Due disclosure: I was as surprised as anyone; but then, I wasn't a policy maker - and, in the late 1980s, not even a blogger.
No-one foresaw the present turmoil in the Arab world, either; and of course, no-one knows how it will end. Yet there comes a moment when you ask yourself if the leaders are really doing their job:
It is hardly the first time the Obama administration has seemed uncertain on its feet during the Egyptian crisis, as it struggles to stay on the right side of history and to avoid accelerating a revolution that could spin out of control.In all the learned discussions, no-one ever put up a chart with hypothetical but logical possibilities? Islamists come to power in Turkey; Shias revolt in Suadi Arabia; democrats try to re-take a stolen election in Iran; Israel hands over the West Bank to the PA, the rejectionists take over and the Middle East descends into bloody war; Islamists take power in Pakistan and lob a nuclear bomb at Israel; Iraq collapses, Kurdisatn declares independence and Turkey invades, so a NATO member is at war with an American ally; Belarussion democracy succumbs to dictatorship (oops, sorry, make that Ukrainian democracy)...
The mixed messages have been confusing and at times embarrassing — a reflection of a policy that, by necessity, has been made up on the fly. “This is what happens when you get caught by surprise,” said one American official, who would not speak on the record. “We’ve had endless strategy sessions for the past two years on Mideast peace, on containing Iran. And how many of them factored in the possibility that Egypt,” and presumably whatever dominoes follow it, “moves from stability to turmoil? None.” (My Italics)
Armies the world over are supposed to have contingency plans for unlikely but nightmarish scenarios. You would think the people surrounding the president of the United States, who at the moment still is the leader of the world's only real superpower, would have them, too. If they don't, what else haven't they thought of?
Pardon me for being narrow-minded and fixated on my own navel, but is it conceivable they've not thought about the possibility that dividing Jerusalem will cause war?