The War Intensifies. We Babble About Peace and Retreat.

Obama lectures about peace, but the war intensifies.  North Korea has cut the hotline with the south, after threatening war, and warns of imminent attack.  The Saudis have once again warned Iran to stay away from Abu Musa island.  What if they don't?  Meanwhile, a leading cleric warns of domestic unrest in the kingdom (h/t Drudge), where the Iranians have long incited the Shi'a minority to confront the Wahabbi royal family.  Small and not-so-small armies are marching over and around Syria.  It is said that we are training the Free Syrian Army at a base in Jordan.  Cyberattacks against our corporations and government agencies are so common they barely warrant news coverage.  Bombs and suicide attacks are daily events in Iraq and Afghanistan. A major Iranian port explodes. The Iranians are shipping Chinese weapons to Shi'a insurgents in Yemen.

Obama, leading with his behind, swears he's not bluffing, but his actions are those of a man digging deeper into his bomb shelter...adding missile defense on the West Coast, pondering another site on the East Coast.  Of the United States.  And he locks out American tourists from the White House.

No surprise when the Taliban "welcomed" the new secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, to Afghanistan with a lethal attack, apparently causing the cancellation of a press conference with President Karzai.  And of course there's Karzai's remarkable accusation of American complicity in Taliban murders of Afghan civilians, a testament to the contempt in which he holds the United States, and the fear he rightly feels towards the Iranian-supported terrorists who operate in his capital.

The cancelled presser may have been a blessing for all concerned, actually.  Have a look at Hagel talking to the journalists on his plane en route to Afghanistan.  He's not overcome his awkwardness, let's say.  Quite aside from referring to his predecessor as "Secretary Spinetta," he replied to a question inviting him to compare Afghanistan with Vietnam basically by saying "the world is very complicated..."

This is not reassuring.

Meanwhile, our erstwhile friends, like Karzai, are running from us, while our enemies clearly think they've got the wind at their backs, and that they have nothing to fear from us.  The Iranians' internal propaganda is grinding out stories describing a new American generosity, and the regime is telling the people that sanctions will soon be reduced.  I'm sure the Iranian workers hope it's true, since layoffs are quite widespread.  But the regime's main point, that the United States will do nothing to challenge the hegemony of the theocrats, is by now widely accepted. And why not?  Our fecklessness has certainly been documented over the last many years.

Our leaders keep saying that Obama's not bluffing when he says he will prevent the Iranians from obtaining nuclear weapons, but words won't do it anymore.  Unfortunately, when you lead with your behind for several years, the only way to convince an enemy that you're serious is to prove it.  And with Iran, the only way to prove it--short of acts of war, which I oppose and which I do not believe Obama has any intention of ordering--is to challenge the regime by supporting its internal enemies.

The course we're on invites our enemies to attack us and our real and potential allies.  And so the war intensifies.

You won't hear about this on the evening news, or read about it in the dying dead tree media, but that's the way it is.