Beyond the Cusp

June 20, 2016

Our Feckless World

 

The escalation of the Islamic world’s war is against those who are insufficiently pure in their Islam practices and are not as obedient as desired or worse, not a worshipper of Allah and Muhammad and the true chain of the roots of Allah’s path from Abraham through Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant which she gave Abraham so he could produce an heir, a son. This son was Ishmael, who eventually fathered the progeny from Abraham and Hagar, presumably producing Muhammad, thus spawning Islam many centuries later. This new religion of Islam was supposed to be a furtherance of the Judeo-Christian lines and bring peace and one final message for humankind by which to live in peace and harmony, or at least that was how it presumably started. After being rebuffed, scorned and thrown out of Mecca, Muhammad went to Medina where the prophesy continued and changed its flavor and methods as Muhammad gained power rising to rule in Medina as a great warlord with a crushing force at his disposal. This force assisted his vengeance on Mecca for its treatment of Muhammad and the rest is history. The Quran took on a different tone which some have cast as “conquer the world for Allah.” A somewhat deeper explanation can be read starting with Which Quran, Mecca or Medina? and followed up after that brief summary from a wealth of information added by numerous readers in the comments with links to other sites which range from commentaries on the Quran to different orderings of the Quran from traditional to chronological and more. Many of the worldly difficulties with the followers of the Medina Quranic verses which presumably, when differing from the Mecca verses, the later ones take precedence, has led to the Islamic State and groups like Hamas, Boko Haram and other terror enclaves in Afghanistan, the Philippines and beyond. What is often forgotten when discussing Islam is there are also a number of groups who live perfectly good Quranic lives giving what these other groups claim are abrogated sections of the Quran by the more aggressive, but these places remain open societies proving that there are peaceful ways and means which can be followed from the Quran and that it is all in how you implement the Quran and what you seek to gain from your experiences in Islam.

 

The Orlando nightclub slaughter, which is being portrayed in some circles as purely a hate-crime against the LGBT community, is being cast ignoring the Islamic roots of the shooter or actually intimating that he was a member of the Christian right and a fanatic and gun nut even more for gun rights than the NRA and Donald Trump type of supporter. This approach eventually ties in the violence which has broken out at any number of Trump’s campaign rallies. The small fact that this violence was almost always instigated by leftist protesters, many of whom had leftist backings, has been left out from the picture so as to tarnish Trump as the one causing the violence. That is simply political expediency and the horrors of the nightclub shooting is not about the United States race for the White House and rather about the race to club America into obedience of the Quran and adopting Islam as America’s sole religion. The same can be said for June 13; the Philippines government confirmed that Robert Hall, a Canadian citizen, was beheaded by the ISIS-affiliated Abu Sayyaf terrorist group who held him hostage since September 2015. Canada’s prime minister’s Justin Trudeau’s reaction was posted on his Facebook page. “Canada holds the terrorist group who took him hostage fully responsible for this cold-blooded and senseless murder,” he said. Trudeau avoided mentioning the radical Islamic ideology espoused by Abu- Sayyaf, its affiliation with the Islamic State (a.k.a. IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Caliphate) and previously with al Qaeda. The same problem has continued half a world away with the brutality of Boko Haram which also strikes at those not of Islam across a wide area in central northern Africa centered on Nigeria. These groups have increased their ability to recruit others locally as well as from a distance after their swearing allegiance to the Islamic State and their leader, the self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

 

Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi The World as the Islamic States Believes It to Be with These Islamic Provinces Loyal to Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and The World

Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
The World as the Islamic States Believes
It to Be with These Islamic Provinces Loyal
to Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and The World

 

The world view of Baghdadi appeals to these frustrated youths who are frustrated with their lives and see the world as imperfect and in need of cleansing. These so-called ‘Lone Wolves’ like the Orlando terrorist and the San Bernardino killer couple and the others throughout the Western World as well as within the Islamic World all believe they are following a true vision. The same vision goes for many of the terror groups which have spawned as a result or have joined with the Islamic State. All of these otherwise disparate groups desire to reach a standing in what they believe is the future of the world as the Western World is unworthy of continuing as the main power in the world. If it was not the Islamic State it would be whatever group is strongest and claims leadership over all Islam and the tip of the spear which will pierce the world for Allah. Meanwhile the Western World remains asleep and leaderless in this fight. President Obama has been approached through the United Nations to call for a concerted effort from the Security Council thus coordinating the fight against the Islamic State. Defeating the Islamic State will require a unified world effort as smashing it into a million pieces will simply produce a million emissaries to spread the hatreds of the Islamic State making it even more dangerous. What needs to be done is to destroy the Islamic State in one well-coordinated assault on its main bodies in Syria and Iraq not allowing for their forces to escape out into the world spreading this incarnation of evil even further.

 

The problem with getting such a unified effort blessed by the United Nations has long been President Obama’s insistence on the only way the United States could fully join the fight. President Obama has demanded that the United States work through the Security Council as well as the General Assembly before committing ground troops. This precondition has been repeatedly stated and the lack of a United Nations Security Council resolution requiring force be used and taken against the Islamic State is the one request which would allow for a coalition to be formed to fight the Islamic State directly. The strangest piece to this puzzle has been President Obama himself as the United States has blocked any cooperation in drawing such a resolution. This obstruction apparently centers around the fact that the resolution was drafted by Russia and does not give President Obama the lead position in the coalition. Actually it appears that President Obama is blocking any action being coordinated from the Security Council as the combined forces of the world would then be turned loose to obliterate the Islamic State in place not allowing it to disperse. A crushing defeat would take off the gleam currently perceived to be emanating from the Islamic State and Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi personally making him a figure that the other groups can utilize.

 

No one other than President Obama can claim to know what is going on in his head that he blocks the exact measures he claims he requires in order to fight the Islamic State and eradicate it in quick order. Perhaps it is because he would not be perceived as the sole leader who freed the world from this monster and the acts of depravity committed in his name. Perhaps he sees the Islamic State as a system through which the majority of the Islamic world can be rallied and actually start the next Islamic war on the rest of the world. Perhaps President Obama wants to leave all options on the table so if he is not instated as the next head of the United Nations he can aspire then to lead the Islamic State and become Caliph of the World. It is just odd that President Obama become the obstruction preventing the Security Council from passing the necessary resolutions to bring a singular united World to bear and that he claimed were necessary for the United States to step forth into the breach, so to speak.

 

Meanwhile the main forces actually striking at the Islamic State are halfhearted bombing by the United States and slightly more vigorous bombings by the Russians. Neither side appears to have their heart in fighting the Islamic State. Probably the one thing preventing President Obama from allowing the Security Council to step forward and take charge in demanding actions be taken against the Islamic State is he knows it would take far more effort and a huge American commitment in manpower and treasure to wage such a war. President Obama probably does not wish to entangle the rest of his administrative efforts into defeating the Islamic State as it would be messy and soldiers would unfortunately be killed and fighting the Islamic State which can hide in plain sight as they do not exactly wear uniforms and would be far more able to hide within a compliant civilian surroundings without raising suspicions. Entangling the United States into such a war would result it as being his legacy and President Obama is not going to go down as the President which got us into a deadly and seemingly futile Middle East War. President Obama would rather place the emphasis on forcing or destroying Israel and replacing it with a failed Arab Palestinian State. It would not surprise us if President Obama doesn’t place some degree of faith in the claim that the Islamic State is an Israeli Mossad action done so as to empower Israel into controlling the actions of a large sector of the Islamic world. Nobody other than the President knows for sure what he believes and what is driving his current reticence towards empowering the United Nations to act.

 

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is not exactly beating a bombing run or even a surveillance pass against the Islamic State. With the recent assault on Paris, the lone wolf attacks traceable to the Islamic State, one would expect to see a concerted effort by the Europeans to have used the European Union to formulate their response, but nothing. A warning should be sounding throughout Europe as an ominous date approaches, the celebrations of the ancient Battle of Badhr which is remembered and commemorated in Islam on the 17th of Ramadan. This year it falls on Thursday, June 23rd, beginning Wednesday evening at sundown of this week. The one thing that Islam does even better than commit horrific acts is remembering anniversaries of its greatest victories or its worst humiliations which it tries to erase with glorious victories. The 1973 Arab-Israeli War (the Yom Kippur War) began on the 17th day of Ramadan. The Egyptians code-named their surprise attack on Israel as “Operation Badhr” occurring on the holiest day in Judaism, Yom Kippur. That war had an optimistic beginning and would have been an even greater challenge and likely disaster had the battle lines been the same as they were before the Six Day War and many an Arab commander from that war blamed the fact that the world had not already forced Israel back into its box. That is part of the drive to force Israel back to the 1949 Armistice lines, the pre-67 Lines, as then they feel Israel can be defeated more readily.

 

But other than it is fighting the Infidel and making War for Allah, there is a complete disconnect between Israel and their troubles with its existence and the Islamic struggle to conquer the world, which currently means ultimately the United States. Where you will see Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezballah all make attacks on the rest of the world; they mostly channel their efforts against Israel. Granted that Hezballah is currently being embroiled in protecting Bashir al-Assad, as he has no real troops to call his own, almost every Nasrallah speech is about the coming demise of Israel and his quarter of a million rockets all aimed at Israel from top to bottom in Eilat. He regularly insists on mentioning their ability to hit Eilat despite it not being a likely target but simply to make the claim he can now hit anywhere in Israel. On the other hand there have been no real efforts by al-Qaeda or Islamic State though both claim to have operatives embedded in Gaza or with the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria (West Bank). The only activity ever taken up by Islamic forces outside those directly fighting Israel is the occasional attempt to break the Gaza sea blockade with some heavily advertised flotilla which despite getting huge buildups online results in nothing in reality.

 

The Islamic world has far more pressing problems than Israel at the moment and does not appear capable of repairing the breaches in its states. Lebanon and Iraq are functional basket cases with Syria so completely devastated that it is no longer a nation and more of a roiling pot of troubles masquerading as a civil war which is simply filling up an otherwise empty space with no semblance of functioning governance. Libya is no different and is largely Syria but toned down because even less care is extended in that direction and Islamic State in Libya has yet to take on the evil dimensions as its spawning parent in Syria and Iraq. Talking about Iraq, the main functioning governance there is Iran. For all intents and purposes the world may as well recognize a nation of Kurdistan and draw its borders extending across northern Iraq and including northeastern Syria. By declaring the Kurds as having their own nation it would be a good first step towards repairing the damages perpetrated on the Arab world at the end of World War I. Sykes Picot Agreement divided up the Middle East to represent European oil interests and nothing more.

 

Yes a couple of promises were kept but far more were ignored or intentionally broken, and a Kurdish State must top that list as it can be easily rectified and would allow for more places for a base against the Islamic State. A declared Kurdistan would also be such a slap in the face to al-Baghdadi that much of the Islamic State efforts would be shifted to solely taking out this Kurdish State and making the Kurds into a nation would give them an even greater ideal around which to dedicate their Thusfar heroic efforts. Granted Turkey would initially disagree and be completely against such as Erdogan sees himself as the next ruler of Syria incorporating it into a greater Turkey and the initial step to reestablishing the Ottoman Empire. Should the borders of Kurdistan be drawn liberally along its southern regions to include Mosul and additional lands in Syria it would not be a bad idea as this would provide room for the Kurds residing in Turkey, who would rather live under Kurdish rule, to emigrate. That would also signal to the Arab and Muslim world that the Western World realized the injustice it imposed on them at the conclusion of world War I with the cutting of tribes into two or more pieces and shoved warring factions together in a single nation with the direct desire to cause the kind of chaos now occurring though at a lower level but preventing any string forces to develop in the oil rich regions and surrounding nations. The time to repair that would be now after the terror wars are brought to a close and then the West needs to work with the interests of the region and not against them. First though is the destruction of the Islamic State as that is an abomination to any possibility of a peaceable Middle East, even a peace amongst the Arabs with one another.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 17, 2014

Random Thoughts Roundup

Let’s start with the mysterious disappearing Malaysian Boeing 777-200ER flight number 370 which dropped off of radar by turning off the transponder beacon and disappeared leaving no trace, or at least none yet discovered despite a massive search. The debate initially was had the aircraft crashed into the seas or been blown into a million small bits at 35,000 feet. Then the question was about whether or not it had been hijacked and the introduction of two Iranian men who boarded the flight using stolen passports and identifications. Now this story has birthed a plethora of different possible scenarios even to include the theory that the plane was hijacked or diverted with the cooperation of the pilot and co-pilot and taken to some location where it may be utilized in a future terror attack. This would leave two huge questions; who stole it and what are they going to do with the over two-hundred passengers and crew that came along with the purloined aircraft. The theory gaining the most credence here has been that the plane was indeed diverted and taken by some terrorist sponsors with ulterior motives all of which are not necessarily terrorist acts. The fear is the terror sponsors who arranged the theft of a plane full of innocent people had more than the future use of it in some form of terror attack and that entity was Iran. The fact that the plane was initially reported to have turned off its transponder but that its engines had continued to search for a Boeing satellite to which it could download flight engine characteristics for use in reporting any malfunction or necessary maintenance for four hours after the plane dropped from flight leads one to pretty much rule out it having experienced a catastrophic malfunction or been destroyed by a terrorist bombing. The latest reports now claim that the plane had continued to fly for approximately seven hours after it dropped from identifiable view and that it initially took one of two regularly utilized flight trajectories one of which would have taken it over Thailand and the other across India. The flight path that would lead to the Bay of Bengal, then aiming for Iran becomes a logical target and seven hours would have placed the plane likely somewhere in or around southeastern Iran. The Iranians, other than being the world’s leading terror sponsoring nation, likely would love to have a couple of modern Boeing engines for reverse-engineering along with the avionics systems and other advanced guidance, control and possibly even the entertainment systems. Then, the utilization of a modern passenger airliner for delivering possibly an EMP or other nuclear device would enable the Iranians to use virtually any size weapon and not need to engineer a missile deployable miniaturized warhead. With an entire Boeing 777-200ER airliner at their disposal, the Iranians could place virtually anything one could dream up onboard and very likely escape most detection systems simply by assigning it a believable or actual transponder sequence and have the aircraft fly along recognized and heavily trafficked flight paths eventually reaching anywhere on the planet after making at most three fueling stops. Reaching the heartlands of the United States would only require a flight from Iran to Libya for the first refueling stop, then flying on to Venezuela for the second fueling stop, and finally straight north across the heartlands of the United States detonating an EMP device at 35,000 ft. over St. Louis fulfilling one of Iran’s main chants at protests, “Death to America.”

 

Another hot issue is the Ukraine, the Crimean Peninsula, Russian troops and Russian President Putin, or as we like to refer to him, Vlad the Invader. There have been rumored reports that Russian troops attempted to enter a region that lies just off the northeast coast of Crimea called the Arabat Spit. This reputed encroachment comes on the same day as the vote by the citizens of Crimea as to whether they desire to remain as part of the Ukraine or if they prefer to be returned to Russian rule. There will be many commentators posturing and posing questions and scenarios no matter what the reported outcome of the vote. What I may think the citizens of the Crimea should decide is irrelevant but what is relevant is who is counting the votes. Does anybody honestly believe a reported outcome of a vote where Vlad the Invader is responsible for counting the votes and validating the totals, honestly? After all, it was a likely hero of Vlad the Invader, Joseph Stalin who said, “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.” With the recent past of Russian elections as an indicator, can anybody honestly have any faith when the person who counted the votes granting Vladimir Putin back-to-back victories in elections for Russian President followed by a win for not only Vladimir Putin as Prime Minister, but his able and helpful acolyte and flunky Dmitry Medvedev as Presidential Place Holder who stepped aside at the next election which, of course, Vladimir Putin won back the Presidency. Odds are the world will never know the actual results of the vote from the Crimea and that may be as good as it gets as anything other than their opting for Russian rule would only increase the probability of open warfare breaking out. Don’t even expect that taking the Crimean Peninsula will be the end of this crisis as one can pretty much bet the farm that Vlad the Invader is not yet finished invading. Part of the proof for this conjecture leads to another Ukraine news story.

 

In Kiev on Sunday, Zalman Hetzklovich and his wife, an Israeli couple, were walking in Independence Square. The initial thought has to be, what were they thinking? As if there is not sufficient excitement and danger available in some places in Israel such as Sderot when the Gaza rockets are launching as they have over one-hundred times just this past week, this couple decided to vacation in Kiev in the Ukraine during a Russian invasion in progress? Well, they got their excitement and then some. The Hetzkloviches were set upon by eight men wearing Ukrainian uniforms and carrying clubs who leapt from a van. The couple disobeyed the call for them to stop reportedly said in Russian and ran jumping into a taxi to make their escape. As reported by Zalman Hetzklovich “I understood that if I didn’t run at that moment it would be the end of us. I stopped a taxi and got in with my wife, asking the driver to get us out of there. The attackers surrounded the car and demanded the driver stop. The driver stepped on the gas and knocked over the rioters, who succeeded in damaging one side of the cab. The driver was able to drive one block away until he reached a traffic jam; we saw the pursuers were back, and had gotten into their car, starting to chase after us.”

 

The Hetzkloviches were able to flee from the taxi and made it to a nearby synagogue where they took refuge. Chairman of the Kiev Hatzala emergency rescue organization, Rabbi Hillel Cohen, took the initiative and notified the authorities of the situation and then made arrangements to fly the couple back to Israel Sunday night. Rabbi Cohen reported that the authorities “apparently the government in Ukraine is dealing with more pressing problems at the moment.” Rabbi Cohen himself had just been released from the hospital Saturday after recovering from a stabbing wound in his leg he received as he was attacked on Thursday night by an anti-Semitic mob. One interesting anecdote about the situation the Rabbi found himself a victim of was that the medical responders who treated his wounded leg before transporting him to the hospital were volunteers whom had been trained only two weeks ago by the organization Rabbi Cohen runs, the Hatzalah Kiev, an aid organization which provides medical assistance and training as well as other community services using volunteers. There have been numerous reports of gangs of anti-Semites accosting and assaulting Jews in Kiev and in other locations within the Ukraine. Some of these mobs have been reported to be speaking Russian though there have also been reports of uber-nationalists who were among the rebels who recently aided in the overthrow of the Russian backed governance. It is thought that the Russian agitators have chosen to victimize the Jews in order to instigate further violence and force general unrest. There was a report of a synagogue being firebombed and another synagogue in the Crimea was reportedly defaced. This is not completely unexpected as acts of anti-Semitism have been on the increase in the Ukraine just as they have all across Europe and even in the Americas. Rabbi Moshe Moskowitz reported in a recent interview that many Jews he had spoken with have expressed a desire to leave the Ukraine and take up residence in Israel. One cannot blame them as such a move would apparently place them in a safer environment. Let us all hope that the crisis in the Crimea and the Ukraine does not escalate any further thus making it possible for a more significant and violent confrontation to spread even further, a distinct possibility if world history is any indicator.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 13, 2014

Poverty in the First World Virtually Nonexistent

With President Obama and his new emphasis on income inequality and supposed poverty in the United States, one could not be blamed for believing that poverty is a huge problem in the United States. With the comparisons made to the European nations as examples which should be emulated by the United States in order to reduce, if not eliminate, poverty one might be led to believe there is even less poverty in European nations. The actual truth is there is virtually no poverty throughout the first world, the industrialized and modern nations which includes almost every European nation, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and all of the rest of the of the G-20 nations. That is not to claim that there is nobody living in these nations who may be going hungry as there very likely are some among the homeless who could be found to suffer from severe lack of nutrition and other health problems. What this does claim is that they make up an almost negligible sector in the population and in many cases these people deserve to be institutionalized and many would have been cared for as such before the great new experiment proposed and shoved through legislatures from the Federal Government down to the most local governances by progressives in the mental health care systems in the 1950s and 1960s where it was claimed that the mentally infirm would be better served placed in conditions where they were forced into the mainstream public arena where they would interact with normal adjusted population giving them an impetus and serving as an example for these distressed people. This led to the closing of a majority of the mental health asylums placing their former inmates in halfway houses from which they mostly walked out and never returned as without the guidance and constant observation they simply walked off and the result was their living on the streets without receiving their medications or any counselling. This has led to some who are the most in need of assistance and supervised living not being treated making up a fair number of those classified as homeless, a number which grew significantly as the mental health facilities were closed and transformed into out-patient care facilities. Beyond this sector of society, there is little if any real poverty in the industrialized world when compared to the rest of the nations of the world.

 

In the industrialized nations starvation is not a widespread problem while in many areas in the world where civil strife or outright war zones exist there are numerous, often a majority, of those who are truly starving to death, homeless, without any medical healthcare and completely destitute. There have been reports of widespread starvation with people eating grasses, leaves, tree bark and anything they can scrounge in North Korea and more recently in two of the Palestinian refugee camps in Syria who have been denied receipt of any aid including food by both the Syrian Army and their allies and the rebel forces. There has been widespread starvation due to drought in much of central Africa, a situation which has been further exaggerated by internecine warfare often between warlords or religious extremists. These are areas where there exists true and absolute poverty, not relative lack of wealth. These are people who are truly suffering and face death by violence, starvation, disease or any number of causes which are virtually unheard of in the First World. Of course to report that there is no true and life-threatening poverty throughout the First World is something that the politicians are loathe to admit as doing so would remove from the discussion a cause on which they can grandstand and steamroll over any objections because they are assisting the unfortunate and wretched victims of poverty in the society. The so-called poverty in the First World has actually become big business and those who are the ruling princes will not allow anybody to harm their cash cow.

 

The main mantra that those who utilize rumored rampant poverty within the most advanced and wealthy societies is that there must be income equality and systems put in place that redistribute wealth in order to care for those who are less fortunate and in poverty. Their claim will be that those who have succeeded the most owe those who have less to share in their good fortune. They desire penalizing the top ten percent to distribute among those who make up the bottom twenty percent. The problem comes if one were to take this concept and generally apply it to the entirety of the population of planet Earth. If the wealth of the top ten percent of the world were taken through a high rate of tax or other penalty and redistributed to those in the bottom twenty percent then none of the redistributed wealth would be received by anybody in the First World. The distribution could be spread amongst the bottom fifty percent, that’s right, the bottom half, then there might be the smallest of chance that some of the redistributed wealth would reach the less wealthy, it would be wrong to call them truly desperately poor, of the First World. Where it is folly to pretend that this situation will change during our lifetimes, but wouldn’t it be a breath of fresh air to hear one of the poverty pimps to come out and tell the truth and claim to have reached an epiphany and begin to place their efforts to assist those who would be thankful if given one solid meal a day for them and their children. Even better, help them to farm and encourage education and starting small businesses within their nations. Of course, in many situations it would be necessary to end conflicts which have raged for years upon years. These are intractable problems which have plagued mankind since the first clan grabbed some heavy branches and rocks and attacked some other family in order to plant their control over additional land and expand their power and influence and guarantee their future existence of their family. Now the wars are larger but they are still predicated on guaranteeing your way of life becomes preeminent. Have we really advanced at all since that first battle or have we simply invented more complicated reasons behind which we hide our most base instincts which still rule our societies with just a somewhat more complex web of rules, laws, excuses and ways we can gain power over the next group, the other, all those others. We simply have more efficient rocks to throw at each other and the same basic reasons for throwing them and until we grow and overcome our most basic instincts we will remain with a world with many barely able to survive from one day to the next because of inhuman situations caused by inhuman humans, how’s that for an seeming impossibility?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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