MICHAEL GOODWIN: Libya, Syria, Yemen... 7 Things That Were Missed as We Focused On the Government Shutdown

While Washington was fixated on a possible government shutdown, more important things were pushed out of sight and out of mind. Consider a few:

1. Libya is grinding to a stalemate, with our top commander saying there is a "low likelihood" rebels will topple Moammar Khadafy. Gen. Carter Ham told the Senate "one potential outcome" is that ground forces would be needed and American troops might be involved.

That contradicts President Obama's promise of "no boots on the ground" and Defense Secretary Robert Gates' insistence there would be no soldiers in Libya "as long as I am in this job."

2. Elsewhere, a Hamas missile hit an Israeli school bus, injuring one student, and Israel retaliated with airstrikes that killed at least 17, sparking fears of a new war.

3. The government in Yemen is collapsing, and the White House, instead of seeing the downside in a nation where al Qaeda claims control of at least one province, is pushing a sometime ally to the exits.

4. Brave Syrians are challenging their despotic rulers, yet Washington offers no encouragement even as thugs slaughter demonstrators. We may be missing a chance at regime change in a nation with close ties to Iran.

The mullahs are using the chaos to continue the march to nukes. Dissidents discovered what they say is a new factory that makes parts for centrifuges, and Russia announced it had resumed loading fuel into Iran's first nuclear plant.

5. Saudi Arabia is so angry at Obama's abandonment of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt that it sent an emissary to China and Russia to improve relations. It also sent troops to Bahrain to put down demonstrations.

6 & 7. Oh, yes, Japan continued its meltdown, and China released pictures of its first aircraft carrier.

Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and a New York Post columnist. To continue reading his column in the New York Post on other topics, including on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, click here.