Michael Rubin is a wide-ranging authority on the Middle East, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. In this “Q&A,” Jay simply picks his brain: about Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Rubin has a lot to say, and he says it very, very clearly. At the beginning, Jay asks him about his background: Rubin grew up in a family of veterinarians. He was allergic to dogs and cats, however. The black sheep in the family, he became a historian of the Middle East.

More