The Arab Street

THE ARAB STREET….Marc Lynch, who has been watching lots of Arab TV, says the mood in the Middle East has changed considerably over the past two weeks:

America is totally alone on this. And more than most Americans might realize, America is being blamed for Israel’s actions. The shift in Arab public discourse over the last week has been palpable. For the first few days, [there was a] split between the Saudi media and the “al-Jazeera public” which I wrote about at the time. Then for a few days, horror at the humanitarian situation, fury with the Arab states for their impotence, speculation about the endgame, and full-throated condemnation of Israeli aggression. But for the last few days, the main trend has been unmistakable: an increasing focus on the United States as the villain of the piece. (That the Israeli bombing of Beirut stopped just long enough for Condoleezza Rice’s photo op certainly didn’t help.)

Marc thinks the U.S. missed a chance for a “Suez moment,” though that obviously isn’t something the Bush administration ever had in mind anyway. Read the whole thing to see how he thinks things might have worked out if America had played a stronger role.

UPDATE: See also Eric Martin, writing in a slightly different vein.