Here is one of my favorite stories explaining how the Middle East works as told by the famed Egyptian journalist Muhammad Hussanein Heikal. Like all of Heikal’s stories, it may or may not be true, which is also part of the lesson being taught.
When Muammar Gaddafi first became Libya’s ruler, Heikal was dispatched to meet and evaluate him by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. After returning to Cairo, Heikal was quickly ushered into the president’s office.
“Well,” said Nasser, “what do you think of Gaddafi?”
“He’s a disaster! A catastrophe!”
“Why,” asked the president, “is he against us?”
“Oh no, far worse than that,” Heikal claims to have replied, “he’s for us and he really believes all the stuff we are saying!”