So in the aftermath of 9/11, we were told by some well-meaning people that the U.S. should be careful about violently retaliating because if we did, The Arab Street would erupt, and since the Arab street loves al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, this would be a disaster for the United States. Meanwhile, other Serious, Hard-nosed Realists told us tha twe need to support dictators in the Arab world, because otherwise, the Arab Street would erupt, and since the Arab Street loves al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, that would be a disaster for the United States. What was very important was that the Arab Street was an incredibly dangerous thing, since Arabs as a mass of people were ready to explode into murderous violence at the drop of a hat. The Arab Street, we were told, was just one American provocation away from erupting into a flood-tide of violence stretching from the Maghreb to the Diyala River.
So it finally happened. The Arab Street has finally erupted, and bin Laden and Zawahiri have triumphantly flown in to Cairo to usher in the new Caliphate...
Oh, no, that's not what happened at all. Instead of demanding murder and violence, they Arab Street has erupted with demands for basic human rights. It shockingly is turning out that Arabs might not be a seething mass of potential murder, but rather people who want the same sort of freedoms that those of us here in the House of War take for granted.
I always hated talk of the Arab Street. It struck me as incredibly racist to say that we shouldn't anger Arabs and Muslims because they're incredibly prone to violence.
I, for one, am pleased to have lived to see the Arab Street erupt.