Obama’s next epic crisis on the horizon
Sure, the Dow is hitting new lows and the economic meltdown is looking pretty damn frightening. (If the recent flood of headlines hasn’t made you want to hide in a hole, just read Paul Krugman’s mostly despairing analysis today.) But for the new president the trouble is only just beginning, as dark clouds gather to the east. Iran, it seems, is accelerating down a path toward nuclear weapons. That’s troubling in its own right — but far more so when adding to the mix a new right-wing government in Israel, the possibility of which looks imminent as hardliner Benjamin Netanyahu gains an edge in the country’s close election.
In late 2007, my friend and fellow journalist Gregory Levey took an in-depth look at Netanyahu’s political resurgence and the regional conflict that potentially could be unleashed if he returned to power. (This would be his second time as prime minister, having served from 1996-1999.) For anyone in the Israel peace camp, it would be an understatement to say that the prospect did not bode well. And now Iran may be even closer to being perceived truly as an immediate and existential threat. So while President Obama, admirably, has been signaling interest in a new era of diplomacy with the Iranians, he soon may be facing a much more dangerous brew in the Middle East.