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    Who’s Afraid Of The “Arab Street”?

    Who’s Afraid Of The “Arab Street”?

    In the wake of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarek, we have heard much praise for the “Arab Street,” including by Roger Cohen writing in The New York Times two days ago:

    In the Middle East you expect the worst. But having watched Egypt’s extraordinary civic achievement in building the coalition that ousted Mubarak, having watched Tahrir Square become cooperation central, and having watched the professionalism of the Egyptian army, I’m convinced the country has what it takes to build a decent, representative society — one that gives the lie to all the stereotypes associated with that dismissive shorthand “The Arab Street.”

    In fact, post-Tahrir, let’s retire that phrase.

    Let’s not retire the phrase. 

    There is a reason Jews in particular fear the “Arab Street” and that fear has not gone away, as this recent video of “death to the Jews” being chanted outside a synagogue in Tunisia shows (h/t Solomonia):

    The use of the term “Arab Street” has nothing to do with those in the Arab world who preach tolerance and want peace.  Those demonstrators should be praised.  Unfortunately, those with a Western bent never seem to control the street for long.

    The “Arab Street” is bad enough when it is marching outside a synagogue in a country which has few Jews left. 

    If the “Arab Street” takes over the largest military in the Arab world bordering Israel, I wonder if Roger Cohen still will be singing its praises.

    Update:  In a story just reported, it turns out that in the moments after Hosni Mubarek resigned the crowds in Tahrir square were not all so peaceful, Lara Logan Suffered ‘Brutal’ Sexual Assault In Egypt.  I assume that will be Roger Cohen’s next column.
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    Hey Professor That's a vid of Christie.

    "…I wonder if Roger Cohen still will be singing its praises.

    There is an editorial cartoon in our local paper today showing Bin Laden in a cave somewhere. He is weeping due to the changes that have taken place in Egypt and because he apparently believes that 'the people' have rejected him.

    I would think that from Bin Laden's perspective a puppet government of the U.S. has been put down, the country is in chaos, and the U.S.'s power is greatly diminished. What is not to like?

    By the time the plate of crow is served up to Cohen he will be off somewhere else missing some other point.

    Like the cartoonist, Cohen will never acknowledge that he completely mis-read the situation.

    I was too young to pay attention to world events when the Shah was deposed and Iran went fundamentalist. But one benefit to me of the events in Egypt is that I've been made aware of Carter's praises of the Ayatollah as he was ascending. And the left still loves Carter. So I don't' think Cohen has anything to worry about.

    We don't work out problems anymore. We now play games with approved lexicons to make problems "disappear". It makes us feel better which is the foundation of economics. "Green shoots" and "animal spirits". If you ignore that tree falling on your head, you're safe.

    The "Arab Street" neighborhoods around Paris and other major European cities can be no-go areas for non-Arab westerners, let alone Jews.

    What makes Cohen and his fellow travellers believe the "Arab Street" as exemplified by thuggish microcosmic communities smack dab in the middle of Western Europe gives hope when the future holds the real "Arab Street" with greatly diminished American influence?

    What is it with the left and wishful thinking that defies all warning signs?

    "We now play games with approved lexicons to make problems "disappear".

    Well said, Phil.

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