Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Barry Rubin: What the West Doesn’t Understand About the “`Arab Spring’ Surprise”

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by Barry Rubin
Police Inspector Praline (investigating health claims against a candy company): ”What’s this one, ‘Spring Surprise’?”

Milton (owner of Whizzo Chocolate Company): “Ah–now, that’s our specialty! It’s covered with darkest creamy chocolate. When you pop it in your mouth steel bolts spring out and plunge straight through both cheeks.”

–Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch

In effect, the Middle East is serving up the “Arab Spring Surprise.” Western observers see the dark, creamy chocolate covering. But it’s the steel bolts through the cheeks they’re going to get.

Consider the statement of an Egyptian anchorman (Sayyed Ali) on a television station (al-Mehwar). He isn’t an important person nor is his channel a big one. But it’s a normative piece of contemporary Arab political rhetoric. Thank MEMRI for videoing and translating and give them a donation. He begins:

“The Egypt of today is very different from the Egypt of before January 25.”
Continue reading What the West Doesn’t Understand About the “`Arab Spring’ Surprise”

Barry Rubin 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 in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media

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