David Brooks Channels Ari Fleischer

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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BABBLING Brooks, Fleischer (inset)

If David Brooks ever decides that the whole journalism thing's not working out, he could have a fine second career as a White House mouthpiece.

In his most recent New York Times column sub. req., the poet laureate of glib social commentary identifies the culprits responsible for ongoing tensions in the Middle East: liberal American academics.

By Brooks's account, 9/11 brought about a "general recognition" among Arabs that their countries were in need of reform and modernization (evidence to support this observation is not specified). But he says that historic moment of self-awareness was forgotten after Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, in March 2006, published a paper criticizing the American pro-Israel lobby's outsize influence.

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