Walter Russell Mead is a sober and serious student of foreign policy, but he is not incapable of drollery. In his latest long blog post, titled "Unexpectedly, The Middle East Meltdown Continues," amid much serious analysis, he introduces in the following sentence a devastating metaphor: "President Obama may be the high-school principal and Putin nothing more than a juvenile delinquent, but the school walls are covered with graffiti, the principal is being mocked as a loser by both teachers and students, his car has been egged, and he's got a 'Kick Me' sign taped to his back."

Tough letter to follow.

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