The protests cascading across the Middle East are shaking much more than the Arab autocracies that have dominated the region for decades. Things that we thought were stable in the Middle East have turned out to be fragile, while movements that were supposed to be weak have turned into powerful tsunamis of change. Long-held beliefs are falling by the wayside.
Despite these upheavals, the same old self-styled experts are trotting out the same tired and debunked conventional wisdom about the region.
They have had to change the players around, but the apologies and fantasies are all the same. Instead of secular Arab nationalists like Yasser Arafat moderating before signing Oslo, now it's that fanatical Muslim leaders like Yusuf al-Qaradawi can be dealt with. Instead of Hamas professionalizing after seizing Gaza, now it's that Hezbollah will integrate into Lebanon. The contexts are different but the excuses remain the same.
Here is Barry Rubin:
Dr. Rubin has been a Middle East writer and analyst for more than 30 years. He is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press later this year. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reports, and now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media
Technorati Tag: Middle East.