"'The Arab world is on fire,' al-Jazeera reported on Jan. 27, while throughout the region, Western allies 'are quickly losing their influence.' "The shock wave was set in motion by the dramatic uprising in Tunisia that drove out a Western-backed dictator, with reverberations especially in Egypt, where demonstrators overwhelmed a dictators brutal police... "The vibrant democracy movement in Tunisia was directed against 'a police state, with little freedom of expression or association, and serious human rights problems,' ruled by a dictator whose family was hated for their venality. "This was the assessment by U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec in a July 2009 cable released by WikiLeaks. Chomsky's op-ed then reveals how Washington provided $12 million in military aid to Tunisia and how there has long been a gap in the Arab world between what the masses believe and what Arab elites profess in public: "Unmentioned is what the population thinks easily discovered. "According to polls released by the Brookings Institution in August, some Arabs agree with Washington and Western commentators that Iran is a threat: 10 percent. "In contrast, they regard the U.S. and Israel as the major threats (77 percent; 88 percent). "Arab opinion is so hostile to Washingtons policies that a majority (57 percent) think regional security would be enhanced if Iran had nuclear weapons... "The dictators support us. Their subjects can be ignored unless they break their chains, and then policy must be adjusted." Arab chains have broken in Tunesia. Are breaking in Egypt... If Saudi chains are next?