Monday, January 07, 2008

An Average Day

Imagine yourself in charge of providing the Presidential Daily Briefing to the Administration on the ME/Afghan/Pak. You've got the following news items:

1) Major refinery fire in Iraq - kills 1 wounds dozens and it could put damper on oil production and send prices spiking again at a time when the US domestic economy is on precarious ground according to the economists;

2) Assassination of Sunni Awakening leader;

3) Iranian boat incident, which the Iranians call normal and the US was moments from firing on the boats that were on an apparent intercept course to attack US Navy ships in the Strait of Hormuz, which is one of the busiest shipping corridors and vital oil links in the world;

4) US F18 midair collision - 3 on board ejected safely over Persian Gulf;

5) Pakistanis may have captured Osama bin Laden's security chief in Lahore;

6) Rockets and mortars at Israel (again); Palestinian work accidents involving high explosives; Palestinian gunmen fire on journalists at Erez crossing (again); border infiltrations via Egypt; all with the backdrop with President (Bush to visit Israel next week);

7) Etc.

Are all of these events random? Are they connected (and by which I mean by more than the Islamists and their terrorist minions but who is behind the individual attacks)?

And this is about an average news day from the Middle East. While it is true that fighter planes colliding or otherwise crashing isn't common, we have lost planes before - and we have lost soldiers in bunches before. Iran has been down this road before.

It's a lot for a President to work with on just a small portion of his very large plate, but I really wonder if any of the candidates for President in 2008 are up to the task. The speed at which this news can travel, and the repercussions are a lot to handle for anyone, and if the candidate isn't up to the rigors of a campaign, how would they handle the unending pressures of four years of nonstop pressure to make the right decisions.

No comments: