Windows of opportunity in In Gaza, Ukraine and Iraq

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Windows of opportunity in In Gaza, Ukraine and Iraq

One of the odd side effects of an event such as Fer­gu­son and the gigan­tic media black hole that attracts all the pos­si­ble cov­er­age in US media is the oppor­tu­nity that it cre­ates for peo­ple to act on issues totally unrelated.

This was evi­denced last month when the shoot down of the Malaysian air­liner tak­ing place at the same time as Israel’s offen­sive against Hamas kept the media cov­er­age divided to the point where Israel was able to act almost for a week before Hamas’ abil­ity to play the inter­na­tional media effec­tively. The tem­po­rary nul­li­fi­ca­tion of Hamas’ media allies was, in my opin­ion a vital part in Israel’s suc­cess in Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge.

With the US media totally dis­tracted by the unrest in Fer­gu­son, a story that is directly in the cable net­works wheel­house those who wish to act on other issues have their best chance to do so, consider:

1. Gaza:

In Gaza the lat­est cease­fire is about to expire. With Fer­gu­son in full swing Hamas will once again be unable to pay their media card effectively.

This means if Israel wants to take puni­tive action against Hamas this is the week to do it. If there are any loose ends that have to be taken care of or dra­matic moves to make, Israel can do it and be assured that the US media will not be in a posi­tion to counter them.

2. Ukraine:

Vlad Putin Ukrain­ian plans are in real trou­ble. First of all the Ukraini­ans elected to fight his proxy army rather than fold and if that wasn’t bad enough after months of tough fight­ing the Ukraini­ans are on the verge of vic­tory against the Russ­ian backed “rebels”.

Putin has no good options. He can either con­tinue to try and rein­force and resup­ply those forces, he can leave them to fend for them­selves or he can deploy the army at the bor­der in an open invasion.

The first has been effec­tively counted by the Ukraini­ans, the sec­ond risks a back­lash in Rus­sia proper as Putin’s own pro­pa­ganda has por­trayed his actions as an attempt to safe­guard inno­cent eth­nic Rus­sians and the third not only crosses a vital line but esca­lates the sit­u­a­tion to a level pos­si­bil­ity beyond his control.

How­ever thanks to the dis­trac­tion of the US there is one other option open. Putin could choose to make a lim­ited incur­sion led by mas­sive air­power. If he deployed his air assets he might be in a posi­tion to crush Ukraine’s air force and pum­mel their sup­ply lines long enough to reverse the course of the war. Putin could even choose after a week to back off and get credit for “restraint” after his tac­ti­cal objec­tives are achieved.

By the time the US media starts notic­ing the entire course of the war could change.

3. Iraq

Of the three loca­tions this is the one where the destruc­tion of the US media offers options for both ISIS and America.

ISIS’ faces two prob­lems their vic­tory threat­ened to under­mine Barack Obama’s nar­ra­tive on Iraq and even worse the plight of the Yazidis cap­tured on video cre­ated the image of an Amer­i­can pres­i­dent indif­fer­ent to mass slaugh­ter on inno­cents. This forced Amer­ica to act.

With Amer­ica now dis­tracted the Good news for ISIS is they have sev­eral options to take advan­tage of this sit­u­a­tion: They can take the oppor­tu­nity to rede­ploy to posi­tions that are defen­si­ble and con­sol­i­date their gains, they can choose to fin­ish crush­ing and slaugh­ter­ing the Chris­tians and Yazidis act­ing proac­tively while America’s gaze is else­where, or they can make moves on the Mosul Dam under the assump­tion that even destroy­ing the dam will not knock Fer­gu­son off the front pages in America.

The Bad news for ISIS is the dis­trac­tion of the US media also frees Amer­ica and the west’s hands to some degree. With the coun­try focused else­where the Pres­i­dent could choose to esca­late the bomb­ing of ISIS posi­tions to degrees far beyond the cur­rent small attacks. US spe­cial forces can coor­di­nat­ing with the Kurds go on the offen­sive on the ground to retake areas. In fact if Fer­gu­son goes on long enough the Pres­i­dent might be able to qui­etly rein­force forces deployed in Iraq to a point where they might be able to make a dif­fer­ence with­out this base giv­ing the issue enough notice.

Of course these are the big things, plenty of small things from oner­ous reg­u­la­tions, to inves­ti­ga­tion dumps to, Oba­macare changes might also take place at this time, but the win­dow for game chang­ing action in all of those areas above is open now, the only ques­tion is will any­body choose to climb through it?

One of the odd side effects of an event such as Ferguson and the gigantic media black hole that attracts all the possible coverage in US media is the opportunity that it creates for people to act on issues totally unrelated.

This was evidenced last month when the shoot down of the Malaysian airliner taking place at the same time as Israel’s offensive against Hamas kept the media coverage divided to the point where Israel was able to act almost for a week before Hamas’ ability to play the international media effectively. The temporary nullification of Hamas’ media allies was, in my opinion a vital part in Israel’s success in Operation Protective Edge.

With the US media totally distracted by the unrest in Ferguson, a story that is directly in the cable networks wheelhouse those who wish to act on other issues have their best chance to do so, consider:

1. Gaza:

In Gaza the latest ceasefire is about to expire. With Ferguson in full swing Hamas will once again be unable to pay their media card effectively.

This means if Israel wants to take punitive action against Hamas this is the week to do it. If there are any loose ends that have to be taken care of or dramatic moves to make, Israel can do it and be assured that the US media will not be in a position to counter them.

2. Ukraine:

Vlad Putin Ukrainian plans are in real trouble. First of all the Ukrainians elected to fight his proxy army rather than fold and if that wasn’t bad enough after months of tough fighting the Ukrainians are on the verge of victory against the Russian backed “rebels”.

Putin has no good options. He can either continue to try and reinforce and resupply those forces, he can leave them to fend for themselves or he can deploy the army at the border in an open invasion.

The first has been effectively counted by the Ukrainians, the second risks a backlash in Russia proper as Putin’s own propaganda has portrayed his actions as an attempt to safeguard innocent ethnic Russians and the third not only crosses a vital line but escalates the situation to a level possibility beyond his control.

However thanks to the distraction of the US there is one other option open. Putin could choose to make a limited incursion led by massive airpower. If he deployed his air assets he might be in a position to crush Ukraine’s air force and pummel their supply lines long enough to reverse the course of the war. Putin could even choose after a week to back off and get credit for “restraint” after his tactical objectives are achieved.

By the time the US media starts noticing the entire course of the war could change.

3. Iraq

Of the three locations this is the one where the destruction of the US media offers options for both ISIS and America.

ISIS’ faces two problems their victory threatened to undermine Barack Obama’s narrative on Iraq and even worse the plight of the Yazidis captured on video created the image of an American president indifferent to mass slaughter on innocents. This forced America to act.

With America now distracted the Good news for ISIS is they have several options to take advantage of this situation: They can take the opportunity to redeploy to positions that are defensible and consolidate their gains, they can choose to finish crushing and slaughtering the Christians and Yazidis acting proactively while America’s gaze is elsewhere, or they can make moves on the Mosul Dam under the assumption that even destroying the dam will not knock Ferguson off the front pages in America.

The Bad news for ISIS is the distraction of the US media also frees America and the west’s hands to some degree. With the country focused elsewhere the President could choose to escalate the bombing of ISIS positions to degrees far beyond the current small attacks. US special forces can coordinating with the Kurds go on the offensive on the ground to retake areas. In fact if Ferguson goes on long enough the President might be able to quietly reinforce forces deployed in Iraq to a point where they might be able to make a difference without this base giving the issue enough notice.

Of course these are the big things, plenty of small things from onerous regulations, to investigation dumps to, Obamacare changes might also take place at this time, but the window for game changing action in all of those areas above is open now, the only question is will anybody choose to climb through it?