Amid all the saber-rattling in mainstream outlets, this seemed an insightful and refreshing perspective. Lynch’s is the type of alternative (yet hard-headed) voice that seems so absent from the coverage of our top news organizations, with their Washington-centric mindset and sources. Why do Katie Couric and George Stephanopoulos so rarely seek out the views of regional experts like Lynch? It’s probably naive even to ask.

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Michael Massing is a contributing editor to CJR and the author of Now They Tell Us: The American Press and Iraq.