The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By Norman A. Bailey
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 @ 2:44PM

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As always, there is no lack of events, people and developments to write about.  The problem is to choose.

Among other good news is that U.S.-Israel defense cooperation continues unabated, with a good allocation of funds on the U.S. part for joint weapons system development.  Also the U.S. vetoed the proposal to force Israel to disclose its nuclear capabilities at the Non-Proliferation Conference, despite strong indications that the U.S Administration was considering not supporting Israel.  The role of the new Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, was significant in both cases.

As always, plenty of bad news.  Islamic State is resurgent and the Iraqi army has again melted away in the face of the enemy; The U.S. and allied bombing campaign is not working, as it never does absent ground forces.  The six-party talks with Iran appear to be moving ahead towards an unacceptable, indeed highly dangerous “agreement”, although reports of serious rifts in the Iranian political system and remarks by German Chancellor Merkel during President Rivlin’s visit indicate that there may not be an agreement after all, despite President Obama’s desperate desire for one.  Finally, the situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate, leading to the possibility that Iran may try to mobilize the Shiite populations of the Arabian side of the Gulf.  Two can play at that game, however.  The Iranian minorities, which are half the population, are predominantly Sunni and some of them are in a state of latent or active insurgency.

The ugly was pointed up by the recent Jerusalem conference on anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism.  Both movements are growing in strength and virulence and recently reached some sort of vicious nadir in the WHO vote condemning Israel for its medical treatment of Syrian civil war civilian wounded, a humanitarian gesture of profound significance, along with the massive Israeli response to the earthquakes in Nepal.  The resolution, which condemned Israel for its “medical experiments” on the Syrian wounded (a la Mengele) passed by a majority of 104 to four (Israel, the U.S., Canada and Australia)..

Every single European country voted in favor or abstained.  The anti-Israel and anti-semitic wave washing over Europe and the U.S. is reaching pathological proportions, and if not countered by a well-designed, well-financed and well-staffed counter-attack will spell serious consequences in the future. 

So–the good, the bad and the ugly.  Never a dull moment in this part of the world.  Luckily the dysfunctionality of the Israeli political system is not replicated in its economy or in its defense establishment.  

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