Beyond the Cusp

September 20, 2014

Potentially Righteous Cause but ISIS is the Wrong Group and Wrong Method

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The extremist Islamist terrorist groups, ISIS, released a video (See Below) presumably laying out their grievances and the plan they claim is their goal and the means by which to accomplish their desired end. First and foremost we want to make clear that in no way does our presenting reasons why their grievances have merit mean we support their actions or even the end result such a resolution would produce. ISIS is claiming that their fight is to undo the subversion and sabotage inflicted on the Arab and Muslim causes as a result of the Sykes-Picot agreement. The Sykes-Picot agreement was a treaty entered into by the victors of World War I and initiated for the most part by the British and French whereby the lands of the Ottoman Empire were broken into the countries which currently still exist across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The borders of these countries ignored tribal lands, family potentates and other logical and binding areas and intentionally broke these groups such that the borders placed parts from each existing community in separate countries. In some cases these borders ignored promises made with Arabs and other groups made by the British and French in order to gain additional forces fighting with them against the Ottoman Empire. Where the reasons which caused the Ottoman Empire to enter World War I can be debated ad-nauseum, the validity and merit matter little as their choice was made and they chose poorly. What also should be mentioned about the results of World War I is that many of the borders drawn in Europe that broke up the Austria-Hungarian Empire were also formed with little concern for existing communal groups and appears to have used a similar design as the borders of Sykes-Picot had done to MENA peoples.


Should video not play, try this source here.

The basic design behind Sykes-Picot was to form nations which would, by design, suffer from internal rivalries and violence requiring the ruling government to allot much of their time and resources to quelling these rivalries and maintaining order. The method setup by the French and British with the endorsement and confirmations of the allied powers was to place compromised and controllable dictators in power over these fragmented and often rivalrous sectarian segments of the society which would tend to have hostile relations causing breakouts of violence which would require the governance to quell the fractious groups which might require assistance from the European power each would be paired with. The demarcation of responsibility lines between France (Blue Area and Area ‘A’ under French Mandate will become Syria and northern Iraq), Britain (Pink Area and Area ‘B’ under British Mandate will become Transjordan and southern Iraq), Russia (Yellow Area), Italy (Green shaded and Area ‘C’ under Italian Mandate) and International Area under League of Nations and Allied control (Tan Area which was the area from which Israel was formed and was left mostly to British control) are displayed in the map below.

Sykes-Picot Map

ISIS claims that their desire is to erase the false borders imposed by the Western powers after the end of World War I with the defeat of Germany, Austria-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Their claim is that the dividing of the lands which were united under the Ottoman Empire denied the Muslim peoples of their Caliphate and that wrong must be nullified and erased by the formation or renewal of the Caliphate with its borders erasing the Western imposed individual states with the unified Caliphate. What the leadership of ISIS is intentionally ignoring is the right of the victorious powers after a conflict, especially one in which they were the responding powers fighting a defensive war against the aggressors who initiated the hostilities. They are enabled to disposes those lands as they desire even to incorporating them under their banner and retaining rule over those areas. Initially this was what the allied powers did with the conquered lands of the Ottoman Empire and in time drew their arbitrary lines and established puppet states. The argument the allied powers probably made was by setting the borders as they did, it fulfilled the majority of their promises which were given those who cooperated and assisted their efforts against the Ottoman Empire. Whatever the reasoning, the allied powers had legal rights to do as they chose with the lands in question under International law applicable at that time.

That leads directly to the question, how could the Caliphate be reestablished other than by force of arms? The most obvious answer is that the peoples of the individual nations could elect new leadership and petitions the other nations, those would need to likewise elect leadership so inclined and reestablish the Caliphate uniting one nation after the other through elections and new treaties. This method would take time, effort and a uniting of peoples from different tribes and other differentiating alliances within each nation and then do the same with even more peoples, groups, tribes, and religious sects within Islam as they added additional nations to the reestablishing Caliphate. Of course there is the downside of not being able to pillage cities and towns, pilfer and rob banks and financial institutions, destroy ancient religious and cultural sites from antiquity selling off the precious items located to black market thieves, murder those who might disagree with your plans or methods or simply because they worship in a different form of Islam or religion other than Islam under the banner of righteous cleansing and establishing the one true form of Islam, and simply butchering and raping your way as you go marauding across the entire Middle East should you succeed at your quest for a new Caliphate. Hopefully you have kept an idea in the back of your tiny little brains that should you murder all who fail to measure up to your particular ideas and ideals then you will not have many people in your caliphate and that could cause some real difficulties along the way and potentially ally so many against your idea of how to populate your caliphate that you will utterly fail. Perhaps if ISIS was being a little more compassionate and inclusive, they might find the world somewhat concerned about the issues ISIS claims to be fighting for; but doing so would take a bite out of their taking pleasures as they present themselves in any opportunity.

That is the first of many problems being caused by ISIS and the methodology they are pursuing to form their dreamed of Caliphate. Add to those problems there are also those same Western nations which came together and so carefully; all-right, so carelessly and with little effort or thought; crafted their divisions of the land establishing borders as they saw fit, or by a bump of an elbow assisting in drawing parts of the border for Jordan as it has been alleged. Then there is the violence which you have displayed which included direct threats to the Western nations as you flagrantly performed the inhuman act of beheading thus far three citizens of these nations, freelance reporters James Foley and Steven Sotloff from the United States as well as aid worker David Haines from Britain with another British victim threatened to be beheaded presumed to be Alan Henning who was delivering aid such as medical supplies and other necessities. Where ISIS claims they are performing acts of righteousness and are being guided by the Quran, the Hadiths and practicing Islam in the manner of Muhammad; the rest of the world even including many of the Islamic faith (even a spokesperson claiming to represent al-Qaeda) have denounced ISIS because of their limitless brutality and inexcusable actions against the innocent including children. There have been comparisons equating ISIS plundering, malevolence and slaughtering of innocents to that of the Mongol Hordes, though the brutalities committed by ISIS may make the Mongols acts pale by comparison. The worst is accusing ISIS of such criminal malevolence would be received as if a compliment, and there lies the base reason that their defeat, nay, evisceration is necessary. Some actions can only be interpreted as a cancerous tumor which murders everything precious and valuable that falls within its grasp and as such must be excised and expunged simply to restore the return of civilized behavior and peoples.

Forces such as ISIS have aspects that though disturbing to most still attracts a segment of society, mostly outcasts and mentally defective souls who, when able, will ally with ISIS willingly, even anxiously, as has Boko Haram, another terrorist entity which practice similar traits that ISIS performs such as rape and selling of young women into slavery, even sexual slavery, beheading and murdering those who worship in other manners than exactly the prescribed manner of Boko Haram ideas of Islam. One must consider that ISIS was denounced and rejected by al-Qaeda as being too extreme even for those extremists. ISIS has announced their intention in their video to erase all the lines, the borders imposed, presumably illegally according to ISIS claiming they were forbidden by Islam, by the Western powers starting with the one the spokesperson is standing upon, the Syrian-Iraqi border. The spokesperson points out the border police station building just before it is detonated and destroyed, claiming that just that form or marking of any borders currently in existence will face the same degree of violation. Such fortuitous and infantile savagery is a refusal of the Western ideals of civility and as thus is simply the conflict between the Islamic lands within MENA and Western civilization of Europe and North America. One could almost draw a similarity to the divided world in Orwell’s 1984 with some alterations but still with three major divisions and the threats from each on Oceania. That aside, the threat from ISIS is a direct threat placing their perception of Islam and the teachings from Muhammad and the stated expectations from Allah as interpreted from the Quran and Hadiths. What is necessary and will be of great interest are the reactions from the Islamic nations, especially those who face the most immediate threat from ISIS. The Western nations who take part in the coalition should and must have the Islamic nations of MENA who elect to join the efforts to deter and hopefully eliminate the threats posed by ISIS to state their purpose. Where it is acceptable for their reason to be self-preservation; it would be far more preferable if their reasoning was to eliminate this malignant form of Islam as it is unacceptable and goes against the teachings of the Quran, Muhammad, and most of all Allah. Their reason, if it should become known, will tell the world much about the real teachings in the Quran and how they are viewed by those who make up the body of Islam, namely the Muslim nations around the world. If ISIS is claimed to be acting properly as viewed by the Islamic world and they join the coalition, assuming they will, simply for the reason of maintaining their rule and not because ISIS is blaspheming Islam, then the rest of the world should expect at some future date for the Islamic world to attack the rest of the world demanding as ISIS has that all believe exactly as they do or face a genocidal cleansing. This is the most frightening thing about ISIS, that they are acting exactly as an obedient Muslim should act once they have surrendered their will to Allah.

Beyond the Cusp

September 19, 2014

Hamas Sticking to Single ‘Must Have’ Demand or Else

 

More often than not when the time nears that any ceasefire approaches its end date, Hamas will emphasize a single ‘must have’ issue and wait until actual talks to try to pry additional concessions before reaching some agreement. Every agreement with Hamas is never actually a truce as we in the Western nations understand; it is always referred to by Hamas in its Islamic term, a Hudna. The difference between a truce, accord or peace agreement and a Hudna is easily defined but almost always ignored by those making such deals with Islamic elements. A Hudna is a temporary halt to the actual fighting while the hostilities continue as does the preparations to continue the violent struggle. Whenever the Muslims who entered into a Hudna agreement feel they are sufficiently stronger or prepared for continuing their war and feel they will be able to win outright or, if not attaining victory vanquishing their enemy, then they at least will make some gains even if it is just additional concessions. No Hudna may last longer than a decade as after ten years the Muslim forces are obliged to resume their struggle. The interesting item this time is Hamas is not calling for a sizeable prisoner release as is their usual demand. This time Hamas is demanding something which would be a permanent game changer and guarantee the next resumption of hostilities would be on a whole new level and demand a different result which would be far more severe no matter which side proved victorious, and that might be an item in question to be resolved by the resumed conflict.

 

The demand which Hamas is placing the entirety of their promise for a Hudna, a temporary, and in this case very temporary, cessation of hostilities, is the lifting of the blockade and their being permitted an international airport and sea ports. Their given reasoning is that the blockade does not permit them the ability to import building materials and to export their goods and farm produce. Their complaint that the farm produce is encountering difficulties accessing an international market has always bemused me when combined with their explanations as to why they must fire their rockets and munitions from within urban and built-up areas, often residential in nature or by schools and such because Gaza is border to border urban areas making it the most densely populated area on the planet. With such a problem with buildings border to border one must question from where the farm produce originates. This and other items were covered in an article titled, <a herf=http://wp.me/pIou8-1zI target-blank>Gaza, Hamas, Corrected Falsehoods, Frightening Realities</a>. Their claim that they have difficulty importing building materials and exporting their produce because of the Israeli arms and dual use items embargo along with the Egyptian total embargo on their Gaza Sinai border is an untruth. Israel permits relatively unfettered access for any export items including farm produce providing Hamas permits it to reach the designated crossing points into Israel. Once it crosses into Israel it is usually intended and is sent to the Palestinian areas in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) or to Jordan across the Allenby Bridge. If there were to be items intended for Europe or Asia there would likely be arrangements for it to be flown or shipped from Israel to its destination with the possible exception of those countries which do not permit direct import for items leaving from Israel. In such cases some other arrangements would need to be made and this might be best accomplished by having limited passage for export or import through Egypt which places such beyond Israeli control. The building provisions are limited because of the slight propensity for Hamas to confiscate hundreds of millions of Shekels worth of such provisions in order to construct extensive tunnels and underground bunkers and command centers sufficient to hold not only the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups’ numbers but potentially could hold almost the entire population of Gaza. Granted doing so would make easy access for the terrorist fighters to get from one rocket launching platform to another somewhat difficult, but the people would be safer than having Hamas and friends herd them into schools and other civilian structures around rocket launching position in order to produce maximum civilian casualties in Gaza for the reporters to photograph and release to the world claiming to show how heartless the Israelis are in their conducting of warfare.

 

So, if it is not for the reasons of import and export and unfettered access to building provisions such as concrete and aluminum, then why is Hamas so intent on gaining a sea port and airport? In order to place what the urgency is in gaining this access one needs to look beyond the shores of Gaza and even beyond the borders of Israel and Egypt. One need go further than Hezballah in Lebanon or Bashir al-Assad in Syria. One needs to go all the way to Qatar which already provides Hamas with funding. One need understand that Qatar does not have a significant military force and that the military they have has been rather well armed for their immediate needs and threats. Qatar could arm every citizen and they would still be unable to resist an invasion by Saudi Arabia, the closest potential threat to Qatar as the Qataris have developed close relations with Iran and this has not exactly pleased the Saudis. Still, the odds of a Saudi attack on Qatar are remote to nonexistent. This becomes more so when one realized that Qatar is also a major base for the United States and one of the home bases for the United States fleet when it is in the Persian Gulf, something that has been quite regular of late. So, since the Qatari military was already sufficiently armed one must question why Qatar would purchase eleven-billion dollars of top of the line equipment including MANPAD anti-aircraft weapons, Apache Longbow Attack Helicopters, Patriot Missile Batteries, Javelin Anti-Armor Systems, Air Refueling Tankers and associated weaponry. Qatar has also been seeking to purchase jet fighters and has been shopping with Airbus and Boeing. When one figures that Qatar has a population of 1.7 million; this produces figures that they just purchased almost six-and-a-half-billion dollars of weaponry per person. Add to this that Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani made the first official visit to Hamas-controlled Gaza by a head of state and during the visit promised four-hundred-million dollars in aid to Hamas and there comes the problem. Obviously these weapons were not purchased for Qatari defense purposes and were instead intended for Hamas to use against Israel. The only thing missing is a sea port or an airport to deliver the goods. This does not take a rocket scientist to figure out; yet, just wait and watch the world demand that Israel lift their arms embargo and threaten to embargo Israel should Israel not comply. Welcome to a world that seems to be more appropriate for items from Mad Magazine than from our news outlets which are reporting these items as real facts on the ground.    Unbelievable!

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 9, 2014

Will Israel and West Reap the Winds from Hamas Claim of Victory?

The ceasefire is still holding though the possibility of Hamas returning to firing rockets the length and breadth of Israel has slowly been ramping as Israel continues to refuse to commit to total surrender to Hamas granting them the entirety of their demands. It matters not what the result of the Cairo negotiations between Israel and Hamas produce as Hamas is at the cusp of realizing their main objective from the entire conflict orchestrated from the initial abduction and murder of three Israeli teens to the thirty-thousand plus rockets launched into Israel over the fifty days of on and off fighting interspersed with ceasefires which seldom lasted more than a day or two. The entire effort by Hamas had nothing to do with Israel beyond showing Hamas and their allies as the strong horse willing to stand toe-to-toe with Israel for an extended period of time and continue to fire rockets posing a threat to Israel. This was their entire campaign for the supposedly soon to be held elections by the Palestinians to elect their new leadership for the recently established unity government which allowed Hamas, and potentially Islamic Jihad, to become an integral party within the Palestinian Authority thus able to present candidates in the elections, the first for President since Mahmoud was last elected in January 2005 after which he has continuously cancelled all subsequently scheduled elections for the Presidency fearful of losing. Before the conflict, titled Defensive Edge by Israel, polling depicted a narrow Hamas leader Haniyeh victory over Abbas but not with an insurmountable lead. Since the conflict the Hamas position has been drastically reinforced with Haniyeh leading Abbas by a two-to-one ratio in polling taken since the last ceasefire and the negotiations begun in Cairo. This is very probably the main reason behind Abbas making threats to dissolve the unity government blaming the refusal by Hamas to accept proposed terms for peace presented by Abbas and insisting on Israeli surrender meeting their every demand or face a continuing war of attrition.

This presents a number of questions of which the first and most important is will Abbas permit elections with Hamas permitted to take part or will Abbas attempt to dissolve the unity government and thus cancel elections claiming the lack of opposition to his continuing as President. This has been the method of operation by Abbas starting in 2009 when he cancelled elections for President after Hamas had prevailed in elections to form the Palestinian parliament. Abbas again cancelled elections twice since then continuing on with a blind eye from the United States, the Europeans, the Arab League and the Sisi government in Egypt who fear having Hamas take the lead as president of the Palestinian Authority as that would provide the Muslim Brotherhood a base of operation from which to assault the Egyptian government. On the other side, supporting Hamas in their quest to take command of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as well as Gaza by defeating Abbas and taking the Presidency of the Palestinian Authority are Iran, Qatar, Turkey and many of the rebel forces in Libya. Nobody has asked the leadership of ISIS but our bet is that they would prefer to have Hamas take the reins of the Palestinian government as they would likely see the Hamas recent conflict with Israel as preferable to Abbas and his reliance on negotiations as ISIS does not believe in negotiations with the West or Israel and would be favorable to the Hamas expressed desires to eradicate Israel and install a Sharia governance over all of the lands west of the Jordan River.

The pivotal question is what would be the reaction outside the Arab and Muslim worlds to a Hamas victory taking complete control over all of the Palestinian governance. It is likely that the European Union would recognize such a government as would the majority of the European governments as they would not be concerned with the threat such an election would pose to Israel. President Obama would likely confer with his good and close friend and confidant President Erdogan of Turkey which would most likely provide the necessary impetus for President Obama to support the election victory by Hamas just as he supported the election victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. There should be little surprise if President Obama offered to provide training and arms to the newly established Hamas Palestinian government even demanding that Israel recognize the election victory by Hamas and by doing so end the embargo on Gaza permitting them to establish a sea port and an international airport. The next question would be whether President Obama’s recognition of the newly elected government of the state of Palestine would also recognize whatever borders the Hamas government may claim. There would be little doubt that any Hamas government would claim their borders for Palestine to be the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River completely erasing the existence of the state of Israel. Where recognizing such a claim by Hamas would pose little if any problem for the vast majority of Arab and Muslim governments, how much of a problem it might pose in the Western capitals is another question. There would be some from within Europe who would readily recognize such claims while some might recognize the authority of Hamas to rule the Palestinian Authority, they might simply ignore the territorial claims by Hamas in that recognition while others would include their recognition and give it their approval, such as Norway who already offered to join with Turkey and build a port in Gaza for Hamas and Islamic Jihad whether Israel approved or not. With a world going head over heels to support and placate a Hamas governed Palestinian Authority and the eagerness with which the United Nations would take to recognizing the unified Palestinians as the newest member of the United Nations, at least in the General Assembly and also in the Security Council as it is likely that all the permanent members would at the least refuse to use their veto, even the United States and Britain, that after their admission with their claims for borders eclipsing Israel, how long before the United Nations began to remove Israel from every agency, agreement, convention and other recognitions as an actual member nation in the community of nations and finally revoked Israeli membership and refusing to recognize Israel ruling it an illegal entity and criminal amongst the nations of the world. What could Israel do after such an eventuality as having Canada defending you against a world gone mad has its comforts, it would not prevent the ensuing apocalypse.

So, what exactly could Israel do to battle against the rogue wave of world insanity working to dissolve the Jewish State? Granted that Israel had a number of treaties, conventions, committees, and even Article 80 of the United Nations Charter granting her license, deed and rights to the lands from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, these have not protected Israel from the ever growing animosities of a world riding full speed ahead back into a full on fury of anti-Semitism which includes demanding the destruction of Israel, the sole guarantor of the Jews right to defend themselves. The United Nations has in the past declared Zionism to be the equivalence to racism, has entertained motions to rescind the declaration which established the opportunity for Israel to come into existence, and has denounced Israel in its numerous committees and agencies almost as often as it has denounced the entire rest of the world since the establishment of the United Nations. No nation in recorded history has faced the bald faced animosity, bile, hatreds and violent intents from a world united in denial of Israel and the Jews rights to self-government and self-defense. Should a Palestinian election place Hamas at the head of the Palestinian Authority and they claim any borders which refuse to recognize the right of Israel to exist must immediately be met with a declaration of war by Israel against the Hamas government. Israel would need to immediately take whatever steps were required to arrest and detain the Hamas leadership immediately after they declare claim to all of Israel as Palestinian lands declaring Israel to be a nonentity. That is a declaration of war by any definition and Israel would be fully in her right to end a government on her borders which was bent on erasing her borders and slaughtering her people at their first opportunity. Israel must make known her intent to defend her existence and that any attempt by a Hamas led Palestinian Authority to claim lands or to threaten the lives of Israeli citizens will be regarded as an act of war and would be dealt with in just manner without hesitation and with all the vigor and force at Israel’s disposal. That statement of warning should be made clearly, openly and to include any nation which might choose to join Hamas in their defense or in any other way of support. Not pleasant, not simple, but unfortunately necessary when living in a world that has slid beyond the cusp of sanity into the realms beyond reason, virtue and righteousness.

Beyond the Cusp

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