Beyond the Cusp

August 25, 2016

Turkey Tanks Attacking Kurds, not Islamic State so Much

 

Turkey announced that their armor supported troops rolling southward into Syria with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claiming they are there to confront Islamic State and Syrian Kurdish rebels. This appears to be somewhat absurd to use the problems caused by the Islamic State in order to destroy as much of the Kurdish forces before retreating back north of the border claiming whatever excuse necessary to excuse their not confronting Islamic State. This is a mission to weaken the Kurdish Militias, Peshmerga, in order to make the Kurdish vulnerable to the al-Nusra Front, Islamic State and whatever other Arab forces are able to take advantage of the Turkish weakening and degrading of the Kurdish ability to defend themselves. This attack by Turkish forces is all about Erdogan’s detestable hostility towards the Kurds and has no footing in reality and is fully due to the visceral desire to destroy the Kurds from spite. The Kurdish forces in Syria have always been fixated facing southward in order to face threats from al-Nusra, al-Qaeda aligned terrorists, Alawite forces of the Syrian Military, and, of course, against Islamic State (formerly ISIS or ISIL). At no time have the Kurdish Militias in Syria taken any hostile steps against Turkey and have little if any connection with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK (Kurdish: Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê ‎) which the Turkish government has labeled as a terrorist group.

 

This has more to do with the success of the Kurds in the first of the last two elections where they forced Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) to not have an outright majority and thus require making a coalition with another similar Islamic Party. Erdogan took the alternative solution of preventing any coalition from forming thus forcing another election. Between the elections mysteriously numerous Kurdish leading officials and some Kurdish and other minor party candidates met untimely and mysterious ends. The ensuing second election proceeded in giving the AKP a clean majority. After there being no government or other investigations into the mysterious deaths and other strange events, there soon was an entirely different set of investigations to carry out. There was a coup in Turkey presumable brought about by a mysterious Imam who once was allied with Erdogan but they fell out as Erdogan gained in strength and no longer needed his former “friend” and political ally. Now this former ally, Imam Muhammd Fethullah Gulen, could pose a threat to Erdogan despite residing outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, in the twilight of life and became the next great threat. President Erdogan is cementing his power so as to become President for Life, thus the Gulen coup which came apart almost before it got started. There were numerous reports of “Gulen coup allied pilots attaining missile lock of the aircraft carrying Erdogan and having this lock for over five minutes and never firing a single missile or other armament at the aircraft. What coup worth its salt does not shoot down the reigning President’s aircraft when given the opportunity? We’ll tell you; the kind of coup which is engineered and executed by the reigning President who is feeling particularly vulnerable after not winning an overwhelming victory in an election and having to resort to back room politics to win the forced second election balloting. He used goon squads to assure his win in the second election while also intimidating the Kurdish population severely diminishing their numbers voting in the second elections. Then he had a coup and within twenty-four hours of putting down the coup there were more than six-thousands of judges, prosecutors, lawyers and other legal professionals arrested and another six-thousand military personnel arrested and a predicted additional many thousands still on lists to be arrested and an equal number to be placed under investigation. Now there is an armor supported assault into Syria to vanquish the ability of the Kurds in Syria to defend their people leaving them vulnerable to the Islamic State. Meanwhile there will not likely be much, if any, assault by these Turkish forces against the Islamic State as was promised as the main reason for the crossing into Syria. This is highly unlikely as the Turkish forces could very well have their hands full just engaging the Kurdish Militias.

 

Turkish Tank Rolling Into North-Eastern Syria

Turkish Tank Rolling Into North-Eastern Syria

 

Much of the reason for this attack and numerous other nasty little surprises coming between now and the middle of January of next year is because President Obama’s terms in office are coming to a close and the United States may become a greater presence in the world after the election no matter who wins. Erdogan knows he will be losing his BFF (best friend forever) in the White House and gaining either an unpredictable crazy person who might send troops against you if you upset them on a bad hair day or Donald Trump as the next President. Either way, crazy hair Donald or crazier hair Hillary, you will be looking at somebody far more willing to use the United States military power than you have with President Obama. We have all heard endless tales of how unpredictable and erratic Donald Trump can be but the truth is Hillary Clinton is far more vindictive, ask any of the women who played with Bill and then told, and who has a long list of corpses showing up in her past, think Ft. Marcy Park and the Vince Foster enigma in a puzzle wrapped in lies which the police still have no clue or Ron Brown and air crash anomalies. Donald Trump does not have a trail of dead realestate developers left behind him in a train of tears as does Hillary with political problem people or just problem people. Then there are the select names Hillary has called those who fell short of delivering on campaigns such as reported in the Guardian that she called Paul Fray, her husband’s campaign manager at the time, a… well, we’ll let you look this one up if you are unfamiliar with it. Just for added information, the man was not and is not, to the best of our knowledge, Jewish. So much for even tempered and if given a choice on who has the “football” following them everywhere with the codes to launch sufficient nuclear weapons to end the planet as we know it, I would much have a jolly crazy person who jokes about the size of their “hands” than a vindictive person who cannot even control their tongue, let alone who knows what else.

 

Along the line of the mice playing while the cat is away, or simply asleep at the switch, China is building a naval base in Djibouti fairly close to the major United States post in Africa and is considering more such military ports placed at focal points around the globe. China has even stated in their budgeting that they hope to become a naval force who rules the waves, or at least the commercial shipping lanes. Their claim is this base has been established to fight the piracy in this area and should they succeed in this endeavor as announced, they will receive many thanks from nations around the world who have used the Suez Canal and faced the pirate menace in these waters. We also have the Chinese Island building into the South China Sea and Russia expanding their naval docking abilities in the Mediterranean Sea and using a military airfield in Iran to cover the Middle East under the pretense of fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The world could look even stranger and the United States will now face facts on the ground around the globe with adversarial forces and nations who will have taken full advantage of a President asleep at the controls while spending time attempting to cripple adversaries at home, even some in his own party. The problem is the United States will not suffer alone from the adversarial role played by President Obama against the United States historic alliances and capabilities leaving a world vulnerable without any real guidance. At the end of World War II the United States all but neutered the militaries of the allied powers as if their militaries were the reason for the war and promised they would protect Europe from all threats. Well, that appears to have come to an end and it will be interesting no matter who wins the coming elections as both have stated they are want to use American military force unless there is a driving threat which must be met. The definition of such a threat is different between Hillary and Donald but that can wait until closer to the election when people might actually care. Suffice it to say that one of them is not traditional American force projection in their thinking.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 8, 2016

China and Words Whispered on the Winds

 

For as long as there have been predictive winds of the economic variety, the prediction has been whispered from quiet corners to shouted from the rooftops claiming this would be the time that China was finally going to pay for their economic shenanigans and face economic collapse. We have been extremely quiet about these predictions of doom on the horizon as the one thing the Chinese had been very adept at was finding some manner of continuing to meet predicted gains month after month, year after year. Their predictive gains have become somewhat more reasonable from the early 1990s where the reported gains stood around 11% to this past year where they reported merely 6% and are continuing to predict this can be continued. The problem the Chinese leadership is facing is they have pretty much run out of rabbits to pull from their hat and it is time to accept that even in China there can be a recession. But perhaps a little look back might help to explain.

 

China had some really rough years where Chairman (and virtual god) Mao Zedong was the absolute ruler and was executing the usual five year plans which are so precious to so many dictators. Equally precious to such five year plans is that they completely and utterly destroy the national economy and tens of millions die of starvation and other privations. The Chinese have literally tried everything in order to assure that whomever was at the top made a relatively high prediction of economic growth even to have gone to a fairly complete privatization resorting to a market based free enterprise system which had kept growth at around six to as high as nine percent for the past decade plus. To continue reaching such unrealistic goals the Chinese government has gone so far as to build entire cities where nobody was going to live just to add to profits. This also assisted the areas of the Chinese economy which is dependent on the price of copper. Building cities, even those nobody is going to inhabit, still required a fair amount of copper to install all the wiring necessary for a modern environment and using so much copper supports a higher price aiding the Chinese economic indicators.

 

Can the Chinese leadership find some miracle to pull off continued reported gains? Of course they can. After all, lying is always an option and that will work until the people rise up and overthrow the government demanding real and honest leadership. The Chinese watched the breakup of the Soviet Union and know that a contributing factor was pretending they could manipulate and lie their way to prosperity and the people would not be bothered by their lies. Apparently they were misled and paid the consequences. The problem in Russia was despite the change in governance there was little change in who governed and who owned all the wealth. China has wisely decentralized their economy and relied on free market principles throughout almost all sectors of their economy.

 

The Chinese leaders have found the one main problem with a free market economy, eventually even these engines need to cool off for a while and that causes an unavoidable recession. This creates one big headache for the leadership in China; they are expected to show profits and economic growth of at least five to six percent every year, period. That will be a real stretch in the next couple of years as their free market sector has reached the apex as things stand and now need to cool the system and take a few quarters, possibly a year or even two of reset and a settling of the economy before the next drive and prosperity again making all happy. The problem is the Chinese Communist Party insists in progress and growth every year or else heads will roll. In China, that is meant quite literally, thus the excessive need to find some way or reporting progress and gains in the economy. This would have been less of a problem had the economy not been buoyed with false growth figures in construction of uninhabited cities and the enforcement of a one child policy cause a drastic set of circumstances. Now China is facing a recession with a glut of male children entering adult life with poor prospects for matrimony coupled with an economic downturn thus even their rescinding the one child policy, it came far too late for these men in a society bereft of women. This adds another component which historically has almost always been solved in the same manner, finding a means of sacrificing a significant number of male citizens between the ages of twelve to twenty-something. That method has always been war.

 

This brings us to another side of China of late, pressing her claims to areas beyond her natural borders and the stationing of troops as a provocation on these fronts. Much of these provocations have been taken in the South China Sea where Chinese activities and demands are threatening long existent and heavily traveled sea trade routes. Add in the Spratly Islands which are claimed somewhat obviously by the Philippines and Viet Nam and add in China and you have instant conflict. This conflict over the Spratly Islands goes far further than the land based claims as should China successfully claim the islands they would also set solid their claim to the South China Sea as their own little private bathtub square in the middle of some of the most heavily travelled sea lanes in the world. This would allow China to control these sea lanes demanding taxes be paid on all cargo, disrupt naval exercises and travel in what are considered as international waters and be a provocation to war all rolled up in one package. The Spratly Islands are likely the end goal of the island building exercises taken by China in the South China Sea and could quickly escalate into an open confrontation should China use their newly built Blue Water Navy to enforce their claims to these waters. Additionally, there are the conflicting claims over the Diaoyu Islands as the Chinese claim and the Senkaku Islands as the Japanese claim (see map below). These two sets of claims are both very sensitive areas but thus far the Chinese appear to be more concerned with their claims for the Spratly Islands as they would cement the South China Sea as strictly Chinese and thus grant China control of the busiest Asian sea lanes and one of the most heavily traveled sea lanes internationally. This might also be the case simply due to the Japanese having a far more developed naval capability compared to Viet Nam and the Philippines and nothing more.

 

Diaoyu Islands as the Chinese Claim Senkaku Islands as the Japanese Claim

Diaoyu Islands as the Chinese Claim
Senkaku Islands as the Japanese Claim

 

The likelihood of an actual war breaking out over the Spratly Islands is considered by many to be a remote possibility. Of course the possibility of China building an island chain to the Spratly Islands and then placing Chinese troops, aircraft and shore batteries and placing naval assets moored to the Spratly Islands is also considered remote. The potential for open conflict with the Philippines calling in their support guaranteed by the United States could be a potential for a quickly escalating situation over the South China Sea, an area the United States desires to be open and free of any interference with trade as much as anybody. Even the Japanese have direct concerns over the Chinese increased territorial claims into the South China Sea. This could easily become a future flashpoint though such is unlikely until some situation would force the United States to emphasize their presence elsewhere pulling assets out of the western Pacific region. One such scenario would be a war in the Middle East threatening the oil shipments from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf oil kingdoms where the United States would also be bound by treaty obligations. With the current United States Navy cut down to well under former levels of actual warships and also less support vessels meaning that the Navy would not be capable of staging on two separate fronts without leaving large segments of the world outside the reach of American naval assets. This is the situation faced currently as the number of front-line aircraft carriers has been reduced such that with one being refurbished then there would not be a full battle group to send into a crisis area forcing the redistribution of assets from areas considered less threatened, though where that might be is a difficult judgement in itself.

 

China is facing economic downturn for the immediate future barring some unforeseen manipulation of forced conflict requiring wartime production which would permit direct government infusions stimulating the economy in an unnatural means which would only make recovery from such a step even more drastic when the correction comes. No nation can continuously show the kinds of gains China has claimed indefinitely and eventually there must be a cooling-off period as the market resets and decides on its next direction for expansion. China did have the advantage of not being a modern, first-world economy after World War II and then struggling through the Mao Zedong five year plan years where things actually managed to worsen thus allowing for a long stretch of recovery, modernization and finally incorporating free market principles and now China is at a top point from which a reset is long, long overdue and pretty much unavoidable short of declaring war. One hopes that even China has progressed beyond using war as an economic stimulus where all markets are crashed to support the war effort allowing for a period of growth and rebuilding when the war is over. One had also best pray that the same is true in the Middle East where the people have reached the end of patience with dictators and are revolting in nation after nation which could threaten to engulf the Middle East, North, the Horn and parts of Central Africa and potentially Europe starting from Turkey and moving westward and northward and even including Russia in a bid to regain some of the lost power of the Soviet Era. Any blow-up in the Middle East and affected areas could be exactly the opening China would need to cement their claims to the waters and international shipping lanes of the western Pacific-Indian Ocean routes and disrupting world trade in hopes of using taxation of trade and other measures to continue to show profits at any cost. As long as tariffs and trade wars are considered a viable economic tool to be found in some national tool kits, then the world is still a dangerous place as long as that remains so.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 21, 2016

Jewish Americans and Love of Israel

 

Way, way back in another era during the Six Day War in my public high school teachers had two choices for that week, have the television on whatever channel was covering the Arab Israeli war or have an empty classroom. The choice was that simple. Teachers who had the television tuned to the news coverage had classes filled to the brim on the first two days as students simply reported to school and went directly to the classroom they knew would have their agenda correct. My high school was close to 80% Jewish and the remainder skipped school if they were not interested in the war as they knew there was no taking roll, as anything that organized was hopeless. By the end of the war virtually every classroom had the news on and the teachers had caught the fever of realizing that we were learning something, we were learning politics and watching a historic event, and it had proven so. That was then and this is now, almost half a century later and even in a public school with such a high percentage of Jewish students there would likely be almost no interest in such events. A school of Evangelical Christians would be more likely to be interested in events in Israel. Don’t get it wrong, there are many Jewish groups and charities which assist Israel, but as an issue Israel has proven to be a disappointment to most American Jews, especially those Jews on the left; the further left the less they care. Such a disinterest explains why the Democrat Party could not get the votes necessary to place belief in our Creator into their platform and had the same difficulty with having a statement supporting Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. The Republican Party had no such difficulty as they placed both in their platform easily while the Democrats had to pretend they got the votes on their third try despite the obvious lack of support. Claiming things have changed would be a horrific understatement. So, what happened?

 

The first item has been a change in the Jews remaining in the United States. The majorities of Zionist Jews have made Aliyah and are now residing in Israel full time or between Israel and the United States for a number of others. In many cases entire families made Aliyah leaving no or few relatives behind. Also the Baby Boomers were mostly the last generation to have a sizeable percentage of Jews who were Zionists and either they are in Israel or their lives having moved onto other items of importance squeezing out their desires to move to Israel. You ask any of the majority of American Jews where is the best place for a Jew to live; their answer will be the United States and if then asked why, their answer is that it is the safest and best place for a Jew to be happy. If pressed on Israel, they may say that is a nice idea and they will mean it is a nice idea like having a car wreck and surviving is a nice idea. In many cases it comes down to one of two things or some combination. The first is they believe Israel to be a very dangerous place from all the news about terrorism and wars all around the Middle East and the potential for Iran to attack or have Hezballah attack possibly using chemical weaponized warheads. The second and more honest answer is that they have no desire to even visit Israel as Israel to them is a horrific embarrassment and is full of these crazy right wing nationalist, they might even say fascist, crazies who want to take over everything and refuse to make any concessions for peace. The fact that Israel is the only side to have made even a single concession, not to mention made all of the concessions thus far, this truth does not register and if you were to make the point they would ignore you or call you a liar and apologist for Netanyahu.

 

Many American Jews will never ever be able to forgive Prime Minister Netanyahu for opposing President Obama so vocally on the Iran Nuclear Deal and doing so with such public affect as possible addressing a joint session of Congress. Never mind that Netanyahu’s address was made all the more public by the antics of those supporting President Obama and vocally stating their intent to boycott the speech. The Jews actually worked to reelect most of these Congresscritters. They saw his speech not as protesting and representing Israel, instead as his having shown bad manners and being ungrateful for all President Obama has done for Israel. Even telling them, showing articles that prove the facts, that President Obama and members of his administration have compromised at least three strikes Israel had planned for destroying much of the Iranian secret nuclear facilities does not faze them in the least. These dastardly undercutting of Israel included exposing cooperative nations causing them to back out as these were Islamic nations and finally promising to shoot down any Israeli aircraft found heading towards Iran using all Iraqi and naval deployments of anti-air assets. The United States placed their entire military, industrial complex, CIA and military intelligence units, and diplomatic core all against any Israeli plan to address the Iranian threat to Israel, Europe and the United States as well as their using nuclear weapons as an umbrella sheltering their terrorist forces outside the nation.

 

The claim that Iran is only a threat to Israel and would never plan to strike the United States denies one crucial piece of information. Why is Iran continuing to develop multi-stage warhead carrying rockets and missiles as they have many rockets and missiles they can have strike Israel. Iran has no need for two and three stage Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) to strike Israel, these are only necessary to strike distant targets such as the British Isles and the United States and other potential distant targets. Their developing such warheads should trouble President Obama but all the President cares about is pushing any and every problem down the road and eventual first strike nuclear weapons will most certainly be a part of Iran’s future game plan. The sole concern of the President is to make sure when everything falls apart he will be long gone and only the alert will count President Obama as the gift that just keeps on giving. During his eight years in office he was integral to the Nuclearization of Iran and the new push by Islamists to control Europe and the generalization of the Shiite Sunni war spreading from Syria on to Iraq, Libya, threatening Egypt in the Sinai and empowering Iran and through Iran Hamas and Hezballah. Additionally President Obama is more than an observer in the making of the Islamic State but it was directly due to his dithering and fiddling away the power and influence in the world that used to be held by the United States in preserving order and instead the United States took an eight year vacation completely vacating her self-defined responsibility as the adult on the block. As everybody knows, when the adult leaves the house the children will run wild and the pets will get into everything taking special attention to anything they believe is edible and spreading it liberally around the house. Hopefully the Americans will awaken to their real role in the world and elect somebody credible, oh, wait, they already threw that option out during their little temper tantrum during the Primaries while the other Party simply promoted the inevitable one and it is almost difficult to choose between them. The choice is the walking temper tantrum against the crooked last mile on its way to prison.

 

Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman Trump’s Israel and Middle East Advisors

Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman
Trump’s Israel and Middle East Advisors

 

Meanwhile we have an actual difference when we look at the race as on things Israel Trump is clueless but he did appoint a pair of decent advisors to advise on all things Israel and Middle East, Mr. Jason Greenblatt and Mr. David Friedman. This is a far cry from the record of Ms. Hillary Clinton who has in her record one of the most destructive relationships with Israeli elected leaders of any Secretary of State including Secretary of State James Baker who was the first American official to negotiate directly and officially with Palestinians and the first senior U.S. official to leverage American aid to Israel in an attempt to halt Israeli settlements. On top of this was his reasoning summed up in one infamous quote, “F%&k the Jews, they don’t vote for us anyway.” One special Hillary act was kissing Ms. Arafat immediately after she gave a speech accusing the Israelis of handing out poisonous candy to Arab children and Israel was using poison gas to pollute the West Bank’s water and land. Ms. Clinton had also stated during a video linkup speaking to a group of Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian teens who were members of the Seeds of Peace group, Clinton stated very adamantly and clearly her position on Israel’s future and the question of Palestinian Arab statehood, “I think it will be in the long-term interests of the Middle East for Palestine to be a state.” Still, we feel we can safely bet that she will receive well over three-quarters of the Jewish vote come November as for too many American Jews being a leftist and a Democrat is far more important than being Jewish or remembering Jerusalem. Despite at least half would know the Biblical quote from the Song of Babylon, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.” Well, they may not recall the entirety but probably would get it mostly correct up to “right hand forget her cunning” and maybe even including “let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,” but no further. Additionally, Hillary Clinton’s long time special aide, and she is the wife of disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin is yet another Arabist and anti-Israel advisor close to Ms. Clinton.

 

Hillary act was kissing Ms Suha Arafat  and with Ms Huma Abedin which pose  a double Arabist Love Affair Problem  for Hillary President Bid Past and Present

Hillary act was kissing Ms Suha Arafat
and with Ms Huma Abedin which pose
a double Arabist Love Affair Problem
for Hillary President Bid Past and Present

 

Closing comments are simple and to the point. Israel is a non-issue with the vast majority of Jewish voters outside of the Orthodoxy. The average Leftist Jew cares more deeply about gun control, free abortions, same sex marriage, United States as the greatest polluter of the Earth and any number of false or misleading lies masquerading as serious issues and they further find Israel with its nationalism and pride in being Jewish as over the top and disgusting. Jews are supposed to be compliant and seek the path of least notice and keep their heads down. Israelis charge towards danger and do not shy away when challenged and that makes the American Jew frightened as it means more people might look at them as well and that is the most frightening thing. One thing for sure, they will likely not see what is coming and coming fast until it is too late, but at least this time the doors to Eretz Yisroel are in Jewish hands, not British; so these doors will remain open for there are two things Israeli and American Jews have in common, we are both Jews and we love our brothers and sisters with their faults. As without their faults, loving them would be far too easy. Now it is true love because we forgive their voting with eyes fully shut.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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