Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

The Middle East Powder Keg...

U.S., Quality of Life, Economy, Political

The Middle East powder keg is ever closer to exploding.  Syria continues its melt down and its leader will not alter his course even having proclaimed that he’ll die in the fighting if that is required of him.  The Palestinians continue to fire rockets and small arms rounds into Israel.  Israel continues to shoot back.  Israel found and demolished a tunnel on the Gaza strip that had been loaded with explosives and other weapons.  Israel is on top of everything that moves in the area and seems to be poised for very quick and lethal responses to any temptation.  Egypt is rumbling under the new rule brought about by elections a few months ago.  Iran continues in its now typical bellicose manner daring for a response to its nuclear program that has been being buried deep in a mountain side.

The American election did little, if anything, to alter that landscape either for the better or for the worse.  It is what it is, and there is not much that anyone has tried that looks to have succeeded.

All this points, in my mind, to an event of one kind or another that will succeed in causing that region to explode.  Whether that is an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, or Syria’s battles rolling over its several borders thus bringing other militaries into the fray is a question I doubt anyone can answer. 

We do not seem to have the wherewithal to somehow force our will on the powers in that region.  We are not the ones living under the various threats.  Were we, I suspect our national mood would be quite different than it appears to be today.  We are coming out from under the divisive political campaign for the Presidency.  We have several issues facing our country that draw our attention daily.

Our economy needs a turn-around.  Our country spends more than it has.  Taxes will be increased to ease some of that strain.  Military budgets will continue to be under pressure.  Our Congress will be trying, again, to sort out itself and find some way to be a more effective governing body than it has managed to be in the past few years; verbiage to date does not seem promising that such an accord will be reached soon, if at all.

Something is almost certainly going to go “boom in the night” and it will likely be even more involved than was Benghazi even as serious as that ‘incident’ was.  The Middle East seems poised for an eruption and that would appear to be more near-term than far-term.   Some will argue, but the evidence I see suggests there is not a close relationship between our government and that of Israel.  I will not be surprised to learn upon waking one morning that Israel went into Iran in a big way without advance notification for “permission” from the U.S.

That, if it occurs, will cast the last term of President Obama in a completely new light.  It will instantly dominate everything because it will be dominating world opinion.  The fallout, no pun intended, will be extensive and far-reaching.  It will impact our relationships with many governments and with many movements, and those relationships may be transformed from one thing to another overnight.

Our President and his Cabinet will be placed under tremendous strain, significantly more strain than is experienced in the usual ebb and flow of governing.  The selections President Obama will be entertaining and deciding upon in the coming days and weeks are of even more paramount importance than ever. 

If I were trying to find the best time to catch America off-guard and off its game, it would be very close to the January swearing in ceremonies while all the new players are trying to find their offices and determine how to get into their computer systems and how to work with the staff shortages that are sure to exist.  These new members of the Cabinet will not have had time in their roles to be comfortable with self and each other.

The one advantage would be that we would not be swearing in a new President; our President has been there for four years at this point and is as well-prepared as he will ever be.  Some would argue whether or not that level of preparedness is sufficient, but it is what it is, as well; and his style and approaches are known to all the players on the world stage.

This is a time for our prayers for a smooth change-over from the first to the second Administrations of this President, and that the selections made will have been of the most capable people available.

I hope my concerns over the Middle East powder keg are misplaced.  

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