Beyond the Cusp

September 15, 2014

Gaza, Hamas, Corrected Falsehoods, Frightening Realities

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In this AP story, which is worth reading for its providing complimentary evidence as part of what we will discuss here, a Hamas representative answered Israeli accusations of their using cover of residential areas from which they fired rockets into Israel by admitting “mistakes” were made explaining that they had little choice in Gaza’s crowded urban landscape. Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official in Gaza told the AP, “Gaza, from Beit Hanoun in the north to Rafah in the south, is one uninterrupted urban chain that Israel has turned into a war zone.” The inference conveyed by these Hamas claims is that all the built-up crowded urban landscape which has been lain waste by Israeli air and land assaults extends across the width and breadth of the entire strip as Hamas had no alternative but to fire from within the heavily populated areas as there was absolutely no other choice. This goes hand in hand with the constant reporting in the media of the falsehood that Gaza is the most crowded area where the entirety of the lands are heavily populated and there are virtually no open areas whatsoever.
According to what Hamad further explained to the Associated Press “The Israelis kept saying rockets were fired from schools or hospitals when in fact they were fired 200 or 300 meters away. Still, there were some mistakes made and they were quickly dealt with.” This is the first honest admission by a Hamas official stating that, in some rare cases, Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants were firing rockets from or near residential areas, civilian facilities, shelters, hotels, and United Nations protected buildings. Another claim often used when Hamas complains of the situation in Gaza lays these falsehoods bare when they demand that Israel and Egyptian authorities ease the restrictions at the crossings make it impossible for the farmers in Gaza to get their crops to markets. So Gaza is border to border urban landscape where there is no open land from which Hamas might be able to use to fire their rockets yet they have farm produce which needs greater access to markets. Where are these farms hidden within the dense landscape?

 

Perhaps a few facts followed by a map revealing the population densities within Gaza and even includes the Israel buffer area which Hamas claims is so restrictive that it is impossible for Gazans not to stray into the area and be shot regularly. These Hamas reputed victims of Israeli aggressions presumably occur quite frequently yet do not make international news headlines from a mainstream media which has a voracious appetite for any negative news accusing Israeli guilt, that stretches the realm of credulity. The most conclusive evidence was reported by India’s NDTV reporter Sreenivasan Jain who gave an accounting factually and without any hype revealing the entire process from the initial setting up of the rocket firing position just outside his hotel room under a tent used for concealment to the completion of the set-up with the placing of camouflage to conceal their position. The next morning Jain reports the team heard a “loud explosion and a whooshing sound” coming from the site just minutes before a 72-hour ceasefire took effect as rockets were fired from adjacent to his hotel placing himself, his crew and the other journalists, reporters and others in the hotel in danger had Israel responded by returning fire. Below is his video which can also be viewed here if the video below does not load in your browser.

 

 

 

 

Commenting on the reality of the population density of the Gaza area one immediately finds that it is far from the most densely populated region on the planet earth. A comprehensive study of the population density of Gaza by the Gatestone Institute can be researched with this link which lays bare the facts. Here is a list of some areas whose population density exceeds that of Gaza’s 4,601 persons per square kilometer (pp sq. km.); Calcutta @ 24,718 (pp sq. km.); Athens @ 20,235 (pp sq. km.); Paris @ 20,249 (pp sq. km.); Hanoi @ 23,342 (pp sq. km.); Barcelona @16,488 (pp sq. km.); Tel Aviv @ 7,524 (pp sq. km.); Jerusalem @ 6,045(pp sq. km.) (both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were targets struck at by Hamas and Islamic Jihad during the conflict); Geneva @ 11,200 (pp sq. km.); along with Hong Kong, Singapore, Madrid, Chicago, London, New York, Copenhagen, San Francisco, Milan and others all have greater population densities than Gaza. Below is the promised map displaying the population density and distribution of Gaza which absolutely puts away the Hamas claim of having no open areas from which to fight and makes obvious that it is their intent and purpose to fire from areas which will maximize the potential danger and actual casualties of the innocent residents in Gaza. This purposeful endangerment is just one item in the crimes committed by Hamas and other terror groups.

 

 

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Another of the Hamas falsehoods is that they are supported and beloved by an overwhelming percentage of the residents of Gaza. This also does not pass the smell test. Gazans have increasingly even become vocal and giving voice to their disgruntled and angry feelings about the entire situation which is a direct result, as they willingly admit, of the aggressions against Israel by Hamas and Islamic Jihad as well as the lack of funding, payments of salaries, and reconstruction which they perceive to be held up and delayed by both the terror outfits in Gaza and of the Palestinian Authority leadership in Samaria and Judea (West Bank). The unfortunate reality in which the population of Gaza resides are the muted press coverage of their situation as any reporter who would write about the crisis they are facing and the actual sources and targets of their anger would most definitely be denied continued access to Gaza, and this is even if they managed to place such a story as Hamas demands right to review any reports from within Gaza. Additionally Hamas has been reputed to have threatened reporters with death threats and worse, assuming torture followed by an execution is worse. Still, a number of reporters who were reporting from within Gaza during the fighting gave reports and filed complaints about their harassment and threats against them by Hamas and Islamic Jihad as well as having some of their reports spiked by Hamas due to the honest criticisms leveled in their reports. A smaller number of reporters have also complained about their agencies’ editors, especially the Jerusalem or Tel Aviv editors who are responsible for approving and passing on reports to make print or be televised or reported on radio for also spiking or watering down any reports critical of Hamas, Islamic Jihad or any of the other actors in Gaza. These reports and complaints are probably just the tip of the iceberg as many of these same reporters know they will be reassigned to report in Gaza and that they could face retribution from Hamas et. al.

 

There is one source who has come forth to report on Gaza with some degree of accuracy and truthfulness, an unusual occurrence and an appreciated one. The EU’s representative to the West Bank and Gaza, John Gatt-Rutter stated that, “There is a lot of anger in Gaza, and a lot of it is aimed at the Palestinians.” In further statements he added, “We are not hearing any good words [in Gaza] about anyone at the moment.” Gatt-Rutter related to reporters that the local population in Gaza is resentful that their major humanitarian needs have not been met, and that salaries have not been paid and that there is the possibility that these resentments could inspire a resumption of the war with Israel. Gatt-Rutter further related expressing that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to dissolve the latest Palestinian Authority unity government if Hamas does not recognize “one authority, one gun, one law” in Gaza in the form of Palestinian Authority/Fatah control. It was further postulated that should this threat materialize, this in turn will jeopardize the reconstruction efforts in Gaza as international donor countries will not rush to contribute funds that Fatah does not oversee.

 

This threat from Mahmoud Abbas is all part of his overt attempts to regain control over Gaza and relegate Hamas to a subordinate and completely overseen role which would necessarily be directed from Ramallah and his leadership. Abbas also fears what the recent polling predicts, an embarrassing and definitive loss by Abbas to Haniyeh should elections be held in the near future. Before the fifty day conflict initiated by Hamas and Islamic Jihad to strengthen their position and favorability with the Palestinian public, especially in Samaria and Judea (West Bank) as Hamas can pretty much control much of the outcome of any election vote tallies coming from Gaza, polls predicted a much closer race and one that either side might gain the advantage by massaging the ballot results from the areas they controlled. Another point of contention arose when Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk stated recently that Hamas was ready to negotiate directly with Israel directly in Tel Aviv (Hamas does not recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital city instead he would refer to Jerusalem as al-Quds, and further, Hamas also does not officially recognize Israel as anything other than the entirety of the lands being occupied Palestine). To this, Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf directly accused Hamas of “treason” for the idea that according to the unity government Hamas leadership had been surrendered to the Palestinian Authority with a supposed technocrat, neutral, mutually agreed Parliament to act until elections are held. He went further inquiring rhetorically, “Since when do Palestinian factions negotiate with Israel on their own? Isn’t this treason and a threat to the unity of Palestinians and their political position?”

 

A final point of intense disagreement comes regarding who will be responsible for monitoring the Rafah Crossing between Gaza, with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations, groups, contingents (including one claiming to represent ISIS) and crime families, and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, a hot spot where a number of Egyptian Border Patrols and Military and Police officials and troops have faced strong and fatal terrorist attacks causing the Egyptian government and President Sisi great concern. Both Hamas and Fatah (political party within the Palestinian Authority in which Abbas is its president) are claiming that their troops will control the border and be responsible for inspecting goods crossing in and out of Gaza to assure that no weapons or other material which could be utilized for military purposes. Having Hamas carry out that duty would be leaving the fox to guard the hen house. The potential for intra-Palestinian turmoil and potentially purges and violence resulting in a Palestinian civil war of a sort where Abbas cleanses Samaria and Judea of any Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other allied terror groups while Hamas does the same to Palestinian Authority, Fatah and any other opposition. Hamas has already publically executed more than twenty individuals under suspicion of their spying for Israel. These were summary executions and required no trial according to Hamas officials.

 

All of this is worrisome for Israelis because often resulting from these hostilities between the different factions within the Palestinian society, particularly the Fatah-Hamas resentment for the coup in which Hamas murdered a large number of Fatah and Palestinian Authority security personnel as well as civilian members to either Fatah or Palestinian Authority and even those who did not appear to sufficiently support Hamas and their rule over Gaza. Many were executed without a trial and were simply taken to the roof of a building having over ten floors, the more the better, and then simply throwing their victims from the roof. Hamas terrorist fighters often celebrated such events with firing their weapons into the air, handing out sweets and candies, honking their vehicle horns and dancing in the street, the identical response that lasted almost a week after the al-Qaeda 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and almost another site thought to be either the White House or the Capital Building which was brought down by the passengers attempting to take back the aircraft, a brave first response to a terror war which dates back to the very founding of the United States which eventually caused the War with the Barbary Pirates. For Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, India, the Philippines and others dating back to the Seventh Century Islamic expansive violence has been a near constant threat to those whose lands border the lands held by Islam through their never ending drive to obey the Qur’anic demand to spread Islam by any and all means including the sword.

 

The final deceit I will mention was the representation of casualty reports by Hamas which were taken as fact despite no verification and reports from other sources stating far different numbers of civilian and combatant casualties. This went right along with many Western mainstream media news anchors and commentators both on the air and in print and internet publications which simply took any Hamas press release as the Gospel truth while challenging every Israeli spokesperson and press release, the lack of fairness and equal trust was excruciating to watch, especially if you had read other sources who painted a completely different and more accurate reality than the fantasies claimed by Hamas. Of course it will be months if not decades before anybody gives an accurate and presumably honest accounting. The United Nations and the International Red Cross both have stated their complete lack of interest of performing such a task and simply using the numbers provided by Hamas as the reality. Unfortunately, many have come to not expect more or even the slightest sign of neutrality and a desire for truth except outside the normal channels and mainstream media. Hopefully this article pointed some to find the truth which is out there if one looks sufficiently deep and determined enough.

 

Beyond the Cusp

September 14, 2014

Egyptian President Sisi Takes the Lead as Obama Follows

President Obama made clear by his speech laying out his grand plan to address the threats from ISIS that he would once again be leading from behind, probably far behind and virtually out of site. Stepping up to take the lead was Egyptian President Sisi who schooled United States Secretary of State John Kerry during the Secretary’s visit to Egypt in his tour to gather backers to follow from the lead for President Obama to stand behind. Secretary Kerry has presumably secured the backing of ten Arab governments including Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and six Gulf States, amongst them Saudi Arabia and Qatar, despite their current disagreements. There has even been some tentative support for fighting ISIS from European governments. Britain has previously said it is sending arms to Kurdish fighters who are battling the group, and is supporting American airstrikes with surveillance and intelligence and the French have offered to also provide air support in Iraq but has expectedly stated total refusal to assist with operations in any form in Syria. It remains to be seen what effect the latest beheading of David Haines, a forty-four-year-old father of two from Scotland who was working for the French aid agency ACTED, will have on the European governments now that a European has followed the two American victims of ISIS and their loathsome Islamist extremist practices.

Egyptian President Sisi discussed with Secretary Kerry that any gathered coalition of nations which has been assembled to deal with the threats posed by ISIS and their spread across Syria and Iraq and now potentially threatening Lebanon that the mission should be expanded to include others of the numerous Islamist terror entities in the Middle East and across North Africa, in particular the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis terrorists who have taken to the Sinai and have murdered a number of Egyptian forces as well as possibly having bombed the Egyptian pipeline which provided Jordan and Israel vital energy needs. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was unfortunately the only other group which Egyptian President Sisi named but it can be hoped that should the targeting be broadened, as he intimated was desirable, as long as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was one of the additional targets, would also include such Islamist terrorist groups as Boko Haram as well as, dare we dream, Hamas, Hezballah, Islamic Jihad and even the Muslim Brotherhood along with the remains of al-Qaeda in all its disparate splinter groups across the Middle East and North Africa, the Taliban, the terrorists in the Kashmir, tribal areas of Pakistan, those operating in Yemen, Somalia, and even the groups being formed in the Western world. That, of course, would be way too much to ask, especially of President Obama who appears incapable of addressing even one single threat from abroad, let alone the plethora of Islamic groups who have resorted to violence and the sword following the laws exactly as written in the Koran and the Hadiths. There exists at least a half dozen tribal warlords causing insecurity and perpetrating violent attacks while ignoring the completely impotent government in the former nation of Libya. These same warlords and terrorists fighting within Libya have also been known to attempt and too often succeed in transferring weapons and weapons systems to Hamas and Hezballah since the United States led NATO from behind in toppling Moammar Kaddafi.

I’ll not be holding my breath as I am fully aware that President Obama only spoke of a grand plan so as to remove ISIS and their beheading off the front pages so he could tee off without a care once again. Whenever President Obama will be queried over the progress being realized and what comes next in his grand plan he will respond that he had laid out a plan that was comprehensive and that he let it be known from the very outset that the wearing down and degrade of ISIS and their ability to take and hold areas and pose a threat to the areas of the Middle East and that the plan will take a good many years to reach fruition and the media and people need to show determination and patience as results will be made even if they are not initially apparent and seen by all. Obama will claim that everything is right on track as he had promised and that everything that can and needs to be done is being addressed and we just need to stay the course. “Stay the course”, why does that sound so familiar?

It is often bemusing to me how the politicians, especially those who have the fortune of sitting in the White House, if given sufficient time will begin to sound just like their predecessors as if there is a playbook of acceptable phrases to be used in certain situations. Maybe we should be at least thankful that the phrase “Peace in our time” has been so completely devastated by its most infamous use that it now is relegated to political cartoons and comedians. I still sometime lean forward fully expecting somebody to use that phrase just because it is so well known and politicians have been known for saying the ridiculous as well as reusing worn to death phrases when they end up speaking without an actual script on the teleprompter in front of them. Fortunately, I am among those who have no difficulty and great empathy for President Obama and his dependence on a script on a teleprompter in front of him. Having run for office I get to realize the necessity at times to have such a script before you, such as when taping a spot for release or making a short video for use in the coverage of the campaign when asked for a spot by the network. Still, I preferred the forum of debates, especially those where the audience, the voters, got to ask the questions as that put me on an even playing field against my opponents who spent almost five-million-dollars each on their campaigns against my pittance by comparison.

My most treasured memory of that traumatic experience was after a question about support for the death penalty where both my liberal leaning opponents made definitive, strong statements describing in detail their unwavering opposition. Then came my turn and I spoke of the very few cases where there is no possibility to rehabilitate people who were beyond any definition of anything but evil and that needed to be permanently removed from society as anything else left the possibility, which no matter how slight was still a possibility that they would be released. I gave a few names from famous cases, not all of which resulted in death penalty being applied. During rebuttal both my opponents modified their unwavering opposition to mostly unwavering opposition accepting that there might be rare incidents where such was possibly a consideration. I barely resisted laughing hysterically; I just jumped up and screamed really? Well, I did so in my mind while remaining reserved, austere and without anything more overt than a small smirk of satisfaction. In my rebuttal I thanked in name both of my opponents for validating my position and coming around and seeing the light. Now if only the politicians could come around and see the darkness that is spreading over our planet and realize that it must be cut down and eradicated now or the price will only get higher and higher, and it has been high enough already. We only need to start adding up the cost, Madrid, New York, London, Mumbai, Bali, Washington D.C., Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Belsan and on and on. Just one question followed by the answer. What was the first high profile newsworthy terrorist strike on United States soil and how many were killed and name of the most prominent victim?

Answer: The attack took place on June 5, 1968, in Los Angeles, California, in the Ambassador Hotel’s Embassy Room ballroom just after midnight. This was the scene of the Democrat candidate for President who had just won two more primaries. Senator and Presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy was gunned down by Sirhan Sirhan who in interrogations repeatedly confessed that he was a Palestinian and was defending the Palestinians from this supporter of Israel and he had murdered Senator Robert Kennedy for political reasons and for the cause of the Palestinians. This was not emphasized and virtually untold by the media. It remains such a secret that most people I tell of this immediately demand proof and claim they will need to look this up. At least some have had the rare ability to thank me for giving them the information once they validate the information.

Beyond the Cusp

September 13, 2014

Speech of Presidential Distinction

The speech in question was delivered the same night as another well anticipated speech by President Obama, but unfortunately the President’s speech had little that made it particularly distinctive of being Presidential. Just a few comments on ‘The Plan’ as presented by President Obama first. The concept behind the plan presented by President Obama seemed eerily familiar with its call for air support to turn the tides on the ground for those already having difficulty holding their ground against the juggernaut we will simply refer to as ISIS. There is some hope that such assistance will be put to good use by the Kurdish Peshmerga Militias as they have already shown the willingness to take on ISIS even before the United States provided assistance. The same cannot be said about the Iraqi military which dropped their weapons, left their equipment behind and threw away their uniforms and attempted to blend into the population rather than engage with the initial advance of ISIS into central western Iraq. This tactic of retreat and blend did not turn out so well for many of the Iraqi military troops; especially those who were Shiite were turned over by the predominantly Sunni population who had little love for the Shiite countrymen. The ensuing horrors were gruesome and beyond detestable. President Obama is betting that by simply applying air support and a few advisors Special Forces groups, who have been instructed to advise only and not take part in any of the direct fighting, will add the necessary additional impetus to turn the advancing ISIS forces into retreat in time. President Obama might have wanted to consult former President Clinton and asked him how effective the air only campaign worked for him in the areas of the former Yugoslavia when supporting the breakaway Kosovars against Serbia. Perhaps the former President could have advised the current President of the difficulties in target acquisition from thirty-thousand feet above the ground when flying at near or over Mach speeds. He could have offered how ineffective the air campaign proved against military forces which were very successful at disguising their positions and placing fake tanks and other military hardware made of plywood and equipped with a few gallons of petrol providing the explosion to make the strike appear to have actually destroyed actual targets when only decoys had been struck. The military reviews of this Balkan air campaign proved both embarrassing and educational giving an excellent display of the limitations and the ease with which simple and inexpensive tactics are very capable at neutralizing airpower which is not supported by competent and trained ground personnel. So, President Obama has decided that airpower supported by forces which have mostly proven inadequate in facing ISIS will prove sufficient to deter any further advances and eventually defeat ISIS. There is one item which must be granted the Obama plan; President Obama placed a long term many years, maybe decades, time scale for the eventual defeat of ISIS which places the burden for victory on his successor and removes any responsibility or expectations off of President Obama and onto the next President. Hopefully the next President will be chosen carefully and intelligently by the American voting public, one who is well prepared to face and address the threat the whole world wide.

The Presidential worthy speech was given that same night also from Washington, D.C. which was given as the keynote address at the inaugural dinner of the “In Defense of Christians” organization, a newly formed NGO in order to address the persecutions of Christians in the Middle East. We will never know what the intended length the prepared speech would have been or the entirety of what was planned to be stated. The reason was that the invited speaker apparently misjudged his audience and their particularities, loves, hatreds and other proclivities. The invited keynote speaker was Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a well-known gadfly who has absolutely no problems with upturning the applecart or bucking the status quo. He has taken to the floor of the United States Senate, sometimes referred to as one of the most austere and reserved deliberative halls on Earth. Still, Senator Cruz during one of his filibuster sessions saw no problem with reciting his own particular rendition of Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” before the less than amused fellow Senators. Needless to say this was used to pillory Senator Cruz by the press and by the opposition Senators who feigned being unamused, how anybody could really be offended and unamused by such a grandiose stunt. This particular night those unappreciative of what Senator Cruz had to say were even less polite and far more aggressive and uninhibited when compared to his Senate compatriots. Apparently, Senator Cruz strayed well into forbidden territory early in his speech and his audience took no prisoners as they let their feelings be known and known without reservation. The reports of the confrontations were titled with titles such as “Senator Cruz booed Off Stage” or similar and some even more descriptive phraseology. So, what could Senator Cruz, described as the consummate Christian, have possibly told his audience of Christians to produce such an aggressive response? Perhaps it would be best told by listening to the entire five minute and fifteen seconds before having to exit the stage, and in defense of Senator Cruz, it was an orderly retreat after one final verbal cannonade. If the video does not appear it can be <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2ZVihACwQ0>viewed here.</a>

Senator Cruz probably misjudged his audience forgetting to take into consideration that these were Christians from the Middle East. Further, many of those Christians from the Middle East were from Syria and Lebanon, where those from Syria were supporters of Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad and some of those from Lebanon were supporters of Hezballah as by supporting these interests served their interest in living without being persecuted. In the case of Syria’s Bashir al-Assad the Syrian Christians were protected by the secular nationalist Assad from the threats and horrors promised by the Islamist forces and in Lebanon Christians in the south lived amongst Hezballah controlled areas and thus acted with this in mind, and in both cases the Jihadi were Sunnis. Lebanese Christians who resided in the Northern areas of Lebanon lived amongst Sunni Islamists and thus supported these forces and were not so inclined to support Hezballah but would support potential Jihadi, but Sunni and thus were aligned against Shiites. It can easily be assessed that the majority of those in the audience lived in areas outside of Israel and thus also areas where there are no Jews in residence and the prevalent attitude could be described accurately as anti-Israel and anti-Zionist and potentially as anti-Semitic. Senator Cruz made an error in judgment when he equated the existence of anti-Christian with the anti-Semitism, anti-Israel and anti-Zionism prevalent in the nations of the Middle East. This reference by Senator Cruz equating the anti-Christian hatreds with what he viewed as similar anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-Zionist hatreds also prevalent in the Middle East he was met with a combination of tepid applause and overt heckling and catcalls. Unlike many lesser human beings, Senator Cruz was initially unfazed by the disturbances and attempted to continue with his prepared speech. This proved problematic and one of the organizers was forced to appear and plead for quiet and respect stating that this was the United States and not the Middle East as if this insignificant fact of geography would make any difference to the injured sensitivities of the hecklers. It didn’t. It rapidly became obvious to Senator Cruz that he would not be permitted to continue with his speech as it was written, so he performed on the fly ad-libbing his comments from that point forward. Senator Cruz did anything but back down, as you witnessed. His final comment before surrendering the stage was a perfect and stately topper to his performance as he wished the entire assembly, including his hecklers, “Thank you, and G0d bless you.” He waved, turned and walked calmly from the podium. His stand to not stand with those who refused to stand with all who are threatened by extreme Islamist Jihadi was simply stated without emotional expressions or raised voice, just a statement evenly delivered which somehow increased its impact though it will likely not have any transformational effects, as once hatreds are instilled in a person from their earliest years and reinforced throughout their lives, freeing oneself from such hatreds becomes near impossible. Senator Cruz probably realized this and did the best with a bad situation and stated what he felt he must present and did so economically thus muting the hecklers who were probably shocked to have a speaker not wilt from their challenge and speak right back with purpose and strength of convictions, very likely for the first time in their lives. God bless you Senator Ted Cruz and thank you for your unwavering support and well stated position in the face of inhuman hatreds.

Beyond the Cusp

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