Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 15 Comments
Meanwhile Iran's own race toward a nuclear bomb, brings it into a collision course not only with Israel, but with the region's Sunni Arab powers. Saudi Arabia and Egypt are rapidly pushing their own nuclear projects, and are cooperating with Israel on a potential raid on Iran's nuclear capabilities.
In Latin America the tide of Cuban backed leftist dictatorships has hit a wall in Honduras and Columbia. The choice is now between coups, popular revolutions or right wing insurgencies on the Contra model, resulting in large scale bloodshed across Latin America.
The economic crisis has only accelerated the situation with countries such as Russia and China which got rich off its exports, suddenly discovering that the good life is drying up, and oligarchic capitalism no longer looks like such a good model. North Korea's egocentric madman Kim Jong Il is nearing the end of his life, and after a lifetime of being worshiped as a god, is likely to want to go out with a bang. Iran is facing serious domestic instability and economic problems due to its population boom, generation gap and control of wealth by a handful of families. The Latin American leftist dictatorships, from Chavez on down, have seen their "reforms" fail, leaving them with a great deal of domestic discontent to muzzle. All five of these represent cases of domestic instability likely to trigger regional wars.
And so the world now hovers on the verge of war, not one great sweeping war, but a hundred smaller wars, which when backed with nuclear weapons might lead to deaths in the millions. And as the world looks to the White House for leadership, instead of leadership it finds an empty chair.
Obama's endless world tour, rich in speechmaking and short on action, has sent the message that the United States is weak and unable to do anything. When the cat's away, the mice will play. And when the cat shows every sign of being out of the game, the mice will fight their own wars among themselves. Obama's absence of international leadership has created a power vacuum, leaving a handful of European leaders to argue among themselves, while in the shadows the rats creep closer and closer inward.
Worse yet the few actions that Obama has taken, have been to enable the disruptive forces, backing Hamas over Israel, Zelaya over Honduras and giving Kim Jong Il and Ahmadinejad yet another pass. Had Hamas, Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il and Chavez been in charge of American foreign policy, it is doubtful that they could have done a better job of helping themselves, than Obama has on their behalf. By repeatedly demanding surrender from the few sources of regional stability, including Israel which is increasingly seen even by its Sunni Arab enemies as a bulwark against Iranian nuclear terror, Obama is not only selling out America's allies, but paving the way for a far more devastating set of conflicts to come.
If North Korea's nuclear program is not aborted, it is likely that Japan will be forced to fully militarize and take action against Kim Jong Il. What this will do to the region and the traditional balance of power can only be guessed at. Yet Obama has chosen to speak loudly and carry a wiffle bat, making occasional noises while taking no concrete steps to create regional confidence that American leadership can head off the prospect of North Korean nukes raining down on the Japanese islands or on Seoul.
If Iran's nuclear development is not aborted, Israel will have to strike. If Obama manages to tie Israel's hands long enough so that Iran will be able to deploy nuclear weapons, a nuclear exchange is likely to follow, with a death in the millions, on either or both sides. Obama has demonstrated no credible influence over Iran, and shown no results of any kind to back up his claims that a diplomatic solution will prevent war. And his fumbling response to the Iranian protests only suggests a clueless figure out of his depth for whom appeasement is a knee jerk reflex.
China's economic crisis has grown worse, and with rising domestic instability, both economic and ethnic, war with India may become a likely distraction. Additionally Pakistan's slide into its own form of instability, and the possibility that its government will be supplanted by an Al Queda allied group, at least in part, raises the possibility of yet another nuclear exchange in the east. Obama's regional policy has been limited primarily to operations in Afghanistan, which while not illegitimate in and of itself, remains ridiculously narrow minded in view of the greater crisis at hand.
The spreading tide of Latin America left wing tyranny has run smack dab into an economic downturn and the programmed failure of central planning that sooner or later strikes down all socialist dreams dead. Rather than standing for democracy and the rule of law, and aiding the emergence of free market Latin American governments allied to the US, Obama has instead emboldened Chavez and his mini-me's by kowtowing to the various Cubas-in-waiting, and backed Zelaya over the Honduran constitution. This has given the green light to Chavez and every other Latin American leftist thug in power to use violent means to stay in power, over and above the rule of law and popular discontent.
And while this might lead to Obama's socialist fellow travelers in Latin America getting a temporary life extension, in the longer term it will lead to civil war and the rise of guerrilla armies and terrorist groups, many of which are likely to fund their operations through narcotics sale and trafficking, creating further social and criminal problems for America.
Russia meanwhile has built an oligarchy of corruption under Putin and his ex-KGB allies based around selling oil and gas. The problem is that the oil and gas is running out, and with a worldwide economic decline, selling what Russia does have left to the West is no longer as profitable. With Russia having invested big in energy, including strings of gas stations, equipment and overseas companies, the energy bubble is bursting. Construction has drastically slowed down and Medvedev and Putin have had to use legal threats against anyone talking about an economic crisis in Russia.
Putin had built up a national socialist movement in Russia, seizing companies and parceling out their administration to his allies for a system of shakedowns and bribes. He built all of that on top of a fascist youth movement personally loyal to him and a police state that controls the media and the political system. The more unstable things have become, the more rabidly xenophobic the Russian climate has turned. The increasing threats against the Ukraine and the invasion of Georgia has been driven by equal parts energy greed and a KGB man's dream of reclaiming the USSR's old captive states.
Finally in Israel, Obama's push for the quickie creation of a Palestinian state, has made it clear that it's open season for the terrorists, and that Israel will be held upside down and shaken down for everything by a newly hostile US administration headed by a man whose roots are more Muslim than anything else, and devoid of any affection or sympathy for the State of Israel.
Before the Insta-Palestinian state can happen, Obama has pushed on with a quickie Unity government of Hamas and Fatah. The last such unity government ended with Hamas in control of Gaza. The next one is likely to give Hamas the whole kit and kaboodle. Domestically Obama has allied himself with the same left wing Jewish groups who fought against imposing any sanctions for Hamas. Abroad, Obama has picked a fight over Settlements, while blatantly ignoring Palestinian Arab terrorism, and the refusal of both Fatah and Hamas to recognize Israel. In the process he has alienated the vast majority of Israelis. Furthermore his repudiation of an oral agreement with Israel on settlements, has seriously discredited US diplomacy, not only in Israel but far beyond it.
As destructive as Obama's actions are toward Israel, the track he is on would either sever America's ties to Israel, or create a Hamas state in Gaza and the West Bank, that will be innately hostile to the US, as well as serve as a launching pad for the Islamist takeover of Egypt. This will in turn force an invasion by either Israel or Egypt, or both. Even if that does not happen, the quantum growth in regional terrorism from creating a terrorist state will seriously destabilize the region.
Once again on every front, Obama has proven both hapless and destructive, enabling the more disruptive forces, sending the signal that America is out to lunch. With the world on the verge of war, the White House has become a byword for absent leadership everywhere, but among the media mouthpieces for the Obama Administration which bask in lavish displays of admiration for his inaction, ineptness and dangerously wrong policies.
The threats are real. The danger is great. The worst case scenarios are unthinkable. And America which should be serving as a point of stability and a beacon of freedom, has instead become a source of instability and an enabler of tyranny.