Feeling Surrounded!

Feeling a little claustrophobic lately, like something is closing in; paranoid?

Moving, generally, from smaller to larger; Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are former Soviet Republics in Central Asia.  These political and economic behemoths are screwing around with us.  Refusal to allow scheduled re-supply efforts for Afghanistan to proceed, and stamping their feet over a fuel contract creating logistical nightmares for NATO forces. ……Why?

China says the U.S. has to be more sensitive to their needs.  Apparently providing the capital for China to re-industrialize and putting them on the road to super power status is insufficient.  Perhaps we could cuddle after the check clears.  China has also refused to approve a visit by Secretary Gates.  How do we cuddle up if you won’t see me?

North Korea (read China) engages in an act of war and sinks a South Korean military vessel.  What good possibly comes of that?  But, wait, wait, did not North Korea (China) decide to test missiles and generate a “nuclear weapons test’ right on the heels of crisis in the Middle East during the Bush Administration?  No, I’m sure I’ve got that wrong; coordination between Iran, China, North Korea, nah, that just too paranoid. 

Iran may have passed the nuclear red line; reports indicate enough “stuff” for two weapons.  The United Nations, IAEA, The European Union negotiating team (5 years), Russia and China collectively have guaranteed that this eventuality would be reached.  Russia and China expect a westward looking geopolitical shift in their favor. 

The U.S. provided an assist by doing none of what they could have done.  A stronger presence in the negotiation process would have helped.  Insistence that the IAEA under Mr. el Baradei take U.S. provided intelligence seriously, he did not until forced to by the weight of the sequential provision of intelligence and leaking of the fact that it was being presented to the IAEA.  Unilateral sanctions would have provided a smidgen of leadership and demonstration of resolve.  We could have insisted on delivering a message of strength as opposed to years of messages and actions that screamed “please behave; we’re a little tied up”.   We could have said (even if we did not want to or mean it) “hey, we’re with Israel,  if you guys cross the red line we’re going to smack you………hard!  

Mexico is falling apart.  We’re getting ready to build a Mosque at Ground Zero. Pakistan is still a 50/50 proposition.  Afghanistan could last another decade.  NATO is on the verge of being downsized, Russia says it will use nukes in “regional conflicts”, the U.S. says it won’t use them at all.  Fighting in Yemen continues. Iran maintains allies and “friends” throughout Central and South America.  Military equipment in Central and South America is coming from ….. Russia!  Major energy deals have been executed between Russia and China; geopolitical implications anyone?  

Financial crisis is on the horizon for, potentially, everyone.  Is it possible to identify the point in time where government level deficit spending becomes the straw that breaks the global camel’s back?  Where is the “money”?  What is that number?  How far away from it are we?  Am I crazy?

Almost forgot, Iran has also set up temporary military bases in Kurdistan five miles inside the Kurdish border.  There appears to be no resistance!  ???

Hiz’bAllah may have Scud missiles, supplied by Iran via of Syria.  Why?  Use of those weapons as conventional weapons will generate a massive conventional response from Israel.  Those missiles may be more dangerous than they’re worth, in a conventional sense.  However, if Iran can get Scuds into Lebanon, could they get a warhead in? 

We have an oil leak unlike any other in history no one knows for sure why or how it happened.  It’s hard to avoid the thought that diabolical should be on the list of possibilities along with malfeasance, reckless disregard and many others.

Dennis Blair a senior security advisor for the President does not “get” what Jihad is.  Jihad is different things to different Muslims.  Unfortunately, the folks that want us dead have a very clear definition of Jihad that Mr. Blair refused to recognize.  That may be a hard lesson learned when the time comes, which it will.

According to Andrew McCarthy the Muslim Brotherhood is considering downplaying terrorism.  The reason; “that they are making so much progress marching through our institutions, mush as the left has that they are reevaluating the “blow back” from terror events, especially terror directed against the U.S.    

The Attorney General announces that he and the President are committed to addressing “global corruption”.  What?  We don’t have enough to do?  Start in Chicago, move on to D.C.     

NATO ally Turkey has clearly decided to enhance its position of power in the region, motivated in part by the rise of Iran and Turkish interests gravitating in that direction.  Turkish, Israeli cooperation is long standing but the noises related to Israel from Ankara have become increasingly harsh over the past few months.

A crisis is precipitated drawing Israel into a no win situation.  Set up?  Absolutely!  Does it matter?  Not even a little bit!   Dropping onto the Flotilla with paintball guns not withstanding, the facts, whatever they are, will not stand in the way of a good story.  The rants will follow their well established,  predictable course.  And, it happens just as the Iranian nuclear program begins to get “red line” press coverage.  Lucky break!   

Wait, there’s more. The Iranian Majlis have joined the flotilla.  The Majlis is a paramilitary organization under the control of the IRGC. The Majlis was a key part of suppressing the post election demonstrations in Iran.

Only the U.S. has adopted the semblance of a balanced position regarding the flotilla.  Nearly the entire rest of the globe, however, stands in opposition to Israel.  Is it hypocritical, sure what’s new; it’s still contributing to that claustrophobic feeling.