Big Red Car here. Blizzard approaching New York City, y’all. Not to worry, going to be in the mid-70s all week until Friday here in the ATX. Come on down.
Things are also getting dicey in the Middle East. The Arab Spring has morphed into the Arab Winter.
Let’s review the bidding. Here’s a dirty dozen of legitimate concerns. See if you recognize them. Such ugly babies.
1. Iran is out of control supporting Hamas and Hezbollah in their regional terror and mischief. Iran and Hamas had a falling out over Syria but after the fighting in Gaza, they’re enjoying make up terror love. Nothing as sweet as make up terror love. Sure they rained down 3,000 rockets on the Israelis but who cares about that? Old news.
2. Iran was the exporter of copper fusion IEDs to Iraq during the Iraq war. Killed and maimed lots of US soldiers.
3. Iran is behind the rebels in Yemen.
4. Egypt is unstable and still reeling from the after shocks of the chaos unleashed by the Muslim Brotherhood which came to power with the support of the Obama administration. The Muslim Brotherhood had furnished two divisions to Hitler in World War II and the world was surprised that the MB turned out to be trouble?
5. Syria is in chaos and the idea that the US was going to train 5,000 indigenous troops to oppose the regime is nonsense. That’s like sending a soldier into battle armed with an unsharpened spoon. After a lot of red line drawing, we have essentially accepted that Assad has won the civil war and that ISIS was spawned in the process. What a way to be a two time loser, no? Big winner? Russia.
6. Iraq is in chaos and is under attack by ISIS. I don’t care what you call ISIS — ISIS, ISIL, IS, the Islamic State, SIC or Da’ish — they are in desperate need of eradication and nothing is effectively being done. Meanwhile the IS leadership has announced a balanced budget — no, not a typo, they have a balanced freakin’ budget something the US cannot achieve — and their Caliphate complete with a leader and everything. Meanwhile the slaughter, beheadings and attacks continue. The west is paralyzed having lost its ability to be outraged by anything.
7. Al Qaeda [and for that matter, the Taliban] is back from the Riviera and tan, rested and ready for more mischief. Now with Yemen as an operating base, this is going to get ugly on an ape.
8. Yemen has now been seized by rebels with support from Iran. Yemen had just a few months ago been upheld as a peachy keen safe country. Not so much today.
9. We have somehow managed to alienate the Saudis, an impossible hurdle given that US dollars feed them through the other end of their oil pipelines.
10. Heard much about Libya? No, because chaos is alive and well in Libya. It is essentially under the control of Al Qaeda.
11. The show stopper? We have managed to alienate the only democratic country in the region and our 51st state, Israel. The Prime Minister of our best — only real — Middle Eastern ally comes to town and the President can’t even find a minute for a latte and a chat. Too busy with YouTubers perhaps?
12. The coup de grace? We are right on the verge of accepting Iran as a nuclear armed state. The Obama administration has been negotiating and negotiating and Iran has been centrifuging and centrifuging. Bet that the Iranians go nuclear well before we make a deal with them. When the negotiations began, the US led sanctions regime had put Iran on the mat with a boot on their neck. We let them up for the chance to get horribly disrespected and out negotiated by a country for whom terrorism is a core value. Iran, a nuclear power, scare you?
The Arab Spring has now turned into a nightmare, the Arab Winter. As you review the above list, see if you can identify those pain points which will go away by themselves or which will not ultimately impact our shores. There may be one or two but do the math yourself.
In fairness, there is a temptation to blame all of these on the Obama administration. That is unfair. What is fair is the observation that the Obama administration has ignored many of these problems, has allowed them to fester, has taken half-hearted or ineffective action to deal with them — but they are not solely the Obama administration’s fault. They are, however, the Obama administration’s challenge to deal with.
The world is a very dangerous place — not just the Middle East — and Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ukraine, North Korea, Russia are all places to keep a weather eye on for the foreseeable future. There is trouble on the horizon and it is headed our way. [As an aside, know who is really getting a free ride these days? China. China is a wicked as ever but they can hide behind the smoke of all the other mischief in the world.]