For those who may have missed it, The Post had a “Dispatch from the ‘New’ Mideast” in Sunday’s Outlook. These are the people we are losing and why we’re losing the “war on terror.”
“Our generation could have been different,” [Lubna] told [the article’s author] with exasperation recently, clutching a Diet Pepsi in one hand and a mentholated cigarette in the other. We had taken refuge from the Damascus heat in an air-conditioned room at a friend’s art gallery. “We really could have made peace. But now,” she shook her head, “it’s over. That possibility is gone.”
And, she says, it’s the United States’s fault, because it didn’t demand an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon. As the estimated death toll there rises to nearly 1,000, she and other secular Syrians of the art-gallery-and-democracy crowd are turning their sympathies toward the Islamic militant movement Hezbollah.
…But they’re just as wary of the United States’s failing democracy experiment in Iraq. The sectarian violence tearing that country apart is a potent vision of what they could one day face themselves. And so they feel forced into a corner, made to choose between a U.S. plan for a “new Middle East” that seems to show little respect for Arab lives and Arab ways and an Islamic-led resistance that could eventually turn against them at home.
And they are reluctantly choosing. “The issue of Hezbollah and the war is no longer rational,” one Syrian opposition figure told me. “It is emotional.”