Beyond the Cusp

November 13, 2016

Erdogan Declares Border War on European Union

 

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President seemingly for life of Turkey has thrown the gauntlet down at the feet of the European Union (EU) demanding immediate action on Turkey’s demand for visa free travel throughout Europe from Turkey. With the onslaught of Islamic refugees emanating from within Turkey, it is little surprise if the EU is even the slightest bit hesitant to grant Turkey open borders with the numbers of refugees still residing in camps in Turkey. If this were the sole aggrandizement coming from President Erdogan it might be excusable, but there’s more. Erdogan has also expressed desires for Turkey to take steps, modest steps, but steps in reforming the Ottoman Caliphate. He has set his desires on incorporating Aleppo and Mosul into Turkey and expanding his borders southward taking areas of lands formerly part of Iraq and Syria and incorporating all the Kurdish lands into Turkey.

 

One might ask what would happen to the Kurds as the relations between Turkey and the Kurds has been rocky at best. This is where things begin to resemble the darker periods of Turkey’s history. The military incursion being executed currently by Turkey presumably to fight the Islamic State in Syria has been cover for their real intentions, eradication of Kurdish Peshmerga Militias and their other protective services. The actions by the Turkish military in Syria and suspected coordination in northern Iraq has been to ethnically cleanse the Kurdish areas in a similar manner as their historic Ottoman treatment of their Armenian minority population. The Armenians were a Christian minority residing in the northern areas of the Turkish Ottoman Empire who met a fate very similar to what the Yazidi faces at the hands of the Islamic State. What makes this threat to the Kurds all the more tragic is it was the Kurdish forces which rescued what Yazidi they were able to reach preventing a complete genocide of the people and now the Kurds may be facing a genocide themselves if they do not receive protection from forces capable of preventing the Turkish offensive against them. The first step would be the media and world governments actually recognizing the Turkish intentions for expanding their borders and eradicating the Kurdish peoples residing in northern Syria and Iraq. Unfortunately the Russians are fighting to save Bashir al-Assad and allied with Iran in this Syrian multi-front war and the Kurdish are not on the same team. What makes all this even stranger is the Kurds are not actually fighting Assad as much as they are simply defending their people from multiple threats. Assad and the Russians currently have no front where they are contending with the Kurds and unless they choose to fight the Kurds there would be no contention.

 

Greater Turkey

Greater Turkey

 

The Kurds have been the odd group out in the entire Syrian conflagration as their main intention has been to protect their own population from all outside forces. They have received limited assistance from any of the major powers and their main assistance came from what many might call the most unlikely of places. We will leave that for others to reveal should they so choose. Their main problem is they border a Turkey under leadership which imagines themselves the new Caliph and envision returning to their vision of a renewed Turkish Empire eventually on the grand scale which was the Ottoman Empire at its peak of power and expanse. The world is going to need to awaken and realize that there are still forces which believe they are destined by their deity to rule the world. Granted they will spend much of their time fighting one another for supremacy and once Europe has been subsumed there will be new leaders with the vision of world conquest rising from these new fronts.

 

These threats are real and need be addressed through some means by the rest of the world before such dreams become everybody’s nightmares. Today the main nations whose leaders envision world conquest are limited to Iran and Turkey but one must also figure for the Islamic State and Muslim Brotherhood who have their own plans for world conquest. The world had thought after defeating the Nazis and the fall of the Soviet Union’s empire, that world conquest as a viable concept had been defeated once and for all. Unfortunately that conclusion appears to have been premature as there remains another group who believe the world was made to be their apple to do with as they please and all must bend to their will. Until Islam has realized that their dream is everyone else’s nightmare and will eventually be recognized and their dreams of world conquest will bring ruin upon them and that their only choice will be accepting that others have rights to believe and live as they please. Until that day there is still a great threat in this world which need be remedied and the sooner the better. The first step might be the EU turning the Turkish request down cold and demand they have Visas to enter Europe; otherwise close the border. Unfortunately it will take new leadership across Europe before they will stand on principle. That can only lead to greater difficulties in the very near future. Where are the leaders for tomorrow or is there to be no tomorrow?

 

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

 

January 25, 2016

A World Spinning Out-of-Control

 

The first area the world is having difficulties is nothing new as finances and resources are always at a critical point somewhere, but when it spreads wide and wild, then there is a problem. The problems are about to get really tightly strung as the United States cash flow valves are about to be made even tighter until mid to late August when the money will be released to give the economy as good a feel and appearance that people will believe that President Obama’s promises to repair the economy have finally begun to work. This will be reflected in a general media message that all is finally well in the world and the United States is healthy and ready to take on the comeback of the millennia. Nothing could be further from the truth but if the economic weapon is to be taken off the table making the push to place Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton in the White House will begin in earnest. What about the e-mail scandal and the leaking of classified information and her using her own private server to remain out of sight her dealings and what about those dealings and then there is the pay-to-play cashing in on her Secretary of State position by the Clinton Foundation personal slush-fund and so much more it is impossible to keep up with it. These e-mail revelations will all be settled and forgotten by the mid-September push where the world will be all Hillary all the time should her coronation go off as planned at the democrat National Convention, which means Bernie Sanders is the court jester out to entertain the masses while all the Hillary loose ends are tied up nice and neat; then Bernie will disappear and drop out for personal and family needs. Of course he will release his support and give Hillary all his delegates at the second round unless the most unbelievable happens and Bernie Sanders becomes the man and the Democrats will dump on Hillary again and the Clintons will have it out once and for all when Bill tells Hillary that it just was never meant to be. Look for a very vindictive and messy divorce to soon follow as Bill will have not been able to provide the necessary support to assist Hillary when it became her turn. Of course it could never have been that Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was such a set of damaged goods that anything short a miracle could have ever placed her in the White House as the President. Perhaps the truth lies in that she was better as an ornament assisting Bill and quietly out of the actual scene than she would ever be the ‘One’ herself.

 

Meanwhile American consumerism has yet to recoil from the 2007-8 recession and the United States has been languishing in the shadows making a very slow recovery on the jobs market. This has put a serious damper on American consumerism, the buying power on which much of the world economy sits waiting to serve up the goods for Americans to buy. The European one currency disaster is slowly being repaired by using Germany’s wealth and productivity to provide universal monetary relief making the European Union a full circle system where Germany pays the less affluent countries to pay off their debts to Germany and assist their less than ambitious workforce to at least take welfare and spend it on German goods. This has created a system where Germany produces the goods that the rest of Europe consume with well over half the population using German wealth to buy in, so to speak. This is a model of an economic perpetual motion and cash flow machine. The problem is friction and drag which will eventually cause all the funds to not quite reach their theoretical place and be utilized to purchase German goods. People will use a fair share of the German largesse on feeding themselves and not living on German beer, or is it bier? The governments dispensing this cash flow fungible funds will take their cut as government are known to do and other diversions prevent this perpetual cash flow machine to rather rapidly grind to a halt, then what? This was where American consumerism was to kick in and cover the difference and continue to push cash into the machine to overcome the friction and inertial problems but that did not occur right on time. Then there was supposed to be this new middle class in China ready, willing and wealthy enough to re-prime the European economic model. Another ‘no-go’ as they are spending their cash to prop up much of the Asia markets and doing that slightly better than the Germans, but that too is reaching its tipping point as China’s buying power turned out to be overrated and Japan and Australia were not capable of filling that gap so they were also turning to the American consumerism machine which remained relatively idle for reasons the rest of the world could not understand. The reinvestment in American consumerism is scheduled for lift-off later this year in order to place the next media coronation on-track to place Hillary Clinton back in the White House. Expect Bill to play his role perfectly as the supportive spouse as he provides the necessary cash for her campaign while attempting to resist any temptations which would be a true and dramatic scandal.

 

Then we come to the rest of the world. Saudi Arabia is sitting on that valve with the exception of Iran and the one-hundred-billion-plus bribery to permit them to sit in a really plush hotel suite and dictate their dream nuclear treaty and for President Obama and Secretary of State John François, did we mention he was French, Kerry to appear to be writing and crafting a cleverly devious set of rules and stipulations which would prevent Iran from building any nuclear weapons, especially deliverable ones as they also were writing a prevention to test missiles and related technologies into the treaty. They were terrible actors or at least other than the carefree unconcerned President completely trusting his competent yet bumbling Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau of the French Sûreté Kerry to bring in the play of the century and deliver the ultimately understated but effective treaty. The entire act failed as none of the parts were played by the late Peter Sellers and thus masterly failing and flailing to the best solution through erroneous thinking always overcorrecting just enough to get the criminal in the end was not pulled off. The Iranians were playing three dimensional chess, or possible a number of dimensions higher, while Obama and Kerry were playing the ever so complicated game of Noughts and Crosses, how so ever European of them. The nuclear path to Armageddon arranged, paved, and decorated by the United States gift wrapped and delivered to the Iranians set Saudi Arabia even further on edge. The Saudis are playing their one card and playing it to its utmost capacity pumping oil from the ground at a pace previously unheard of to crash the market and push prices down as far as it can go.

 

This has had effects all desired and planned by the Saudi government, aka the Saudi Royal Family. The low prices means that the lesser grade or difficult to extract barrels of oil produce little if any profit and even losses for certain lower grade oils less desirable than the light, sweet oil of the Saudi oil field production. This was intended to bankrupt the Iranian oil market which is likely not producing the cash flow which makes Iran operate but fear not, the Obama administration has taken care of that with the unfreezing of over one-hundred-billion-dollar present right into the Mullahs of Iran’s pockets which will neatly finance their missile and nuclear research and production placing their nuclear and missile programs on the fast track for a five year target date which may be even less in the distance than all except soon to be out of office and thus not blamed for what happens next. The low price of oil is also killing any additional fracking or other fairly expensive to initiate oil fields exploration thus slowing the United States ability to develop these technologies until further notice. The final effect is against Iran’s favorite former and soon to be again super power, Russia. Russia is getting next to nothing in profits from oil sales and is likely depending on vodka profits, a real let down.

 

The Russian government is next to broke but this is where gifts from President Obama roll in. Remember that hundred-billion-plus monetary reward the United States is about to turn over to Iran? Well, guess what they are going to do with a goodly amount of that largesse? That’s the ticket; we knew you would figure that out, of course they will be buying tons of military equipment from Russia. Expect the Iranians to repaint those units tan, beige and brown and then claim they designed and manufactured them within the first year. These military sales may end up being the life’s blood, the mother’s milk for the Russian economic engine. So, Iran gets advanced military equipment and will reverse engineer it or also buy production rights and for the Russians to build the factories as well to produce the missiles and other equipment in Iran. This will provide Russia with the funds to operate for a decade longer providing military goods to Iran. What could conceivably go awry?

 

Where does all of this end? Who knows? Sure, we’ll take a stab at it. Even the military equipment will not save Russia from their adventurisms. Propping up Bashir al-Assad is an expensive business and gets all the worse with every downed aircraft, exploded tank and even every bullet shot and supplies shipped to Syria all costs but things could be worse. Turkey is a wary acquaintance with a love-hate relationship with Iran. Should Turkish-Iranian relation devolve back to animosity stages then Turkey might decide to push back closing the Bosphorus thus separating the Mediterranean Sea from the Black Sea and making the bulk of the Russian fleet all but useless. This would also mean resupplying the Russian units in Syria far more expensive as they would all need to go by air routes around Turkey. With the Russian economy still weak and near collapse, such additional expense would be just the impetus that Russia might require to take care of the Turkish problem and take the Bosphorus straights on both sides including Constantinople, well, returning Istanbul to its former name might be part of the plan, couldn’t it? This more than likely would result in an all-out war between Turkey and Russia which might not end with Turkey. The Russians would not even blink when it would come to also raking-in the Kurdish areas of Syria and Iraq taking the northern parts of Syria down as far as Aleppo. Where such aggressions might lead is a troubling thought. Russia, under Putin, might fabricate an insult or problem from the Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia and many of the old nations, especially those in Central Asia, reestablishing the smaller and more vulnerable nations all in the name of protecting them from untold horrors threatening their futures. Now under the protection of Russia they need not spend anywhere near as much on their fears. It has all been crystalized down to one concern; the big brown ten-thousand-ton bear in the living room.

 

 

Ukraine Was Already a Conflict Spinning Out of Control and in at Least One Possible Future This Will Become a Picture of the Calm Before the Storm

Ukraine Was Already a Conflict Spinning Out of Control
and in at Least One Possible Future
This Will Become a Picture of the Calm Before the Storm

 

 

The hard truth is financial matters on a global scale are similar to the financial situation in Europe right before World War I. Far Eastern Asia such as China was not one of the main conditions as their economy was not producing great amounts of wealth and thus was not part of the purchasing consumer world. Russia was faltering as the Czars were overthrown and the democratic first elected governance was unable to instantly produce a functioning and burgeoning economy such as had been witnessed in the booming economies right after the turn of the century in Europe and the United States. That brought on another governance and government change and the Communists took over and immediately cowed the people and put them under a harder and more forceful boot that the Czars had done, Europe was facing an economic stall as if somebody had mucked up the flow of money and without money flowing the economic sails drooped and became dead weight and unproductive. This was not as true in the United States but the American economy drove American business and the main imports by the United States were exotic fruits from South America and coffee from South America plus America was still growing though far slower than before. The Ottoman Empire, a long deceased empire staggering, was being largely propped up by the Europeans as nobody desired these lands which were tribal, primitive, unproductive deserts.

 

By every measurement, Europe was a tinderbox awaiting a single spark. The Ottoman Empire was an even more volatile place and the Balkans were the Balkans with the different religious conflicts, the tribal conflicts, largely inert economies, no overriding force of arms keeping the lid on and everything in a kind of lingering limbo slowly devolving into Machiavellian might makes right situation where many thought they had the might and were waiting for the time to be right. Well, the time never got around to being right as firing a gun with the tinderbox that was Europe was frightening enough, what followed was simply the explosion that set the world ablaze. On June 28, 1914, then, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie were touring Sarajevo in an open car, with surprisingly little security, when Serbian nationalist Nedjelko Cabrinovic threw a bomb at their car; it rolled off the back of the vehicle and wounded an officer and some bystanders. Later that day, on the way to visit the injured officer, the archduke’s procession took a wrong turn at the junction of Appel Quay and Franzjosefstrasse, where one of Cabrinovic fellow revolutionaries, 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip, laid waiting. Leaping towards the car the assassin fired into the rear seat shooting Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie at point-blank range. The would-be martyr then attempted to turn the gun on himself but was wrestled to the ground and was basically saved by the arresting officers. The rest is history, no, really, history, literally and exactly World War I history. Nedjelko Cabrinovic was an anarchist and belonged to a subversive group who desired revolution called the Black Hand which was later connected to the Freemasons though there is little evidence we could find of an actual link. Any input either way would be appreciated and allow us to say thanks in advance. Meanwhile, our other conspirator, Gavrilo Princip, was raised in a home of Serbian Orthodox Christian parents though many conspiracy theorists claim because of his appearance he had to be a Jew, the actions of assassinating the Archduke and his wife just sealed the deal on his religious origins had to be Jewish despite all evidence to the contrary. Hopefully there will be no rulers of the Austria-Hungary Empire riding through the Balkans in an open car with a maximum speed of almost seventy miles per hour in the next few weeks having a bang up time at the expense of the downtrodden masses; that would just be tempting fate, now, wouldn’t it. Kidding aside, the world does seem to be picking up speed as if there may be a crashing event in the near future and that is not a happy thought. Really nothing to add to that except the list of national and international leaders vulnerable to some revolutionary anarchist or other form of fanatic is not that far-fetched and that is frightening.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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