Instability Defined

The Economist presents the global Misery Index:

Certainly, it’s not entirely foolproof — but it does seem like a good guide to where the next flash-points will be around the globe over the next twelve months and beyond.

Most significant is probably Iran.

From Zero Hedge:

Yesterday we reported how as a result of a financial embargo enacted on by the US on New Year’s Day, Iran’s economy had promptly entered freefall mode and is now experiencing hyperinflation as the currency implodes.

An Iranian nation driven into the ground by sanctions has much less to lose by going berserk and attacking Israel, perhaps triggering a regional conflagration. The neoconservatives will slaver over this possibility; they think this would mean a short and efficient war, decapitating the regime and installing an Israel-friendly, pro-Western one. I doubt it. America has struggled to subdue incompetent Kalashnikov-wielding insurgents and rock-throwing goatherds in Afghanistan. The war with Iran that America is currently provoking via sanctions — which, as Ron Paul correctly notes, are an act of war — will be just as messy and open-ended as that conflict, with the added danger of triggering a wider war throughout Eurasia.

Misery indeed.