What do you know about the “Arab Spring”?

Noted Lebanese-American academic, Fouad Ajami, today has an op-ed in the Washington Post de-bunking what he says are five myths about the uprisings in the Arab world in 2011. They are worth the read. 

Many of the myths are those echoed in the media by conservative U.S. pundits, including the idea that Saddam Hussein’s fall in Iraq inspired the Arab Spring.

Juan Cole, a prominent U.S. professor of Middle East politics, also has a top ten myths of the Arab Spring that he posted last month. There is some overlap with Ajami's, but he also goes after some of the conceptions held by the left-wing on events in the Middle East — namely that NATO's intervention in Libya was driven primarily by oil. 

My favorite from Ajami's list: his criticism of the mantra that the uprisings were Facebook or Twitter revolutions: 

Facebook and Twitter enabled young dissidents to get around entrenched autocracies and communicate with one another […] But it was ordinary men and women who sacked the pharaoh.

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