In the Middle East Israel is playing poker with a hand made up entirely of Jokers and doing so remarkably well.  Relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and the Kurds are improving in leaps and bounds, There are even indications that relations with Turkey may soon be on the mend, although with Erdogan, one never knows.  The fact that Israel has by far the strongest economy and the strongest armed forces in the region helps a great deal.
The two examples I wrote about are only a couple of a baker’s dozen of Israeli initiatives, some of which will work out and some of which won’t. Of course Iran is the most important issue, although you would never know this from those in the West fixated on Palestine, which is, in fact, a  sideshow.  All the more reason to regret that the planned 2012 Israeli military attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities was aborted by Obama ordering the ship carrying large bunker-buster bombs to Israel to turn back after it had already reached in the Indian Ocean, leading to Prime Minister Netanyahu being advised by the chief of staff of the IDF and the head of the Mossad to call off the operation, since without the larger bombs success was problematical.
Of course also regime change in Iran is the ideal solution for the West, which appears to be doing absolutely nothing to bring it about, despite having had an ideal opportunity with the “Green Revolution” of 2009.  Iran is actually a candidate for failed state status, along with Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon and Yemen.  Some weapons smuggled  to the Iranian Kurds, Azeris and Baluchis could do wonders, but such activity would require strategic thinkers, of which the West now has close to none, at least in office.

Norman A Bailey is the author of numerous books and articles and recipient of several honorary degrees, medals and awards and two orders of knighthood. He also teaches economic statecraft at The Institute of World Politics and has experience on the staff of the National Security Council at the White House, in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and in business, consulting and finance. He is professor emeritus in the National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, and a columnist for Globes, the Israeli business and financial newspaper.

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