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Where is that street?

Posted by Helen Wednesday, March 02, 2005

One warms more and more to Christopher Hitchens, the left-wing scourge of the left and, in particular, of the anti-American left. Well, let’s face it, a man who regularly duffs up the egregious Noam Chomsky, must be a good egg.

In a recent column, he noted an interesting new phenomenon:

“The return of politics to Iraq has had many blissful secondary consequences,one of them apparently minor but nonetheless, I think, important. When was the last time you heard some glib pundit employing the phrase "The Arab Street"?”
Well, quite so. The “Arab Street” probably consisted of the taxi driver who drove the particular journalist from the airport to the hotel but was usually produced solemnly as an argument against the war in Iraq, the handing over of power, the elections, the suppression of various terrorist groups, what have you.

There never was an “Arab Street” and with the appearance of a free media in Iraq, which reported positively on the American and the Iraqi elections, its possibilities became exhausted even for the bien pensants of Europe.

If only that other nebulous group, the citizens of the world could bite the dust as well. But then, what would European “opinion makers” do? Whom would they quote to show that there is a revulsion against American and allied insistence on spreading freedom and democracy? The people of all these countries, sadly, seem to be in favour of it. And it looks like Lebanon is going the same way.