by John Hoppy Hopkins on Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 10:59pm ·

There are so many ongoing problems in the Middle-East, it seems that it’s not a matter of ‘if’ full scale war breaks out, but when it does and which event is going to trigger it. Syrian President Asaad continues his brutal actions on Sunni dissenters. This is just another chapter in the multi-faceted turmoil in the region. Recent civil war in Lebanon, Muslim brotherhood throwing out Mubarak in Egypt, Palestinians lobbing rockets into Israel, Iran building nukes (and Israel wanting to take them out) Afghanistan still in chaos, Pakistan (already a nuclear power) unstable and not in control of many regions of their own country, Turkey’s issue with the Kurds, and a dozen or so Arab/African states recently or currently in civil war or in the business of harboring terrorists. Quietly sitting in the balcony seat is an American armed (and heavily armed, I might add) Saudi Arabia, who may end up forced into a game they do not wsih to play. While the world has made it clear, Asaad must go, Damascus has resoundingly reiterated the opposite. He’s going no where anytime soon. Israel, especially with Benyamin Netanyahu at the he helm, is rapidly losing patience with the potentiality of a nuclear Iran. They cannot be expected to wait much longer to take action. When that happens, the attention will quickly be drawn away from Asaad, leaving him to escalate actions against dissenters. At this point, it’s a dice roll as to what will happen. Does Egypt enter the fray? What happens in Iraq? We’ve got an enormous void there compared to the past. Does this bring more insurgency in Afghanistan? Is the U. S. again drawn into a two front war? One in Afghanistan, a second defending Israel. What do the Russians and the Chinese do? Maybe the North Koreans, seeing us embroiled in a double debacle, start more shenanigans in the Pacific. The possibilities are as numerous as they are uncertain. The one sure thing is the Americans will end up front and center. It doesn’t matter who is in the Oval Office. We’ll be in. The big question is who will be at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, D.C? Mr. Obama has already shown a lack of commitment to Israel, while showing deference and an odd humility to Egypt, the Saudis and Russia. Even after 3+ years in the Presidency, we have a leader with little foreign policy success. He readily takes credit for Osama’s demise, but we now hear that he balked dozens of times before actually giving a timid go ahead. And what will Mitt Romney do if he’s the November pick? No one knows for sure, we’ll want to take a long look at who he surrounds himself with. The reality of the situation is that the circumstances are dire. Something is obviously imminent. And no matter what happens, it’s a surety that American soldiers, airmen and marines will be in harm’s way. This road may be a long one. And the road home may be laden with flag covered boxes…..the horrid price that’s always paid in these matters. With this many players in this very deadly game, with blurred alliances and uncertain, untested leaders, the price may end up paying a heavy toll. I can’t say my faith in Obama’s judgment and wisdom (or lack thereof) gives me any solace that we results will be good, but we must prevail. Obama may have inherited this quandary, but he knew what he was getting when he applied for the job. And we knew the same when, as a nation, elected him. He assured us that his diplomatic skills would prevail, and he would ”sit down and talk with anyone”. Now it’s too late to sit down. Talking is falling on deaf ears. Our only option seems to be to wait for who places the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

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