Obama Administration's Eyes Are Closed on Completely Predictable Middle East Crises

A Hollywood mogul once explained that he didn't get headaches, he gave headaches to others. President Barack Obama's determination not to give headaches to America's enemies guarantees that he brings them onto U.S. interests. Here are examples happening right now and certain to blow up before the November 2012 elections.

Iraq and Afghanistan: Obama plans to withdraw U.S.combat troops by December 31 from Iraq and next year from Afghanistan. A "logical" American official, not understanding how things work in the Middle East, would say:

Well, of course they know we are leaving so they will be quiet and let us withdraw.

But that's not how the Middle East works. Knowing that U.S. forces are leaving, revolutionary Islamists in both Iraq and Afghanistan are stepping up offensives now to make this look like a U.S. retreat due to defeat. Their purpose is to build morale and support among their own people. The Taliban will say:

We drove out the Russians and the Americans. We defeated both superpowers. See, Allah is on our side! Join us. Our victory is inevitable.

So in both Iraq and Afghanistan the Obama administration has to choose between extending the withdrawal deadline and keeping troops in those countries or sticking to his schedule while the situation deteriorates. In both places the government is hinting that it wants the Americans to stay longer. There are already hints that American troops will be in Afghanistan for many years. At any rate, to coin a mixed metaphor, the constantly signalled weakness is coming home to roost.

Palestinians: Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas is touring the region telling everyone that he's having no problem with the Obama administration regarding the PA's internationally supported campaign to break all of its previous commitments to Israel and the United States and to go for unilateral independence and UN recognition. Is he telling the truth?