"At the moment, there is no serious threat of war over the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and the West. Even if the European Union goes ahead with sanctions against Iranian oil, this would amount to only a 15-20 percent loss of the country's oil exports. It is very unlikely that Iran would block the strait since it would still be selling at least 80 percent of its oil. However, if the rest of Iran's oil customers start to follow the West then the situation would become very serious."
"...the Israeli military still has much to gain. As Israeli analyst Aluf Benn has observed, Israel will use the Middle East’s upheavals to highlight to the US that it is Washington’s only reliable ally -- the so-called “villa in the jungle”. Its show of anxiety is also designed to remind the US that a jittery Israel is more likely to engage in unpredictable military adventures....The remedy, of course, is even greater American largesse. And for that reason, if no other, the fear-mongering from Tel Aviv is not about to end."
"I am equally frustrated by those, on both the right and the left, who have callously reduced the matter of immigration to a "wedge issue" to be exploited for political gain. Immigration is far more than that. It is our American story. We should never forget that most of our families begin with a Habib or a Yousef. It is their stories that make us great. And there are more stories just like theirs that are being written by new immigrants every day. We owe our past and our future more than the current state of our debate. Let us hope that in the New Year we can find the wisdom to do justice to our legacy."