Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Losing Ground

l"stache grand - who by hap hap happy happenstance also has like the most moustache giganteus ever - pens a killer critique of the ME and Great Satan"s 44 driven dimenishment

Strategic security for Great Satan and her key Middle East allies has deteriorated significantly. Little Satan and friendly Arab states feel increasingly pressured, yet see little leadership from 44. 

This is not a question of a new threat here or there, but a confluence of adversity fundamentally altering Middle Eastern reality. Inevitably, whoever wins the presidency will face urgent international threats to Great Satan"s interests. Indeed, oil prices are so important to global economic recovery that instability and conflict in the Levant could well contribute to another recession.

Most immediately, in Aegypt, Sunday’s forced “retirement” of top military officials, including Defense Minister Mohammed Tantawi, epitomizes the shift. Egypt’s new Ikwhan president, Mohammed Morsi, also purportedly rescinded a military decree that had sought to restrict his powers.

How this unfolding struggle will play out is unclear, but the stakes are enormous. Already, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has descended into anarchy since Hosni Mubarak’s fall last year, and is now a terrorist thoroughfare and Hamas missile-testing ground. Little Satan had earlier consented to Egyptian troops moving into the Sinai, but the situation only deteriorated. On Aug. 5, for example, Bedouins attacked an Egyptian base, killing 15 soldiers, and then tried but failed to infiltrate into Little Satan.

While increasing Egypt’s Sinai deployments seemed sensible in the near-term, what happens when and if the terrorist threat is eliminated? Will Egypt’s forces largely return to the Suez Canal’s west bank, or will “land for peace” (the Camp David Accord’s central element) be gutted? If the increasingly assertive Morsi government grows stronger and more radical, Little Satan may find she has traded land for nothing. (GsGf Editorial note - Again!! Little Satan gave up turf in the Strip and in Leb Leb Lebanon and thus far - has only rec"v"d heartache for the deal)

While terrorist threats from the Sinai are palpable risks, a large Egyptian military presence, especially under amean m"Hammedist government, would reprise the dangerous era before the Six Day War.

Chaos is also evident on Israel’s northern flank. Syria’s civil war is now largely a surrogate conflict pitting Russia and Iran against the Sunni Arab world. (Turkey's position is complicated, with visions of a role reminiscent of Ottoman days, in competition with both Iranian and Saudi interests. Certainly Ankara wants a friendly regime in Damascus, and does not want hundreds of thousands of refugees flooding its territory.)

While Assad’s defeat would be welcome, what kind of regime would follow — one dominated by radical you know whatists even more devoted to Little Satan’s destruction?

Then there’s the risk that Syria’s chemical-weapons stockpile will fall into the wrong hands. Lebanon’s Hiz"B"Allah, for example, could well gain access to these weapons, with frightening implications.

In Libya, the assassination of officials who defected from Khadafy’s regime continues apace, most recently on Aug. 10 in Benghazi. This hardly signals stability in Libya’s new government, or that more conflict can be avoided.

The news from Iran remains uniformly grim, as neither sanctions nor diplomacy slow its headlong rush toward nuclear weapons. Dangerous as a nuclear Tehran would be in the best of times, the threat becomes more acute as the entire region dissolves into acrimony and uncertainty.

This is why leadership and character are so important in assessing presidential candidates. No one can foresee all the international crises ahead in the next four years. But we can certainly decide who has the judgment and resolve to make hard choices on America’s behalf.
Pic - "Wide Awake"