Beyond the Cusp

January 17, 2019

Israel and her New Allies

 

Well, they are not exactly allies as much as under the same threat and seeking cover, any cover even if that means the Jews as Israel is their last hope. President Trump has been signaling ever since he started his campaign that his idea was that the United States was no longer able to fight all the world’s wars. He specifically told this to the NATO European members and told the Arab world that the days of the United States fighting Arab on Arab or Muslim on Muslim wars were over. First, President Trump pulled a number of troops from Europe and now he has started a total pullout of American forces in Syria. You can hear the caterwauling already as nobody was ready despite having been warned that such was in the cards. Even the Russians were caught off guard and now must decide exactly what is their desired future in Syria and how much are they willing to invest to accomplish such. There are three nations who, while affected, are not harmed terribly by the vacancy left by the United States pullout, Iran Turkey and Israel. The affect it will have on two of these could not be any further and distant.

 

Let’s take Iran first. Iran will see the United States removing their troops as opening the door for them to proceed and make Bashir al-Assad their personal puppet as they become the real power in Syria after they conquer the nation with little regard for the people. Iran does not require the Syrian people, they require the Syrian ports along the Mediterranean and the nation as a base for building a Mediterranean fleet without having to sail it from Iran. Syria is also a vitally needed bridge for Iran in providing Hezballah everything they require to rule over Lebanon for the Mullahs and as a weapon to wield against Israel. There is one obstacle left for Iran, and that is Russia who also desires and currently holds the Syrian Mediterranean ports which Russia desires to use to replace staging their fleet in the Black Sea where they are dependent upon the good graces of Turkey to move their ships to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean Sea and the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straights (see map below). This is the final solution for the Russians developing a staging port free of ice year round leading to the Atlantic Ocean and free from any imposing problems such as Turkey, always an unreliable Russian partner. So, the main problem facing Iran and coming between their hopes and desires and reality is just the small matter of the Russian interests. The big loser from President Trump’s move will not be Tehran but Putin and Moscow. Iran will take the American pullout as a grand invitation to solidify their hold on Syria. This will also provide them with another front with Israel along the Golan Heights, which fortunately are still held by Israel.

 

From the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards Across the Black Sea then Through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles to the Mediterranean Sea and thus the Atlantic Ocean

From the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards
Across the Black Sea then
Through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles
to the Mediterranean Sea and thus the Atlantic Ocean

 

Next up will be Turkey. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to do to the Kurdish populations in northern Syria and Iraq what the Ottoman Empire did to the Armenians going into World War I. He might even then continue by dealing with the Kurdish minority in Turkey similarly. Presumably, President Erdoğan gave President Trump his solemn word that his only attacks in Syria would be against any remaining fragments of the Islamic State. President Erdoğan has consistently referred to the Kurds as terrorists, so in his mind, killing the Kurdish population is addressing the Islamic terrorist state in Syria. It is all in how one defines terrorist. For Erdoğan, terrorist is defined s anybody or any group which does not blindly follow him and hang on his every word. This has been the problem that the Kurds have faced as they have had the temerity to actually oppose Erdoğan’s attempts to eradicate their leadership and subdue the population. He is appalled that the Kurds actually expect the Turkish government to treat them as well as it does real Turkish people and not as some outside and irritating minority which serves no real purpose, real purpose defined as Erdoğan. President Trump would be ill advised and foolish to expect that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will keep his promises to an infidel and not simply be following the Islamic practice of taqiyya.

 

We will get to Israel in time, but first the other nations in the general vicinity need to be discussed before Israeli positions can be evaluated as many will either turn to or turn on Israel as a result of the new paradigm. Iraq and Syria will change only in minor ways. Iraq, except for the Kurdish north, is already being ruled from Tehran and has IRGC commanders in many of their Army units already. For intents and purposes, Iraq is simply western Iran and will remain as a slave state to Iranian needs and desires. Iran provides a land bridge to Syria and a staging area for northeastern Saudi Arabia and the Saudi oil fields. Syria will remain in a state of war with Bashir al-Assad simply siding with whoever provides the best deal in retaking and holding the remainder of Syria or at least consolidating and protecting Assad’s hold on the Alawite western regions of Syria. Currently, the Russians are the principle force protecting and providing air cover for Assad though Iran has provided weaponry as well as IRGC forces around Damascus. What has shown thusfar from the IRGC has been that their interests are divided between setting up camps and stations for future attacks upon Israel including firing at Israeli forces to gauge their readiness and sending drones into Israel, often armed drones. Syria will remain a disaster with the people of Syria under great stress and threat for loss of life. Simply stated, Syria will remain a swirling pit of despair, horrors and continuing turmoil.

 

This brings us to Russia and their part in this new Middle East. The Russians were advised to become very friendly and cooperate fully with the Israelis if they expect to stop Iran. Their desire is purely military and in having the Mediterranean Sea ports along the Syrian coast. This also requires their retaining control over Damascus in order to use the international airport there. Russia has no great love affair with Bashir al-Assad, as he is simply the current peg in the role of leader-on-a-string who can be controlled from Moscow as required. For the Russians, Assad can be exchanged for anybody else should such become necessary. This is why Assad is walking a tightrope not favoring the Russians or the Iranians to such a degree that either feels the need for his replacement. Russia would prefer not to be the main force behind retaking all of the former Syria though they may be making a grievous error which might allow Iran to find room to eventually force the Russians from the scene. This is behind the Russians providing most of the airstrikes required by Bashir al-Assad’s remains of his Syria army. What has happened to Russia is President Trump handed them a large piece of humble pie with a note telling them that the United States will not be standing between them and the Iranians any longer as, while President Trump is in power, Iran is now a Russian adversary, or at least their problem. The Russian-Iranian interface will be interesting and may turn into a hotly contested direct conflict between the two powers. This will not be the war over who rules the Middle East, simply who gets Syria, or at least the Syrian coastal ports and regions. Syria may end up divided between Russia and Iran providing Iran is willing to settle for using the Lebanese ports to the Mediterranean. For some reason, such seems very unlikely to us.

 

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, along with Egypt and the rest of the Sunni Islamic world, are the big losers from the United States leaving Syria and subsequently the remainder of the Middle East and western Asia (Afghanistan). Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates et al have relied almost entirely on the United States to solve all the problems in their region. President Trump basically told all these countries that the United States, as stated already above, is no longer going to fight Arab on Arab or Muslim on Muslim wars. He informed them they need to ready themselves to protect their own assets and countries or bow to their Persian masters. President Trump was almost heartless when it came to these former allies and we assume that he promised to provide arms and the tools of war, just not Americans in uniform to fight the wars. They were going to have to defend themselves or find another nation willing to sacrifice tens of thousands of their own people defending the Arabs against their neighbors.

 

President Trump assessed the Middle East, decided that it was a losing proposition and that the main nation which was truly an American ally has never asked, and even refused to allow Americans to fight their wars, and that was Israel. The message to Israel is that they had received sufficient aid militarily and have always proven capable of protecting themselves in the past and President Trump felt sure they could continue to do so going forward. We have been warning Israelis that they should prepare for the day when the United States is no longer providing them with weapons of war. We have insisted that they start designing their next generation fighter jets, designing their own firearms, making their own ammunition, making their own munitions for tanks and artillery, make their own bombs both ‘smart’ and ‘drop and pray,’ making their own missiles launched by aircraft or ground based, and building everything in Israel. They were going to soon have to change from in America we trust to in Israel it is Hashem we trust but make our own weaponry. Israel is probably the least affected nation outside of their needing to start making their own fighter jets and munitions. Their deal from fifty years ago is about to have run its coarse, despite the promise presumably being eternal, which we discussed in an article titled “America Can be a Fickle Friend.” But Israel has been told that the United States can provide support politically, when it suits her mood, but will no longer be the turn to sugar daddy for Israeli military needs. President Trump is completely correct in cutting the umbilical cord as discussed in our previous article. When the United States began sending massive military aid to Israel it almost equaled the Israeli GDP while it currently is but a little more than one or two percent of GDP. Israel has come of age and can produce these things for themselves and more. We would like to imagine Israel joining the space race and perhaps eventually finding a planet like the one pictured below.

 

Planet Israel

Planet Israel

 

The new Middle East is quite a bit like the old Middle East with all the animosities, all the hatreds, all the conflicts and the entire mess we have all grow sick to death over with one large difference, the United States will not be policing the region for as long as President Trump is in office. There will be numerous intrigues and some countries will develop spines and the bristling armaments for self-defense while others will hire mercenaries or be swallowed whole by those with expansionist desires. Iran will remain problem one for most of the region with the exceptions of those nations already subservient to Tehran. These sub-states include thusfar Iran, western Syria, Qatar and Yemen with more likely to follow. Saudi Arabia is the least prepared as their military can put on a great parade but is otherwise untested. The Sunni Arab nations are secretly, and almost openly, making offers and inroads with Israel. Israel should be wary as these are not her friends and will turn upon her in an instant should they perceive the slightest weakness. Israel cannot and should never try to replace the American military actions and presence across the region. Should Israel deal with Saudi Arabia and the others who are putting forth their hands, even if it is only behind a curtain away from public view? Yes, but only as far as these dealings substantively bolster Israel or provide vital necessities in the Israel struggle against Iran. As for taking in these nations as close allies, never. These nations are to be treated as scorpions who when they finally sting you filling you with venom and you ask, why are you doing this as it will only make you more vulnerable, they will answer that they were scorpions when Israel trusted them and allowed them close and they remained scorpions when they stung Israel because that is the nature of a scorpion. It is as old a situation as the fable of the scorpion and the frog. Meanwhile, the Middle East will remain the Middle East filled with intrigues, hatreds, broken trusts, suspicions, false promises and every other disdainful thing one remembers as originating there. The main players remain Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Only one of these nations does not strive to become an empire while others believe now is their time and others lie in wait for their opportunity.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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3 Comments »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

    Comment by OyiaBrown — January 24, 2019 @ 8:59 AM | Reply


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