The leadership could rely on patriotism and did so in terms of having a limited task to accomplish. This actually brought the leaders down from a metaphysical plateau where they could argue philosophically about the Arab world into a practical reality where they had to develop relationships and create a political structure, learning all the while how the international political system worked and how they could fit into its structure (Ajami 4-5).
However, after the war in 1973, all the uncertainties had to be eliminated abruptly, creating a fear of action on the international scene and a certain paralysis at home. One response was a fear of the new world that was glimpsed all around the Arab world, and this led to a retreat into the familiar past, as represented by the Iranian revolution and other fundamentalist movements asserting a familiar and set reality outside that of the international scene that now exists. Ajami quotes himself form something he wrote about the undoing of the world caused by the October war:
To those so inclined, divine will must be sending a message to the Muslim people of this region and making known its disapproval of what has come to pass in the age of affluence and "petro-power" (Ajami 6).
In one sense, what Ajami and others express as the fear is the growing sense of responsibility on the international scene. Coping with internal issues is one thing, but coping on the international scene is