There’s trouble in Gaza on Israel’s western border. “Egypt has recalled its ambassador in Israel, Yasser Ridha, following the assassination of top Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari, Egyptian TV reported Wednesday.”
To the east of Israel riots have broken out in Jordan over high fuel prices, adding to unrest to a country formerly regarded as placid in that volatile region.
In Dhiban, a city of 15,000 south of the capital, Amman, protesters burned pictures of King Abdullah II, witnesses said. In Salt, which has been a site of popular discontent, protesters destroyed two cars outside the prime minister’s home, which was empty. And in Amman, thousands of demonstrators filled the circle outside the Interior Ministry near midnight, chanting, “The people want the fall of the regime,” echoing similar chants in Egypt and Tunisia, where the Arab Spring began.
Meanwhile the Obama administration is carrying out an undeclared personnel revamp of key military and intelligence figures in the Middle East.
RADM Charles Gaouette, USN, Commander of the Stennis battlegroup, recalled Oct 17, 2012 as his force entered the Fifth Fleet’s area of operations. “The Fifth Fleet of the United States Navy is responsible for naval forces in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and coast off East Africa as far south as Kenya.”
General Carter Ham, USA, AfricaCom. Replacement announced Oct 18, 2012.
General John Allen, USMC, ISAF Commander, linked to ‘inappropriate’ emails, mid-November, 2012.
David Petraeus, Director, Central Intelligence Agency, resigned November 9, 2012.
General William E. Ward USA, former AfricaCom commander, demotion announced Nov 13, 2012.
This is happening even as the administration moves heaven and earth to avoid explaining the goals and objectives of its policies with respect to the ‘Arab Spring’ in general and Libya in particular.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has apparently won control of the hearings process. Petraeus will testify behind closed doors, and the questions will be limited to Benghazi. The administration now believes it can contain the context of the Benghazi scandal or at least draw its sting until the public forgets it. From its past track record the GOP is probably going to go along.
But the danger in going along is palpable. The Middle East is entering a new and dangerous period just as the administration is purging senior leaders in pursuit of a goal that the public can only guess at. What could go wrong?