Beyond the Cusp

July 16, 2016

Short Primer on the Turkish Constitution

The Coup in Turkey must be seen in light of the Constitution of Turkey of which there can be more than one at any given time. The one the government runs on can be different than the Founding Principles of the Republic of Turkey (an approximate translation) while the leaders in Turkey often make small changes kind of personalizing the constitution to their tastes. The Founding Documents (as we will refer to them) task the Turkish Military with keeping Turkey a secular democratic nation and to guard against any Islamist takeover of the government or a dictator cancelling elections and ruling by fiat (not just a small car). The military was prepared to remove Erdogan once before and had told NATO command as Turkey is a member of NATO. Turkey has also been attempting to join the EU, perhaps they can replace Britain now, and back then really thought they were close. The EU backed strongly by George W. Bush demanded the Turkish military back down because civilized nations do not do things this way. Erdogan having gotten wind of this replaced most of the Generals with his puppets. Still, the Turkish military, even with Erdongan’s puppets, take their Constitutional duty very seriously plus a number of these puppets have retired and younger officers promoted and we believe it is these commanders pulling to change the government and undo the Islamization done by Erdogan.

 

George W. Bush followed by Barack Obama produced Recep Tayyip Erdogan

George W. Bush followed by Barack Obama produced Recep Tayyip Erdogan

 

So the military acting on their Constitutional duty to keep Turkey secular are attempting a coup, something which would have been easy back in 2005 but will be more difficult as Erdogan controls a very militarized set of police forces and has his own military he keeps as a personal guard. The free world will be fed this blah blah blah coup evil blah bad coup, blah blah no true democratic nation operates blah blah and so forth. Know that when Kamil Ataturk ruled Turkey at the end of World War I and the end of the Ottoman Empire which was ruled from Turkey, he made a Constitution as a Muslim man who understood the Islamic directives for Islamist Sharia to be the law of the land but had seen how democratic nations with their individual freedoms and market driven economies had made mincemeat of the Ottoman forces with modern weapons and individual soldiers who were independent and could operate without being told every little order and he wanted Turkey to emulate this model and set up a secular state. He knew there would be leaders who would, either on their own or bending to popular will, would try to in stages enshrine Sharia.

 

Turkey has had a number of coups to remove leaders attempting to take dictatorial power or enact Sharia or other Islamizations. Erdogan was getting away with his Islamization and march towards Sharia but probably crossed the line for even his own generals in the last elections. What occurred was the Kurdish Party won far more votes than ever before feeling empowered by the Kurds stand against Islamic State and in Iraq against everybody else both Shia and Sunni. The Kurds, for the record, are predominantly Sunni but as Kurds are spurned by the Arabs as lesser human beings at best. This why the Kurds always need stand alone and why they took the lead and were largely responsible for rescuing the Yazidiz from the mountain siege which saw girls and women throw themselves off the cliffs rather than fall to then ISIS forces. This meant that Erdongan’s “Freedom and Justice Party” (which is neither freedom nor justice but Islamic Sharia oriented) did not have a clear majority of the seats in the Parliament and would need a coalition. Erdogan does not share power so he made sure that the coalition he could easily have made refused to allow any majority coalition forcing a redo on the elections. In the weeks between the elections his enforcers killed any number of Kurdish candidates who were elected and terrorized other parties’ supporters and other niceties. Needless to say, his Party won an overwhelming majority and he restarted his Islamization at a quickened pace as he saw that he might not continue to have such support in the future and he desired to become Caliph of the new Ottoman Empire starting with conquest of Syria, or what is left of Syria. With a modern military and NATO weaponry he could carry this out and as long as he left the Alawite coastal area where the Russians are located alone he would easily crush the Kurds and the other less able factions. But Erdogan saw he had a time limit to operate, until the American elections.

 

Erdogan had President Obama in his pocket and can do anything and his BFF in the White House would bless it as really needed. Should Clinton lose and Trump become President he would not be able to do as he pleased and get away with it. Even Hillary might pose difficulties as she would not desire such a conflagration on the front end of her Presidency and won knows after that. As things are Erdogan saw he needed to strike while the iron was hot, so to speak. His military seeing his ambition and his probability to engage in a war, which would eventually pace them fighting Saudi Arabia, Egypt and potentially Israel, were probably not the happiest Generals in the world, because they realize, as Erdogan does not, that they would lose badly in the end. Erdogan only sees him as world ruler as the Caliph of the great and final Caliphate which conquered the world for Allah. He believes that is his destiny and reality be damned. The military is very reality oriented and do not desire damning reality as reality will smack you back and hard. This may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

 

Now we will just wait and see who wins and pray that Turkey has a restored Constitution and election sometime in the coming year as that would be a huge step in the right direction. What is almost comical is the threat of a new American President, Clinton or Trump, but definitely Trump, has already started paying dividends. It is sad that the vast majority, say 85%, will not see this as anything but some war somewhere they cannot find on a world map and know not that it was what ruled the Ottoman Empire (if they know there ever was an Ottoman Empire) and may will never even know that there is a war in Turkey. I kind of had forgotten how little attention the average person takes in world affairs as long as they are not bothered in some way. I guess as long as it is over there and not here what do I care is a theme everywhere, it is sad.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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June 20, 2016

Our Feckless World

 

The escalation of the Islamic world’s war is against those who are insufficiently pure in their Islam practices and are not as obedient as desired or worse, not a worshipper of Allah and Muhammad and the true chain of the roots of Allah’s path from Abraham through Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant which she gave Abraham so he could produce an heir, a son. This son was Ishmael, who eventually fathered the progeny from Abraham and Hagar, presumably producing Muhammad, thus spawning Islam many centuries later. This new religion of Islam was supposed to be a furtherance of the Judeo-Christian lines and bring peace and one final message for humankind by which to live in peace and harmony, or at least that was how it presumably started. After being rebuffed, scorned and thrown out of Mecca, Muhammad went to Medina where the prophesy continued and changed its flavor and methods as Muhammad gained power rising to rule in Medina as a great warlord with a crushing force at his disposal. This force assisted his vengeance on Mecca for its treatment of Muhammad and the rest is history. The Quran took on a different tone which some have cast as “conquer the world for Allah.” A somewhat deeper explanation can be read starting with Which Quran, Mecca or Medina? and followed up after that brief summary from a wealth of information added by numerous readers in the comments with links to other sites which range from commentaries on the Quran to different orderings of the Quran from traditional to chronological and more. Many of the worldly difficulties with the followers of the Medina Quranic verses which presumably, when differing from the Mecca verses, the later ones take precedence, has led to the Islamic State and groups like Hamas, Boko Haram and other terror enclaves in Afghanistan, the Philippines and beyond. What is often forgotten when discussing Islam is there are also a number of groups who live perfectly good Quranic lives giving what these other groups claim are abrogated sections of the Quran by the more aggressive, but these places remain open societies proving that there are peaceful ways and means which can be followed from the Quran and that it is all in how you implement the Quran and what you seek to gain from your experiences in Islam.

 

The Orlando nightclub slaughter, which is being portrayed in some circles as purely a hate-crime against the LGBT community, is being cast ignoring the Islamic roots of the shooter or actually intimating that he was a member of the Christian right and a fanatic and gun nut even more for gun rights than the NRA and Donald Trump type of supporter. This approach eventually ties in the violence which has broken out at any number of Trump’s campaign rallies. The small fact that this violence was almost always instigated by leftist protesters, many of whom had leftist backings, has been left out from the picture so as to tarnish Trump as the one causing the violence. That is simply political expediency and the horrors of the nightclub shooting is not about the United States race for the White House and rather about the race to club America into obedience of the Quran and adopting Islam as America’s sole religion. The same can be said for June 13; the Philippines government confirmed that Robert Hall, a Canadian citizen, was beheaded by the ISIS-affiliated Abu Sayyaf terrorist group who held him hostage since September 2015. Canada’s prime minister’s Justin Trudeau’s reaction was posted on his Facebook page. “Canada holds the terrorist group who took him hostage fully responsible for this cold-blooded and senseless murder,” he said. Trudeau avoided mentioning the radical Islamic ideology espoused by Abu- Sayyaf, its affiliation with the Islamic State (a.k.a. IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Caliphate) and previously with al Qaeda. The same problem has continued half a world away with the brutality of Boko Haram which also strikes at those not of Islam across a wide area in central northern Africa centered on Nigeria. These groups have increased their ability to recruit others locally as well as from a distance after their swearing allegiance to the Islamic State and their leader, the self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

 

Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi The World as the Islamic States Believes It to Be with These Islamic Provinces Loyal to Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and The World

Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
The World as the Islamic States Believes
It to Be with These Islamic Provinces Loyal
to Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and The World

 

The world view of Baghdadi appeals to these frustrated youths who are frustrated with their lives and see the world as imperfect and in need of cleansing. These so-called ‘Lone Wolves’ like the Orlando terrorist and the San Bernardino killer couple and the others throughout the Western World as well as within the Islamic World all believe they are following a true vision. The same vision goes for many of the terror groups which have spawned as a result or have joined with the Islamic State. All of these otherwise disparate groups desire to reach a standing in what they believe is the future of the world as the Western World is unworthy of continuing as the main power in the world. If it was not the Islamic State it would be whatever group is strongest and claims leadership over all Islam and the tip of the spear which will pierce the world for Allah. Meanwhile the Western World remains asleep and leaderless in this fight. President Obama has been approached through the United Nations to call for a concerted effort from the Security Council thus coordinating the fight against the Islamic State. Defeating the Islamic State will require a unified world effort as smashing it into a million pieces will simply produce a million emissaries to spread the hatreds of the Islamic State making it even more dangerous. What needs to be done is to destroy the Islamic State in one well-coordinated assault on its main bodies in Syria and Iraq not allowing for their forces to escape out into the world spreading this incarnation of evil even further.

 

The problem with getting such a unified effort blessed by the United Nations has long been President Obama’s insistence on the only way the United States could fully join the fight. President Obama has demanded that the United States work through the Security Council as well as the General Assembly before committing ground troops. This precondition has been repeatedly stated and the lack of a United Nations Security Council resolution requiring force be used and taken against the Islamic State is the one request which would allow for a coalition to be formed to fight the Islamic State directly. The strangest piece to this puzzle has been President Obama himself as the United States has blocked any cooperation in drawing such a resolution. This obstruction apparently centers around the fact that the resolution was drafted by Russia and does not give President Obama the lead position in the coalition. Actually it appears that President Obama is blocking any action being coordinated from the Security Council as the combined forces of the world would then be turned loose to obliterate the Islamic State in place not allowing it to disperse. A crushing defeat would take off the gleam currently perceived to be emanating from the Islamic State and Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi personally making him a figure that the other groups can utilize.

 

No one other than President Obama can claim to know what is going on in his head that he blocks the exact measures he claims he requires in order to fight the Islamic State and eradicate it in quick order. Perhaps it is because he would not be perceived as the sole leader who freed the world from this monster and the acts of depravity committed in his name. Perhaps he sees the Islamic State as a system through which the majority of the Islamic world can be rallied and actually start the next Islamic war on the rest of the world. Perhaps President Obama wants to leave all options on the table so if he is not instated as the next head of the United Nations he can aspire then to lead the Islamic State and become Caliph of the World. It is just odd that President Obama become the obstruction preventing the Security Council from passing the necessary resolutions to bring a singular united World to bear and that he claimed were necessary for the United States to step forth into the breach, so to speak.

 

Meanwhile the main forces actually striking at the Islamic State are halfhearted bombing by the United States and slightly more vigorous bombings by the Russians. Neither side appears to have their heart in fighting the Islamic State. Probably the one thing preventing President Obama from allowing the Security Council to step forward and take charge in demanding actions be taken against the Islamic State is he knows it would take far more effort and a huge American commitment in manpower and treasure to wage such a war. President Obama probably does not wish to entangle the rest of his administrative efforts into defeating the Islamic State as it would be messy and soldiers would unfortunately be killed and fighting the Islamic State which can hide in plain sight as they do not exactly wear uniforms and would be far more able to hide within a compliant civilian surroundings without raising suspicions. Entangling the United States into such a war would result it as being his legacy and President Obama is not going to go down as the President which got us into a deadly and seemingly futile Middle East War. President Obama would rather place the emphasis on forcing or destroying Israel and replacing it with a failed Arab Palestinian State. It would not surprise us if President Obama doesn’t place some degree of faith in the claim that the Islamic State is an Israeli Mossad action done so as to empower Israel into controlling the actions of a large sector of the Islamic world. Nobody other than the President knows for sure what he believes and what is driving his current reticence towards empowering the United Nations to act.

 

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is not exactly beating a bombing run or even a surveillance pass against the Islamic State. With the recent assault on Paris, the lone wolf attacks traceable to the Islamic State, one would expect to see a concerted effort by the Europeans to have used the European Union to formulate their response, but nothing. A warning should be sounding throughout Europe as an ominous date approaches, the celebrations of the ancient Battle of Badhr which is remembered and commemorated in Islam on the 17th of Ramadan. This year it falls on Thursday, June 23rd, beginning Wednesday evening at sundown of this week. The one thing that Islam does even better than commit horrific acts is remembering anniversaries of its greatest victories or its worst humiliations which it tries to erase with glorious victories. The 1973 Arab-Israeli War (the Yom Kippur War) began on the 17th day of Ramadan. The Egyptians code-named their surprise attack on Israel as “Operation Badhr” occurring on the holiest day in Judaism, Yom Kippur. That war had an optimistic beginning and would have been an even greater challenge and likely disaster had the battle lines been the same as they were before the Six Day War and many an Arab commander from that war blamed the fact that the world had not already forced Israel back into its box. That is part of the drive to force Israel back to the 1949 Armistice lines, the pre-67 Lines, as then they feel Israel can be defeated more readily.

 

But other than it is fighting the Infidel and making War for Allah, there is a complete disconnect between Israel and their troubles with its existence and the Islamic struggle to conquer the world, which currently means ultimately the United States. Where you will see Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezballah all make attacks on the rest of the world; they mostly channel their efforts against Israel. Granted that Hezballah is currently being embroiled in protecting Bashir al-Assad, as he has no real troops to call his own, almost every Nasrallah speech is about the coming demise of Israel and his quarter of a million rockets all aimed at Israel from top to bottom in Eilat. He regularly insists on mentioning their ability to hit Eilat despite it not being a likely target but simply to make the claim he can now hit anywhere in Israel. On the other hand there have been no real efforts by al-Qaeda or Islamic State though both claim to have operatives embedded in Gaza or with the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria (West Bank). The only activity ever taken up by Islamic forces outside those directly fighting Israel is the occasional attempt to break the Gaza sea blockade with some heavily advertised flotilla which despite getting huge buildups online results in nothing in reality.

 

The Islamic world has far more pressing problems than Israel at the moment and does not appear capable of repairing the breaches in its states. Lebanon and Iraq are functional basket cases with Syria so completely devastated that it is no longer a nation and more of a roiling pot of troubles masquerading as a civil war which is simply filling up an otherwise empty space with no semblance of functioning governance. Libya is no different and is largely Syria but toned down because even less care is extended in that direction and Islamic State in Libya has yet to take on the evil dimensions as its spawning parent in Syria and Iraq. Talking about Iraq, the main functioning governance there is Iran. For all intents and purposes the world may as well recognize a nation of Kurdistan and draw its borders extending across northern Iraq and including northeastern Syria. By declaring the Kurds as having their own nation it would be a good first step towards repairing the damages perpetrated on the Arab world at the end of World War I. Sykes Picot Agreement divided up the Middle East to represent European oil interests and nothing more.

 

Yes a couple of promises were kept but far more were ignored or intentionally broken, and a Kurdish State must top that list as it can be easily rectified and would allow for more places for a base against the Islamic State. A declared Kurdistan would also be such a slap in the face to al-Baghdadi that much of the Islamic State efforts would be shifted to solely taking out this Kurdish State and making the Kurds into a nation would give them an even greater ideal around which to dedicate their Thusfar heroic efforts. Granted Turkey would initially disagree and be completely against such as Erdogan sees himself as the next ruler of Syria incorporating it into a greater Turkey and the initial step to reestablishing the Ottoman Empire. Should the borders of Kurdistan be drawn liberally along its southern regions to include Mosul and additional lands in Syria it would not be a bad idea as this would provide room for the Kurds residing in Turkey, who would rather live under Kurdish rule, to emigrate. That would also signal to the Arab and Muslim world that the Western World realized the injustice it imposed on them at the conclusion of world War I with the cutting of tribes into two or more pieces and shoved warring factions together in a single nation with the direct desire to cause the kind of chaos now occurring though at a lower level but preventing any string forces to develop in the oil rich regions and surrounding nations. The time to repair that would be now after the terror wars are brought to a close and then the West needs to work with the interests of the region and not against them. First though is the destruction of the Islamic State as that is an abomination to any possibility of a peaceable Middle East, even a peace amongst the Arabs with one another.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 3, 2016

Weeds in the MENA Garden

 

 

If one were to ask the European Union, the United States, the United Nations and the world media who is responsible for the unrest throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) the resounding echoes would continue to scream Israel for likely the rest of eternity, but is that an honest assessment or simply a knee jerk automatic programed response spurred by anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic hatreds? The easiest way to tell would be to take a quick whirl around the MENA nations and see what the truth is. Let us start our excursion at the western edge and head to the east and see what we will see.

 

A map of MENA nations is almost up to date and is only missing the Sudan, and as the Sudan was split after years of tribal and religious violence, South Sudan; and some go so far as to include Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Eretria, and Somalia.

A map of MENA nations is almost up to date and is only missing the Sudan, and as the Sudan was split after years of tribal and religious violence, South Sudan; and some go so far as to include Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Eretria, and Somalia.

 

Coming into the North of Africa from the Atlantic Ocean the first country we would visit would be Western Sahara where we would find Morocco has occupied Western Sahara since 1975 in violation of resolutions by the United Nations Security Council and International Court of Justice ruling. Any efforts to dislodge Morocco from Western Sahara have been blocked directly by the United States whose full support of the Moroccan occupation shows no sign of relenting. The conflict reemerged as the “Independence Intifada” in 2005 which has remained as depicted in map below. Despite numerous efforts to defuse the situation the standoff remains.

 

Occupied Western Sahara  by Morocco Shaded Area  and Western Sahara Unshaded

Occupied Western Sahara
by Morocco Shaded Area
and Western Sahara Unshaded

 

Continuing on from the Morocco-Western Sahara conflict we next visit Mauritania which has had a rocky recent history including two military coups, the first was in 2005 followed eventually by elections for a new president in 2007 followed by the second coup in 2008. General Abdul Aziz took power after the coup but found the nation had few supporters amongst them predominantly were Morocco, Libya and Iran while the United States and European nations rejected the legitimacy of the coup continuing to refer to Abdallahi as the legitimate president of Mauritania. After the resignation of Abdallahi there were elections which allowed Abdel Aziz to become the civilian president. In February 2011 there were waves of unrest as the Arab Spring spread to Mauritania demanding President Mohamed Abdel Aziz institute political, economic, and legal reforms. The unrest culminated in April of 2012 as thousands of people in Mauritania attended demonstrations in the capital calling for President Mohamed Abdel Aziz to resign. Currently the nation is under military rule with the legal system based on Islam and Sharia.

 

Heading across the southern end the picture in Mali, Niger and Chad is the constant internal strife between Christian governments and Islamic uprisings with much of the major horrific attacks conducted by the terrorist group Boko Haram which literally means Western education is forbidden. Boko Haram follows Saudi Wahhabism and has pledged their loyalty to the Islamic State. Along the north there has been steady unrest in Algeria and especially Libya since the NATO backed coup where President Obama declared that the United States was leading from behind in the ouster of and eventual execution (murder) of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. In Libya the nation is in fractious rule of numerous terror groups and tribal armies with some having declared alliance with the Islamic State. In the south east there is the Sudan which bled in the south especially in the Darfur area. Eventually the Sudan was force to divide allowing South Sudan to become independent. In October of 2015, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir issued a decree establishing twenty-eight states in place of the ten constitutionally established states. The decree established the new states largely along ethnic lines. He took it to the parliament for approval as a constitutional amendment in November and the South Sudanese parliament empowered President Kiir to create new states.

 

This brings us to Egypt where the recent history has played out live and large in the Western media. The Arab Spring riots led to the removal of President and military strongman Mubarak. The elections were held fairly soon after Mubarak was forced to step down largely by the United States backing of the Muslim Brotherhood. These elections overwhelmingly approved Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morsi to the presidency and a large Muslim Brotherhood majority in the parliament. Within the year new rioting broke out protesting the implementation of Sharia despite warnings from Turkish President Erdogan to the Morsi government to slow their radical changes or face resistance. This led to the military removing Morsi and arresting him for election fraud. New election instated former General of the Army Sisi as President though he still had an Islamist and presumed Muslim Brotherhood controlled parliament. The Obama administration refused to recognize Sisi and demanded that Morsi be reinstated; a request which was roundly ignored. Unrest still exists between Egypt and the United States which will be resolved by the Presidential election this November in the United States. As to what either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump might choose to do is a complete mystery at the present time as neither has addressed foreign policy beyond Hillary’s claim to deep knowledge claiming her time as a Senator of New York and a stint as Secretary of State under President Obama which included the Benghazi, Libya fiasco amongst other miscues and Trump claiming to have conducted business deals with numerous foreign governments and met many world leaders though particulars remain largely unconfirmed. Egypt has also faced unrest largely from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State where both are vying for control of the Sinai from where they would presumably unseat Sisi and retake the presidency. Hamas in Gaza was seen as providing assistance to these and some Iranian backed groups in the Sinai thus earning themselves a complete sea and land embargo enforced by Egypt from their waters and land borders with Gaza. The Egyptian blockade is often ignored with the large amount of attention paid to the Israeli “blockade” which is actually an inspection of goods before allowing their delivery to Gaza usually within one or two days done to assure that weapons are not being imported by Hamas and the other terror groups which rule Gaza. Egypt too is a work in progress.

 

We will return to Israel subsequently but meanwhile on to Lebanon where the terror groups Hezballah runs the government with an opposition often afraid to act to remove the terror group as previous attempts have resulted in untimely deaths. Lebanon cannot be addressed without discussing Syria and the state of war which has more facets than hewn crystals. The main three forces are Syrian dictator Bashir al Assad who has retreated to the Alawite tribal areas along the Mediterranean coast and Lebanese border. Assad is backed by Iran and their proxy, Hezballah, out of Lebanon. These are the Shiite forces which also receive tactical support largely in the form of air strikes by the Russians who are protecting their port area along the Mediterranean coast. Inland there are Sunni groups, oft referred to as terror groups, supported largely by Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Finally there are the forces of the Islamic State which stretch into Iraq where they face the Iraqi Army backed by Iran who uses mostly IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps) placing Iran at either end of the Islamic State. The Islamic State has been largely self-financed though there have been rumored support from Qatar. There is another group in northern Iraq and extending into northeastern Syria which is controlled by Kurdish Militias which are opposed strongly by Turkey. The Kurdish forces were at one time rumored to be receiving training by Israeli trainers on a clandestine mission though many have refuted that this was just a means of explaining the Kurdish forces resilience and holding their own against Islamist forces considered to be better equipped.

 

This takes us to the Saudi Peninsula and Jordan which we can count as a single unit of the GCC (Gulf Coordination Council) which is a group backed mostly by Saudi Arabia which includes Kuwait and the Gulf States and to a lesser extent, Jordan. Saudi Arabia has a close working relationship with the Egyptian government of President Sisi who are jointly facing terror groups including those supported or aligned with Islamic State as well as Iranian backed terrorists and the Houthi Tribes in the Yemen civil war, a front where Iran backed and Saudi Arabian backed forces are in direct confrontation. The United States has opposed and presumably attempted to prevent, though with little success, arms shipments to the Houthis by Iran and also opposed the bombing sorties from Saudi Arabia with equal lack of success and the belligerents continue to fight on. In the southernmost areas of Yemen, the prized areas which overlook the narrow passage from the Red Sea into the Arabian Sea, called Bab el-Mandeb Strait are a group of fighters originally claiming alliance with al-Qaeda but recently changing their alliance to presumably the Islamic State. These groups have benefited directly from Saudi raids as has the currently recognized Hadi-led government.

 

Yemen Battle Map

Yemen Battle Map

 

Lastly let us finally look at Israel. On the Golan Heights IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) have returned fire when fired upon by intention and otherwise has unofficial drop points for wounded individuals, civilian and combatant though no difference is noted, wounded and in need of treatment. IDF soldiers take these wounded and treat them in their field facility with the more serious cases transferred to Israeli hospitals for treatment. After treatment the individuals once sufficiently recovered are returned from whence they came at same drop points. All sides can view the individual drop points and all points are respected by other fighting factions in an unarranged agreement as all sides use this treatment method and no one side wishes to risk being cut-off from Israeli treatment and have to rely on whatever resources they have available. We have no information as to whether any Iranian forces have received treatment from the Israelis though if placed in civilian clothing they would receive the same treatment as any other individual. The Israeli border with Lebanon is currently quiet as Hezballah has sufficient on their plate with forces in the Syrian conflict and rumored even to have some fighting with IRGC or Houthis in Yemen. Intelligence believed to be accurate estimated that Hezballah has stores of rockets of varying size and capable of striking Tel Aviv, Bathsheva and even Ashkelon as well as guided missiles from Iran capable of striking anywhere in Israel including the southernmost port city of Eilat carrying warhead as large as two kilos and potentially five or ten up to one-hundred kilos warheads on their short and medium ranged rockets of which they possess as many as one-hundred-seventy-five-thousand. On their larger missiles they have warheads of as much as seven-hundred-fifty kilos on modified Zilzal-2 with a four-hundred km range and which they possess an estimated one thousand. Their Fateh-110 missile has a range three-hundred km range striking at Mach 3.5 carrying a four to seven-hundred kg warhead of which Hezballah possess more than twenty-thousand and lastly there is the Shaheen-II two stage missile which has a range of two-thousand km making able to strike anywhere in Israel and into Egypt. Each missile is capable of flight altitude of up to three-hundred km, is GPS guided, and varies a one-thousand plus kg warhead making it potentially capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and retaining it guidance hardware. It is doubtful that Iran has, let alone provided Hezballah with a deliverable nuclear warhead. Such is not far from the horizon for Iran but their providing Hezballah with such a weapon is doubtful.

 

The remaining fronts for Israel are with Jordan and Egypt which are both peaceful and with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Judea and Samaria as well as with Hamas and ally Islamic Jihad and other terror and criminal groups in Gaza. The front with the PA is largely one where there are terror strikes which can be planned by Abbas and the his PLO terror groups or the less planned but instigated through calls for violence from PA figures, PLO figures or any of a litany of groups most of which are either headed by Mahmoud Abbas or are willful practitioners at his beck and call. The most recent round were stabbings carried out largely by Palestinian Arab and some Israeli Arab youths as well as car rammings along with rock and Molotov cocktail throwing with rioting which are carried out routinely by PA controlled terror groups, the Tamini family instigators who work closely with European Union and other European NGOs whose main aims are to cause any violent response by Israel which is filmed and the instigation causing the defensive act is edited and with careful editing and juxtaposition of stock footage, prerecorded footage or actual footage with any questionable instigations by the Arabs edited over or out completely compiled into the final product which is then transmitted throughout European news agencies within a matter of a couple of hours and they run with it unedited as if it were an actual news story followed by their governments and the European union then condemning Israel for use of disproportional force or the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Gaza front is another area where Iran attempts with some success to smuggle arms mostly containing rocket motors and rocket parts and technology. Funding for Hamas comes from UNRWA as well as from the PA making the European Union, United States, United Nations and individual European nations as well as numerous Arab countries direct or indirect financiers of Hamas terrorism and rocket attacks as well as Arab instigations and propaganda which permeates their entire society from their media to the schools, summer camps soccer leagues and every aspect of childhood and raising the children to hate Jews as well as Israel. The Hamas Charter calls not only for the annihilation of Israel but of Jews worldwide. Similar language is found in Islamic Jihad and Hezballah pamphlets and charters or constitutions. The hatred goes well beyond Israel and includes Jews everywhere as well as Western culture and societies. Hamas and their allies as well as Hezballah desire a world caliphate under Sharia and openly claim so. The main difference is whether the caliphate would be Shiite or Sunni, for the rest of us that is a minor comfort.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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