Thursday, November 03, 2011
And to anyone else whose comment is caught in this site's spam filter.
I haven't been posting much recently or coming by here. Just writers block, or more a situation where the Middle East hinges in every important way on what happens in Egypt, specifically Egypt's elections, but those have been postponed and Egypt, certainly at the US' urging, has adopted an innovative three stage election process.
Mubarak is gone. Mubarakism is gone. I also don't want to judge Egypt harshly before there is something tangible to judge. But the shape of the Middle East depends on how the Egyptians vote, how the US' allies in Egypt respond to the elections, and the responses and counter-responses from there.
Nothing else in the Middle East is really important comparatively.
Assad will be in power at least until we've seen the first set of results in Egypt and what happens in Syria after that will be strongly influenced by what happens in Egypt in ways that I can't predict until Egypt is in sharper focus.
Hurray for Iraq for, contrary to US efforts, apparently choosing to fully remove US troops.
US influence has been on the decline for a long time now.
Iran loses its threat to attack the US in Iraq, but gains decreased US capabilities to thwart Iraqi cooperation with Iran with regard to Syria now and Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in future years.
For Iran to inflict pain on the US after a strike - which means US killed in action, which is the only thing that does have a political impact on US decision-making - Iran's option at this point is targets in US ships and in Afghanistan.
Iran is capable of working this out. I am not concerned that there might be a US or Israeli attack in 2012, or that if there had been an attack it would not leave Iran in a stronger position after all of the dust settles.
So really, nothing has changed in the region since I was last posting regularly, and nothing is going to change until we see elections. Because of that it has been hard for me to find motivation to post anything.
I'd love to comment on any articles anyone finds so please leave links in the comments section. I'm turning off the spam filter to the degree that I can. Again, sorry for the comments that were blocked.
Posted by Arnold Evans at 8:03 PM