AP Egyptians chant hold Egyptian and Palestinian flags to protest the death of Egyptian security forces killed in a shootout between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants on Thursday.
The CIA’s spokesman at The Washington Post, columnist David Ignatius, recently announced that the glorifying term “Arab Spring” is no longer being used by senior intelligence officials to describe democratic revolutions in the Middle East. It has been replaced by the more “neutral” term “Arab transition,” which, as Ignatius put it, “conveys the essential truth that nobody can predict just where this upheaval is heading.” Note that what was until very recently celebrated in American media circles as a joyous, inspirational awakening of “democratic birth and freedom” has now been downgraded to an “upheaval” whose outcome may be odious and threatening.
That’s not surprising. As I’ve written about several times, public opinion in those nations is so strongly opposed to the policies the U.S. has long demanded — and is quite hostile (more so than ever) to the U.S. itself and especially Israel — that allowing any form of democracy would necessarily be adverse to American and Israeli interests in that region (at least as those two nations have long perceived of their “interests”). That’s precisely why the U.S. worked so hard and expended so many resources for decades to ensure that brutal dictators ruled those nations and suppressed public opinion to the point of complete irrelevance (behavior which, predictably and understandably, exacerbated anti-American sentiments among the populace).