Beyond the Cusp

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

 

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October 23, 2016

Barack Obama’s Wild Search for Any Legacy

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President Barack Obama entered office with even a great number of Europeans having sky high hopes for his future. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize largely due to his soaring rhetoric describing his desires and designs for a world blanketed in peace rather than strife, free of nuclear weapons rather than bristling with them, shared bounty benefitting all replacing areas torn by hunger and want, and his fresh message promising hope replacing despair. There appeared to be other areas of the world which also caught Obamaitis, a feeling of great hope due to dulcet tones of rhythmic rhymes and rhetoric promising the end of deprivation and the opening for all a grand cornucopia providing great giving filling the world with divine satisfactions and serenity, comforts and calm, lullabies and love. The world had to be at the leading edge of the Age of Aquarius.

 

 

This expectation of greatness and having found the leader for the new century who would wipe away all the old and stodgy ideas which presumably underlined the policies and failings of his predecessor, George W. Bush led to the reelection as if the expectations which had begun to fade could be brought to fulfillment if just the people would show their support and promise to stay the course with full support and continued adulation. Americans, as a whole, virtually all hoped that President Obama would be the President that all America could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with and repair the real problems facing the nation. Even, or possibly because of, many who initially feared that Obama would rule as what they perceived as an extreme leftist progressive anti-American still grabbed on to this prayer, this hope. I know as I was one such who had predicted that President Obama would be a President Jimmy Carter on steroids. I was wrong as I missed the part which would rival President Lyndon Baines Johnson with the steamrolling over all opposition; Constitution be damned. So now we sit in the closing months of a wounded Presidency which failed in even its own measuring stick. Gone beyond repair is Cap and Trade, Carbon Credits, the end of coal for energy, fracking continues, livable wage remains a dream, government run healthcare is in a shambles and the final crash is still ahead, universal nuclear disarmament is dead with the promise of proliferation like never before is about to spread these weapons across the most unstable Middle East and into North Africa (MENA) and, worst of all, there are numerous more wars with entire nations in various stages of disintegration as in Libya, Syria, Yemen and the Ukraine and the world seems closer than ever to the Eve of Destruction.

 

 

Musical interludes aside, the world is far more violent with more conflict and more nations in a state of complete anarchy where the governance has either disintegrated or no longer cares or represents the population. The continued anarchy and destruction in Syria and Libya can be indirectly or even directly attributed to actions or lack thereof by the United States under the directions of President Obama and largely the State Department. There have been reports online and in the mainstream media of recommendations made by the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff being ignored and even directly countermanded by the White House. Examples of such advice being completely ignored which led directly to many of today’s problems include pulling almost every American military force after refusing to provide a new set of terms and protections for the troops as President Obama refused to permit the Pentagon to work with the Iraqi government leaving the State Department to negotiate which was postponed until a mere ten weeks before the then existing agreement lapsed. Then there was the shifting, sliding and finally fading to nothing Red Line in the Sand to bring destruction down on Syrian leader Bashir al-Assad if he unleashed chemical weapons. The final example we will give was the entire concept of leading from behind which directly led to the decapitation of Libyan governance without providing even a modicum of force in place providing time to form new governance resulting in tribal internal warfare tearing the nation apart.

 

Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Pentagon

Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Pentagon

 

To the present we are witnessing a change and President Obama taking the lead very quietly while attempting to force what his passivity failed to accomplish. We have witnessed stronger language targeting Russian President Putin while arming rebels more directly, though which rebels has been kept somewhat vague. Some reports claim they are al-Nusra and others who were once claiming allegiance to al-Qaeda but have since renounced any allegiances. Some unofficial sources not aligned with the State Department or Pentagon has shown alliances with some of these rebels with the Islamic State. Even more troubling has been the unprincipled support using American air power of Turkey President Erdogan bombing the one group which deserved the greatest support, the Kurdish Militias (Peshmerga پێشمەرگە), who have been the most successful against the Islamic State all the way back to their initial ISIS or ISIL stage and the main force rescuing the Yazidi while the world governments sat silent feigning helplessness with one exception which has provided light weapons, anti-tank weapons and special forces to train Kurdish fighters, a nation which must remain unnamed. President Obama has made the known fallacious claim that Turkey is fighting the Islamic State when the reality is they are attempting to wipe out the Kurdish forces and people in a genocidal war and assisting the Islamic State which has recovered Aleppo from Kurdish control. These anti-Kurdish efforts are pushing some Kurds to seek protection with Islamist forces they once fought against. Talk of turning friends into enemies, what a great strategy.

 

President Obama still claims his brilliant nuclear treaty with Iran, which even the French had to be beaten into submission after initially vetoing the agreement, prevents Iran from attaining nuclear weapons. The statement can only be made valid if one adds, “while I am President,” onto the end. Even the White House had admitted that Iran will be fully nuclear capable and free of any restrictions after just over a decade from now. Then we have the most recent evidence of the hard-line being taken in response to a pair of missiles fired from Yemen originating in the area held by Iranian backed Houthis Rebels. The American Naval forces were freed to respond in kind. Further the United States Navy was ordered to cross into the expanded regions now claimed by China after they built a number of new islands placing military assets including artillery and anti-ship missiles in an effort to control an important Asian trade route. This new and unprecedented stance by President Obama has come with minimal if any inclusion of the Pentagon or Joint Chiefs of Staff other than to relay the orders and is being executed in order to shore up support for Democrat candidates in the coming elections. This also permits Hillary Clinton to imply that she may have had a hand in this new direction by the White House to accommodate her stronger stance in foreign policy. It is all a feint to make her appear to separate from the lead from behind strategy when in reality she will not lead at all with one exception which is worthy of discussion before closing this article.

 

A President Hillary Clinton will continue to bow to Iranian hegemonic plans in the MENA region and continue to snub Egypt, Israel, Jordan and other allies unless they curry favor as was the way to play when she was Secretary of State with higher entry fees as she is now the President. Further, she will allow China to extend their hegemonic desires throughout the western Pacific Ocean and into the Indian Ocean. This will revive an ancient animosity between China and India, an India which is likely to surpass China as the most populous nation within a decade or two. Hillary Clinton will further aid the influx of Islamic immigrants all but unvetted into Europe, mostly western Europe, while also increasing the rate for accepting immigrants from across MENA and including the Horn of Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Islamic nations except Iran, they need to remain strong with a large and capable military with secret side deals done without Congressional oversight or knowledge when possible. There is one place where Hillary Clinton will not only stand strong but will seek new venues to pressure, Putin and Russia. For reasons known only to the least sane amongst us, there has been an undertone softly growing demanding that Russian President Putin be brought low and to bend and surrender to the “equality of women” and raise the position of Russian women to their “rightful place” in Russian society. This is partly the demand for a “No Fly Zone” in Syria as this would soon lead to a direct confrontation. Do not doubt that any Russian fighter caught entering such a zone, even after dropping their ordinance and simply transgressing on way back to base, they would be intercepted and very likely fired upon or, even worse, shot from the sky using missiles pressing the Russians to respond. Even if Putin would take such a situation and apologize, explain and request for unarmed aircraft, after dropping ordinance, for Russian pilots to use the “safe zone” for returning to base, the request would be refused bluntly and with no regard for any damage as such would be intentional. What is the end desired? We wish we knew!

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 1, 2016

Khamenei Frightening Regret of Nazi Defeat

 

Iranian Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei in a speech on September 18, 2016, while denouncing President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani calling for more investment in the economy rather than increasing military spending also made commentary which was far more disturbing. Khamenei lamented the results of World War II and insisted that military spending continue to be the highest priority even if the people are made to suffer economic hardships as Iran must not suffer the same fate which was the fate of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. What makes this all the more threatening is for Iran to suffer such a fate would require their placing themselves in a similar situation threatening other nations to the point where warfare is thrust upon much of the world in a determined effort to resist the threat of world conquest be a single minded nation led by people determined to commit genocidal cleansing of the world of all who are not subservient to them and their philosophy, or in the case of Iran, surrendered to Islam, and that would be Shia Islam. Khamenei was disturbed by the forcing of Germany and Japan into submission and forced to be disarmed which was, according to the Supreme Leader, a humiliation which Iran must never be made to suffer. Khamenei lauded the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) as the key to the success and completion of the Islamic revolution which was started in Iran in 1979 and is expected to enforce the Quranic call to conquer the world for Allah. This was the cause which Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini set as the purpose of all efforts and dedications of the Iranian people onto perpetuity. Khamenei has reinvested Iran in the dreams and goals set forth by Khomeini thus making more than their names sounding so similar as so is their dedication to the supremacy of Iran and Shia Islam.

 

Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini

Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei
Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini

 

For most nations to be led by a dictatorial leader with dreams of world conquest there would not be any serious concern as it is unlikely that they could build sufficient military to potentially pose such a risk. Muammar Gaddafi often made speeches telling his people that their suffering would be alleviated once they defeated the nations oppressing them and denying them their rightful place as leaders ruling over much or all the Earth depending on his feelings of bravado on any given day. After pushing his terrorist sponsoring too far he faced a severe kick in the ego from the United States when President Reagan struck Libya responding to a Libyan terrorist strike on the “La Belle” nightclub in West Berlin which killed three people including one American Serviceman. The American and allies response came on April 15, 1986, in the early morning hours striking numerous targets throughout Libya including the Bab al-Azizia barracks, Murat Sidi Bilal camp, Tripoli military airfield, Benina military airfield, the air defense networks in Benghazi and Tripoli and Muammar Gaddafi’s house in an attempt to kill the dictator himself. Muammar Gaddafi, with his family, rushed out of their residence in the Bab al-Azizia compound just before the bombs dropped. The warning phone call came from Italian Prime Minister Bettino Craxi. Among the estimated sixty killed was one infant girl who was used as an attempt to vilify the American raid. Her name was Hannah and she was displayed before Western reporters with the claim she was the recently adopted daughter of Muammar Gaddafi. All things considered, this raid ended any claims from Muammar Gaddafi of Libya being a world leader and destined to lead the entirety of the world. Libya was never actually a threat to attempt world conquest and that claim was made to excuse a retrograde economy and the suffering of the population from the failed economic state. Iran has sufficient oil which as long as the price per barrel remains above approximately $50 to $75 Iran makes a profit from a percentage to all of their wells as their oil is thick and of poor quality thus costing more to draw from the ground. This is part, if not most of the reason for Saudi Arabia pumping out close to full capacity oil production to force the price per barrel below that $50 price. This has the additional effect of starving Russia from large oil profits and makes American fracking no longer cost effective thus having a deleterious effect on every oil producing nation with whom the Saudi Arabian Royals are having difficulties.

 

Still, Iran is currently cash flush thanks to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), better known as the Iran P5+1 Nuclear Deal, plus other additional payments made by the Obama Administration with a reported four-hundred-million dollar payment for presumably a broken arms deal with the Shah and definitely not a ransom for the released four American hostages. But wait, there is rumored to be more as that four-hundred-million dollar payment for the arms deal has been rumored to have been followed by another payment more than three times that size; a staggering one-point-three-billion dollars claimed to be interest of the original payment. As this payment was delivered in a secret aircraft delivery in actual American cash, thousands of hundred or even thousand dollar bills, hard currency, something unimaginable but somehow true. One can only wonder whether President Obama is going to further finance the military build-up before leaving office, and if so, how much more will he send? Additionally, even by the assessment of President Obama himself, the Iran nuclear deal will allow Iran to be within a few months of attaining nuclear weapons status after the ten year deal expires and there will be nothing to prevent Iran from building a nuclear stockpile challenging that of the United States within a year or soon thereafter once the deal has expired. But don’t worry, Iran will have calmed in that time and will no longer be set on world conquest in a decade or so. Just because Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei just declared the need for Iran to be so militarily powerful that should they set out to conquer the world they will not end as did Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan and be humbled in failure a full thirty-seven years since the 1979 revolution when the military path was first set upon. Sure, of course Iran will be a happy and cooperative nation in a decade or two, sure they will, right? Well, time will tell.

 

Still, one has to understand that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is seventy-seven years of age and in unknown health as such is a very secretive piece of information. Besides that, in a decade he will be eighty-seven (higher math skills paying off) and even with good health that is an advanced age. There is a possibility that he will have stepped down and a new Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah have been selected by the Assembly of Experts (aka Council of Experts) and now setting the direction of Iran. There could be a turn around and the next Grand Ayatollah and Supreme Leader will decide that the economy and the lives of the people are far more important than the destruction of the Great Satan (United States), the Little Satan (Israel) and/or the Wahabbist menace of Saudi Arabia. You doubt this? But President Obama has set the hopes of the free world on Iran becoming another nation happy to be a member of the community of nations and live in harmony with the rest of the world including those mentioned above. Come to think about it, you are probably right and things will probably get dicey. How dicey will depend on what the rest of the world does and the outcome of the Islamic infusion into the Western World and whether they assimilate or set on conquest, and the reaction to whichever path is chosen. The leadership in the Western World and beyond over the next decade or two will be very important and revealing on the importance for the continued freedoms of the developed Western World. Why am I so seriously concerned over this outlook?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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