‘Arab Spring’: You’re Hearing It A Lot Lately

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Based on the Sunday morning shows, the term “Arab Spring” seems to be the buzzword of the moment.

The term — which refers to hopes that Democracy will finally flower in the Middle East — was uttered on “Fox News Sunday,” NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” — just to name a few.

This is hardly a new concept.  Back in 2005, for example, Charles Krauthammer noted, “All this regional mischief-making is critical because we are at the dawn of an Arab Spring — the first bloom of democracy in Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine and throughout the greater Middle East — and its emerging mortal enemy is a new axis of evil whose fulcrum is Syria.”

But while the words are not new, the term is clearly enjoying a renaissance.

I bring this up — not because I have any new insights into whether or not the Middle East is on the verge of flowering — but because the proliferation of words and phrases into the national lexicon (see “kinetic”) deserves to at least be noted, rather than just casually accepted.

Words matter, and I can’t help thinking that invoking this positive-sounding term is an effective way of pushing back against those who argue Libya is not in America’s vital interest (of course, one could believe in an Arab Spring, and still oppose intervention).

Regardless of where you come down on question of intervention, one would be hard pressed to find a term that does a better job of defining the hopes and dreams of non-realists.