Gaza To Rangoon To Phnom Penh To Benghazi
Some days the world just doesn’t seem to make any sense. The US is saddled with trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. The Israelis are bashing the heads of Gazans. President Obama is visiting Rangoon and then meeting with Southeast Asia leaders in Phnom Penh. And all the 7/24 news shows can talk about is Benghazi. The strings seem not connected.
The outbreak of violence in Gaza is puzzling. Firing rockets into Israel seems about as dumb an act as one could conceive. What’s the purpose? Israel has to react (as would any other country). From a historical record, we can expect a disproportionate response. We can also expect a high civilian death count from Israel’s “surgical strikes”. Hamas leaders knew this would happen yet felt compelled to antagonize their neighbor. Why?
The President’s Southeast Asia visit, other than timing, is somewhat easier to understand. The Obama Administration has concluded that the Middle East is yesterday’s news, tomorrow’s news will come out of Asia. Hence showing the US flag in Southeast Asia augments the gunboat diplomacy our Navy symbolizes. The assumption is that US presence will have a positive influence upon a rapidly developing China. If this happens (and only time will reveal the outcome), the President will have acted wisely and not a moment too soon.
Meanwhile politicians and the 7/24 news people are stuck in the Benghazi rut. Prior to the election, the GOP kept looking for any issue it could find that might bring discredit to President Obama. When our Libyan Ambassador was killed in Benghazi, Republicans thought they had their cause. Most Americans saw Benghazi as a tragic event common to lawless lands and nothing more. It is strange that a few politicians cannot move onto other issues.
So how do these all connect?
The future lies in Asia as some some 3 billion people knock on the modernity door. China and India alone have 2 1/2 billion citizens which represents a lot of customers or a lot of soldiers. As these countries mature, they will compete and demand more of the world’s resources. Positioning US interests in favorable terms with South East Asia could be helpful in influencing all of Asia. Americans will find Asians much more understandable than the radical Islamic Middle East. As Asia matures, the lights will go out in the Middle East.
So how is Benghazi connected?
The answer is it is not. Rather, the Benghazi frenzy is all about nothing by politicians who have been marginalized by the last election.