It’s no fun being Cassandra….

Poor Cassandra was cursed by the Gods with the gift of making accurate prophecies that no one would believe.  The disasters she foresaw always came true, but she was helpless to stop people (and nations) from racing towards their doom.  The endings were always so terrible — and Cassandra was herself swept up in them — that she never even got the consolation of a good “I told you so.”

Ever since Obimbo appeared on the scene, we at Bookworm Room have been Cassandras.  We’ve vacillated between trying to decide whether Obama acts as he does through incompetence or malevolence, but we’ve always been clear in our own minds that his approach to the Presidency would be disastrous, both at home and abroad.  One of the things we (and by “we,” I mean my readers and I) predicted was that the Obamessiah, by creating a leadership vacuum in the space America used to fill, would release dangerous forces — just as the Soviet Union’s collapse unleashed long simmering, and quite deadly, regional rivalries in the Balkans.

The headlines now seem to bear out our worst predictions.  Just today, Danny Lemieux forwarded to me a Gateway Pundit post relaying the news that, because Saudi Arabia acted in Bahrain (yes, filling the American leadership vacuum), Iran is now rattling its sabers:

A senior Iranian legislator called on the foreign ministry to show firm reaction against deployment of Saudi military forces in Bahrain and take strong stances and measures in defense of the rights and independence of the Bahraini people.

“The foreign ministry should take a strong position against the dispatch of the Saudi forces to Bahrain” and defend the people’s move and rule over the country, Mostafa Kavakebian said in an open session of the parliament on Tuesday.

God forbid this comes to something, the regional line-up is going to be Israel and Saudi Arabia versus Iran.  What’s impossible for me to know — I simply don’t have the sechel (Yiddish:  smarts) about Middle Eastern allegiances and alliances — is where the other countries, aside from Syria and Lebanon, both already Iranian proxies, will fall when the whole thing blows.  They all hate Israel, but their degrees of loathing for Saudi Arabia and Iran are going to determine which colors they wear in this fight.

I could say “I told you so” but, Cassandra-like, I don’t have the heart to utter those words.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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Comments

  1. 11B40 says

    Greetings:
     
    As Fouad Ajami has written, those are the lands of “I against my brother; my brother and I against our cousin; and my cousin, my brother, and I against the stranger.  Have you ever heard mention of T.E. Lawrence’s faithful Muslim sidekick?  Me, either.

  2. jj says

    I wouldn’t worry about it all that much.  I have this much sechel: the Iranians will throw rocks – we’ve equipped the Saudis with F-15s.  I am unable to see it as a real big problem.

  3. SADIE says

    11B40
     
    Are you implying that Omar Sharif wasn’t his BFF ;)
     
    Bookworm
     
    The saving grace may be the absence of sechel in both Sunnis and Shi’ites and more Stuxnet, Almost 100 years later and the Arabs upgraded from camels to armed personnel carriers. What makes this even more interesting is that Bahrain is predominately Shi’ite and the Sunnis are backing them up.
     
    Iran is on everyone’s Shi’ite list.

  4. Mike Devx says

    On the matter of Iran, it is the Arabs vs the Persians.  The Arabs still suffer the memory of being totally dominated by the Persian Empire and they will go to great lengths to avoid that happening again.
     
    It appears that Middle Eastern governments are not as devoted to the destruction of Israel as their public statements would have you believe.  In the matter of Persia/Iran, many of them would assist, or at least be grateful, should Israel attack Iran and set back Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  There’ve been indicators of a great deal of covert support.  To satisfy that large percentage of their populations that seek an Israeli genocide, they’ll never admit it publicly – and should Israel attack Iran, their public statements would be harshly and purely condemnatory of Israel while behind the scenes, the politely murmured “Thank You” would occur.
     
    You could even make the case that they are trying to force a situation where Israel has no choice but to attack Iran.  They all get the best of all outcomes there: The threat of Iran against them is removed, and they still get to treat Israel like a whipping dog.  That may be one reason Israel is in no hurry: To force the hand of the Arab nations. As long as measures such as the Stuxnet viral attack can set back Iranian efforts without overt war breaking out, time is on Israel’s side.
     
    If only the Obama administration – which fully supported the Stuxnet viral attack – would be as aggressive against the other vicious, murderous Salafist movements and he regimes that support them (Hezbollah in particular, but also those in Indonesia, and those that are firmly established in many mosques across Europe and the United States and Canada and are preaching death and violence.)
     
    Ah but what the heck.  I’m thoroughly disgruntled by nearly everything going on right now, including the Republicans’ complete inability to craft a coherent conservative fiscal message surrounding their pitiful attempts to constrain government spending run amok.   Everywhere I look I see nothing but a muddle of complee incompetence.  I’ve therefore been mostly taking a break from politics lately as a result.  I may need to totally step away from it all because it is so dispiriting.    Recharge my batteries while I wait for the 2012 campaigns to get going in about six to nine months from now.  Perhaps the Tea Party movements can effect another remarkable campaign in 2012.  Maybe THEN we’ll see a real difference.  And maybe then we’ll get a REAL leader in the White House, if we’re lucky enough to make a good conservative choice during the GOP primaries.
     
     

  5. says

    11B40: Have you ever heard mention of T.E. Lawrence’s faithful Muslim sidekick?  Me, either.

    His name was Selim Ahmed, nicknamed Dahoum. Lawrence reportedly dedicated his masterpiece, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom to S.A.

    “I loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands and wrote my will across the sky in stars to earn you Freedom, that seven-pillared worthy house, that your eyes might be shining for me when we came…”

    Ahmed did not survive the war.
    http://www.pbs.org/lawrenceofarabia/players/dahoum.html

  6. 11B40 says

    Greetings:   especially “Zachriel” @ 6
     
    Thank you, sir, I stand better educated.  But then again, I meant a sidekick-sidekick.
     
    As usual, my brevity exposed my half-wit.  The point I had hoped to make some what facetiously was that these are basically tribal cultures in the Muslim/Arab/Middle Eastern world. They tend to remind me of my introduction to Set Theory via the “New Math” of the early ’60s. There would be diagrams of all kinds of circles overlapping in different ways revealing various subsets of the populations under examination. Those mired in tribal cultures, like our muslim brothers and sisters seem to operate in a world of ever-shifting loyalty circles and I don’t think the Westerner/kuffar circle enjoys much prominence.
     
    A while back, I read “Culture and conflict in the Middle East” by Philip Carl Salzman.  One of the thing that struck me was the “ad hoc” nature of the conflict groups he studied.  The groups weren’t just primary family groups members but would include in-laws, cousins, neighbors etc. without much of an overriding logic.  ON one side one day and another the next.

  7. Charles Martel says

    In the Arabic translation of “1984,” Mohammed Ibn Smith, the protagonist, is listening to the loudspeakers from the minarets of the Ministry of Peace (ptui) as they declare, “Sandoceania is at war with the Persian Entity and always has been.” Funny, thought Mohammed, he recalled distinctly that just yesterday the same loudspeakers were pouring forth, “Sandoceania is at war with the Zionist Entity and always has been.”

  8. says

    Selim Ahmed was nicknamed Dahoum – ‘the little dark one’ – by his fellow Arabs. Lawrence was struck by young Dahoum’s natural intellect and he singled him out for English and Math lessons. In return Selim helped Lawrence improve his spoken Arabic. 

    Lawrence adopted the boy as a semi-permanent companion and trained him up as his archaeological assistant. They went on expeditions together, worked alongside each other, swapped clothes and were rarely apart.

    So basically for a Muslim to gain Western ideals of loyalty, he has to be brought up from childhood by TE Lawrence.

    And this disproves 11B’s point about Muslim cultural betrays how?

    Martel, you strangled the dead horse by about now.

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