The crisis sparked by Hamas and Hizbullah is more important and revealing in psychological terms for the Arab world than any military or direct political impact. The most poignant statement of its meaning is a leading Arab liberal's anguished cry in a letter, summing up how these events mark the death of the dream of democracy and pragmatism among his people:
"I have been watching some 20 Arabic-speaking television channels (Egyptian, Emirate, Qatari, Syrian, Sudanese, Lebanese and Kuwaiti). The outcome is: Either these (hundreds of) people who appeared on the screen(s) and talked passionately about 'our' dignity, raising 'our' heads, 'our' national pride and the victory that God will grant 'us' were mad, or I am the one who represents madness."
In short, extremist groups with an assist from the media controlled by Arab regimes can still stir up the old-time hysteria quite successfully. Who needs peace, stability, economic progress, women's rights, an independent judiciary, an accurately reporting media, control of corruption, a good educational and health system, free speech and all that stuff when you can kidnap Israelis? Read More.