Beyond the Cusp

December 5, 2014

How Dark Could Our Future Become; A Possible Alternative

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There have been a number of prognostications telling the writers’ many separate and often distinct predictions. These predictions span from gloom and doom to the thrills once we combine with our technological inventions enhancing our lives in remarkable ways. Then there is the possibility we will face threats due to the singularity from advanced artificial intelligent robots which will have surpassed us and begin to leap so far ahead of our own technological knowledge and abilities that we will become either their pets or a nuisance to be eradicated depending on who you ask. There are predictions on the political level where China becomes the new eight-hundred pound gorilla on the stage and the United States falls into a weak second class state in the shadows or China falls economically and the United States rebounds to Africa becoming the new European style power and Europe degrades into economic ruin even dragging down the last of the economic engines in Europe. The one comfort I take from all these prognostications, even by some very well recognized editorialists and experts of which many will be unfulfilled, is that even if I get everything wrong, all I will have done is join an elite group who are secure enough to be wrong and admit it. The benefit of doing predictions is people will tend to forget those you got completely wrong if you hit a few dead on correct as people want to believe that the future is not as daunting and unpredictable as it actually is and take comfort in those predictions which give them comfort or support, what they had themselves been predicting. So, with the comfort that I will probably not be any more wrong than some who have become wealthy despite being wrong more often than not, here is what I actually fear may be coming down the road over the remaining two years of the final term of President Obama’s Presidency.

 

First we need to see where the world is now and try to find some similarities from history and narrow down those similarities until we find the closest match and then interpolate using that history and see where that leads one. The first and most obvious parallel is the beginning of the fall of Rome and the withdrawal from the world’s scene by the United States with their retreats from Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a false parallel which despite being false it has garnered a serious following. Further consideration leads one to look more at the entirety of the Western world and culture and an initial retreat from the Middle East followed by an infiltration and assault by the powers of Islam and one realizes that the correlation is closer to the slow and unalterable fall of the Eastern Roman Empire which was also known as the Byzantine Empire, of which the greatest defeat was the fall of Constantinople. Using this as a base we would need to try and discern if in this modern period where things can happen at unbelievable and unprecedented speed, the item one needs to do is find where the two main turns of history which eventually served to turn back the thrusts into Europe by the seemingly unstoppable forces of Islam which we can parallel with the Battle of Tours where Charles the Hammer Martel routed the Moorish Muslim troops ending their invasion into western Europe and turning them back depleted and without any reserve supplies which made the restoration of Spain possible, though the method of the Inquisition would be something we should endeavor to avoid at all cost, and the Siege of Vienna where the King of Poland reached an agreement with his closest neighboring nations for their promises to refrain from invading his lands while he took his entire army and marched to Vienna and relieved the siege turning back the Islamic armies and ending their thrust into eastern Europe. These two turning points are impossible to predict without the power of clairvoyance, something I freely admit I lack no matter what some people have claimed in my stead.

 

Islam is unlikely to be attempting any invasions of Europe in the near future as much of the Muslim world is too wrapped-up in their own troubles and conflicts within Islam to be taking on any outside wars. Syria has been wrapped in a destructive civil war with numerous outside forces warring on both sides of this devastating conflict which will leave Syria incapable of any kind of action for decades as they eventually will try to rebuild almost from scratch and build a new Syria. Who will be leading the nation of Syria is still unknown though it does appear that somehow Bashir al-Assad will remain in power though only in charge of a shell of his nation will have survived and most of the Syrian people will have fled the nation and as many as are able will probably choose not to return. Libya has continue its spiral decent into internecine violence composed largely by inter-tribal violence with occasional challenges to the relatively weak central government which has thus far been able to hold on to power. Iraq and Syria are currently sharing a serious threat in the form of an ever-growing force which began as a terrorist entity in the Syrian civil war and has mutated into a wannabe caliphate which has since grown into a formidable force across central parts of Syria and Iraq and has made threats against Iran, Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other nations which ISIS (still pronounced ‘is is’) believes are not following the Quran and are not ruled by proper Islamic rulers which they swear they will replace as they build the next Caliphate. They also predict that once they have set the world of Islam on the correct path and united all of Islam into their Caliphate they will then complete the task of making Islam the sole religion in the world. Egypt is recovering from their experiment with the rule by the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood and has returned to having elected a military leader as the President of Egypt. It remains to be seen whether President Sisi will remain a limited leader eventually stepping aside or if he will become the next military dictator of Egypt following the same route as his predecessors. Lebanon has been sitting on the sidelines of the Syrian conflict but has an investment in the Syrian war as Hezballah has, on the orders from their Iranian masters, been involved heavily in the fighting in support of Bashir al-Assad which has left Lebanon vulnerable, a vulnerability which may soon prove to be tested by some of the forces fighting against Assad in Syria as they view Lebanon as a fair target due to Hezballah fighting in Syria. Across most of the rest of the Muslim world there are no real nations which have the inclination or power to pose any real threat outside their own borders with a few exceptions. One exception is Pakistan which has a sizeable nuclear weapons stockpile but also has sufficient internal threats which prevent any adventurism and also Pakistan has one main adversary in India and is content to keep any violence between the two nuclear powered nations as quiet as is possible, a view shared by India. So, what might be the exception throughout the Islamic world?

 

Turkey and Iran are exceptions as both have avoided the kind of turmoil which has afflicted much of the rest of the Middle East and North Africa. Turkey under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a modern military and enjoys membership in NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) which they served as an important role against the Soviet Union as Turkey controlled the access from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean Sea and from there into the Suez Canal to the Red Sea and on to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf or through the Strait of Gibraltar on into the Atlantic Ocean. Turkish roles within NATO had been challenging in recent years as they refused to cooperate with the United States in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and more recently worked against the United States in their efforts against ISIS only recently begrudgingly permitting any use of Turkish resources such as airfields for strikes against ISIS and probably under guarantees that these actions would also serve to remove their nemesis Syrian Dictator Bashir al-Assad. As President Obama has formed a close relationship with President Erdogan, the difficulties which logistically separated the two nations were all the more confusing. Even more confusing was that these difficulties caused little damage to the relations between the two leaders. That leaves Iran which has been playing a cat and mouse game with the P5+1 nations (United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany) in their ongoing and currently extended nuclear negotiations. These negotiations may soon be proven useless and no longer necessary and that has much to do with the potential future of our world.

 

The next items we face are China and Russia. China has hit upon some economic difficulties and is not expected to continue their high rate of financial growth for the ensuing years. A nation even with the governmental assistance given in China can continue to have a growth rate of over seven percent GDP growth forever as each year that level becomes that much more difficult to produce. The main item on China’s wish list is cheaper oil prices and a source of easily refined crude oil. China has a steady source at a decent price in Iraq but that oil is thicker and considered quite difficult to refine and does not have a high production quality. On the other hand, the sweet crude oil available from Saudi Arabia is more expensive. Meanwhile, Russia is completely dependent on their oil and gas sales to prop up their collapsing economy and nation. Russia is suffering from one of the highest rates of population decrease with projections placing their population numbers to be half of their current numbers by mid-century which is astonishing. Russia is thus dependent upon high oil prices, exactly the opposite from China. This is where the interesting predictions begin. The challenge is to find a solution to the problems of the three nations, China, Russia and Iran, which is possible and credible. While it may appear impossible to satisfy both the Chinese requirement for cheap oil and the Russian desire for high oil prices, but that is not entirely true. In order to satisfy both the Russian and Chinese demands one would need to control vast percentages of the supplies of crude oil. Enter the Iranians into the equation. Add the possibility that there has been a mutually beneficial arrangement since the beginning of the nuclear negotiations which have China and Russia on one side with Iran presumably as their adversary while China and Russia were part of the five nations presumably pushing Iran to give up most of their uranium enrichment program. Iran is suspected of having designs on the oil fields of their neighbors, especially those of Saudi Arabia, UAE (United Arab Emirates), Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Iran has all but become the ruling party in Iraq and has access if required of the southern Iraqi oil fields while ISIS has control of some of the northern oil fields from Iraq. The possible scenario would have Iran launch a full scale operation assaulting ISIS once they attack Bagdad under the claim that they were responding to a desperate plea for assistance from the Iraqi government. Then the Iranian military could transport an extremely large military force with full armor and other support towards Bagdad. Then, as their forces have closed and routed ISIS forcing their retreat, then Iran, under air cover, could swing their entirety of forces and reinforcements southward coinciding with a general uprising throughout the Northwestern provinces of Saudi Arabia by the predominantly Shiite population with assistance and weaponry provided by the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) with Russia and China both demanding the United States stand down. This attack would need to be launched before President Obama leaves office and the possibility that the next President of the United States might be more willing to come to the aid of their stricken ally. With Iran in control of the vast reserves of the oil wealth could then embargo the Western nations or simply the European nations allowing for Russia to be able to set their own price for oil and gas supporting their otherwise weak economy. Further, China could be provided with all the high grade cheap oil they could desire and Iran would be well on their way to establishing their hegemony over the Middle East and be close to ready for their assault to include the Muslim nations of North Africa into their control before then turning their attentions onto Europe and Israel. This is the potential nightmare which has a chance, hopefully smaller than it may seem in our nightmares, it is thoughts such as these which make me simply joyous when time passes and I am proven wrong, may that streak continue as every time I get one right I then spend weeks to years covering some relative disaster.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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2 Comments »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

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    Comment by OyiaBrown — December 5, 2014 @ 7:56 AM | Reply

  2. […] Source: How Dark Could Our Future Become; A Possible Alternative […]

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    Pingback by How Dark Could Our Future Become; A Possible Alternative — December 5, 2014 @ 3:13 PM | Reply


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