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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July 12, 2016

End the Charade and Keep Your Promises

 

For all too many people there exists so much confusion and misinformation about Israel and whose lands are whose and what are facts and what are fictions. We hear about facts on the ground and some very positive and definitive facts have been found in the grounds as well as on them throughout the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. What might surprise some is that further facts similar to these have been unearthed but either destroyed or left buried once identified east of the Jordan River, throughout the Golan Heights, in Lebanon south of the Litani River and in a swath cutting across Syria all the way to the Euphrates River. These facts exist in a simple but nearly permanent form of artwork known to exist throughout history, mosaics, in particular, mosaic floors. These stones, unless intentionally shifted and scrambled, can be restored to near their former beauty simply through cleaning the stones and perhaps some restoration around the edges or along a seam where the earth itself cracked during an earthquake or similar disruption. These mosaics mostly date back well before the Persians or the Greeks and definitely the Romans conquered these lands and existed during the Biblical times and represent the historic events immediately after their happening and representing them exactly as told when these legends were the facts of their day.

 

Mosaic in Israel shows biblical Samson

Mosaic in Israel shows biblical Samson

 

Most of these mosaics represent Biblical stories which are familiar to virtually any person who attended religious school where the Old Testament was studied even in a cursory fashion as these were the stories that struck awe and let little imaginations run wild and these were the types of heroes that a child would remember throughout their lives.

 

The story of Samson, whose strength was in proportion to the length of his hair, who can forget such a story, would have resonated today. Here we have a single mother put down and in the lowest caste of society praying not for herself but for her son to be a great leader. She promises to obey Hashem and never cut his hair and Hashem will favor her son with strength as his hair is long. She desires her son do well by the family name and bring it honor and this single mother thus sacrifices of herself to help all Israel with her son becoming a success. Everything she could have ever dreamt would come to be the story of her son. Just as promised, Hashem would accept Samson as a servant and Samson would free the Jews from Philistine rule.

 

Hashem blessed Samson with inhuman strength which he used against the Philistines, that is when he was not chasing Philistine women and marrying them, a failing which was his downfall. After Dalila cut his hair and turned the weakened Samson over to the Philistines they gouged his eyes blinding him and they mocked him but somebody grew lax and his hair grew long again. Then there was his final command performance before the Philistine King and Queen and every important Philistine in a grand spectacle where they were to marvel over the captured Jew whose strength they had all so feared back when he could use the jaw bone of a donkey and it would be as effective as any sword in his hands and he slew Philistines with such a weapon. The ending is that Samson pulled the supporting pillars of the arena collapsing the viewing stands bringing the house down, what a performance, and he slew the entire Philistine leadership that day and gave his life to free Israel of Philistine rule. A mosaic with ancient Hebrew letters telling the story was found dating from immediately after the Israelites regained their lands from the attacking Philistines.

 

Fish swallowing an Egyptian soldier in a mosaic scene depicting the splitting of the Red Sea from the Exodus story from the 5th-century synagogue at Huqoq, in northern Israel

Fish swallowing an Egyptian soldier in a mosaic scene
depicting the splitting of the Red Sea from the Exodus story
from the 5th-century synagogue at Huqoq, in northern Israel

 

This Mosaic was found in an area known as the Galilee which was very prevalent in ancient Israel and was the farmlands which supported the Israelite state. As important as were these lower relatively flat lands to the continued existence of the state of Israel as a people need to eat, the hills to the east were the tactical lands which also were used for shepherds as they tended their sheep. These hills were where the Israelites preferred to meet their enemies as the lands made infantry and chariots all but impossible to wield and heavy infantry would quickly tire chasing light infantry, slingers and archers up and down the slopes and across rocky terrain features. Further, the Israelite were very familiar with the lands and knew its hiding places, its tactically important ridges where one would be well above on a steep slope, and areas of concealment such as caves with small or hidden entrances. These were the lands where the Israelite light infantry was successful in repulsing enemies and dispatching even the Roman Legions on the uprisings which were successful in winning independence from Roman Rule, even if only temporarily as the Romans had far greater manpower and could send sufficient Legions such that the Roman men in arms outnumbered the Israelite population including women and children. Still, from time to time the Romans were chased from Israelite lands as the Israelite forces made it simply not economically prudent to continue the war. When the time came to retake the trade routes which passed through the lands and often through Jerusalem, the Israelite capital, the Romans, Greeks, Persians and others through history would arrive on the Israelite borders in numbers which put fear into the bravest of hearts.

 

This would include the Wars of 1948, 1967 and 1973 (War for Independence, Six Day War, and Yom Kippur War) which were all fought in response to acts of war and Israel defending her lands. In Israel’s War of Independence she faced a half dozen national armies which assaulted on her first day as a nation and in this war Israel lost territory including Gaza, and section of Judea and Samaria which Jordan renamed West Bank but their three thousand year old names cannot be erased thus the names of Judea and Samaria better define these lands than any invented name to conceal their natural histories. These same lands were liberated in the Six Day War as well as conquering the Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula. Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt who refused to resume their claims to Gaza returning these lands to Israeli rule. Likewise, Israel even offered to return the lands originally lost in 1948 and liberated in 1967 to Jordan as under Jordanian rule the Jews were expelled from their lands under threat of extermination and fled into Israel in the weeks after the Jordanians expelled them from their land and thus the area had become mostly Arab and many Jordanians but Jordan refused the land and the Arabs remain on the land as the Jews were not the Jordanians and did not expel the conquered people but permitted them remain and work their lands. These Arabs eventually were granted independent autonomy within Israel and thus led to the Palestinian Arabs demand for a homeland invented in 1964 and initially defined as Israel not claiming the West Bank then owned by Jordan but as soon as Jordan lost these lands then the entirety of the lands between the River and the Sea became their rallying demand, replace Israel, not share land with the Jews as the goal was to exterminate the Jews which was expounded by the Mufti of Jerusalem and has been the intent of the Palestinian Arab cause ever since. They do not want two lands for two people, they want simply one people and the Jews slaughtered.

 

The Huqoq synagogue mosaics from the 5th century depict this war elephant which surprised archeologists as there has been no reference in Biblical texts of elephants

The Huqoq synagogue mosaics from the 5th century
depict this war elephant which surprised archeologists
as there has been no reference in Biblical texts of elephants

 

Not every mosaic was of biblical events as told in the Jewish bible but then not every Renaissance painting depicted the Trinity, the Holy Mother or other New Testament stories. The war elephant was still somewhat of a surprise as there was no mention of their being utilized in Israel or Judea by the Greeks or Romans as such forces would have had the same difficulties as had cavalry and chariots in the Judean Hills in eastern Israel. Still such a mosaic was unearthed in the excavations at the site and simply adds to the wonder and gives new insights into the lives of the Israelite Jews who remained in their natural lands after the Roman Dispersals which were inflicted as punishment for their temporarily successful revolts against Roman rule. The First Jewish–Roman War took place starting with Judean Israelites gaining independence in 66 CE only to be overwhelmed by Two Roman Legions in 73 CE. The siege of Masada was the most memorable of the final events of this First Jewish–Roman War. The Bar Kokhba revolt removed Roman rule with successes beginning in 132 CE only to be put down by some research claimed was six Roman Legions with a similar number of supporting troops in 134 to 136 CE. This revolt once put down added one last horror as a lesson for the rebellious Jews with the torturous execution of the Ten Rabbis where some claim all ten at one spectacle while others claim two had been executed earlier but the Talmud tells of the martyrdom of the Ten Rabbis: Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel and Rabbi Yishmael ben Elisha ha-Kohen Gadol who were reportedly executed earlier with the following eight who were Rabbi Akiva; Rabbi Hanania ben Teradion; the interpreter of the Sanhedrin, Rabbi Huspith; Rabbi Eliezer ben Shamua; Rabbi Hanina ben Hakinai; Rabbi Jeshbab the Scribe; Rabbi Yehuda ben Dama; and Rabbi Yehuda ben Baba comprising the Ten Rabbis martyred in total.

 

Ancient First Century Mosaic Depicting Menorah in the Center Flanked by Tree of Life and a Shofar with Ancient Hebrew Letters at Bottom

Ancient First Century Mosaic Depicting
Menorah in the Center Flanked by
Tree of Life and a Shofar with
Ancient Hebrew Letters at Bottom

 

Such Mosaics are found throughout the areas of ancient Israel often depicting Roman and Greek reliefs as these themes represented the time and place realistically. Other mosaics depicted Jewish religious and historical themes and some mosaics unearthed have been dated back to antiquity. These oldest mosaics universally depict scenes from Torah (Five Books of Moses) as well as other Biblical themes from the Jewish Bible (Old Testament) even including reliefs showing Noah’s ark receiving the animals with herds and numerous animals depicted throughout the scene, the Crossing of the Red Sea, Jonah being swallowed by a large fish (it was historically just a large fish as the depiction of whale was not relevant to early life at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea), the giving of the Ten Commandments by Moses at Mount Sinai, the Ten Plagues and other stories. The quality of the stones and resolutions varied often depicting the wealth of an individual or community as the use of smaller stones (the ancient form of pixels) was a sign of wealth and additional time and efforts invested in locating, cutting and sorting the stones before use and the care with which the stones were placed. These mosaics told much about the wealthier individuals and community efforts but surprisingly mosaics have been found in modest dwellings of various qualities, which were more often than not rendered by the owner of the dwelling done as a statement of their pride and anyway one did need a floor so why not take the time and tile it artistically. The one thing was that once you laid your floor it would likely remain with the building marking where the building had existed before the walls collapsed. Floors, as any archeologist will tell you, are the one remain of a dwelling which often is all they have to go by as nothing else remains but the floor with time and once covered that floor will remain to be discovered and dated by the level in which it is discovered, the deeper the earlier the floor and the represented dwelling. Indigenous peoples floors either was the bedrock or rested upon that bedrock.

 

The telling thing is as Jewish themed and Judean and Israelite themes have been found throughout all of history in these lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea; Christian themes arrived in the middle Roman times while the first mosaics depicting Arab themes were not found until after 700 CE. The arrival of such themes dates to when these cultures appeared just as mosaics depicting Greek scenes predated Roman and Persian predated Greek and Jewish themes predated everyone. The earliest mosaics were universally of Judaic origin with an influence from Egypt and an occasional Minoan influence. Hittite artwork as well as Assyrian and earliest Greek including Philistine artwork had a lesser if any effect on Israelite artwork as these other civilizations sculpted as they were idolaters so stone carving was a prized skill while the Israelites were forbidden from worshiping other gods than Hashem and idolatry was a most serious offense against Torah and Hashem thus stone carvings were less desirable while scenes of Biblical history and nature scenes were appreciated as artwork and were thus not in any manner seen as being idolatrous thus against Torah. This likely explains the Israelite preference for mosaics over other art forms such as sculpted stone.

 

Artwork from Antiquity top Minoan Bull Scene Diddle Depicts Hittite War Chariot and Infantry Judean Lion from comparable Israelite Period

Artwork from Antiquity top Minoan Bull Scene
Diddle Depicts Hittite War Chariot and Infantry
Judean Lion from comparable Israelite Period

 

The final piece of the puzzle can be easily shown by simply looking at a few maps. This first map is of the original twelve tribes of Israel, the lands the Israelites were instructed to conquer and carve out their homelands. These lands were not completely conquered until King David and were superseded with additional conquest by Kings David and Solomon but the additional lands were soon lost and the original Twelve Tribes were to be what was historically considered Israel existed from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Negev-Sinai (Egypt) border to the Litany River in the north.

 

Here is a map depicting the conquest of the Holy Lands by Joshua as recounted in the books of Joshua and Kings:

 

Cities Conquered by Joshua As Recounted in Kings In the Hebrew Bible The Old Testament

 

This map depicts the original Twelve Tribes of Israel as defined in the Jewish Bible, the Old Testament both in Torah (Five Books of Moses) and later in Kings and Judges.

 

Eretz Yisroel from back in the time immediately after Exodus and before the additional conquest by King David and King Solomon with the original division of the lands between the Tribes covering both sides of the Jordan River. The Israelis and Jews in general could attempt to demand that Eretz Yisroel, the Land of Israel be made whole as was First Apportioned by Hashem.

 

This map depicts the areas conquered by Kings David and Solomon and from which comes the reference to a Greater Israel which defines such as reaching from the Euphrates River to the Nile River. The Jewish State in any of its manifestations never reached the Nile River not even after the Six Day War and not after David and Solomon. The only time the Israelites had anything to do referencing the Nile River was the story of baby Moses and then the Ten Plagues where the plagues refer to the Nile River in numerous plagues of the Ten Plagues from Hashem upon Egypt because Pharaoh had a hard heart and believed not in the supreme powers of Hashem. The use of a Greater Israel as proof that the Jews desire to conquer the world is further nonsense as we would be very content to have exactly what was promised us in the results of the 1920 San Remo Conference plus the Golan Heights as they are required for having a secure border.

 

Eretz Yisroel as formed after the conquests by the Kingdoms of King David and King Solomon; both of whom allowed the Principalities of Edom, Moab and Ammon to be semi-autonomous as long as they and their armies supported Eretz Yisroel

Eretz Yisroel as formed after the conquests by the Kingdoms of King David and King Solomon; both of whom allowed the Principalities of Edom, Moab and Ammon to be semi-autonomous as long as they and their armies supported Eretz Yisroel

 

Below is the promised borders for the State of Israel as determined by San Remo Conference of April 1920, almost twenty years before the holocaust putting to lie that false claim that Israel was established as compensation for the Holocaust as the idea of a Jewish homelands stretches back in modern eras to around 1850 leading to the formation of the Zionist Conference. After World War I as the empires of the Middle East and North Africa along with the Empires within eastern Europe were being broken into smaller and independent States was where Israel was denoted to be formed under the British supervision and presumably with British assistance, hindrance was the only assistance the Jews received from the British once the Mandate plans were placed into effect. Below is the Jewish desire for our homelands including the Golan Heights, Galilee, Negev, Judea, Samaria and we will magnanimously leave Gaza to Hamas and any other Arab Palestinian desiring a homeland in Gaza which was released to Arab Palestinian control where they elected Hamas, and Gaza was the test case for any state of Palestine living beside Israel in peace. We now have our answer from their actions and their words. Their only desire is our death and destruction and we will depart no additional lands to a people so ardently desiring our destruction and wholesale genocidal murders. This is what should be being discussed, how best to care for the interests of those claiming nationality other than Israeli, especially those known to be members of any of the Palestinian Authority (PA) or other terrorist groups sword to the destruction of the Jewish State once the world fulfills their promise to the Jewish People. Here is the map with final comments below.

 

Definitive Map of Israel

 

Definitive Map of Israel

 

The Arabs remaining in Judea and Samaria would necessarily be broken down into five main groups with residing sub-groups under the following criteria:

 

The first group would be known terrorists with blood on their hands whether they be incarcerated or not in restrictive containment facilities. These would be expelled and where they would go is not an Israeli problem. If they have any worthy properties they would receive compensation provided they never return and they should have made clear that any return within Israeli borders will lead to immediate rescinding of any probation and immediate incarceration.

 

The second group would be known ranking officers in the PA and members of any terrorist entity whether aligned with Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, Fatah, PLO, Islamic State, al-Qaeda or any other known terror outfit would be permitted to transfer to Gaza or be expelled as those above with similar compensation for both groups.

 

The third group would be any Arab desiring to reside in Gaza or other nation be it Arab or other as long as that nation would be accepting of these refugees. They would be given transportation and be compensated fairly for any properties they would be unable to take with them.

 

The fourth group would be Arabs desiring to remain living even under Israeli rule but not work towards receiving citizenship at this time. At six months and one year they would be offered the opportunity to leave and seek a new life elsewhere including Gaza. If such decided to depart, they would receive compensation for what they leave behind.

 

The final group is those desiring Israeli citizenship. These individuals would receive free citizenship instructions and be required to pass a test centered on Biblical Israel and the complete history of the Jewish People in both European and Islamic rulers. Further, upon proving to have tested for acceptable level of deep understanding of Israeli and Jewish history, the fact that Jews prize Jerusalem above all else and understand Israeli laws, they would then be permitted to proceed to the rest of their path to citizenship. Such path could take as little as five years and as long as ten years. Failure to attain citizenship would place them in the fourth group and would not require their expulsion.

 

Finally, any act of terror would result in the perpetrator and all family members who were knowledgeable about the act of terror beforehand would be expelled treated as if they were in the first group. If implementing such a plan resulted in some form of migration which shocks the wider world, or simply defined as Israel even defining such a plan, we would like to remind everybody about the migrations of Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists who were massively forced either into Pakistan or leaving Pakistan and these people received little if any support from governments or humanitarian organizations by and large. There was the forced repatriation of Tibetan Buddhists including monks from Tibet to the far corners of China and the forced repopulation of Tibet with poor Chinese farmers without anybody even risking a papercut in order to protest that injustice. There was not even the slightest gasp as hundreds of thousands of Jews forced from their lands by their Arab leaders without even allowed but to carry a single small suitcase. Little was uttered when it was found that Jewish survivors of the death and work camps returned home they were thrust out of their own home city as all their belongings, stores, homes had long since given to others presumably in need making any surviving Jews doubly unwanted as the British were doing almost everything possible preventing Jews from returning to their ancestral homelands. Every day since 1920 and the recognition of a homeland for the Jewish People are established in their historical and documentable homelands the world has been evidently biased and could be said to have actively opposed any form of Jewish State. Fortunately for the Jewish People and people everywhere we have taken possession of our natural neighbors who have thus far proven to be just as approving and so very sweet and loveable as had been our ancient neighbors. The one closing idea all should take from all in this article, we are here and here we will remain as long as we have the breath with which to operate our daily lives. This will in turn assist all as we try to use our land and our gifts of the mind and provide miracles every day, even those that would normally be fatal as we bounce back as if we were professionals, which we are at so many things.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 5, 2016

Final Weeds in the MENA Garden, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Iran

 

In a nutshell Syria has a fair measure of the powers in play in the Middle East and into North Africa. In addition we will also need to mention areas centered on Nigeria where Boko Haram is centrally located making war on Nigeria and all her neighboring states. Then there is Yemen and two straits, Bab el-Mandeb and finally the Strait of Hormuz which are all parts of the Iranian designs which start with the Shiite Crescent from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and control of the two most important waterway choke points in the Middle East affecting everything from the eastern tip of Asia to the Western tip of Europe including the British Isles. But it all starts with Syria and the last block to the Shiite Crescent.

 

Iran sits conveniently at the eastern edge just beyond the Arab Muslim Empire and as such is mostly a different peoples east of the Zagros Mountains which have served as a defensive barrier thousands of years. This was the secret of the Persians and why despite falling to Islam they remained separate and distinct. Still, if Iran was ever to claim the right as the head of a Caliphate they were going to need to establish two things, a connection unobstructed to the Mediterranean Sea and thus full access to North Africa and South Europe and a mass alteration of Islam making Shia Islam dominant over Sunni Islam. The first is a major step towards the second. The hope was once Iran had access to the Mediterranean cutting across the Middle East gaining direct or implied control over much of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon they would appear, as Islam claims to be the superior, the strong horse and thus could influence many that Sunni Islam was weak and Shia Islam was dominant and thus start the conversion of Sunni Muslims to Shia Islam and thus become the dominant force reestablishing both the historic Persian Empire and taking over the new Caliphate and the lead position over nearly two-billion Muslims.

 

Iran had taken control of Lebanon when they took sponsorship of Hezballah which initially was a universally recognized terror group which was fighting the Christian militias and had also fought against the IDF using terrorist strikes in an attempt to wear Israel down and force their capitulation and return to south of the recognized international border known as the Blue Line. Eventually a left leaning government bent to the protests and declared an end to what they called a tragic period in Israeli history completely forgetting the reasons, the valid reason that brought Israel into southern Lebanon. Israel replied to the hue and cry of the Christians of southern Lebanon as Syrian troops invaded Lebanon aiding Hezballah who were facing being slaughtered and Israel responded to an intense threat of a human disaster in the making as had already been committed to the initial Christian communities near the Syrian border. Israel, Ariel Sharon in particular, was blamed for a revenge strike on Sabra and Shatila massacring the Muslims which were carried out by the Christian militias and not the IDF. Still the world could not blame the Christian militias as they were irregular fighters and as such were not sufficiently organized with a command structure and as such their silence made finding those responsible became impossible so the work picked the next best thing, Israel. Europe had what seems like a default setting that if it happens in the Middle East, then when in doubt, blame Israel.

 

Once Israel retreated from southern Lebanon the Lebanese military was supposed to move in with United Nations oversight. Neither occurred and in many instances the United Nations aided Hezballah in their efforts to set up a series of tunnels as well as arms caches and command and control bunkers. This eventually led to another Israeli incursion into Lebanon after Hezballah kidnapped, and subsequently murdered three Israeli soldiers and killed five other soldiers at the point of the ambush inside Israel when they caught a patrol vehicle off guard and unsuspecting any incursion across the border from Lebanon. Iran uses Hezballah as their threat against Israel and has armed them to a point which is truly frightening as Iran has stocked Hezballah with at least one-hundred plus long range missiles and uncountable limited range rockets which have as much as a fifty kilometer range. Amongst the longer range missiles are stores of Zilzal-2 and Fateh-110 provided by Iran bringing them into Damascus and shipping them over land often on their own mobile vehicles. This is the threat Iran would threaten to unleash on Israel had Israel actually struck at Iranian nuclear sites and likely will be the first strike against Israel whenever Iran decides that they will attack the Jewish homeland. The total is well over two-hundred-thousand rockets and missiles from ten to twenty kilometer Grads, Fajr series, Shahab series and Ghadr missiles. Then there are the mid-range Scud series of ballistic rockets and then the more advanced guided missiles which the most advanced has two stages and Iran can strike Israel from Iran with these longer range Missiles so Lebanon can not only strike Israel but also northern Saudi Arabia and Egypt as well as all of Turkey and anywhere within Syria or Jordan and much of Iraq. With these longest range missiles stationed in Iran and Lebanon the range brings them to command coverage over the entire Middle East and beyond, a definite threat to the heart of Sunni Islam, exactly what Iran envisioned as their way to claim command over all of Israel. Their problem, Syria collapsed and nobody can claim complete control over Syria as well as over Iraq, the two breaking Iran’s Shiite Crescent in two.

 

Iran is not the only outside power with an interest in Syria. The most straight forward national interest belongs to the Russians who have one main port at Latakia and potential other locations along the Mediterranean shoreline which provides them a warm water port with easy access to the Atlantic Ocean. The Russian plan is likely to reposition a fair share of their Black Sea naval forces to the Syrian ports thus placing them beyond the Bosphorus which could easily be closed any time that Turkey might decide they are upset with the Russians. The teetering of the relationship between Turkey and Russia became very evident a few months ago when Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet claiming it had flown into Turkish air space, something very likely as Russia has been bombing locations in support of Bashir al-Assad who has lost control over much of the nation he once ruled unchallenged. Now there are a number of militias and terror groups each commanding their own parts with Assad, the Kurds and Islamic State have the largest locations under their control. Other areas are controlled by the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda offshoot, Free Syrian Army, Jaish al-Izzah, Levant Front, Alotfecat Brigades, and offshoots divided into Syrian Opposition-al-Qaeda network, Federation of Northern Syria, Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or Islamic State. Each of these groups have so many offshoots that it becomes cumbersome to even begin to list them but for those who desire a detailed list one can be found here With al-Assad opposing these groups are the remains of the Syrian Army, Russian Naval and air support, Hezballah and some Druze militias are fighting in support of Bashir al-Assad whose control is limited to the westernmost areas of Syria including Damascus and the port cities which the Russians are defending with occasional air attacks flown against the terror forces but usually avoiding the Kurds and Islamic State and striking the weaker forces which al-Assad might be better poised to defeat.

 

Military Situation in the Syrian Civil War Areas of Control  by Major Force Divisions as of June 3, 2016.

Military Situation in the Syrian Civil War Areas of Control
by Major Force Divisions as of June 3, 2016.

 

The Kurdish Militias are holding the northernmost areas largely against the Islamic State. Turkey has provided bombing targets used for the United States air strikes as President Obama micromanaging their actions by putting their orders for strikes to Turkish intelligence. This has resulted in many of these strikes instead of targeting the Islamic State side of the conflict line are instead striking the Kurdish side making the situation more favorable for the Islamic State. The saving grace was that the Russians protested the NATO air strikes as interfering with Russian air strikes and set where the United States and Turkish fighter jets are restricted to a corridor which has actually favored the Kurdish forces. This became serious after Turkey shot down the Russian Fighter Jet. What is not discussed publically is the agreement between Russia and another air force in the area allowing for Israel to conduct tactical strikes in response to any attacks against Israeli forces on the Golan Heights. This was negotiated between President Putin and Prime Minister Netanyahu in Moscow early in the Russian intervention. This has proven necessary a number of times as the different forces have intentionally fired on IDF troops damaging vehicles and causing some injuries which required at times a more serious response than a couple of artillery or tank shells as a position required removal. These strikes barely make comment even within Israel but there have been some reports in a few of the smaller nationalist and Zionist sources online and in print.

 

Likely the most notable forces have been those of the Islamic State due to their early success largely in Iraq. They took control of the Sunni northern and central areas bordering southern Syria as the mostly Shiite Iraqi army forces simply fled or attempted to melt into the public. Their difficulty was that many of the Sunni civilians who these troops had tormented got their revenge turning over those Shiite soldiers who were guilty of such inter faction fighting. The Islamic State after their fast conquest of largely open areas and a few key cities in Iraq have now settled into defensive posture as they were close to overextension which had allowed for some key cities and towns being reclaimed. The Islamic State holds large open areas in Syria which are mostly desert and open scrublands which were sparsely populated. Their supposed massive victories were somewhat overblown in the hyperventilating Western media as they were hungry for a big story so every gain of the Islamic State, even those which were made in areas where they were unopposed were claimed to be grand expansion of their military control. The main story they should have never strayed from was the Islamic State’s brutality. This alone is the reason that the Islamic State deserves being liquidated by whatever means are necessary and this fight should be carried out largely by indigenous troops. Any support by Western forces should be limited to providing air support and precision strikes on such targets as command and control facilities and fixed positions as well as taking out the Western armor and other Western equipment. Other than such air support and potential cruise missile or drone strikes the Western ground forces should not be placed in harm’s way as such assistance is more often not appreciated and often used as reasons for protests and resentment. They should not risk being dragged into what may prove to be a prolonged number of operations in order to clear out pockets of resistance. As far as Syria, that too should not require any Western ground forces and be left to indigenous forces with support from Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Iran and potential financing from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.

 

Yemen Battle Map

Yemen Battle Map

 

The other front that needs addressing also has an Iranian contingent in Yemen. Iran is also attempting to gain the ability to completely disrupt all maritime trade by holding military threat over two of the most sensitive straights in all of the Middle East, Bab el-Mandeb and finally the Strait of Hormuz. The Bab el-Mandeb cuts off Israeli maritime access from the Red Sea on the way to the Indian Ocean and on to the rest of Asia and the Pacific as well as blocking any use of the Suez Canal by cutting off its southern access. The Strait of Hormuz has a large portion of the world’s crude oil shipping. Iran already holds threat over the Strait of Hormuz as one side of the entire Persian Gulf borders Iran (a huge ‘no duh’). This threat Iran has had and used since the Islamic takeover in 1979 requiring the United States to intervene as well as to bring in minesweepers to clear mines which Iran had strewn as part of their cutting off of the Strait of Hormuz. The Bab el-Mandeb sits off the southwestern most border of Yemen which borders the southernmost Red Sea. This is the other choke point other than the Suez Canal itself. The Suez Canal is safely within the borders of Egypt between the Sinai Peninsula and main body of Egypt which has only faced a force other than Egyptian when Israel held the Sinai briefly in 1956 and for a number of years after the Six Day War in 1967 until Egypt and Israel made peace in 1979. Israel never threatened to close the Suez Canal though it may have been risky using the Suez Canal during the 1973 Yom Kippur War as initially Egyptian troops were pouring across into the Sinai and within a few days after Israel mobilized and struck back were crossing the Suez Canal and for a while held both shores but withdrew back across the Canal into the Sinai after the world demanded Israel cease winning the war and immediately stop advancing on Alexandria and Cairo. Funny, there was no call for Egypt to stop their advance across the Sinai intending to strike into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I guess Egypt advancing and defeating Israeli defenders is completely different than Israel advancing and defeating Egyptian forces. Should Iranian Houthi rebels take control over sufficient areas of Yemen and a peace leave the areas in the southeastern end of Yemen then Iran would have access to blocking the Bab el-Mandeb and blocking the Suez Canal which would end all oil and maritime trade with Europe forcing those hardy enough to try having to circle the south end of the African Continent. That used to be a difficult and dangerous route before the canal and the main reason the Suez Canal was built. Iran desires to hold a stranglehold over maritime trade and oil trade thus being able to threaten the world and especially threaten Europe. That is why Egypt is assisting in Yemen and the West had best have an interest in what happens in Yemen, even if not as much in Syria.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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