Monday, October 27, 2014


It won't be long now until Lebanon is ripped apart again by a civil war fought between the sunni and shia who are nominally Lebanese but I don't think there have been true Lebanese since the Phoenicians sailed the Mediterranean 2000 years ago. We can look forward to another red line in the sand and calls to dispatch Marines to stabilize the peaceful country and maybe take up headquarters in Beirut.

I read an article earlier today that stated that we had come to the point that the old borders drawn by Europeans after World War I were gone and would never be resurrected in the middle east. They were drawn with no understanding of the people that lived there and were artificial from the beginning. Sort of like Europe's borders after The Great War.

When ISIS defeats the rump government in Baghdad and takes over most of the countries formerly known as Iraq and Syria it will come into contact with the ancient arab and sunni nemesis in Iran. I don't think either team will appreciate it when it happens. It would be interesting to see if they even try for a neutral zone or a negotiated DMZ like we have in Korea. Interesting, but I doubt they can do it. Neither side is at all familiar with compromise.

It would be nice if the US finally accepted that it can neither make peace in the middle east nor ally itself with an arab of any faith to fight against other arabs. After 10 years building up and training the Iraqi army we have a ghastly crew of useless cowards to show for it. They won't fight for the shia government if they are sunni and the shia won't fight to protect sunni terrortories and I can't blame either of them for taking the sensible position.

Those in power in Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia know that they now face an existential threat that can only be defeated by force of arms. Bahrain was fortunate to have Saudi troops backing them up during the revolt three years ago but Saudi Arabia doesn't have anybody willing to stand with them and they have enemies now ascendent in the south and potential new enemies in the north and they have always regarded the Persians as a threat.

As you would expect by now, the State Department and White House staff are now agonizing over none of that. They care only about ending the Palestinian problem by sacrificing Israel. It's not going to happen. I am, sadly, amused by watching the arabs scramble to save themselves from terrorists.

When people talk about a looming population explosion of idle young men and speculate what is going to happen when they reach military age and they have absolutely nothing to look forward to but hopeless despair and somebody says that they will become savages aimed and directed by the mullahs and imams, believe it.
The age structure can also be used to help predict potential political issues. For example, the rapid growth of a young adult population unable to find employment can lead to unrest.

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