Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Predictions for 2012

A look into the future

by Justin Raimondo, December 28, 2011

" Predictions are always problematic – there’s that pesky notion of “free will,” [.pdf] not to mention the stubborn refusal of reality to conform to our preconceptions. Yet they are obligatory for a columnist this time of year, and so what I’m going to do is assign a probability to each “prediction.”

1) War with Iran – One could argue we are already at war with Iran, what with US support for the terrorist Jundallah – a Sunni extremist group with links to al-Qaeda – which is attacking Iranian civilians and wreaking havoc in Iranian Baluchistan. Also, the sanctions we have imposed on Iran are, in themselves, acts of war – and we’ve seen how Iran is responding with threats to block the Strait of Hormuz, which a great deal of the world’s oil must pass through. The odds of a minor incident in this volatile region blowing up into a major confrontation are quite high. Adding fuel to the fire: continuing US efforts to destabilize Syria, an Iranian ally, could prove to be the tripwire that drags us into war with Tehran. Moves by Hezbollah to shore up the Syrian Ba’athists could bring in Israel – and ultimately the US. ......

Probability: 65%.......

3) The “Arab Spring” comes to the Kingdom – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that is. We have already seen some of this in the Eastern, predominantly Shi’ite provinces, but the coming rebellion promises to be broader. There is simply no way for the Kingdom to block the influx of democratic-secular ideas flooding into the region, and the regime’s vaunted economic invulnerability is increasingly threatened by the global downturn. The emirates and sheikdoms of the Gulf have already been hit with protests, and what is happening in Bahrain may provide, in miniature, a look into the Kingdom’s future.
Probability: 50%

4) The “Arab Spring” comes to Jordan, Morocco, and even Israel – Jordan and Morocco, two pro-US Arab states ruled by monarchs both capricious and servile, are due for large-scale turmoil. The same worldwide economic downturn, combined with complaints of corruption, that brought down the pro-American dictator of Tunisia threatens the Moroccan monarchy, which has only made cosmetic changes in an attempt to head off an open rebellion. In Jordan, the Muslim Brotherhood is out in the streets protesting police brutality – which they call “official terrorism” – and seeking to duplicate their success in Egypt. By the end of 2012, the era of kings may be nearly over in the Middle East.
Israel is also headed for a major confrontation with its Arab citizens, of which there are over 1.5 million. The rise of Jewish extremism, the popularity of parties calling for the expulsion of all Arabs, and recently proposed legislation that calls the loyalty – and basic rights – of Arab Israelis into question are all factors fueling this imminent explosion. The Israelis built a wall to keep the Palestinians out – but what will they do when their own Arab population rises up? It will start as a nonviolent protest, and when it escalates it isn’t going to be pretty.
I’m going to give two probability ratings for this item, one for the Jordan-Morocco prediction:
Probability: 65%
And one for the Israeli Arab prediction:
Probability: 50%....."

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