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New Realities

4:15 PM, Feb 29, 2012 • By LEE SMITH
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In Now Lebanon, Hussain Abdul Hussain writes about “the new Arab thinking.” It was not born overnight, explains the Washington-based Arab media correspondent:

In the lead-up to the US war in Iraq, the Arabs were still thinking in terms of Arab countries versus imperialism. Only those Iraqis who had tasted the wrath of Saddam Hussein found themselves in a bind. The only force willing to rid them of their tyrant was the same power that they were raised to hate: The United States of America.

Hussain argues that now, after the invasion of Iraq and the Arab Spring, it’s not just Iraqis who are seeing the map of the Middle East more clearly. Previously, writes Hussain, all anyone cared about was “Palestine, conveniently giving Arab autocrats the excuse to make everyone shut up and accept tyranny.” But now, “ending tyranny is the true liberation the Arabs are seeking.”

He continues: “Arabs have come to realize that their different problems are equally important. Claiming that Palestine trumps all other Arab causes does not cut it anymore.” 

As if to illustrate Hussain’s point, here’s a video posted on YouTube of a CNN interview with Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad. The dialogue was conducted during Operation Cast Lead in 2009, when Israel went to war against Hamas in the Gaza strip, but the video’s editors have inserted images and text relating instead to her husband’s siege of Homs. Mrs. Assad’s tears of hypocrisy are even more poignant given that her father’s family comes from the same city now being bled dry by the man she shares a bed with.

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