Prepared for the Worst

 

Six months ago I wrote the following:

All the bad actors in the world know they have two-and-a-half years to run rampant since the U.S. won’t do anything. Expect war.

— jon gabriel (@exjon) March 14, 2014

 At the time some thought it alarmist, but it isn’t surprising how the past half year has worked out.

  • Putin’s slow-motion invasion of Ukraine.
  • Boko Haram rampaging through Nigeria, kidnapping children and sacking churches.
  • China aggressively staking out territorial claims in the Pacific.
  • North Korean threats and missile tests.
  • Libya’s collapse into an anarchic terror state.
  • All-out war between Israel and Hamas.
  • Violent anti-semitism across Europe.
  • Russia testing NATO’s air defenses.
  • Central American crime syndicates pouring across our southern border
  • ISIS crucifying its way across Syria and Iraq.

Over the past three days alone, we’ve seen sweeping anti-government riots in Pakistan, Beijing invalidating Hong Kong democracy, ISIS beheading a second American journalist, and now 11 commercial airliners are missing from Libya.

President Obama has created an international power vacuum, a natural result of his lead-from-behind style and desire for an unexceptional America. Would-be strongmen are eagerly filling that vacuum, understanding that the world’s policeman has decided to go on a years-long, union-funded strike.

As the leader of the free world shuffles from one golf course to the next, it’s obvious that no major foreign policy change is coming in the near term. Obama seems to be running out the clock halfway through the third quarter, hoping whatever evils he has unleashed don’t hit America until he’s safely retired. Then he can issue somber statements from the Barack H. Obama Presidential Library and Golf Academy, tut-tutting the short-sighted policies of his predecessor and his successor.

It’s hard to see how the international situation will improve while the sole superpower has abdicated any role in shaping events or even protecting itself. All the bad actors in the world know they have two years left to run rampant. Expect war.

Members have made 35 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member

    How can any president let this happen? I know a lot of people say he has checked out. But I cannot honestly believe he thinks things will be good enough if the United States is on autopilot until 2017. I think a lot of people try to ignore problems hoping that they will go away, but this is too big and obvious and the time frame is so long.

    I don’t understand the mentality that could seek the center of the world’s stage and then just give up with lots of time left.

    • #1
    • September 2, 2014 at 3:56 pm
  2. Profile photo of Concretevol Thatcher

    Thanks for ending on a high note John! I am trying to drown myself in the joys of college football and this isn’t helping my mood!

    • #2
    • September 2, 2014 at 4:05 pm
  3. Profile photo of Earlg Inactive

    Just one war?

    We’re lucky.

    • #3
    • September 2, 2014 at 4:19 pm
  4. Profile photo of DrewInWisconsin Member

    Quinn the Eskimo:

    I don’t understand the mentality that could seek the center of the world’s stage and then just give up with lots of time left.

     Give up? What if this was the plan all along?

    • #4
    • September 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm
  5. Profile photo of Misthiocracy Member

    Is there any statistical method that can determine if the number and frequency of “bad foreign news stories” has increased over the past 2.5 years, compared to the previous 2.5 years, or compared to any other 2.5 year period?

    • #5
    • September 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm
  6. Profile photo of DrewInWisconsin Member

    Misthiocracy:

    Is there any statistical method that can determine if the number and frequency of “bad foreign news stories” has increased over the past 2.5 years, compared to the previous 2.5 years, or compared to any other 2.5 year period?

     Are you thinking Obama was right in saying “Everything’s fine! If you think the world’s falling apart, it’s social media’s fault.”

    • #6
    • September 2, 2014 at 4:27 pm
  7. Profile photo of Misthiocracy Member

    DrewInWisconsin:

    Misthiocracy:

    Is there any statistical method that can determine if the number and frequency of “bad foreign news stories” has increased over the past 2.5 years, compared to the previous 2.5 years, or compared to any other 2.5 year period?

    Are you thinking Obama was right in saying “Everything’s fine! If you think the world’s falling apart, it’s social media’s fault.”

    No, I’m suggesting that I don’t know. Perhaps a prediction of “things are going to be bad over the next 2.5 years” could be proven right at nearly any point in the past 20 years.

    • #7
    • September 2, 2014 at 4:31 pm
  8. Profile photo of WI Con Member

    Intentional vs. Incompetent. I know that we’ve kicked that question around several times here but statistically, if it wasn’t intentional, don’t you think we’d see an occasional decision in America’s interest?

    He is and has always been a Leftist Ideologue that wants to take the United States down several pegs. We’ve had foolish and shortsighted Presidents before but not one who disliked his own country. We’re in the greatest danger since the Civil War.

    • #8
    • September 2, 2014 at 4:33 pm
  9. Profile photo of DrewInWisconsin Member

    WI Con:

    Intentional vs. Incompetent. I know that we’ve kicked that question around several times here but statistically, if it wasn’t intentional, don’t you think we’d see an occasional decision in America’s interest?

    He is and has always been a Leftist Ideologue that wants to take the United States down several pegs. We’ve had foolish and shortsighted Presidents before but not one who disliked his own country. We’re in the greatest danger since the Civil War.

    Absolutely agree. The culture he was raised in, the culture he soaked in for the entirety of his adult life, the church he attended for 20 years, . . . he’s always been part of a culture that felt the United States needed to be punished for its sins.

    • #9
    • September 2, 2014 at 4:46 pm
  10. Profile photo of RushBabe49 Thatcher

    He always wanted to BE president. He did not want to DO president. Leave that part to Congress and the bureaucracy. Also, if he doesn’t DO it, he can’t be blamed for it. Nothing that has happened during his terms has been connected with him (Limbaugh Theorem).

    • #10
    • September 2, 2014 at 5:07 pm
  11. Profile photo of Chris Campion Thatcher

    How can anyone hit a golf ball with their fingers permanently crossed?

    My guess is the national fraud is dearly hoping for nothing at all to happen for 2 years. Sure, he doesn’t want bad things to happen; I’ll give him that. But he certainly doesn’t want them to happen while he might be blamed for them.

    • #11
    • September 2, 2014 at 5:19 pm
  12. Profile photo of Black Prince Member

    Quinn the Eskimo:

    How can any president let this happen? I know a lot of people say he has checked out. But I cannot honestly believe he thinks things will be good enough if the United States is on autopilot until 2017. I think a lot of people try to ignore problems hoping that they will go away, but this is too big and obvious and the time frame is so long.

    I don’t understand the mentality that could seek the center of the world’s stage and then just give up with lots of time left.

    You are under the mistaken assumption that Obama’s intentions are good and that he want’s what’s best for America. Sadly, you’re not alone…

    • #12
    • September 2, 2014 at 5:24 pm
  13. Profile photo of Black Prince Member

    Chris Campion: Sure, he doesn’t want bad things to happen…

    What makes you think that?

    • #13
    • September 2, 2014 at 5:30 pm
  14. Profile photo of Black Prince Member

    WI Con:
    We’re in the greatest danger since the Civil War.

    I’d take this even further and say that we’re in the greatest danger that a nation can possibly face.

    • #14
    • September 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm
  15. Profile photo of Nick Stuart Inactive

    Predicting the behavior of lunatics (e.g ISIS) is difficult. But my prediction is:

    1. Nothing major between now and after the November 2014 elections. Our enemies, the ones that are close to rational actors, won’t want to sway the voters with any action that might prompt them to vote for national security hawks. This is why I’m not expecting anything really major to happen on 9/11/14 (like all the airliners that have gone missing recently flying into world capitals), although Benghazi benchmarked what bad actors can figure they can get away with during an election year.

    2. Beginning in mid-November 2014 the bad actors will consolidate and expand their gains. Iran goes nuclear. China races to grasp hegemony in the Pacific. Putin makes Ukraine a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia. This will damp down by December 2015 to avoid a chance of someone serious about national security being elected in 2016. 

    3. November 8, 2016 through January 20, 2017 will be a very dangerous time, with bad actors realizing they can do pretty much anything they want while Obama will be the lamest of lame ducks.

    Remember Ricochetti, you read it here first.

    • #15
    • September 2, 2014 at 5:46 pm
  16. Profile photo of Freesmith Member

    War may be the easiest part of what’s coming.

    The hinge of our entire economy is the status of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. It alone allows America to run unsustainable deficits and print the money to cover them.

    But the dollar is the reserve currency because, like the pound sterling before it, the dollar is the currency of the world’s guarantor of global stability.

    Abdicate the latter and lose the former, and with that our debt-ridden, over-extended, import-dependent economy will crash worse than in 2008.

    No nation will conquer the US through war. As Lincoln said our demise will be self-inflicted.

    • #16
    • September 2, 2014 at 7:44 pm
  17. Profile photo of Brian McMenomy Member

    I hope you are wrong, but I’m pretty well convinced you are right. And, as with WWII, the conflagration will be all the worse because we put it off and signaled indifference and impotence to potential adversaries. In a world as dangerous as this, American leadership is indispensable. Currently, there is none.

    • #17
    • September 2, 2014 at 10:38 pm
  18. Profile photo of Chris Campion Thatcher

    Black Prince:

    Chris Campion: Sure, he doesn’t want bad things to happen…

    What makes you think that?

     Because then he’d be forced to actually do something.

    • #18
    • September 3, 2014 at 3:20 am
  19. Profile photo of Black Prince Member

    I

    Chris Campion:

    Black Prince:

    Chris Campion: Sure, he doesn’t want bad things to happen…

    What makes you think that?

    Because then he’d be forced to actually do something.

     You think that he’s not doing anything? Really?

    • #19
    • September 3, 2014 at 3:30 am
  20. Profile photo of Concretevol Thatcher

    Black Prince:

    WI Con:We’re in the greatest danger since the Civil War.

    I’d take this even further and say that we’re in the greatest danger that a nation can possibly face.

     Civilizational suicide…yep thats as bad as it gets.

    • #20
    • September 3, 2014 at 4:23 am
  21. Profile photo of dittoheadadt Member

    DrewInWisconsin:

    WI Con:

    Intentional vs. Incompetent. I know that we’ve kicked that question around several times here but statistically, if it wasn’t intentional, don’t you think we’d see an occasional decision in America’s interest?

    He is and has always been a Leftist Ideologue that wants to take the United States down several pegs. We’ve had foolish and shortsighted Presidents before but not one who disliked his own country. We’re in the greatest danger since the Civil War.

    Absolutely agree. The culture he was raised in, the culture he soaked in for the entirety of his adult life, the church he attended for 20 years, . . . he’s always been part of a culture that felt the United States needed to be punished for its sins.

    And not just “attended.” He was married there…BY Jeremiah Wright. His children were baptized there…BY Jeremiah Wright.

    That church, that preacher, and everything they stood for ARE him. He IS them.

    My money’s on “intentional.”

    • #21
    • September 3, 2014 at 5:26 am
  22. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member

    Black Prince:

    Quinn the Eskimo:

    How can any president let this happen? I know a lot of people say he has checked out. But I cannot honestly believe he thinks things will be good enough if the United States is on autopilot until 2017. I think a lot of people try to ignore problems hoping that they will go away, but this is too big and obvious and the time frame is so long.

    I don’t understand the mentality that could seek the center of the world’s stage and then just give up with lots of time left.

    You are under the mistaken assumption that Obama’s intentions are good and that he want’s what’s best for America. Sadly, you’re not alone…

     I don’t think he wants what’s best for America. But I do think he wants to be remembered well. I don’t think he wants to be remembered as the most incompetent president of the post-WWII era. Or as the president who lost the Cold War after it had been won 2 decades earlier. Or the president who laid the groundwork for the followup to the second 9/11.

    • #22
    • September 3, 2014 at 7:21 am
  23. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member

    DrewInWisconsin:

    Quinn the Eskimo:

    I don’t understand the mentality that could seek the center of the world’s stage and then just give up with lots of time left.

    Give up? What if this was the plan all along?

     The two big political political shifts of the second half of the 20th century came out of the perception that the world was in chaos. The first was the breakup of the New Deal coalition coming out of the 1968 election and the second was the 1980 election. The American people will tolerate a lot of nonsense, but not the sense that the world is burning.

    • #23
    • September 3, 2014 at 7:31 am
  24. Profile photo of DrewInWisconsin Member

    Quinn the Eskimo:

    I don’t think he wants what’s best for America. But I do think he wants to be remembered well. I don’t think he wants to be remembered as the most incompetent president of the post-WWII era.

     The reason I don’t think he worries about his legacy is that I don’t think he’s ever been given the impression that his legacy is in jeopardy. He surrounds himself with sycophants. The media carries water for him. He’s been told how awesome he is for years, and there’s nobody in his circle willing to be blunt with him. He apparently doesn’t even have a circle, which is probably why he parties on the celebrity circuit, because it’s the sort of shallow atmosphere where he can pretend the wealthy and beautiful and famous are his besties.

    But where is the is the advisor standing to one side whispering “Tempus fugit! Memento mori!” in a voice so low that only the President can hear.

    Where are the court jesters speaking truth to power?

    • #24
    • September 3, 2014 at 7:40 am
  25. Profile photo of The Question Inactive

    I believe the Syria “red line” debacle was a major turning point. Obama was so completely outmaneuvered by Putin that it confirmed for anyone that wasn’t already convinced that Obama either cannot or will not be an effective commander in chief. The rogues of the world looked at what happened, then looked at each other and realized they had a three year window of opportunity.

    My son is six years old. When I think about the likelihood that we’ll be in the middle of a series of major wars in 2026, it troubles me greatly.

    • #25
    • September 3, 2014 at 9:56 am
  26. Profile photo of Marion Evans Member

    I wish that Putin was better behaved and that there was peace in the Middle East. But I don’t think we’ll have a big war because Putin can’t afford it and ISIS has 15,000 men. No one is sizable enough to take us on. We could have terrorism though.

    • #26
    • September 3, 2014 at 10:52 am
  27. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member

    DrewInWisconsin:

    But where is the is the advisor standing to one side whispering “Tempus fugit! Memento mori!” in a voice so low that only the President can hear.

    Where are the court jesters speaking truth to power?

    I thought something like that. But then I remembered the Washington Post editorial from a few days ago that suggested he is not listening to his advisers (or flatly contradicting them).

    It’s almost like he believes that if you act like everything is fine, everything will be fine.

    I look forward to insiders explaining some of this to us in their book deals.

    • #27
    • September 3, 2014 at 11:18 am
  28. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member

    Michael Sanregret:

    I believe the Syria “red line” debacle was a major turning point. Obama was so completely outmaneuvered by Putin that it confirmed for anyone that wasn’t already convinced that Obama either cannot or will not be an effective commander in chief.

    Strongly agree. I was not a strong supporter of action until it became clear that it was a choice between action and Obama going back on his “red line.” After that, it was clear that Obama’s words are empty and would not deter anyone.

    • #28
    • September 3, 2014 at 11:22 am
  29. Profile photo of The Question Inactive

    Quinn the Eskimo:

    Michael Sanregret:

    I was not a strong supporter of action until it became clear that it was a choice between action and Obama going back on his “red line.” After that, it was clear that Obama’s words are empty and would not deter anyone.

     That’s an interesting point. I wasn’t actually thinking we should have acted, but only because Obama is the current commander in chief. My guess is if Obama had acted, he would have mishandled it, perhaps intentionally, perhaps not, and that would have made things worse. But maybe he could have done some action to save face on the “red line” which might have led to greater respect for the US and consequently greater stability. There’s no way to know now, I guess.

    My feeling is we should be taking dramatic, effective action to stop ISIS before it gets worse, but I don’t see any practical way to do that with Obama as president. I wouldn’t want our soldiers to go fight a war without guns or boots, and likewise I don’t want them to fight without an effective commander in chief.

    • #29
    • September 3, 2014 at 1:55 pm
  30. Profile photo of The Question Inactive

    Quinn the Eskimo: Where are the court jesters speaking truth to power?

    I thought something like that. But then I remembered the Washington Post editorial from a few days ago that suggested he is not listening to his advisers (or flatly contradicting them).

    Not to go Godwin’s law on you, but that sounds kind of like Hitler. 

    • #30
    • September 3, 2014 at 2:00 pm
  1. 1
  2. 2