Beyond the Cusp

November 19, 2016

Islamic Hierarchy Should be the Target as Well as ISIS

 

Is Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL or al-Qaeda offshoot) honestly that horrific a threat and challenge that it should be treated as an individual threat needing a solution before any further assessment can be conducted? If you were to make this an inquiry of the United States State Department, they would answer in the affirmative and probably make Islamic State the sole terror threat requiring attention. Pose this same question to the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and their answer would place Islamic State as the immediate threat but would follow that up with a litany of other threats hiding in the background, in the darkest of recesses. So, which assessment is the most accurate and which should be utilized to address future actions. Obviously the Pentagon assessment is more in depth while the State Department takes a mere cursory glance seeking the least invasive path and the least need for involvement having a minimal footprint. This demands further explanation more as to why the Pentagon explains a path which is far deeper and requiring greater invasive solutions and the State Department leaves most of the problem unaddressed and untouched. The reasons are simple and would be obvious to any observers. The Pentagon is funded by the width, depth and breadth of a threat and gains funding and importance through greater involvement. The State Department gains funds by having obscured threats which it can assign staff to investigate and report threats in such a manner as to allow them to linger, requiring greater inspections over the longest time frame. Thus any military assessment should be judged knowing their report will make the threat the greatest potential possible while State Department assessment should be realized to define the situation calling for minimal involvement in order to preserve the situational threat generating further investigations. The best path would more often than not be somewhere between the two assessments.

 

So, what do these realities have to do with Islamic State? A fair analogy would be somebody waking one morning feeling poorly and upon looking in the mirror they notice there are red blotches all over their face and further checking they find more such red blotches all over their bodies. Reacting to these skin lesions they make an appointment with a physician. The question becomes what type of physician they should call. The initial assessment is the patient has a skin condition so they might make an appointment to visit a Dermatologist and treat the skin ailment while ignoring the underlying disease. The result is the patient will remain ill and would need visit the dermatologist repeatedly while if they had visited an Internal Medicine Doctor they quite possibly would have been admitted to a hospital and undergo a more rigorous cure than they would receive from a Dermatologist but would also be cured. Simply put, if you have the measles you do not visit a dermatologist, you visit a doctor of Internal Medicine. The State Department is the Dermatologist and the Internal Medicine Physician would represent the Military. So, the military will present a harder path with the greatest potential challenges you will be presented with and some painful choices need to be made. The State Department provides for a simple and immediate repair of a situation while leaving the underlying problems churning away and no difficult choices would be necessitated. So, the path you choose will likely be somewhere between the two, which one you follow more closely will dictate the level of curative actions and their lasting effects.

 

Making war on Islamic State is a requirement of immediate urgency, President elect Donald Trump will need answer the riddle of how far does he wish to peel back the onion. A fully committed military campaign to destroy Islamic State presence in Syria and Iraq could be executed taking no longer than three or four months. The time it would take would depend on how ruthless and how close to barbarism the military forces will be permitted by their Rules of Engagement (ROE). The obvious problem with such tactic is that such a solution does little to permanently change the situation. When choosing civility while fighting barbarians, one makes leaders and financiers unaffected, they will just wait for the opportunity and start right up anew. The sponsors must be made to pay a price, even to threats on their lives, before anything will change. This was proven in all theaters of World War II where German leaders needed to be hunted down even to the last bunkers in Berlin and the Emperor of Japan had to be convinced the allies could utterly destroy his nation without losing any of their military forces. This has also been proven in the current “War on Terror” where we are treating the rash and ignoring the disease.

 

By now most Westerners realize the problems caused by terrorism and the threat posed by Islamic State. Where many fall down is in linking the two problems and realizing that these two problems though often unrelated directly, both have a root cause and any logistics, funding, know-how or other support for both are derived from the same pool of sponsors. The source for both terrorism and Islamic State come from the various wealthy and powerful governing entities throughout the nations of MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and the infrastructure put in place utilizing the tribal make-up of the society often pitting one tribe against another tribe in order to procure additional power and a broader area from which to operate. Should one trace the cash flowing into the coffers of Islamic State one would see a trend that the same monies also fund the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, al-Qaeda and other Sunni terror masters and their operations. Much of the funding originates in or by those close to the Saudi Royal family as well as graft skimming funds from government funding by Egyptians and other Sunni ruled nations supporting the Sunni, Muslim Brotherhood, forces worldwide. There also exists an extensive Shiite terror networks which is not quite as expansive but still a very real threat. These groups are financed, organized and run by the Iranian government and the Grand Ayatollah (Arabic:آية ‌الله العظمی) and Supreme Leader of Iran. The leadership of these terror forces controlled by Iran starts with the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) who incorporate the leadership of Hezballah and oft time Hamas as well. The reach by Iran is not as diffused as are the disparate Sunni terror forces. Much of the reason behind this is simply numbers. The Sunni make-up slightly over four-fifths of Muslims worldwide while the Shiites find themselves around a mere 17% of Muslims worldwide thus Shiite power structure by necessity must be more centralized and rigid while the Sunni can easily create anywhere from three to five separate groups.

 

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps IRGC

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps IRGC

 

What people in the United States need know is that the current fighting between Islamic derived forces and the Western forces, particularly in and around the Mediterranean Sea is just the latest stage in the war with the Barbary Pirates. Truth be told, the European interests back to around 632 onto the current age have felt constant rumblings of discontent filled by dreams and desires to return to their ages of conquest and swallow Europe as they have tried before only to meet a standoff or complete defeat as was Andalusia, as was Spain. Much of the march of Islam colonizing the entirety of MENA has been accomplished by Sunni though there have been Shia heroes through the ages. Still, this fight to choose the ultimate ruler, the single Caliph who talks the talk but all are curious if one can be found who additionally walks the walk. Despite gaining a sizeable following and demanding he be recognized as Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will not become the Caliph restoring the Caliphate as the requirement is a vast stretch of lands which are individually owned and most have real air power which would decimate any ground assault not possessing sufficient air cover, something which likely plagues al-Baghdadi day and night and he likely dreams of having sufficient fighters and the people to launch adequate air support. The Arab and Islamic worlds are far too tribal and fragmented each refusing to particularly perform feats of great valor and have somebody outside your team ending up with all of the glory. The tribal overriding thought power need be abandoned should Islam ever desire to become great again and have yet a second sense of glory and accomplishment. Such an accomplishment will take a true Caliph, one such as the last Imam, the one who leads the final conquests leading to an Islamic World running under Sharia, the Islamic Code of Laws as preached by Mohammad and the original force.

 

Expansion of Islam Across MENA and into Europe before Ottoman Rule

Expansion of Islam Across MENA and into Europe before Ottoman Rule

 

There are realities which must be faced and faced immediately. Before there can be progress the new President already has a large pair of conflagrations he need work out a solution which will probably require a fair number of military service personnel. A President Trump must use all the forces at his disposal in order to remove Islamic State from the picture. After this has been accomplished the next task will be forming a governance or set of governances such that Libya becomes a normative entity capable of trade with the world which will bring wealth to these governing bodies and the people as well. Once Libya has been resolved and returned to viability it will become time to deal with Russia and do similar for Syria. Russia will press for the entire area be returned to Bashir al-Assad while the remaining “rebel” forces will protest loudly and just as vehemently as they have all along. Meanwhile, a refuge for the Kurdish population will necessarily be needed while Turkey and her President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, are edging towards conquest and taking lands formerly belonging to both Syria, a lifelong enemy, and Iraq, whose Saddam Hussein had stashed thousands of barrels of nerve agent and other chemical and nuclear weaponry in an attempt to evade justice. Erdoğan’s hopes and dreams of reestablishing the Ottoman Empire will be muted. Once again all these solutions do little to nothing about remedies for the tribal alliances and primitive culture which keeps the nations of MENA suffering while other nations quite distant as in the Horn of Africa and as far east as Pakistan and Afghanistan are all experiencing national traumas from forces at the tribal area. These problems were exasperated by the imposition of the Sikes-Picot Agreement of 1916 which set arbitrary borders, making self-rule all but impossible. Sikes-Picot ignored tribal alliances and clan structures splitting these entities between three nations in some cases and two at others which simply added wood to the fire. Sikes-Picot also redrew the maps of Eastern Europe breaking up the Austria-Hungarian Empire. All of this eventually led to World War II and has set in motion the potential for a third shooting war, World War III. The problem is amplified with the knowledge that Eastern Europe is also facing economic distress along with threats from Russia to incorporate them back under soviet style land and they wish to remain free.

 

These areas are powder kegs just waiting for the fire from a mistakenly tossed match or misread of any situation to have the entirety of these places to sheepishly huddle under Russian wings. The United States lack of influence throughout the MENA area as well as the entirety of the globe for the last eight years has left foreign policy in such turmoil as to provide room for threats from all sides and levels. The world, and the United States and allies in particular, are facing an invigorated Russia, a China willing to manufacture Islands in order to further their goal of taking certain Islands which they claim as have other nations. These threats are backed by a new and proficient fleet China is building, a worthy blue-water fleet. Add to this the dual threat of a nuclear armed North Korea who has already developed and tested a number of nuclear warheads and appears to be attempting to manufacture an EMP device to knock out the power grid in North America thus neutering the United States military and causing widespread death. Along with North Korea we also will be facing a nuclear armed Iran who has the missiles with advanced guidance and range capabilities with which to deliver them. Once Iran is confirmed to have nuclear weapons one can safely assume that Saudi Arabia will call in their markers for their financing of the Pakistani bomb thus instantly becoming a nuclear armed nation as well. After this the proliferation across all of MENA will likely occur with blinding speed. From that point the rest of the world will be rapidly acquiring nuclear weapons and from there to annihilation of the human race is a short trip and it all might take place in a blink of an eye. It is truly sobering realizing how so very close we are from slipping beyond the cusp into a reality even Hollywood was unable to imitate believably.

 

The race now is to educate and bring the third world somewhere even with the advanced world. By this we mean to teach them from our mistakes such that the world benefits. These newly acquired nuclear capabilities must be impressed not to use them for the sake of humanity. At the same time the world need share its many secrets and the desire to go into space beyond just the solar system but to other star systems even beyond our cluster setting out to truly become a space-born people. That need be our goal if we plan on being a long lived species. I guess we will soon know if the Earth will become the origin of a truly enlightened space based society or will the Earth need await the next great catastrophe to rid it of a stagnant humanity so another intelligence reaches senescence and go off into space and be the long lived Earth born species.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

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October 30, 2016

Why We Think Trump Had Said NATO is a Problem

 

Donald Trump is doing something of which very few of us will ever understand the difficulty. For people used to blurting out whatever is on their minds, damn the consequences, it becomes even rougher row to hoe. Being of a similar mold and having attempted a run for office you quickly realize that there are some truths you hold close and can never reveal as they are one of many blocks of Kryptonite. The problem arises at some point where your natural nature breaks through and you start to speak one of those truths which must not be spoken and as they start to slip your lips you recover just short of the hidden nugget within which is the real poison to your campaign, so you quickly and abruptly end your sentence as smoothly as possible. The media, the darling little devils, are a devious lot and when they smell an opening, they are like jackals on carrion tearing at the carcass of the bedeviled thought seeking that hidden nugget. When Donald Trump complained about NATO, I got the sense that his problem was not the financial costs as he maintained upon further pressure from many media types. As Trump is closer to a third party candidate where there is no Republican running, he has been pestered and hammered from both ends of the media and his rather combative nature tends to allow for more unforced, though coerced or due to carefully laid traps, misspeaks and half-speaks leading him ever further down the rabbit hole, and wonderland is the worst place for a politician to end up as there it most certainly ends with the Red Queen screaming, “Off with his head,” pointing at them. And who wants to be executed by a horde of red animated playing cards? Such has been the NATO issue and the reason is far more potentially intriguing than the answers we have been giving, not that we disagree with having those nations incapable of providing the troops required to field NATO adequately to its demands having to pay the United States for making up the difference.

 

Thinking of what else Donald Trump might have been told which could include NATO it became obvious when it leaked into our ears, well, before our eyes really, the answer to the riddle and it concerns one of our pet problems with the world, Kurdish independence. The plan is to make Syria a collection of autonomous cantons with the Syrian government responsible solely for those items which cross the borders such as main roadways, money, national defense and others. The first canton mentioned was for the Kurds in the north and northeast of Syria. This was leaked as part of a report by respected Turkish journalist Mahmut Borzarslan who gave information we received in one of our memos from American Center for Democracy concerning a plan being brought forward initially in Syria by the Russians. The initial laying out of the plan while receiving all-out support by the Kurdish representatives was roundly dismissed as pure fancy with no hope of acceptance by the Syrian government of Bashir al-Assad be their position less tenable than they may yet realize. What makes this all the more interesting is that the Kurds would be natural allies to the United States as they have proven extremely helpful in Iraq allowing American forces to concentrate on the bigger problems while they basically ruled and kept straight the entire northern third of Iraq and assisted with the pacification of Mosul. Further, the Syrian Kurds, with assistance from their Iraqi cousins, have had the greatest success against the Islamic State defending their own held areas while liberating other areas with some of the toughest fighting coming for control of the city of Kobanê, which they accomplished with some assists in the form of targeting Islamic State positions with bombings, and a remarkably few at that. The Russians will soon point out that if Bashir al-Assad desires to remain among the living and rule over anything he will need to realize two things, he can only hope to rule an Alawite Canton and only that with the second, Russian assistance and if he desires the second he will need to accept the first. This he will understand even if the Russians need ground their planes, silence their artillery and retreat their forces to hold only Latakia and protect their naval instillations there.

 

There is no means on Earth which would make this idea acceptable to President Obama as his new best friend forever and darling of the Muslim Brotherhood since the fall of Egyptian President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government has been Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The removal of Morsi and his gang of undesirables proved the Egyptian people more knowledgeable than the United States President and State Department, the latter not that difficult a feat as it takes minimal common sense and does not require literacy, calling on even the military to retake power as they would be a kinder and more beneficent master. The added problem is where Donald Trump and NATO come into the picture. Turkey is a member of NATO due to their geography. They hold the southern front on Russia, formerly the Soviet Union and the reason for NATO, and control the Dardanelles, the waterway and series of straights leading from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and the world and also the Russian access to a warm water access to the Atlantic Ocean (see map below). Being a NATO member, Turkey could claim and likely verify terrorist threats against her by Kurds being aided and secluded by Syrian Kurds making a case for it being an act of war. As attacking Kurdish region of Syria would place Turkish fighter aircraft in space over Russian zones and might even draw Russian assistance to the Kurdish side as the Kurdish actions have aided Russian interests, they could demand military assistance under the NATO Charter. Should the United States enter such a conflict in even the smallest of means; one could bet the Kurds would have no alternative but to request Russian assistance even simply to provide air cover to prevent bombings as the Kurds have no air forces and likely minimal if any air defenses. Remember that Turkey has already downed a Russian fighter jet under somewhat questionable conditions and Russia is not a nation to forget such and jump at an opportunity to repay in kind and then some. This could quickly get out of hand with Russian and NATO, potentially including United States, aircraft in combat against one another. Does any rational person really want to see where such could lead?

 

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

 

For this reason and numerous others, it will be best left until after the United States Presidential Elections and the late January inauguration before any serious negotiations on such a solution can have any hope to progress. This is where Hillary Clinton can claim that Putin would prefer Donald Trump as both she and dear Vlad know theirs would be a tumultuous relationship at best and adversarial at the very least. If there is to be any cooperation between the United States and Russia on Syria and a host of other areas, then Donald Trump need be the next United States President. Hillary Clinton has already made it clear that her foremost foreign policy objective will be to humble and force Putin to bow before her will from the very first moments of her reign. This is also one of the main unspoken fears, dare we say horrors, many foreign policy theorists and experts foresee. The guaranteed irritant on so many trouble spots and potential disasters would result from a continuation of an American shirking of international responsibilities. Should America continue leading from ever further behind soon to never even arrive, added to a focus on pressing only Russia and President Putin frustrating him while continuing to arm “rebels” in Syria, could lead to an ever greater set of conflicts. Add the blindness to Islamic pressures and subversions would bring much of the ensuing violence down initially upon Europe and soon thereafter on the United States as well. As learned, or not, from both world wars, the United States sitting on the sidelines refusing to lead the powers of democratic governance, freedom and liberty against the powers of darkness and human bondage; be it physical, mental, spiritual or otherwise; only prolongs the insufferable carnage and adds, nay, multiplies the numbers of combatants and innocent civilians slaughtered and can even place the final outcome in doubt as was the reality in World War II where had the Nazis broken through Stalingrad and connected to the Arabian oil fields the outcome may have been very different. Of course should Donald Trump become complacent concerning the possible designs Vladimir Putin may be considering for Eastern Europe and many of the former Warsaw Pact nations, that too could lead in a very threatening and dangerous direction. Oh the trials and tribulations of trying to run the world with so many other actors filling the stage. The solution in Syria will never resurrect the visions of Bashir al-Assad and he may become the sole obstruction to an agreement all the other groups agree with once the Islamic State has been vanquished, an inevitability no matter who wins the election. Such a position would make Assad a problem for Russia, and even worse, for Putin which would make Assad no longer desirable. That would be a very nasty place to be standing surrounded by Russian military and special agents and further, Bashir al-Assad is not unreplaceable with a new and compliant Alawite leader and there are likely quite a few just waiting for such an opportunity. Assad should remember the Arab Code, “Me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world. And all of us against the infidel.”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 29, 2016

The Potentially Imminent Syria Sinkhole

 

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.

 

Sample of Potential Tribal Influences which Could Decimate the Borders of Saudi Arabia and Has Split the Borders of Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya

Sample of Potential Tribal Influences which
Could Decimate the Borders of Saudi Arabia and
Has Split the Borders of Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya

 

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.

 

Vlad the Invader vs Vlad the Impaler

Vlad the Invader vs Vlad the Impaler

 

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

 

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