Barack Obama’s Tribulations

These are dark days for the world’s most powerful — and troubled — man. These are grim days, too, in which his approval rating has fallen below Clinton’s after the discovery of his extra-marital affair (51 percent, according to CNN in August 1996). But what matters to the world is his government’s paralysis, which, like it or not, affects the entire globe.

Obama’s external tribulations center around the richest and most politically complex zone in the world: Europe and the Middle East, extending to the Maghreb and Turkey. Consequently, the probable repercussions of Obama’s fears threaten us from various directions.

1. Obama’s internal worries are clearly centered in Washington, but their impact will spread throughout the entire world and will affect our country’s interests in particular. Obama’s anxieties include the slow advance of the economy, stagnant immigration reform, and the November election for 435 representatives, 35 senators, and several governors.

2. On the external front, the limited war in Ukraine has already severely affected Europe’s political and economic stability. Putin is smiling because the coming winter is his ally. Western Europe has a strategic dependence on Russian gas, and London and Frankfurt are already beginning to feel the effects of a possible withdrawal of enormous sums of Russian capital. Putin waits and waits; as a Russian and ex-KGB agent, he knows how to wait patiently.

Add to the severity of the external situation the specific issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which for the moment has entered a fragile impasse that is threatened by inherent reasons and by the Syrian war Obama has called for.

The Islamic State has shaken the United States and Great Britain and has scared Europe; the Western media has infected its hemisphere with great unease. The aerial war, fought without U.S. soldiers, is afflicting losses and damage on the Syrian population.

The United States is bombing that poor country, not Texas or California. Another war in a foreign land, bringing to mind Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq, but now it is Syria that is the double victim of the Islamic State and Obama’s punitive expedition — the international police in action.

The Islamic State is a strategic problem whose importance was emphasized in Obama’s speech on Wednesday, September 10. He recognized bleakly that the Islamic State will be an issue for years to come. The Islamic State has created a new form of conflict whose limits cannot be anticipated. The White House’s system of decision making is very politically and technically complex, which should make it accurate, but the history of the 20th century states the opposite: the White House does not know how to calculate consequences.

The U.S. economy still has not recovered: there is a huge fiscal deficit, an enormous debt, and continued unemployment. The effects of the European and Arab conflicts could slow the economy even more. Fortunately, the energy markets have not been troubled.

Immigration reform, which Obama delayed until after November, could be postponed once again due to the current situation; however, this would push reform down the path of oblivion, bringing painful consequences to millions of immigrants. Those that dream of a dignified life will have to keep waiting.

The November election appears to be full of conflict already. Obama could win and reinstall a constructive deal with Congress, but if he does not he will enter a demanding period of governance that will progress at the expense of draining executive decrees for the next two years.

And just what he was missing, which was luckily overcome: a breakdown of the United Kingdom regarding the issue of Scottish independence. For Obama, the delicate part of that situation was its possible impact on the North Sea’s oil and gas market, the stability of the European Union and NATO, and the balance with Russia. Remember that in Falslane, Scotland, there are Trident nuclear submarine bases which oppose the Akula Russian bases.

The waters of the North Sea outside of Aberdeen and in the Shetland Islands possess blankets of Brent oil and gas of the highest quality, which would have geographically belonged to the new country, provoking a strategic imbalance in the political and economic situation of the European Union and the United States.

These tribulations make us think that Obama’s toothaches during these painful months are here to stay for the remaining two years of his administration. Those are his problems, and it is up to the Mexican necromancers to deduce their real and potential effects on our country’s interests.

What matters to Mexico from this unsettling forecast are the political, diplomatic, migratory, economic and military derivations that will inevitably radiate out from the U.S. In some way, Mexico will experience some of the consequences. Could someone from the government tell us which they will be and what will be our reply?

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