American exceptionalism isn’t a strong foundation for American foreign policy, particularly in the culturally estranged Middle East. That it’s a fool’s mission to seek the spread of democracy there through the overthrow of dictators. That Islamist fundamentalism is a strong and widespread current of sentiment running through Middle Eastern society, and it is stimulated in part by Western intrusion into those lands. That Middle Eastern dictatorships aren’t necessarily intrinsic enemies of the West, whereas radical Islamist regimes represent far more dangerous threats. That balance of power considerations—as, for example, between Iraq and Iran—should never be dismissed or ignored.