“Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World” – Sir Halford Mackinder, 1919
Vice President Biden :”The biggest thing that’s happened, the president has been able to unite the world including Russia and China.”, speaking to Rachel Maddow (That explains a lot.) on Tuesday .
So Obama has done what so many others have attempted and and failed to achieve. In three short years he’s trumped Alexander of Macedon, and even aced out the heaviest hitter of them all in the global domination hall of fame, Genghis Khan.
Like a colossus, he bestrides Europe and Asia from the Baltic to the south China Sea, from the Sea of Okhotsk to the Black Sea.
I sure wouldn’t want to play “Risk” (TM) with this guy.
Of course, I’m taking this out of context so as to have a little fun. Biden was speaking of the stunning success of the Obama administration its dealings with Iran. His claims are only slightly less grandiloquent than the ones that open this piece.
Here’s a more extensive quote in which the Veep expands on the administration’s overwhelming victory in diminishing Iranian strength, or at least the perception of such power.
“The biggest thing that’s happened, the president has been able to unite the world including Russia and China. In continuing to ostracize and to isolate Iran. So the truth is, and I really mean this, Rachel, the talk about the projection, the capacity of [Iran] to project power in the Gulf is actually diminished. They are less feared. They are less — they have less influence than they have had any time, I would argue, in the last 20 years. And there will be a relationship between Iraq and Iran because they have a very long border. They will trade. They should have a normal relationship. But they are not allies,”
EU may study oil embargo on Iran; China urges calm(Reuters)Decmber 1, 2011
China says it opposes Western sanctions on Iran BEIJING | Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:34am EST(Reuters)
China, Russia Resist Sanctions Against Iran(WSJ)NOVEMBER 17, 2011
Nothing like the possibility of an EU study to bring the world to the brink of war. China is
clearly totally panicked.
Now, the President is widely praised for being tech savvy, but one has to ask if Joe has a Blackberry, or an iPhone so he can check this stuff out before he goes on? Does he understand the term “key word search”?
And sadly, it may also be appropriate to question the state of his short term memory, as in this Tuesday Interview, he appears to have forgotten the President’s risible plea on Monday for the return of the U.S. drone lost in Iran.
Biden refers to Iran’s ongoing rumblings about closing the Strait of Hormuz as of little concern, but Tehran was not listening, as it reiterated the threat on Wednesday. No one for a moment, not even the Iranians think the Islamic Republic is any match for the U.S. Navy, but they are confident enough to make the threat, and not surprised by predictable hand wringing in the West, and the unconcern on the part of their trade partners, Russia and China.
Vice President Biden’s long term memory is also in question:
And there will be a relationship between Iraq and Iran because they have a very long border. They will trade. They should have a normal relationship. But they are not allies,”
No kidding. Remember a fellow named Moqtada Sadr, his Mehdi Militia, and the Shia – Sunni civil War of 2007 in Iraq?
Iran and Iraq: Not allies, true. The correct term for Iraq in the not so distant future would be “vassal state.” Think Iran and Assad’s Syria, of Hezbollah and what’s left of Lebanon.
This is in no way to advocate further involvement in Iraq. The war was an act of colossal hubris, or manic optimism, at best. This administrations weak grasp of the realities in the Middle East and its unfounded confidence in positive outcomes there are the same sorts of sentiments that brought on the neocon disaster in Iraq, and are equally as dangerous . They may yet prove even more costly.
(If you are wondering what qualifies me to be Middle East analyst I would parry by asking what qualifies Joe Biden?)