Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Predictions

A very happy new year to all my readers. I hope the new template meets with your approval. I have big intentions for Gubu World this year which will become very clear by the end of January. In the mean time, here are my predictions for what will dominate the news, and Gubu World for 2011.

Iran
I predicted that the Cold War with Iran would eventually become hot in 2010. I was wrong. But 2011 might very well be the year. Just today, reports are emerging that the Iranian military shot down an unmanned US spy drone. There are further indications that the war with Israel may be heating up too as just last week Tehran executed an alleged Israeli spy. I believe an Israeli strike is now imminent. Only an 11th hour opening to Iran by President Obama similar to Nixon's shock opening to China will prevent a war.

Israel Palestine
The lack of progress in the recent talks, plus the continued expansion of Jewish settlements in combination with today's bad news that a Palestinian armed with a bottle was shot dead at a West Bank check point does not bode well for the future. Today's incident, or another one similar could very well trigger a third intifada. Hamas or Hezbollah would not stay quiet in such in such a scenario.

Afghanistan
2011 will be a make or break year for the NATO effort in Afghanistan. I fear the war in Afghanistan is going very badly for NATO. There were 712 combat fatalities in 2010. The truth is I do not know what is happening there. The information coming from the country is very controlled. I will however make an effort to write some detailed posts on the war in the coming weeks in order to ascertain what is really going on.

The above image was captured on New Years Day after an incident in Southern Afghanistan in which two American soldiers were killed.

Ireland
Fianna Fail, the party that has dominated Irish politics since the foundation of the state will be decimated in the next election, likely to be held in March. Fine Gael, a far more responsible and dependable party will lead the next government. An interesting side note of this is that Alan Shatter, a devout Jew and Zionist, who received a promotion to the front bench recently due to his decision to back the leader Enda Kenny in a recent attempt to oust him, will now be the next Irish Minister for Justice. I can't wait to comment on his inevitable clashes with the Dail's many pro Palestinian activists as he passionately defends the Israeli cause.

10 comments:

Gary said...

Ted,
A very Happy and Prosperous New Year to you!! Good job on the new template. It is a good setting for your excellent posts.

I am afraid your predictions for trouble may be very accurate. Things look very much like they are going to heat up, not only in those spots but in several other places around the world.

As for Afghanistan, I am afraid my contacts there are telling me you are right, things are not going as well as NATO and the US would like us to believe. I think the whole "nation building" thing is doomed unless they are willing to get tough and force Karzi's corrupt government out of office. Even then, unless they can control activities in Pakistan better, things still may not improve much.
I am afraid that the ultimate outcome will be similar to what happened in Vietnam unless things change soon.
Gary

Ted Leddy said...

Gary

Thank You very much for the kind words.

On Afghanistan, I'm sure you remember the debate in the run to Obama's surge about whether counter terrorism or counterinsurgency was the best way forward. Counter insurgency, along with the nation building aspects that come with it was favoured as the best way forward, apparently against the advice of Biden.

Hindsight is a great thing. But I always thought the counter insurgency option was over ambitious. At a local level, it is impossible for the US military to fully grasp the complexities of the country. I believe that the US agenda in Afghanistan would be more successful if it were limited to targeting and pursuing Al Quaeda and Taliban leaders. Boots on the ground and soldiers on patrol is fighting the war on their terms.

Mark said...

No way Alan Shatter will be Justice Minister. Pat Rabbite would be given that. Kenny as Taoiseach, with Bruton/Noonan on Economy and then any other major ones like Education, FA, Transport, Communications and Social will go to Labour. Take that Middle east boy. Stay out of local politics, you haven't got a clue.

Ted Leddy said...

Mark

So you reckon most of the front bench positions will go to the Labour Party. Hmm, don't see that I'm afraid. Even if Shatter doesn't get Justice, he will get a cabinet position, meaning my main point (about him clashing with pro Palestinian activists) remains valid.

thesystemworks said...

Good general analysis, Ted.

While always being against the Iraq adventure, I was all for putting men on the ground in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere to make war on Al Qaeda. However, this nation building exercise just will not work. Afghanistan is a primitive tribal and completely alien place. Trying to build a Central Asian America or Britain of the place isn't going to work. The Pakistani safe havens are all part of Pashtun tribal homelands. The fiercely independent Pashtun people don’t care one iota about today’s Afghan-Pakistan border. It would be better for a Pashtun state to be created from parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It may be better if much more of Afghanistan were broken up. Then of vourse the Taliban is not an invading army and is mostly composed of local farmers and herdsmen who straddle the border. The war againt them has become a war against the Afghan people, especially the Pashtuns.

Ted Leddy said...

TSW

CIA director Leon Panetta recently admitted that there are only 50-100 al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan!

Furthermore, In Helmand and Qandahar Provinces, a poll found that 92% of male residents had never heard of 9/11.


If I were the head of a NATO government, you would have a hard time convincing me that it was in our vital national interest to crush an insurgency by Afghan, and as you say, particularly Pashtun peasants.

thesystemworks said...

By the way, I have not been following the story of the Palestinian killed at a checkpoint very intensely, as I have no television and a slow internet connection, but it appears the story of a female protester killed at the weekly fence protest has been fabricated by the Palestinians:

http://cifwatch.com/2011/01/03/palestinian-version-of-events-in-bilin-begin-to-unravel/

http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2011/01/senior-security-source-raises-questions.html

She appears to have died of leukemia or something. Given the mainstream media's reluctance to question Palestinian accounts, I'm careful when it comes to reports of these events.

Ted Leddy said...

TSW

In the Holy land, the Propaganda war is particularly vicious, but the story of the Palestinian armed with a bottle appears legitimate.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4008043,00.html

Thankfully it seems that the incident has not sparked wider unrest and violence as I feared it might.

DT said...

How optimistic are you that a Fine Gael/Labour government will show any signs of progress in a 5 year term Ted? I don't envy them taking on this mess. My pay packet was down again this week, with my rent about to rise.

Ted Leddy said...

DT

Fair question. This is the worst recession in many decades. It will not be over quickly regardless of whoever is in power. However I honestly believe that Fine Gael are a much more responsible party that puts the country, not the party first. The key programme in their plan for economic recovery is called "reinventing Government". By Government, they mean the bloated and inefficient departments. They have a clear plan to down size these departments, as a means of reforming the public sector, as opposed to further cutting the wages of teachers Gards and nurses ect. This will make them less costly, easing the tax burden on the citizen as well as increasing their efficiency, resulting in better services for them all.

You should check out the document
http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/1107/finegael.pdf