Yes, that metal on metal sound you hear in the background are sabres being rattled from the Caspian Sea to the DMZ, a bare twenty miles from Seoul.
It would seem all sorts of people are warning the US, threatening the US, or making enough noise to turn heads in Washington. People in several high places act like they want a piece of us and although the reasons vary they maybe deadly serious about it now days.
China is calling us a trouble maker because of a shift in US Asian military policy. They don't like shifts in American policies in China. They desperately want the world to understand they are getting ready to call the shots both economically and militarily on a global scale. The past century, the latter half anyway, may have been the United States', but Beijing sees itself as the planet's premier super power in the twenty first century. They have their hooks into everyone's well being on a daily basis. They are all over the Caribbean building huge infra structure projects gratis. It is just their way of saying there is a new sugar daddy in town. And, these projects, highly visible, are a direct reward to many, who have never seen a dollar in real US aid, because those bucks are now resting in some corrupt minister's Swiss bank account.
The Chinese however are pragmatists. You can't make a buck off anyone if the whole world is at war. No, there is a maturity in the Chinese leadership that knows despite everything it is better to suck America dry and let it rot away rather than to try to put out a hit on it.
The same thing probably can't be said about Iran. The Iranians know they aren't going to run the world and don't really want to. They do, however want to run the middle east. They see it as their historical imperative. The Ayatollahs consider it a religious obligation to free the region of the presence of Israel and the influence of Western infidels. They have watched the US and others struggle in Iraq and Afghanistan and know that while we can create havoc, we will never be able to completely subdue them militarily. They also know the US military is stretched as far as it can possibly go. The forces simply aren't available for the United States to fight an all out conventional war.
The problem the Iranians have is that they don't know when to stop pushing. No one in the United States is prepared to be the least bit tolerant if these clowns do something stupid, like torpedo an American aircraft carrier. We'll put up with high gas prices, even rationing if it boils down to it, but not one person in this country will feel the least bit of guilt if Iran makes a rash military move against US personnel and the response is overwhelmingly brutal. Nor, is there a politician alive in this country who can sit idly by as Israel is ravaged by Iranian aggression.
Yes, in that place that is, according to the leadership, completely devoid of homosexuals, the rants and raving can reach screeching heights, but someone better understand that we don't need boots on the ground to reduce Tehran to absolute rubble. And, that an attack on one American ship is an attack on practically every American.
Then there are the North Koreans. His Royal Majesty Kim III now seems firmly in control, but if he needs to reassure his military and the people of who is in charge you can probably count on some sort of military provocation against the south. It is doubtful it would be something major, but again, who knows for sure? The new kid maybe battier than his old man and grandfather.
The fact is since the end of WWII, the majority of Americans haven't been impacted in the least by any of the wars we've been involved in. We've gone out and bought our groceries, watched our football games, and sat down in front of the TV. Even as we've recoiled at the news accounts of the conflicts we've been able to go to bed warm, safe and happy with full bellies.
That age is quickly coming to a close if any of these people decide to push us to the limit. Cool heads need to prevail on all sides.
In response to the North Korean and therefore tacitly to Iranian nuclear ambitions an American president once said, "North Korea doesn't need nuclear weapons, because if they ever use them North Korea will cease to exist."
Who was this wild eyed conservative cowboy president? He would be William Jefferson Clinton.
The Chinese understand this. Hopefully the Iranians and North Koreans do too.