As the world churns, where does the US stand?

Just a few headlines to get some brain cells firing in our national security agencies…………hopefully.   Yesterday reports of chemical weapons being used in Syria hit the airwaves (here, here, here), so how will the US respond – or will we respond?  John Bolton appeared on Fox News this morning and he proposes a US effort to confiscate and remove chemical weapons’ stores from Syria, while simultaneously avoiding getting drawn into the civil war raging there or allowing these weapons to fall into the hands of radical rebel groups.  While this sounds like a prudent proposition, the logistics of carrying out this type of mission strike me as daunting, to say the least.  John Bolton, whom I admire greatly, frequently comes up with big-thinker type plans, that require broad stroke diplomatic efforts or complex, thinking outside the box action that seem unlikely to happen with our ditherer-in-chief.  The Bin Laden raid seems like the star in his crown of daring-do missions and even there reports indicate he procrastinated making that call too.  In Benghazi, well, he didn’t even bother to tune in the night of that raid, then tried to blame some lame video as the cause, deflecting attention from his administration’s complete abandonment of our ambassador under attack.  In typical Obama fashion, expect that “red line” to be merely a rhetorical device, not an actual point where action will back up the words.  It’s likely Mr. For It Before He Was Against It Kerry will pass this Syrian hot potato into the UN’s lap, where the world’s spuds can mash it about and proclaim – “We condemn this action in the strongest possible terms!” and do nothing, as usual.

North Korea rattles on with threats and overt hostilities, where South Korea raised the alarm that widespread cyber attacks that brought down three broadcast networks and some banks yesterday might be the work of North Korea (here).  The Sun, a British paper, posted a story that North Korea put a propaganda video online that shows the US Capitol being blown up by a missile strike and another one of the White House being targeted (here).  Last week, George Friedman, at Stratfor.com, wrote a piece, “Considering a Departure in North Korea’s Strategy”, where he explains their strategy as a combination of “ferocious, weak and crazy” that combined forms a coherent strategy for regime preservation, which he states is their primary strategic aim.  Friedman asserts that North Korea’s aggressive actions cause other nations to react with extreme caution.   In typical detailed Friedman style, he examines the possibility that North Korea might be moving away from it’s “careful manipulator” strategy to a “wild gambler” mode, which he doubts, but nevertheless assesses in detail (here).  The US in the meantime is conducting ramped up B-52 training exercises over South Korea to demonstrate American resolve to protect South Korea from North Korean aggression (here).

And today President Obama, in his signature “leading from behind” style, finally made it to Israel – only five years into his presidency…………  The New York Times describes the visit as “heavy on symbolism and short on any proposals to advance peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians” (here).  Just another day in the world of dwindling United States influence, where the President’s minions thought it was a good idea to send the President campaigning directly to the Israeli people rather than treating Netanyahu to the respectful treatment of a world leader.  Absent any real proposals or ideas, he’s in Israel merely as a symbolic gesture.

Wondering how we will weather these next four years adrift, abandoned and absolutely absent any hint of American leadership or resolve.  No life vest in sight from this vantage point and is there anyone left who will respond to dot, dot,dot, dash, dash, dash, dot, dot, dot?  Well, the geniuses in this White House would scratch their heads and ask, “dot, dash, huh, what’s that?”, so the short answer is –  probably not.  Anyway, they’re too busy figuring out how to use White House Tours and the annual White House Easter Egg Roll for sequestration propaganda purposes – no time left to ponder world problems.

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