|Core: noun, the most important part of a thing, the essence; from the Latin cor, meaning heart.|
|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
The Weblog at The View from the Core - Thu. 03/17/05 07:37:08 AM
At Long Last, the Vaunted & Dreaded Arab Street Rises Up!
The Cedar Revolution.
The Times, they are a changin'.
From Michael Binyon, "The West cannot win Arab minds paralysed with confusion over what they believe" at the London Times, Mar. 26, 2003:
.... For weeks there has been a curious silence in the Middle East. Arab governments said little about the looming conflict. The “Arab street”, that rough and rowdy gauge of public opinion, seemed eerily calm. Of course the governments issued ritual statements about the need for a negotiated solution. But their hearts were not in it. They knew that the conflict was coming. They had already discounted diplomacy as useless. And they knew they were powerless to influence, let alone stop, America.
The West took this for acquiescence. Politicians visiting the Gulf all reported that everyone wanted to see the end of President Saddam Hussein. They fostered the impression, gained from hearsay and exiles, that Iraqis too would rejoice in his downfall. But visitors spoke to elites — the English-speaking and Western-educated rulers, the bankers, businessmen and professionals who chafe at the backwardness of the masses or the politics of the past. The masses think otherwise.
The political divisions in the Arab world, between the rulers and ruled, the Gulf and the Levant, the Islamists and the secularists, have long thwarted the search for Arab unity. The result has been a kind of mental paralysis — an inability to resolve political contradictions and conflicting emotions. Is the West a model for Arab society or a threat? Is America the Great Satan or the land of opportunity? Is Arab impotence the result of foreign domination and Western/Israeli conspiracies or is it due to the lack of democracy, freedom and progress in most of the Arab world?
The common assumption in the West, that the elites and the educated look to it as a model while those lacking opportunity see it as the enemy of Islam is wrong. In fact, many people from both groups hold both views together. And this is why the West cannot win on the Arab street....
The Arab Street on the Streets of Lebanon, Monday, March 14, 2005
From Gerard Baker, "What have the Americans ever done for us? Liberated 50 million people..." at the London Times, Mar. 4, 2005:
.... Little more than three years after US forces, backed by their faithful British allies, set foot in Afghanistan, the entire historical dynamic of this blighted region has already shifted.
Ignoring, fortunately, the assault from clever world opinion on America’s motives, its credibility and its ambitions, the Bush Administration set out not only to eliminate immediate threats but also to remake the Middle East. In the last month, the pace of progress has accelerated, and from Beirut to Kabul....
It’s too early, in fairness, to claim complete victory in the American-led struggle to bring peace through democratic transformation of the region. Despite the temptation to crow, we must remember that this is not Berlin 1989. There will surely be challenging times ahead in Iraq, Iran, in the West Bank and elsewhere. The enemies of democratic revolution — all the terrorists and Baathists, the sheikhs, the mullahs and the monarchs — are not going to give up without a fight.
But something very important is happening now, something that will be very hard to stop. And, although not all of it can be directly attributed to the US strategy in the region, can anyone seriously argue that it would have happened without it? Neither is it true, as some have tried to argue, that all of this is merely some unintended consequence of an immoral and misconceived war in Iraq....
I doubt that anybody, even the most prescient in the Bush Administration or at 10 Downing Street, thought the progress we are now seeing would come as quickly as it has.
But what was clear to the bold foreign policy strategists in Washington was that the status quo that existed before September 11 could no longer be tolerated. Much of the Muslim world represented decay and stagnation, and bred anger and resentment. That was the root cause of the terrorism that had attacked America with increasing ferocity between 1969 and 2001.
America’s critics craved stability in the Middle East. Don’t rock the boat, they said. But to the US this stability was that of the mass grave; the calm was the eerie quiet that precedes the detonation of the suicide bomb. The boat was holed and listing viciously....
The Arab Street on the Streets of Lebanon, Monday, March 1 through Monday, March 7, 2005
|The Blog from the Core © 2002-2008 E. L. Core. All rights reserved.|
|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
|The View from the Core, and all original material, © 2002-2004 E. L. Core. All rights reserved.|
|Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman Heart speaks to heart|