Beyond the Cusp

February 7, 2015

What ISIS Jordanian Pilot Barbarity Means for Humankind

 

While the United States was debating which retread political sloganeering to rally around for the next two years and the White House was deciding how next to interfere in Israeli politics and Egypt faced another terror menace in the Sinai and much of the world continued attempting to ignore the greatest threat to advancing humanity called ISIS, one leader depicted exactly how all of us should have reacted to the most barbaric sign of human regression since Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were plaguing mankind with their versions of barbarity, namely Jordanian King Abdullah II. His speech was not the most eloquent and did not draw upon high sounding words or propose great sweeping plans; his reaction was visceral, his anger tangible, and his resolve absolute. The man spoke of action and he then mobilized a nation unifying them behind his resolve to strike back at the evil that is ISIS. He ordered an immediate reprisal by the execution of two terrorists who sat on death row in Jordan, one of whom ISIS had bargained to exchange for the Jordanian pilot despite having already murdered him. Then on Thursday King Abdullah II visited the mourning tent of the fallen pilot, Lt. Muath Kassasbeh, which quickly escalated into a pro-war rally, with young men pledging their “blood and soul” to wage war against ISIS. There have been rumors that the King plans on leading airstrikes personally, though this is unlikely as though he is a skilled and able pilot, his experience is in rotary winged craft such as the Cobra in which he was trained when enrolled in the United Kingdom’s Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in the 1980’s. Where the brutality by ISIS was intended to intimidate pilots from the coalition currently striking ISIS largely from the air, the effect on the nation of Jordan has been the opposite as the King has taken the lead and the nation has rallied behind him. King Abdullah II has a long and storied experience of hands-on training and working with the Jordanian military and is well respected amongst the officers and men. He previously commanded Jordanian Special Forces and has often flown himself on inspections of the military and situations around the nation.

 

The releasing Wednesday of satellite images of the pilots’ homes and an offer of a 100 golden-dinar-bounty by ISIS was intended to threaten other Jordanian pilots causing them to defect or at least refuse to fly further missions. After the video was released showing the gruesome fiery death of Jordanian Pilot Lt. Muath Kassasbeh, the Jordanian response has been exactly the opposite as one group of pilots overflew Lt. Kassasbeh’s village after returning to Jordanian air space after flying sorties against ISIS positions in Syria. This was just more evidence that the mood in Jordan has turned from slowly growing resistance against Jordanian missions in the coalition to one of total war footing to avenge this wrong done against every Jordanian, especially her pilots. The King showed his support for the pilot and his origins in the Bedouin community as he donned the traditional red Bedouin kefiyah passing on his message of tangible empathy with their pain when addressing the nation thus pledging the nation to stand in unity to avenge this national challenge. During King Abdullah II visit to the family’s grieving tent, Mohammed Kassasbeh, the pilot’s cousin, declared his desire to join Jordan’s military stating, “Muath was not the first martyr and will not be the last martyr for this country. We are at war and we are all prepared to fight.” His reactions were simply another piece of evidence of the changed mood in Jordan which has rallied behind the King and against ISIS.

 

Signaling what may be the next step in the Jordanian newly declared war with ISIS, says Jawad Anani, a Jordanian senator and former foreign minister, stated, “The Islamic State declared war on Jordan, its pilots, and security. We are going to see a military escalation, and the dispatch of ground forces is the next logical step.” Jordanian State media has run some stories indicating such a move possibly to gauge public sentiment and degree of backing for such a move. The potentially troubling reality is that over one-thousand-five-hundred Jordanians are estimated to have joined ISIS with dozens having risen to leadership positions. This provides ISIS with detailed intelligence of Jordanian society, its military and potential security weaknesses. These Jordanian volunteers within ISIS are suspected of assisting in the recent revelation of the names and even home addresses of Jordanian military pilots. Reactions on both sides of this now critical divide will prove telling over the coming weeks. Still, these events are making for an unusual pairing of anti-ISIS forces as Jordan and King Abdullah II have not had the best relations with Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad yet both find themselves opposing ISIS though it would be foolish to expect any cooperation between the two countries or their militaries. It may have been partially due to the perception that ISIS was opposed to Syria and al-Assad which caused some Jordanians to join ISIS though that may be giving these volunteers too much credit for their knowledge of the political realm as they may simply have been drawn to join ISIS for the same vainglorious reasons that other youthful recruits have done so.

 

Where the Jordanian heated response will likely provide some additional force to the fight against ISIS, Jordan alone will not be sufficient to turn the tide against them all that much faster. Much will depend on whether Jordanian troops are injected into the fight on the ground, the component which is sorely needed if ISIS is to be degraded and defeated with any alacrity. The best of situations would have included other nations, especially the members of the GCC (Gulf Cooperative Council) led by Saudi Arabia, which had made gestures not long ago of their desire to include Jordan amongst its members, signaling their intentions to join Jordan in their efforts and also joining Jordan in the denunciations of the barbarity shown by ISIS in their burning alive of the Jordanian pilot. Such has not been the case and by all initial indications, the remainder of the Sunni world remains mostly asleep and blissful in their ignoring of the threat posed by ISIS.

 

The remainder of any efforts to crush ISIS will unfortunately fall upon a leaderless Western coalition which appears to be paralyzed waiting for someone to take the lead. The obvious leader would normally have been the United States but alas the President is too full of waging his war on the Republicans to bother with saving the world from the barbarian at their gates. Much of President Obama’s actions, such as his hypocritical denunciations of the Judeo-Christian world for their barbarity of six to fifteen hundred years ago as a reason to disqualify them from passing judgment on any barbarity being waged against the world currently during his speech delivered at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. this past week, tend to equate historical shortcomings of Christianity with similar barbarisms committed today in the name of Islam. With Washington asleep at the switch, can the world honestly expect anybody else to step up and take the lead and join Jordan in what may prove to be the beginning of the singular greatest challenge of the coming century? If such a national leader exists, please have them hurry as the world awaits its savior despite the probability that whoever steps forward will more likely be pilloried as a wild, warmongering hooligan than hailed as the potential new leader of the civilized world. By all appearances, the old powers of civility, that would be the members of the European Union, the great moralizers when it comes to Israel, the United States, and especially the exceptional positions taken in the last few years by the Canadians, apparently are content to quake in fear that Russia might turn its ravenous gaze in their direction to worry about the growing menace in the heart of the Middle East. The other potential leadership might come from Israel except that such a move would be more likely to band together the forces of the Arab and Muslim worlds to stand with ISIS than to stand against ISIS.

 

The problem is that many in the Middle East view ISIS as a problem between Syria and Iraq and their allies Iran and Hezballah than as a threat to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt or the rest of the GCC membership, thus they are content to sit on the sidelines as much as possible hoping that ISIS and the Iranian axis will beat each other to death and thus remove them as viable challenges in the future. The problem with such a view is there is just as much a possibility that Iran will come out the winner of the struggle against ISIS and in the process cement their influence and domination of the areas surrounding Saudi Arabia and her GCC allies and in a position to strangle their oil trade. Iran with its Houthis allies now taking the preeminent position in Yemen are now also threatening to seize control of the mouth to the red sea and thus be in a position to block all sea traffic passing through the Suez Canal which would deliver the deathblow to the Egyptian’s fragile economic situation. Should Iran control both the Straits of Hormuz and the Bab-el-Mandeb, which connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden, they would have a complete stranglehold on the Gulf oil kingdoms and all trade between Europe and Asia by controlling the southern exit from the Red Sea and thus the Suez Canal. With Iran threatening such complete control over the maritime trade routes, especially those of oil and Euro-Asian trade routes, they could quickly bring the world to its knees within weeks. Further, combining this with their land hegemony including Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, they would also block the major land routes between Europe and Asia. The main stumbling block may currently be ISIS but they will not be able to withstand a full on assault by Iran, especially once Iran completes their negotiations with the west in March and retain their supposed right to enrich Uranium. That is the sole item they need to ensure they acquire from the negotiations with the P5+1 (United States, France, United Kingdom, Russia, China and Germany) over their nuclear program; and if they succeed, then G0d help us all.

 

The current sticking point appears to be over the numbers of centrifuges that Iran will be permitted to keep operationally and interconnected as the United States was initially pressing for hundreds while Iran has demanded the full nineteen-thousand as well as the right to continue research into even more advanced centrifuges and the right to produce and substitute them as they become available. The initial approval for Iran to retain their ability for the continuation of their research into even higher speeds and greater yield potentials from their centrifuges and the implementing the newer and higher capacity centrifuges replacing older models as they become available has all the appearances of being a done deal. Recently Secretary of State Kerry allowed to slip out the negotiating prerogatives of the United States when he stated that the United States would continue to present their positions and those that the Iranians balked on or rejected would simply be ignored and the next point brought forward for discussion. The implication was that the United states desired a deal, any deal, to such an extent that they are willing to forego any and every demand and restriction they had sought just so a deal would be attained by the fast approaching March 24 deadline. This mention of the latest surrender by the United States and their intention to surrender all the way to a deal, if that was what was required, leaves those hoping that the United States had actually intended to prevent Iran from reaching nuclear breakout point without any real restrictions to their achieving nuclear weapons production, presumably before anybody being able to detect their doing so, let alone actually taking measures to prevent such an occurrence, now must prepare for the world with a nuclear armed Iran.

 

The United States default position now appears to rely completely on deterrence and to have surrendered on prevention of a nuclear armed Iran. Does anybody honestly believe that Iran would not announce their breakout to nuclear weapons nation by dropping two or three tactical nuclear devices of limited yields onto ISIS positions in order to bring their threat to a halt while letting the rest of the nations in the area be stunned into submission. That would simply be the starting gun on nuclear proliferation across the entire Middle East with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and who knows who else is racing to gain nuclear parity with the Iranians as quickly as they are able. After the entire Middle East and North Africa attain nuclear weapons capability, how long before somebody uses their nuclear weapons to preemptively strike another nation or clandestinely provides a nuclear device to terror entities for delivery anywhere in the world. That is the future which is rapidly approaching and this will only be further facilitated as claims will initially be made that nuclear weaponizing the military was a necessity in order to prevent the spread of ISIS which then becomes prevent the spread of who next and then after that what happens. This could be made less of a possibility if only somebody from the Western world would stand up and take the lead as the United States is in permanent surrender mode for the time being. That much should have become evident by now, so who wants to take the lead until the world comes to their senses, if it ever does?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

    Comment by OyiaBrown — February 7, 2015 @ 4:38 AM | Reply


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