Many folks say my "2008" predictions were after the fact. AFTER Gaza...AFTER Pakistan...AFTER Wall Street. Truth be told, I started writing the rant in early February. Take it or leave it...no issues here.
What MATTERS is what I PREDICTED for 2007. My preview of 2007 was sent in my pre-blog life back on May 7th 2007. It was an email sent far and wide. So it's worth revisiting here after almost a full year of reality.
LESSON ONE- Not so fast, Yankee Boy!
AS A SELF-SERVING PREAMBLE, I will say my HUGE mistake last year was to view the world using AMERICAN time. We Just Do It. We Do It Now. Fast food. We are NOT a patient people. Which is why we don't "get" the MidEast. Americans have many virtues; patience is not one of them. We tend to think this year, next election cycle, and that's it. [Bin Laden deputy] Ayman al Zawahiri in his autobiography points out that it took two centuries to get the crusaders out of the Middle East. It took 120 years to get the French out of Algeria. It took 70 years to get the British out of Egypt. That's how these guys are thinking — they see it as a generational thing. See JohnHopkins Magazine, April 2006-
That's why some of last year's losers have come baaaaaaaack.
2007 Scoreboard (A-F)
1. Lebanon will explode again...Hezbollah gets support from Syria.
B 2007 turned out to be one of the safest years in Israel since before the second Palestinian uprising began more than seven years ago. But early 2008 is making me look better- Israel ready to invade, Syria ready to return in massive force... and three US Warships just sent to the coast two days ago. Call it "simmering."
2. Israel will come out swinging. And THIS time, they won’t hesitate to hit Syria.
B+ On September 6, Israeli aircraft roared into Syrian airspace and then bombed a "mystery facility" suspected of being for the enrichment of uranium weapons. That gutsy move put the whole international world on edge...Syria blinked.
3. Syria takes the fight to Israel, sending weapons to the West Bank and Lebanon.
A- Israel charges that Syria-based Palestinian militants are directing violence against Israeli from the West Bank and Gaza. The rockets still fly, weak home-made Qassams, now we see deadly GLADs from Lebanon/Egypt/Syria not seen in Gaza until recently.
4. Afghanistan explodes in a nation-wide offensive in almost all 34 providences.
D- My bad, too soon. The Taliban and Al Qaeda have used the last year to regroup out in the countryside. They've rebuilt the opium industry to re-arm and they are going to dramatically increase the attacks on the cities and Karzai...attacks that have been plentiful despite the lack of news coverage. But NO "explosion" in the last year.
5. (Afghanistan attacks) will be the Tet Offensive of the MidEast.
D My bad, too soon. Ironically, a well-regarded "Strategy Page" website had a lead story on December 25, 2007- "Sometime within the next six months or so, al Qaeda or Saddamist terrorists will attempt a Tet offensive. Al Qaeda and Saddamist plotters are betting a deadly spasm of bombs and subsequent media magnification will give us reason to rethink."
6. Pakistan is the second Spring front for Al Qaeda. They murder President Musharraf.
B+ My bad, too soon. Pakistan's fundamentalist terrorists are in complete control of the mountainous NorthWest. But Bhutto was killed in place of Musharraf...thanks to Mr. Bush-- The White House needed a "successful democracy" to prove his vision for Iraq. Musharraf was no poster child so Bush pressed him hard-- To eliminate the Military State of Emergency... to remove his General's uniform...and to let Bhutto return for elections. The bad guys killed Bhutto knowing Musharraf would get blamed. Perv's "election" is the beginning of the end. His party lost BigTime to two parties eager to restore peace among historic tribes.
7. Iraq’s Green Zone completes Al Queda’s triple-threat. Bombers within the compound detonate themselves throughout this “safe” compound of AMERICA and ALLIES. Mortars and rockets rain down on all 4 square miles.
F My bad, too soon. But...from the same "Strategy Page" Tet prediction- "Striking the Green Zone would be the media coup de grace, intentionally echoing North Vietnam's assault on the U.S. embassy in Saigon." This is the 40-year anniversary... NAHHH, forget it.
8. England’s Prince Harry will be targeted and killed.
A+ Somebody in London must have read my 2007 prediction. After the public announcement that Prince Harry would be deployed to Iraq, the plan changed and he was ordered to stay home because his regiment would be targeted. THEN, he was SENT in secrecy...and as soon as it became public, he was sent home. For safety. ASAP.
9. The POLITICAL repercussions of Al Qaeda’s operations will be enormous. America's policy of denial allows Al Qaeda to grow into something unimaginable.
A/D The first sentence about a massive 3-county Fanatical Insurgent Uprising was wrong. The second sentence is 100% correct as Afghanistan and Pakistan are armed to the teeth.
10. Iraq instantly erupts into all-out Civil War.
F My bad, too soon. Plenty of tension. As for "The Surge"...see my look at 2008.
11. Turkey's Islamists gain political power. The dreamstate of Attaturk is no match for this incredibly violent year and the advance of Islam Extremists. A Muslim-based Turkey sweeps into the southern mountains to drive all the Kurds out of Turkey and into the Kurdish lands of Iraq.
A I was correct militarily, missed on politics. But 100,000 Turkish troops are massed on the Kurdish border and 10,000 launched an 8-day invasion. It was stopped under enormous international pressure. Recently the Turks launched another airstrike into Kurdish land. Stay tuned.
12. Islamic Revolution in Saudi Arabia/Jordan/Egypt, Iran and Egypt nuked by Israel, Oil at $5 a gallon, Stock DOW at 4,000, our nation in textbook DEPRESSION.
F- The twisted ramblings of a paranoid mind. HOW does he get ANYTHING right?
13. Israel is surrounded. Suicide bombers move in from Jordan, Syria and Egypt. This is no Seven-Day war. It is an attack of human waves and hatred.
D- More ramblings of a paranoid mind. But...in these final days, Israel DID invade Gaza and it's going to be a very different scenario in 2008.
14. As Iraq unravels and Afghanistan explodes, our National Confidence plummets. The intelligence failure follows on the lies of WMD…the lies of Pat Tillman… the lies of Jessica Lynch…the lies of “killed Al Queda leaders”… the nation sits dazed in a fog not unlike the post 9/11 weeks. Then things get bad.
B- More...hey, wait a minute. Iraq's mess is only on temporary hold by "The Surge." And the Afghanistan explosion is ticking as Condi BEGS NATO to come help us. And speaking of "lies"- "President Bush and his top aides publicly made 935 false statements about the security risk posed by Iraq in the two years following 9/11, according to a new study." And in case you missed it, the Pentagon determined Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire at close range. And they knew it before the ceremonial funeral. Didn't even tell Mom & Dad. Something has America in a dour "fog."
15. The sub-prime loans have started to go bad. You know that from the news. But what is bad will get worse. The loans that created the housing boom are now ready to backfire on homeowners as their monthly mortgages increase. Eventually payments can’t be made. Homes in foreclosure. Americans go bankrupt trying to “hang in there.” A loan is worthless if it isn’t being paid off. And of course, there remains the ticking time bomb of all the speculative real estate purchases made at the height of the housing boom. Families invested money in houses/condos in the expectation of “flipping” them for a quick profit. That’s the story in today’s (3/2007) New York Times. But it’s not news. Loans foreclosed, spending down, jobs lost, new condos simply abandoned… and all Hell breaking lose in the MidEast.
A++ Unfortunately, I was positively brilliant on this one. I'll take the Nobel Prize.
16. 5/12/2007 LATE WEATHER ADDITION-
Florida will have a nasty hurricane season, I couldn't care less how many get names. SIX will hit US turf and THREE will be major. They'll come in from Africa, as usual...but they'll track mostly southern between the Everglades and Cuba. The danger zone will be from Tampa, through the panhandle, through New Orleans, to Galveston.
A+ SIX named storms hit the gulf. They came in south of Cuba. The landfall points in America were Tampa, Mobile, Houston, San Antonio. Exceptionally high pressure systems over Texas forced the two deadliest storms to track due west into Mexico.
SIX storm named clockwise, starting at 6:00- Yellow=FELIX, Burgundy=DEAN, Turquoise=ERIN, Orange=HUMBERTO, Dark Grey=TEN, Green=BARRY
* * * * * *
And THE SURGE is working.
It might...just might...be a Recession.