The Persian Empire
The Arab caliphate
There may be more misunderstandings about the “great age” of the Arab Caliphate than about any other bygone empire. First, it wasn’t spoiled by the Crusades, a brief annoyance confined to a coastal strip. The Arab caliphate was shattered by the Mongols. The Seljuk and, particularly, the Ottoman Turks, established their own empires on the ruins — and declared the Ottoman sultan the new caliph.
Tsar of all the Russias
In the euphoria of the 1990s, some of us who studied Russia tried to make Washington understand that, while governments might change, Russians would remain Russians (as Persians remain Persians and Arabs remain Arabs). No one wanted to hear it. In the Clinton years, Russia was the great arctic-white hope.