The Arab spring has only distractedly caught my attention this past year. Recently, I wanted to catch up a bit. Concurrently, there is rising tension between the West and Iran over its nuclear program. So, now is an opportunity to revisit a few readings and evaluate their pertinence with the benefit of hindsight. These are Robert Baer’s books (2002, 2004, 2008) and an article by Nassim Taleb in Foreign Affairs (2011).