Island Dweller starts our work week off with thoughts on the Obama administration.
Yesterday the tin can and string telephone down here at Shangri-La connecting me to Esteemed Associate began tapping. After picking up that soup can and pulling the string taut, we had a discussion about the state of the world and the shambles it is in that remarkably mirrored the Czars recent post about the Middle East. We are both convinced the region is getting much closer to major, and very bad, events due to the actions, or lack thereof, of Dear Leader and the meddling of a Secretary of State who seems to be pretty much on his own.
The Obama administration is suffering some very hard knocks right now domestically, which has always been the area of interest of the narcissist in power. We are in waaaaaaay over our head with the ACA and its failed website, and it is consuming (with serious thought on his part, anyway) every waking moment of every day, even to the detriment of other domestic problems, and he has them a-plenty. Problems overseas are of no real interest to this individual – they never really have been, and his level of ignorance is abysmal – so he leaves them to his Secretary of State, apparently with a “just keep me apprised” advisement before SOS steps onto the plane at Andrews.
We, on the other hand, have been tracking closely what is occurring in that region and have noted the following events:
- Pakistan, whether for show or for real, has offered nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia.
- DL has in the recent past unilaterally softened, if not downright removed, American sanctions directed toward Iran. I make this statement in this manner because we do not know precisely to what degree these sanctions appear to have been softened. Given the president’s track record, it’s likely they were rolled back farther than has been reported.
- We have managed to make the Israeli government, the only truly democratically-elected government in the area, irate at us for softening those sanctions, and for making diplomatic approaches to the Iranians without consulting with them first, as a courtesy. At least a part of this ire has to be caused by fear. When you make someone angry, that’s one thing; when you scare them, that’s another. When you do both, and they have their finger on a nuclear trigger along with a history of enduring mortal hostility from others who are threatening their extinction, you are setting in motion powerful forces it is difficult to stop.
- We have also managed to drive Egypt back toward the arms of Russia. Nature, along with geopolitical politics, abhors a vacuum and fills it as soon as possible. With us and our influence out of the picture, someone’s got to step in and Putin is seizing his opportunity, courting senior Egyptian government figures who are openly hostile toward the US.
- Last, but certainly not least, the Israeli Air Force has been practicing long-range round-trip flights, using aerial refueling techniques, in conjunction with the Hellenic (Greek) Air Force, that recently concluded. If one checks the geographical distance between Israel and Greece, one would conclude it is approximately the same as between Israel and Iran. Now, while these joint exercises have occurred periodically in the past, the recent evolutions, including an emphasis on refining aerial refueling techniques, do lead one to wonder what this portends.
We concur with the Czars conclusions that area governments will be more than willing to “look the other way” while Israel handles the dirty work for them. Despite philosophical and religious differences, there has long been a modicum of cooperation between Israel and more responsible Arab governments in the area (see “Osirak” for example) due to their realization Israel alone possesses the military expertise to pull off something like a long-range precision strike. This does not preclude the possibility – even probability – the other area governments are planning actions of their own on the ground that will coincide with or multiply the effects of an Israeli air strike.
It is difficult to understand how such a sophomoric, amateurish approach to foreign policy could be allowed to happen. We have only two choices – accidentally, or on purpose. Due to the gravity of the consequences of failure in this arena, both are difficult to fathom. The one possibility is mystifying; the second is monstrous.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.