The quotes contained in this assessment of the first six months of my digital book Predictions for 2009 presents what has been my oracle’s surprisingly accurate take on the future so far. Here are the themes, quotes logged in December 2008 and early January 2009 with today’s assessments:
Early International Crises foreseen?
“Early March! Obama begins gaining momentum to tackle problems in a new and uncertain world scene. He’ll be managing not one but three international crises by the early spring.”
Obama’s first set of three early crises did start in March.
1.) AIG BAILOUT/STOCK MARKET PLUNGE/GLOBAL ECONOMY. The stock market fell into the 7,000-to-6,000 range in early March, whilst the economic crisis deepened to its lowest ebb.
2.) PIRACY. After the economy came the Somali Pirate incident with the USS Maersk Alabama (April 8-12, 2009), the first US merchant ship hijacked by pirates since the Barbary War in 1815. Obama showed measured command of the situation. US Navy Seals shot the abductors and freed their hostage, Capt. Richard Phillips.
3.) TALIBAN ADVANCE IN PAKISTAN/AFGHANISTAN: In March the NATO forces were losing ground to Afghan Taliban. The Pakistani Taliban had begun its spread to Swat and the Lower Dir district towards the capital, Islamabad. Also, Pakistan’s economy was about to collapse, along with its government. Obama’s Administration had to find a way to keep that from happening and turn around a policy of Pakistan appeasing Taliban’s spread. He was diplomatically successful in convincing the real power in Pakistan, the army command, that it must see the Taliban as real and immediate threat. This led to the Pakistani brass implementing Operation Black Thunderstorm (April-May) pushing the Taliban out of Swat.
March-April also saw a significant reinforcement of ground troops by US Marines in Afghanistan in preparation for the current offensive in Helmand Province.
Strategic thinking at last makes it way into the Afghanistan War: Occupy and destroy the Taliban’s chief cash crop, the opium poppy fields of Helmand
An American hurricane season less destructive than in 2008
“A strong, globally warmed season, yes, but I envision less impact for the US Gulf Coast region. It isn’t going to be the monster season of 2008 for you, America, with five major storms making landfall, but the Atlantic Hurricane Season of 2009 will still be an above normal dragon with some bite. I foresee more damage inflicted on non-American targets. Still, be prepared Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Even you, New York City, will have a significant tropical storm event in 2009.”
So far so good. It has been a very quiet season along the Gulf Coast. We have September to come and that is usually the high point of the season. In addition, the new climate change pattern has the Atlantic hurricane season starting slow and ending late. September through November is the time when the meat of the above prediction will be tested. May the season continue to be less than anticipated for American coastal regions already overwhelmed by terrible tropical storms this decade
Obama initially would be centrist and earn the ire of the “Live-left-birals
“The source of his harshest criticisms will emanate from those most ardent and extreme-left leaning emotive followers who projected change on his mirror according to their politically romantic misunderstanding.”
Conventional wisdom would bet that the hardest hits would from the right. Radio Right Messiah Rush Limbaugh tried his worst with his predictable and foot shooting ‚ÄúI want Obama to fail‚Äù harangues; but, as I predicted, the hardest early hits — the ones that really stung Obama — came from those on the extreme left. His cabinet choices from the Clinton era, the attempt to bridge bipartisan bonds with red state Republicans, the close relationship with Wall Street, brought the biggest slaps from deep-Dem-blue economists like Paul Krugman and social commentators and comics like leftist-libertarian Bill Maher.
WHAT IS YET TO COME:
(13 August 2009)