Forcing Functions

An old boss of mine liked “forcing functions.”  Forced us to meet delivery dates, while arbitrary dates tended to cause a “so what” attitude toward deadlines.  Forcing functions like trade shows, magazine reviews, and client launches forced development teams to ship, no matter what.

Keep that in mind for a moment while we look at the Obama Administration.

Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to clip America’s wings.  I know he didn’t use that term, but it was clear what he meant when he visited the Mediterranean and Germany.  As president, Obama would knock America off its 20th century pedestal. 

Obama also wants to destroy the energy industry.  He’s said as much.  He hoped to break the back of the coal industry with hideous taxes. He wants oil execs groveling at his feet the way GM, Chrysler, the big banks, Jeffrey Immelt do.

Lo and behold, as we look east, we see Cairo in flames.  Pro-western president Hosni Mubarak is on the brink of exile (in Tel Aviv, of all places).  Israel’s most important treaty partner is about to undergo a fundamental transformation in government.  While many of the people in the streets of Cairo might be Jeffersonian libertarians, you can bet that what rises to power amid the chaos won’t be.  Whatever rules Egypt next, most assuredly, will hate America as much as the Ayatollahs in Iran hate us. 

The consequences of Mubarak’s demise include loss of US influence in the region, instability, and soaring oil prices. As Jay Solomon put in the Wall Street Journal:

The threats to American interests come on several fronts. The potential departure of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who heads the most important Arab nation to have made peace with Israel, would likely put the broader Arab-Israeli peace process in new peril.

Solomon points out that events in Egypt have weakened US allies in Jordan, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.  Plus, there is new anti-government trouble in Yemen, where the government has played a key role in helping the US track down terrorists.

Meanwhile, another WSJ story speculates that Hamas could regain strength like a deadly hurricane over warm water.  This after Hezbollah sacked Lebanon amid the sound of silence from Washington.

Together, is seems plausible that Obama is quietly destablizing friendly Middle East and Mediterranean allies as a forcing function to weaken the US and to collapse the oil industry.

The Obama administration has warned us that is no friend of the United States, much as the Carter administration did in the late 1970s.  Carter left the world a more dangerous place for Reagan to deal with.  It looks like Obama has plans to place America in ever greater danger.