First please allow a small personal note. I had a senior moment two weeks ago today and am now typing left-handed as the right hand resembles a plaster club and is even less usable than normal. Surgery was performed on the one finger I was unable to set; so physicians, surgeon types, were employed. Now back to our regularly scheduled editorials and other stories.
There is way too much talk about Syria and what the Western nations, particularly Europe and more-so the United States must do to address the problems being exasperated by the horrific five years of the ongoing warfare. Much of the talk centers around seven major topics: refugees, no-fly-zone, safe-zone, containing Russian expansionism, ending the rule of Bashir al-Assad, strengthening the Iraqi government’s hold on central Iraq, and establishing America’s position, standing and unrivaled hegemonic superiority across MENA (Middle East and North Africa). On concluding the discussion of the pitfalls and awaiting disasters surrounding each and every one of these subjects, we will carry them to their inevitable conclusion if any of these paths are followed and then pinpoint exactly where things went off the tracks leading to each of these now end alternatives, disastrous alternatives. Let us simply start with some of the best of news for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the initial starting point for much of these situations were initiated during the President George W. Bush Administering of the area and even stretch back to principally French, British, Italian as well as the rest of the Allied Powers from World War I and particularly Sykes-Picot Agreement and the underhanded meddling for fifty years on average after a thousand years and more of Arab and Islamic rule. Let us look at what all this has wrought.
The Sykes-Picot Agreement is the underlying deceit which set the Middle East and eventually North Africa into a situation where the untenable borders set levels of internal intra-tribal rivalries vying for supremacy once the borders were released as independent nations. There are two dirty little secrets as to why to this day the nations which constitute MENA are a cauldron of explosives always roiling and why Europe is blamed. Europe gets the blame as they were the ones left holding a region where borders were traditionally meaningless and each tribe ruled by the oasis and wells they controlled. For over a thousand years either an Arab, Kurd, Alawite, Tripolitanian, Cyrenaican, Fezzan, Wahhabi, Houthis or a dozen others and this is indicative of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan and throughout MENA and beyond (see map below). There are multiple clans, tribal and even nation of origin divisions throughout the “Palestinian” populations in Hamas controlled Gaza, Fatah controlled areas of Judea and Samaria and within the “refugee” population (a fair number of which are now also Syrian refugees or Islamist rebels in various groups including al-Nusra and Islamic State presumably fighting against one another). The warring tribes rapidly led to one tribe being the dominant leader often through favor and arming by the departing Europeans or due to historic realities from the Ottoman Era or the Caliphate and even back to the Byzantine and even the Cyrenaic Greeks. These tribes ruled each country as drawn out by the Sykes-Picot Agreement often requiring an iron fist style dictatorship. The nations surviving the best, a relative term, would by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, the Gulf Oil Sheikdoms and Israel. The world of MENA is very much in flux and it will take quite some time and a great potential for violence beginning within and having a strong predisposition to drag much of the world into the coming maelstrom if the world leaders continue on their current course.
Let us look now at the pressing seven problems starting with the refugees now streaming into the West from all across the MENA nations and beyond into the Horn of Africa and Central Africa. Other than Jordan and Turkey there are no other Arab States taking in refugees and Jordan is keeping them in camps with the intent of their returning to whatever remains of Syria if and when the war ends. Turkey is either placing their refugees in camps, largely women and children, or passing the men mostly with sufficient women and children, around fifteen percent on a good day, for Western media to have their touching pictures to pluck heartstrings. The reality is the flow of selected refugees is an infiltration and when their population breaks ten percent they become bold and past twenty percent they turn belligerent and start demands backed by violence to force their religious edicts and demands on the rest of what has now become a victim population. Once the Islamists pass thirty to forty percent the war begins and continues until the Sword of Islam has submitted the population or the prey of Islam grew in strength and found their reason to stiffen their backbones and stand breaking the Sword of Islam. There will be no middle ground as Islam, in its current Islamist form, allows no middle ground. Either all will be Islam or few to none can be Islam. That is why Europe, the United States and the rest of the world taking in Muslim refugees need demand changes before allowing another refugee to enter. First, the numbers of women, children and the elderly must outnumber the numbers of fighting age men. Second, the refugees will be required to pass a rigorous vetting process which validates their standing past, present and, with hope, future. Third, and possibly most important, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt and other stable Islamic nations must collectively take in twice the numbers of refugees than the rest of the world. Forth, the refugees must take an assimilation program and allow them to be placed outside of the Muslim concentrations taking work and show true assimilation efforts or be returned from whence they originated. These refugees have long not been from Syria as they are from failed nations lacking order or a working economy as well as infiltrators, organizers and training personnel from various Islamist organizations and terrorist forces including but not limited to the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, Hezballah, IRGC (Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution; Persian: سپاه پاسداران انقلاب اسلامی or Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps), Hamas, al-Nusra Front (which left al-Qaeda according to the United States State Department and has been cleared to receive weaponry, training and other assistance –cash- and is a favorite of the Clintons) and numerous less or even unknown terror groups. The entire refugee system and assimilation of Muslims needs to aid them in learning, understanding, experiencing, appreciating freedom and finding the higher self-worth which comes from an independent life which once existed within Islam in their Golden Age. This could be the last hope of kindling the spark of freedom and liberty of the soul deep within Islam and perhaps finding a path to mutual acceptance instead of perpetual conflict.
The remaining six problems have no solution other than a hope and a prayer. They are all the result of grievous errors in judgement, poor planning, a foreign policy based in defeat, the removal of American presence and a total and singular White House policy to destroy the American influence and assistance in building a world based on mutual respect, liberty, freedom and basic human rights and instead encouraging tribalism and fracture of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and all other Western influences which were seen as an unwanted and negative influence over what was believed to have been the peaceful influences Islam had initiated during the years of the Ottoman Empire and the Caliphate before that. Someone making these decisions apparently must have missed the five hundred years of Arab and Islamist conquest and the intertribal violence which necessitated numerous severe crackdowns on such problems over the reported thousand years of peaceful existence. The problem was where it oft arises with Western nations who become tired of winning demanding their forces be brought home leaving a vulnerable and usually untenable situation so unstable that if things actually do not deteriorate immediately, then some unfriendly force has likely replaced the Western presence. This time the United States got some of both, Iraq became Iran West and Syria collapsed into a war with more fronts than a strip mall.
The premature withdrawal of United States forces from Iraq has had the actual desired effect permitting Iran to establish their presence in southern Iraq and the opportunity to expand into central Iraq permitting Iran to soon establish a second front in support of their interests in Syria, namely Bashir al-Assad. Talking about Syria and Bashir al-Assad; the United States has lately been claiming that their interest is in working out a change of power in Syria but whining that the Russians interests are interfering with any progress. Has anyone ever wondered and remembered how and why Vladimir Putin got his oversized Russian foot in the door. If our collective memories are still firing on all cylinders, then Vlad the Invader (as opposed to Vlad the Impaler as pictured in their element) was all but invited into Syria when President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decided to issue the “Red Line in the Sand which Bashir al-Assad would pay dearly from United States decisive and determined military action should chemical weapons be used back in 2012. That broad and definitive line got thinner and thinner and faded and faded turning pinker and pinker until it completely faded. Then came Vladimir Putin to the rescue and he has remained guarding Bashir al-Assad and his Mediterranean Sea military ports. Then there was Libya.
Libya was the culminating point where the Arab spring was going to be revitalized. Instead there was another power vacuum created and the nation fell back into its tribal factions while the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood backed terror organizations set up shop. One such group was in Benghazi where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her inner circle made the deal of a lifetime procuring Stinger Missiles for al-Nusra or who knows. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith were to arrange the transfer. The deal went sour resulting in the deaths of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith and former Navy Seals Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods all were murdered. There were reports that Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods held their position for eight hours before being subdued in a swarm of mortar fire. For reasons never made overly clear, there were no military or other assets available to ride over the hill and save the good guys. This is how we all got to this point and we are supposed to forget the past eight years of foreign intrigue and foreign affairs which have lighted so many fuses any one of which could be the initiator of the war of Gog and Magog while others lead directly to World War, which one are we supposed to be on, three, four, five or twelve? Those are the easy items to trace but then one must figure on a nuclear armed North Korea with a few more nuclear weapons than the CIA wants to admit, say maybe a cool fifty or hundred more with more than half either thermonuclear weapons or bombs made using the Soviet Union’s plans for their super EMP device. Additionally there is the little problem of Iran also building their own nuclear arsenal probably using the identical weapons plans they received from the North Koreans in exchange for advanced rocketry designs and testing of the North Korean ICBM designs. Well, we really need to continue with this foreign policy direction just to see if aliens are going to drop from the sky and save Earth. The coming ride is going to be interesting; as in the Chinese proverb, “May you live in interesting times.” Well, it will be interesting.
Beyond the Cusp