Paul Ryan’s been through all Bernard Lewis’s books
Impressive! Q: What do you read? Ryan: I go there. I read. I mean I’m a big Bernard Lewis fan. I’ve read all of Bernard Lewis’ books, and I read a lot of his books on this topic are. I formed the Middle East Caucus in early 2000s. On Ways and Means, which is a ...
Q: What do you read?
Ryan: I go there. I read. I mean I’m a big Bernard Lewis fan. I’ve read all of Bernard Lewis’ books, and I read a lot of his books on this topic are. I formed the Middle East Caucus in early 2000s. On Ways and Means, which is a trade committee, I was point guy on the MEFTA. This is an arcane idea. We used to like doing trade agreements. And the MEFTA is the Middle East Free Trade Area Initiative, which is to create, we believe – and this was a good idea back in the Bush Administration. Get free trade agreements with these moderate Muslim countries, to integrate our economies. You have to require rule of law, women’s rights, you know, enforceable contracts. Yeah, but it’s been languishing, so I worked on the Moroccan Agreement, the Jordanian Agreement, the Omani Agreement, the Bahraini Agreement. I negotiated all the implementing legislation on that with the Democrats. So I spent a lot of my time over my career, traveling to the Middle East. That’s probably where most of my travels have gone. I was in Afghanistan last December; I’ve been there a few times. I spent a lot of time reading about the military, reading up on foreign policy.
I’m going to assume this means he’s read Faith and Power, What Went Wrong?, and the Crisis of Islam rather than all 42 of them.
Obnoxious nitpicking aside, this interview with Ryan with the Washington Examiner last month also has some interesting ideas about Europe’s financial crisis and what he sees as the difference between American and European attitudes on entitlements.
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating
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