What effect would a war with Iraq have, if one takes place?
Will public protests change government actions (either their own or the U.S.)? Dismay over Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield dissipated fairly quickly, but if there is a war, it will be covered better than Defensive Shield and generate far more distressing images. Will those images be well distributed? Will they have different effects in different places? Will public opinion be decisive in the Arab world, which has not happened in recent years? Will a government fall because of media coverage? If that happens, will it affect the way states treat the Arab media? 2) What will happen in the cultural arena? The cultural wars are not nearly over in the Middle East, and one can expect pitched battles to define what is “authentic” and what is permissible on an Arab outlet. If censorship returns strongly, it is much more likely to involve social issues than political ones. There may be some resistance to “Gulf Islam,” or a to a general homogenizing effect among the religious community. Also,