The Face of the Future

Ira Schwartz

A year and a half ago I did an article called the “Face of 2012”.  It basically looked forward for a year and I attempted to predict where the world and the US would be in 2013.  Well here we are almost 6 months in to 2013 so let’s see how I did.  Below is that article and my present assessment of my predictions.

The Face of 2012

I ‘m sure a great many of us wished someone a better year than the one before when offering New Years salutations.  It’s something we all hope for especially in these troubling times.  But will 2012 be a better year than 2011?  Well if you believe all the nonsensical hype around the Mayan calendar ending and the foretelling of doom and destruction…No it won’t be a good year.

But we don’t need any mystical mumbo jumbo all we need to do is read the newspapers or listen to the TV to get our monies worth.

The European Union which formed to protect its member countries from economic ruin appears to have failed miserably.  One or more of its members are on the verge of economic bankruptcy while almost none of the other members willing to lift a hand with any serious help.  So much for unity.

The Middle East is quickly spiraling down into a very deep abyss and if we’re not careful they will take most of the world with them.  Egypt, after a successful over thrown of the tyrant Hosni Mubarak, is slowly slipping back into a military state. Pakistan is on the verge of a military coup to over throw it’s legally elected government; Syria is still killing its citizens at will, right in front of the eyes of UN observers.

Iran is inching still closer to developing a nuclear weapon as it threatens to close the straits of Hormuz preventing tankers that carry about one quarter of the world’s oil from leaving their ports.  The US has vowed to keep the straits open but we all know what that will mean; more American lives at risk.

In North Korea the body of its President Kim Jong Il wasn’t even cold in the grave when it was announced his son, Kim Jong Un was to succeed him as the countries head killer.  And as soon as the boots of the last US soldier left the country of Iraq the bombings began.  Now a century old civil war between Sunni and Shiite Muslims has erupted threatening to turn Iraqi into a bloody religious battlefield.

And here in the US even though our economic outlook appears to have found a glimmer of hope we can only guess what our role will be in the elevating tensions that is spreading across the globe.  One thing I am sure of whoever our next President will be….he will definitely have his hands full.  Maybe it wasn’t just mumbo jumbo after all.”

 

Well the good news is we are still here.  There was no mystical end to the world and as most sane people already knew the Mayans calendar did not predict the end of our existence but simple indicated a restart of their calendar.

greece-riots-main__1336524aThe EU is also still with us but is on life support for the present.  If it hadn’t been for the German banks bolstering up the economies of Cyprus and Spain Europe would have been in an economic crisis not seen since World War II.  The future for the European financial organization and member Greece is still tenuous at best but its future is brighter than it was at the beginning of January 2012.

Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi at TahrirThe Middle East is still a disaster.  Though things in Egypt have quieted down somewhat the fires of revolution are still smoldering deep in the hearts of its people.  If President Morsi doesn’t wake up and realize that hard line Muslim policies are not what the people want the military will turn on him and his party and quickly remove them from power.  Egypt in my opinion is still a ticking time bomb.

syria-unrest-0505-horizontal-gallerySyria right now is in a far worse place than it was in 2012.  According to numbers furnished by CNN nearly 40 thousand people have lost their lives in the Syrian civil war since I wrote my last article.  The rebels have gained control of over half the country but unless some way is found to ground Assad’s air force this revolt could turn into a deadly stalemate.   However I think that with the help of several countries the rebels will topple the Assad regime by the end of the year.  70 thousand have already lost their lives in this civil war and tens of thousands more will before it is over.

iran-nuclear-facility-We all know Iran has not made good on its threat to close the Straits of Hormuz but still continues with its plans for a nuclear Iran.  Israel is running out of patience with the way the United States is handling this but so far has restrained from any military action.  That may change before the year is out because as soon as Israel feels it is threatened they will pounce.    With President Ahmahdinejad’s final term coming to a close one can only guess which maniac running will succeed him.  I have a feeling it won’t matter because sometime within the next year those nuclear facilities the Iranian government is so proud of will be nothing but craters.

kimIf it wasn’t for the mad ravings of President Kim Jong Un of North Korea Saturday Night Live and Jay Leno would have no opening monologues.   He has threatened to burn US cities to the ground with his mighty, so far, non nuclear missiles.  Yes the same missiles that have mostly broken apart and fallen into the ocean.  He has threatened to rain death over South Korea but has still not found a way to feed most of his people or even provide them with clean water and electricity.  Even North Korea’s closest ally, China, has had enough.  The future for North Korea is not a good one and one can only wonder what dastardly plans the minute, in intelligence and stature,  Kim Jong Un has cooked up for the rest of the world.  He’s been awfully quiet lately but then again where do you go after you have destroyed the world?

obamaHere in the US the economy is slowly growing.  Too many people are still out of work but the economic projections are getting better.  Our politicians both Democrat and Republican are still acting like first graders and continue to put their own self interest ahead of that of the country.  The good thing is Obama can’t run for another term…the bad thing is the Republican party still hasn’t produced a candidate that is even remotely electable.  But there is still time.

So overall I think 2012 was a better year than 2011…not by much but in today’s world that is a good thing.

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