Many folks believe that the unrest in Tunisia this past month sparked the protests and likely end to the rule of Hosni Mubarak.  Where that will end, and what the outcome will be relative to the West is still up for grabs.

But the domino effect has now come into play as the unrest has spread to perhaps the most stable Arab country, Jordan.  King Abdullah II announced today that he fired his cabinet and ordered his new prime minister to pursue political reforms.

The new government of Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit has been instructed to take "practical, swift, and tangible steps to launch a real political reform process.  What this will mean is too early to tell.  One assumption would be that a more democratic process would be put in place, however Jordan has long been known as one of the democratic strongholds in the Arab world.  Even though King Abdullah II has remained as the King of Jordan, the country has had a parliamentary government for several decades.  Is this more show that substance as fears of anti-government protests spread throughout the Middle-East?

Abdullah is in a very tenuous situation due to the large Palestinian population, believe to outnumber native Jordanians.  Should the Palestinians choose to attempt an Egypt-style assault on the government, many sources believe the King’s government could not stand.

One of the last countries that one might expect to see wide-spread protests is Syria.  However the social networks have been ablaze with Syrians demanding protests in a “day of rage,” demonstration as took place in Egypt this past week.  Undoubtedly the government of Syria would act swiftly and decisively against any such protests even further inflaming the tensions across the region.

We’re seeing a watershed moment across the Middle-East which could have significant ramifications for both the U.S. and Israel.  Tehran is likely to exploit the unrest to promote pro-Islamic governments wherever protests pop up.  This is the ideal situation for Iran, as they’ve meddled in every country in the region that has a weakened government.  Any influence Iran has in these countries is likely to create serious aftereffects for democracies throughout the area.

The collapse of the Syrian government would pose little threat to U.S. interests, as the government of President Bashar Assad has been effectively controlled by Tehran for as long as he’s been in power.  Hamas has major influence in Syria and that isn’t likely to change.

Imagine the possible scenario of Egypt and Jordan turning towards more radical Islamic control.  Israel’s already tense circumstances would be ratcheted up 10 fold as they found themselves surrounded by governments intent on their destruction.  Add to Israel’s stresses the fact that the Iranians are inching ever closer to a nuclear weapon and you can imagine the discussions going on in Tel Aviv.

This could all lead to a challenge for the U.S. government as hasn’t been seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis.  And Barak Obama is no John Kennedy.  While Obama has toured the Arab word apologizing for our misdeeds of the past, a deeper, potentially more sinister, thread has been running through the region.  Our leadership in Washington seems to be several steps behind the events and unable to focus on whether to support the governments or the people; a position that is likely to be a loser for the U.S. regardless of the outcome.

It is very frightening times we find ourselves in, and the lack of leadership in our own government, and apparent incompetence at the highest levels, does not bode well for what we’re likely to see over the next 12 months.  I can’t stress enough just how dangerous, potentially, the situation is.  The unrest, and possible disruptions in the supply of energy resources, could lead to a globally devastating economic outcome.  And as the pressures on Israel grow we might find ourselves in the position of having to come to Israel’s aid.  The situation warrants very close observation and the Obama administration gives me, and I’m afraid, our Israeli friends, little comfort.