico's Arena they keep asking questions, and I can't help but submit answers.
There is an enormous amount of this anger, for so many reasons - some legitimate others not. It is stunning to most Westerners who have never had anything to do with a riot how quickly mobs seem to form and turn ugly in the greater Middle East and on what seemingly flimsy pretexts. Middle Eastern leaders, governments, and movements have profited by playing to this anger and the United States has few tools with which to calm this rage (and in the death of a skilled diplomat we have one less).