“The tide of war is receding,” President Barack Obama is fond of saying. Who’s he kidding?
It has not been two weeks since the president’s reelection and already foreign policy crises are metastasizing. Israel’s justified retaliation at Hamas rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip may escalate into the second Gaza war in four years.
But the Middle East of 2012 is not the Middle East of 2008. Gaza neighbors an Egypt governed not by the secular dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak but by the religious-inspired democracy of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi.
Egypt has its own problems with the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip who smuggle arms and contraband across the border. But how will Morsi respond when his countrymen demand retaliation for Israeli attacks on Muslims? Does he have the legitimacy or cunning to maintain peace with Israel while avoiding revolution in Tahrir Square?
The so-called Arab Spring has tipped the balance of power against Israel. The Palestinian leadership in the West Bank is in disarray. Israel’s allies who rule the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan are beset by deadly protests over the cost of fuel.
The bloodletting in Syria has intensified. The death toll is reaching 40,000. Jihadists are flooding into the country where they hope to raise the black flag of al Qaeda. The Syrian-Turkish border simmers as the fighting spreads to Lebanon, where Hezbollah watches and waits on orders from Iran.
The mullahs in Tehran are stronger than they were in 2008. They quashed the Green Revolution in 2009 and are four years closer to obtaining nuclear weapons. They have free rein in Iraq where America no longer has troops. The Iranian nuclear program has survived cyber attacks, sabotage, the assassination of scientists, and economic sanctions.
Has the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei paid a price for his government’s support for international terrorism, attacks on U.S. troops, and manifold human rights abuses? Is the moon made of cheese?
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment