05-14-2019 01:57:15 PM -0400
05-09-2019 05:01:30 PM -0400
05-09-2019 01:41:48 PM -0400
04-18-2019 10:46:35 AM -0400
04-18-2019 10:18:40 AM -0400
It looks like you've previously blocked notifications. If you'd like to receive them, please update your browser permissions.
Desktop Notifications are  | 
Get instant alerts on your desktop.
Turn on desktop notifications?
Remind me later.

President Wile E. Coyote

“We’re sort of seeing the world order cracking around the edges,” says Robert Kagan, a conservative author and historian whose writing has caught the president’s attention. “The only thing Obama can hope is that it doesn’t completely collapse while he’s still president.”

Him and everybody else. Michael Crowley in Politico writes, "Obama took office vowing to end America’s wars. Now we’re in at least five, and U.S. officials are unsure what to do about it." In the meantime the public can listen to him tell jokes.  That is probably the highest and best use of his time until Hillary Clinton becomes president -- an event which the press believes is foregone.  A survey of 70 journalists assigned to the White House revealed that 63% of White House correspondents think Hillary will be the next president. 21% think it will be Jeb Bush. Marco Rubio is given only at 4% of making it.

Out among Obama's wars regimes are struggling to survive.  Yakub Halabi of Ynet believes that Saudi Arabia is fighting for its life in Yemen.

The new Saudi King, Salman, fears that a prolonged war south of the kingdom will lead to the Syrianization of Yemen, where amid the political vacuum, transnational Jihadist allied with either al-Qaeda or the Islamic State will enter Yemen to fight against the “infidel” Shiites.

Saudi estimates that a protracted war will sooner or later spill over into the Kingdom. Hence, this war is not a competition over hegemony in the Arab Peninsula between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but a war over the survival of the Saudi monarchy.

Obama's wars are not linear but chaotic. Gains by the Kingdom's proxies in Syria do not necessarily offset its setbacks in Yemen. The Al-Nusrah Front, which is the local name for al-Qaeda forces in Syria this week captured the city of Jisr Al Shughur, opening the road across the mountains to the Alawite heartland on the coast. They are now poised to resume their long-cherished goal of investing Syria's main port of Latakia and bringing war to the very homes of Assad's ethnic community. This comes on the heels of the fall of Idlib, a move that threatens to cut Damascus off from its remaining redoubts in the North.

But the House of Saud has no friends among the unruly men with guns. Andrew Critchlow, the commodities editor of the Telegraph says the Saudis are now under foundering in an ocean of disorder. Once the powder train crosses the sandy barriers surrounding it, the sparks will touch off discontent within the kingdom itself.

The world has spent the last six months basking in the glow of lower oil prices, which have effectively delivered a $1.3 trillion tax cut to developed economies in Europe and North America. However, ... Saudi Arabia and a clutch of Gulf sheikdoms which control a fifth of the world’s oil supplies are now effectively under siege on the Arabian Peninsula.

In Yemen, thousands of people have been killed in Saudi-led airstrikes and potentially hundreds of thousands more displaced. ... Yemen, which has little oil of its own but controls a strategic passage way for oil tankers ... is effectively in a state of anarchy. ...

Now the only thing separating AQAP from infiltrating the kingdom is the historically impenetrable barrier of the Rub al-Kali desert, also known as the Empty Quarter. In the summer, this vast expanse of sand where dunes tower over 100 feet high cannot be normally crossed but AQAP fighters are already thought to be gaining footholds there.

The danger for Saudi Arabia and potentially world markets is that they cross the sands and launch attacks in the kingdom, which is the world’s largest exporter of crude. Earlier this week Saudi’s interior ministry warned of the possibility that oil installations and shopping malls may be attacked by terrorists, while the last few weeks has seen a spate of shootings around the capital Riyadh.

Nor is it necessarily the case that if Assad falls, some new successor government will take its place in Syria.  In the kind of cauldron that is developing, everything may just implode on itself.   Mohammed Ayoob, author of the book Will the Middle East Implode argues that the Arab Spring snuffed out the credibility of democratic change while Islamism simultaneously resurrected itself as a political ideology and everyone began to seek the Atomic Bomb.

Then the scenario from hell met the messiah from Chicago.

If some kind of catastrophe happens and things go south, then Hillary might have a problem. If all out conflict and dislocation breaks out who knows but Rubio or Cruz might improve their chances to 5%. As CNN Money writes, one of Clinton's chief worries is that the economic recovery might die before the election.

This is perfectly rational in a manner of speaking. The administration can no longer call back the avalanche it has started.  There is almost nothing left to do but hope for the best and tell jokes.  Speaking of which, did you hear the story Obama told about Benjamin Netanyahu?  John Boehner was looking for a guy to talk at a funeral and ...

Recently purchased by readers:

Building the H Bomb, A Personal History [Kindle Edition]

Parasite Rex, Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures [Kindle Edition]

The Vikings [Kindle Edition]

Possibly worth buying:

The Three Languages of Politics [Kindle Edition]

The War That Forged a Nation, Why the Civil War Still Matters

Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security

Is the American Century Over?, Joseph Nye

The Assassins, Bernard Lewis. A comprehensive, readable, and authoritative account of history's first terrorists.

Red Notice, A real-life political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption.

Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres

Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free

The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age

Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small

No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.

Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific

Tip Jar or Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the Belmont Club