Beyond the Cusp

January 17, 2017

The Hidden Trap in UNSC 2334, Israel and Palestine

 

The entirety of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 can be found at the end of the article for those willing to suffer through its tedious and tendentious prose and are welcome to peruse the entirety of the document. The one saving grace is it is not that long a read. The first item is that the preface, the longest section of the article, completely undermines the rest of the resolution. Had this in any way been reflective of its claims for reaffirming Res. 242, Res. 338, Res. 446, Res. 452, Res. 465, Res. 476, Res. 478, Res. 1397 and Res. 1515; then it would have called for negotiations to establish borders which would provide Israel with defendable and defined borders. If, when mentioning the settlements, it would have only pressed for limited or no additional settlements and limitation on expansion of existing settlements only to accommodate population increases, there would not have been the attempt to criminalize the settlements nor would it press for their dismantlement as was the seeming intent. Further, there would have been no mention of using the 1949 Armistice Lines, the Green Line, as the basis for any future borders. Finally, the resolution flies in the face, as did all the previous other than Res. 242, of the United Nations Charter as according to Article 80 of said Charter, the United Nations was considered the enforcing power for the Mandate System inherited from the League of Nations along with all other agreements and resolutions produced under the League of Nations which would define Israel’s borders to the east as being the Jordan River, period and end of discussion unless Israel decides to grant any claims of the validity they seek. Let us stress, that is validity they seek, not claim. The truth of the matter and the only decision under International Law any court can reach is that Israel owns all of Judea and Samaria and the Palestinian Authority and any other entity have no valid claim to one inch of the lands west of the Jordan River. This is more than our opinion as it was also the decision of the Court of Appeal of Versailles, France. Then there is the advisory opinion from the Honorable Justice El Araby, an Egyptian who sat as an adjudicator on the International Court of Justice when they were requested to make a ruling on the Israeli security barrier and whether it could be legally placed as designed. He warned the UNGA and others that filing further ran some risks, as he stated,

 

“The international legal status of the Palestinian Territory (paras. 70-71 of the Advisory Opinion), in my view, merits more comprehensive treatment. A historical survey is relevant to the question posed by the General Assembly, for it serves as the background to understanding the legal status of the Palestinian Territory on the one hand and underlines the special and continuing responsibility of the General Assembly on the other. This may appear as academic, without relevance to the present events. The present is however determined by the accumulation of past events and no reasonable and fair concern for the future can possibly disregard a firm grasp of past events. In particular, when on more than one occasion, the rule of law was consistently side-stepped. The point of departure, or one can say in legal jargon, the critical date, is the League of Nations Mandate which was entrusted to Great Britain.”

 

The entire reason for the presage of UNSC 2334 by President Obama and his administration was in order to set up this current Paris conference where his plan is to press for them to advise for the recognition of a state for the Arabs. This would need to be pushed and be ratified and presented officially before noon EST of January 20, 2017 and then taken for a near immediate vote by the UNSC on a resolution recognizing such state, setting its borders as probably the Green Line, President Obama’s wildest dream, and making it a Chapter Seven Resolution which is enforceable by military force. Such a resolution would make any attack upon Israel for the stated purpose of forcing them from the lands that the United Nations gave to the Arabs for their state as legal and fully backed by the nations of the world. Such a resolution would also place any nation aiding Israel is such a war as vulnerable to being brought before the International Courts and sued to cease and desist or face sanction and possibly military force to end their support. Basically, such a resolution would tie the hands of every nation to turn their hand against Israel bringing the Biblical prophecy of the world turning its hand being against Israel and every nation becoming the enemy of the Jewish State. We hope we do not have to remind anyone of what follows as there are four horsemen in the New Testament and the Messiah in the Old Testament and the following is not pretty at all. But that is the direction that the European Union, President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, other select people from the Administration and many of the Arab World all would like to see become reality. President Obama is in such a rush because first he wants to get even with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for opposing the Iran treaty and not respecting President Obama and bowing to his desires at every turn and because he realizes that since Hillary Clinton did not win the election as expected, that President Trump is not going to continue the war against Israel and might change things away from the current direction making this the last time in the foreseeable future that forcing this solution and the making of a new Arab state possible. President Obama is aware that such an opportunity to force this issue is now or never and he cannot rest without giving it everything he is able.

 

The reality is that the political winds are changing and are going to blow for a while in a completely different direction and it is very probable that the world’s attentions will be swinging away from the Middle East and become more centered on economies and containment of the troubles plaguing the Middle East to only the Middle East which will also bring the refugee immigration, or should we say invasion, to a quick and unmerciful end. The war in Syria is likely to be brought to a close with whatever agreement is necessary being imposed and likely the nation made into three states; one Alawite under Bashir al-Assad; one Kurdish which may even include some of the lands from northern Iraq included and the state of Kurdistan, which had been a promise that the British made during World War I but found oil more important than their promises, finally brought into fruition; and the final a Sunni state which could very easily be divided between Turkey and central Iraq leaving southern Iraq as either the remnant of Shiite Iraq or merged into Iran. These divisions would respect tribal and ethnic division with the Sunni with the Sunni, the Shia with Shia and the Kurds finally realizing their independence. Such a strategy would also provide the Middle East with much needed ethnic borders and potentially greater security and peace, imagine that.

 

That leaves Libya which could be divided into so many smaller states except that would create the problem of constant wars between the tribes or a larger problem of a neighboring state of terrorist forces taking hold of this dysfunctional area. This is already a problem but even the terrorists found attempting to establish a safe area in Libya to be next to impossible. Sometimes conflict is unavoidable and Libya has been a cauldron of trouble ever since the Romans and Carthage fought their wars there and during the Caliphate and Ottoman eras with the Barbary Pirates and even up to the time Thomas Jefferson sent the United States Marines into Tripoli taking the harbor and forcing an end to the pirating of American vessels, well, until the next time they thought America had been weakened and had to be taught again that they were mistaken. These were the Barbary Wars, 1801–1805 and 1815–1816, bracketed the War of 1812 where the British attempted to retake their former colony and failed. The Barbary Pirates figured such a war had weakened the United States and needed to be shown otherwise. The Italians were given Libya after World War I and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire until 1947, approximately the time many of the European nations resigned from their colonial holdings. For more on Libya and its problems through the ages, one can go here, and hopefully that will be sufficient coverage of Libya.

 

Israel, in the meantime, will eventually be granted all that which was and is still promised her. This means that the eastern border will end up being the Jordan River. The only decision the world need make is how much drama, needless suffering, necessary time to undo the damage caused by the broken promises, and the number of lives, both Arab and Israeli, will be wasted getting to the rightful and just fulfillment of promises. For those who are going to challenge about the British promise to the Arabs that they would be granted a state within the British Mandate, that was satisfied when seventy-eight percent of the British Mandate was used to make the Arab state of Jordan. The remainder, as stated in the Churchill White Papers, was to be granted the Jews for their homeland. Those claiming the division suggested under UNGA Res. 181, that division was merely a General Assembly Resolution which are suggestive in their enforcement and as soon as either side refuses such a resolution it becomes null and void and cannot be resurrected no matter how badly one desires to steal as much land and make Israel so vulnerable as to make her defense impossible just to see Jews murdered and Israel destroyed again. The Arab League refused that solution and invaded Israel on May 15, 1948; the very day Israel came into being with the Jordan River as her legal boundary.

 

The problem the world is having over Israel can be simplified to one thing; many, possibly most, of the world do not believe nor desire that the Jews be permitted their homeland. The Western World and much of the remainder of the planet are fully aware of the ancient history of the Jewish People in Israel and their Capital city, eternal Capital city, of Jerusalem. These anti-Semitic views desire the Jew to be the tiny minority which is defenseless and can be beaten, stolen from, demeaned and otherwise simply used as a punching bag by any and every nation at their whim. They want Jews not permitted to own land or have any property of their own beyond a suitcase and whatever they can carry at a moment’s notice. They desire the Jew they abused for the past twenty-five-hundred years with the brief exceptions when they revolted and threw off the yokes of Greek Rule and then Roman Rule. They want the Jew to continue to suffer the intended punishment forced upon them by the Romans with their dispersal which was intended to end the existence of the Jewish People. The Jewish fate was to be the same as every other people the Roman treated thusly such as the Carthaginians and various other tribes whose names have been lost to antiquity and are known only to those who study ancient histories and even they likely miss a good number of peoples who have been defeated by the conquering empires from Egypt, Hittite, Minoan, Persian, Babylonian and on through the ages. The Chinese, Mongols, Japanese and Indian in Asia and the Aztec, Inca and others who ruled before the European colonization in the Americas where people who were erased from history as after conquest they assimilated and disappeared. Even the Jews had their lost tribes when the northern ten tribes were carried off by the Assyrians and were never seen again though there are beliefs that these tribes are now returning to Israel from their varied places around the globe.

 

Some who desire the destruction of Israel believe that it is necessary otherwise their religion is devalued. This was the historic position of numerous Christian religious groups and was even named replacement theology. This form of preaching exists today and was exactly what was preached at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago under the direction and religious teaching of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and what President Obama listened to during sermons for the twenty years he attended this church. His claim to never have listened or heard these preaching has actually made them even more dangerous as their effect was then subliminal and affecting President Obama’s thoughts through subconscious influences and could have been partly responsible for his determination to destroy Israel and thus the Jewish People, just saying. The damages of replacement theology was based on the supposition that the Jews had been cast off by Hashem and were now under the influence of the devil, except there is no devil or hell in traditional Judaism, and thus were replaced by the Christian Church. With time the Christian Church became the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. Then would come the Protestant Reformation where the protestant churches each replaced the Catholic Church. Somewhere off on another argument is Scientology but that gets way too complicated. The one item which was necessary for all these replacements to remain valid was for the Jews never to return to Israel as once the Jews returned to Israel, then the promise of their eventual return from exile by Hashem would be fulfilled and thus mean they were still the Chosen People and invalidate their replacement as such. Then there is Islam which basically claims to be the final and only valid religion of Hashem, except now they change the name to Allah, and according to Islam the Christians have joined the Jews as having been replaced. This is the ultimate replacement theology because the Muslim took the precaution of claiming there can never be another religion as they are the final rendition of the Abrahamic faiths. Islam also claims that Allah has promised them they will conquer the world and end all these false faiths through whatever means necessary. It all gets messy after a while but everybody agrees that the Jews are not to return except the Muslims in the Quran do accept that Jerusalem and Israel are the homelands of the Jews, just do not tell the Palestinian Arabs as they would get very upset with you. The one agreement of the Western religions is that the Jews must not be allowed to return and set up home in Israel and especially with Jerusalem as their Capital City; well, until sometime in the late 1960s and early 1970s when many decided maybe there was room to permit the Jews to return home. Thanks.

 

French President Francois Hollande and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas

French President Francois Hollande and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas

 

Anyway, apparently that short allowance has worn out and passed it use-by date and been rescinded. Now the United Nations, European Union, United States State Department (the same United States State Department which advised President Harry S. Truman not to recognize Israel but Harry listened to what his mother taught him as a child, go Mom!), numerous European countries, politicians around the globe, the Arab world, the Muslim world and many in Hollywood (where would we be without Hollywood thespians telling us what to think) and who knows who else, maybe Communists and Scientologists (though who knows anything about the Scientologists) all attempting to uproot Israel or weaken her until she cannot defend herself and find some means to eliminate the Jewish State. Did the world learn nothing from the attempts thus far to eliminate Israel and how miracles have saved her to date? In 1948 Israel did not even have a military, no chain of command, the British had taken every weapon they could find, there was no real Israeli Air Force, an Israeli tank was a car with a large caliber gun and a half dozen Arab nations and seven militias attacked within hours of the sun rising on Israel for the first time in nearly two thousand years and somehow Israel survived. In 1967 Israel was outgunned and outmanned by approximately hundreds-to-one and in Six Days took the Golan Heights, liberated Judea and Samaria from Jordanian occupation (yes, you read that right, Jordanian occupation) and conquered the entirety of the Sinai Peninsula surrounding the Egyptian Third Army. Miracle, come on, you can say it, miracle. The miracles have continued since then as in a recent Gaza conflict where there was one such event as here is one of the many articles documenting this miracle, praise Hashem. Here is what was reported by the actual Iron Dome commanding officer who related the story.

 

“A missile was fired from Gaza. Iron Dome precisely calculated [its trajectory]. We know where these missiles are going to land down to a radius of 200 meters. This particular missile was going to hit either the Azrieli Towers, the Kirya (Israel’s equivalent of the Pentagon) or [a central Tel Aviv railway station]. Hundreds could have died.”


“We fired the first [interceptor]. It missed. Second [interceptor]. It missed. This is very rare. I was in shock. At this point we had just four seconds until the missile lands. We had already notified emergency services to converge on the target location and had warned of a mass-casualty incident.”


“Suddenly, Iron Dome (which calculates wind speeds, among other things) shows a major wind coming from the east, a strong wind that…sends the missile into the sea. We were all stunned. I stood up and shouted, ‘There is a G0d!’ I witnessed this miracle with my own eyes. It was not told or reported to me. I saw the hand of G0d send that missile into the sea.”

 

The truth is Israel cannot surrender a single inch of the land the world demands she grant to those sworn to her destruction. Read yesterday’s article and view the pictures there and at the look provided and you can see how if Israel gives the Arabs the Judean Hills all of Tel Aviv to the Mediterranean Sea is visible. The same goes for Haifa and Ashdod and Netanya. The entirety of the central Israeli coastal plain would become uninhabitable as shoulder fired wire guided anti-tank rockets which are guidable could be utilized to target individual structures up to half way across Israel. Rocket and artillery fire could be sight adjusted targeting central downtown Tel Aviv. Jerusalem would be completely cut off from the remainder of Israel and West Jerusalem could be starved into submission. Ben Gurion International Airport would become a shooting gallery and no plane could land or take off with any degree of safety. All of Israel could be brought to a standstill at the mere whim of Mahmoud Abbas, assuming he remained in power. The chance that Hamas or Islamic State would replace the Palestinian Authority would be more than probable; the only question would be which one would move first as that would be the reality Israel would face within months of such an eventuality as is being considered in Paris. Finally, there is one saving grace for as long as the world does not force Mahmoud Abbas or anybody who would follow him as leader of the Palestinian Authority to accept such a peace, they would have to turn down any offer which left anything of Israel intact and should the world manage to remove the Jews, then they would flee from such a situation. The reality is that once Israel is removed from having the IDF provide security in all of Judea and Samaria, then whoever leads the Palestinian authority and the rest of the security and leadership would be dead within six months as whichever terror group replaced them just as what happened in Gaza. Abbas knows this and that is why he may talk of peace but he will never accept any peace as he has enriched himself and plans to live well and spend the stolen funds as do the rest of the Palestinian authority kleptocrats. Ridiculous as it may seem, but Mahmoud Abbas is an ace in the hole as he will never accept peace whether it comes from the European Union, United Nations or whatever council the future provides, and that is something Israel has counted on in the past though few will admit such.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

UNSC 2334 page 1
UNSC 2334 page 2
UNSC 2334 page 3

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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

 

November 29, 2015

NATO and the Turkey Problem

 

We here at BTC have warned about the eventual problem that Turkey was going to pose for NATO any number of times over the years going back to our article The Turkey Problem for NATO, though we never envisioned it might mean war with Russia to be honest. We saw the problem coming between Turkey and Israel which only was heightened after the Mavi Marmara blockade running confrontation between Israeli Special Forces and the terrorists placed on the lead ship intentionally by IHH terrorist groups posing as a human rights group in our article Let’s Talk Turkey. The problem we saw forming between Turkey and NATO remained centered on their different Middle East views particularly when it came to Israel. This became heightened once again over Iraq and the Second Iraq War when once again the ever more so drifting from a secular state into an Islamic state when at the onset of the second Iraq War Turkey’s entrenched leader refused NATO ally the United States from launching the second pincer of the initial engagement from within Turkey, as originally planned, in the article Turkey Needs to Prove They Belong in NATO Now. Turkey has continued their slide into an Islamic state replete with a strongman with near dictatorial powers in Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It was here in September of 2014 we continued to question the reason for continuing to have Turkey in NATO. The initial reason had been as a stalwart NATO member who could bottle up the bulk of the Russian Mediterranean fleet by refusing them access to the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles, originally and often still referred to as the Strait of Constantinople, through which any ships docked in the Black Sea would necessarily have to pass to make their way from the Black Sea through the Mediterranean Sea and onto the Atlantic Ocean, the only passage once the northern route freezes every winter. It was partially due to having a docking and repair facility which was one of the factors in the Russian seizure of the Crimean and the docks at the port city of Sevastopol and the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards which is the resting and repair port for the Russian Atlantic Fleet during the winter months. One can see the tactical necessity the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles in the map below.

 

 

From the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards Across the Black Sea then Through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles to the Mediterranean Sea and thus the Atlantic Ocean

From the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards
Across the Black Sea then
Through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles
to the Mediterranean Sea and thus the Atlantic Ocean

 

 

After the Cold War ended, or at least ended until the current outward weakened appearance of the United States under President Obama, this tactical necessity for containing the Russian Atlantic fleet became far less important. Since the increased strength of the Russian naval forces, particularly its Atlantic and Mediterranean fleet the passage through these Turkish chokepoints had appeared to have lessened. That was before the current madness which is Syria and the Russian presence with both boots in the war in support of Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad. Suddenly fleet access to Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards has once again become of importance, or at least would have except for the lead from behind, well behind, foreign policy, or lack thereof, once again could have blockaded the heavy vessels of the Russian fleet. As it stands currently, the Russian Navy has been sending one of their large cruisers and battleships through these waters in order to have them in the Mediterranean Sea just in case they may be required in Syria. This is also the reason that the Russians are so concerned about their and the Iranian’s puppet in Syria, Bashir al-Assad. The Russians have set up forces both land and sea around the most important area in Syria, the western strip from Damascus with its international airport to the dock city of Latakia as seen in the map below.

 

 

Area West of Demarcation Line is Minimal Area for Russia to Control which Includes Most Military and Dual Use Areas Including the All-Important Area Around Damascus and Latakia Granting Access to Damascus International Airport and the Latakia Shipyards and Docks

Area West of Demarcation Line is Minimal Area
for Russia to Control which Includes Most Military
and Dual Use Areas Including the All-Important
Area Around Damascus and Latakia Granting
Access to Damascus International Airport
and the Latakia Shipyards and Docks

 

 

As the fighting in Syria worsened, especially for Assad and the Russian interest back in February of this year and it began to appear that the Alevites who are the tribe, which the Assad Family belongs, supporting Bashir al-Assad and in turn the Russians we noted the necessity for any outside forces, primarily the United States and NATO, in our article Battle for Middle East and Beyond Are Now Choosing Sides. This article included the Iranian influence as well as the Kurdish forces the neighboring situation in Iraq, ISIS, now calling themselves the Islamic State, but had not included the Russians as their main concerns back then included areas around Latakia and its naval base which was Russian built and was not exactly intended for the Syrian Navy, like they have one. At that time Turkey was less concerned with Assad as they were the Kurdish forces which had actually begun to merge between the Syrian Kurdish fighters and areas with their considerably stronger Kurds in the northern third of Iraq. This was the set-up which leads us directly to the present situation.

 

The sides have been aligned and the battle lines drawn. Russia has ended any pretense of soft support of Bashir al-Assad and the Iranian influence and can be expected to only increase their footprint. Where such may end is anybody’s guess. Meanwhile, the Islamic State appears to be mostly cementing their control over the large area they have carved out between Syria and central Iraq and cleaning house while trying to hold their own against the pressures from the Kurdish Militias, the Peshmerga Militias, who have retaken some of the major cities formerly under Kurdish control or belonged to the Yazidis. The areas liberated from Islamic State forces have revealed the true horrors which are the Islamic State including mass graves. The group presumably vetted and supported by the United States, the so-called Free Syrian Army has proven to be more embarrassment than force to be feared. These forces have been degraded to the point of virtual uselessness but these are still President Obama’s reason d’etre for being even minimally involved in the fight against the Islamic State. Whatever remnants of the Free Syrian Army can be fielded, are being attacked by Russia. This is important for another reason, these were the side backed by Turkey as well as the United States which have served as the conduit for United States aid monies and equipment has been placed into the battle. Much of what was sent presumably for the American trained forces but ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda. The ultimate joke of the entire tragedy which is the Syrian Civil War has been the training and equipping of the Free Syrian Army which had become all but useless as a force in Syria all while the United States invested millions upon millions of dollars and succeeded in training as few as five soldiers and definitely under a dozen. This is the force President Obama has supported and trained almost completely out of existence. These were also Turkey’s best hope for defeating al-Assad and the Turkish pipeline now feeds al-Qaeda forces and very likely is still allowing supplies to flow to the Islamic State just as Turkey has been selling their crude oil and mixing into the Turkish supplies which are piped to refineries and on to Europe. So, the lines have been drawn and the different sides defined even to include the double-dealing of Turkey at the orders from Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A state of status-quo has seemingly set in with the Russians now enforcing al-Assad which includes siding with Iran and fighting the presumably vetted fighters of the Free Syrian Army.

 

This is the force along with al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood presumably supported through the United States efforts and also by Turkey’s efforts and which the Russians have invested their main efforts of their attacks. This has placed the United States technically allied with the Russians against the Islamic State while also supporting those selfsame groups which includes the remnants of the Free Syrian Army all of which being made insignificant due to the efforts by the Russian efforts to degrade their abilities to fight. These forces receive some weak-willed support from Turkey as well as the majority of the United States as these were the forces which were to bring free and open elections to the remnants of the Syrian people who remain. The interesting alignments come to the fore with the Kurds who are despised by Turkey, supported to some extent by Europe and the United States, though most of this aid goes to the Kurdish forces in Iraq; have neutral relations with the Russians and are despised for their success in resisting even some of the greatest efforts by the Islamic State which revolved around Kobane. It was this front of fighting which melded together the two separate Kurdish groups into one Kurdish nation, well, at least as much a nation as is the Islamic State or the remnants of what was Iraq which has had its central region taken by the Islamic State which is now closing in on Baghdad, the Iraqi Capital City. The support structure of the Syrian campaign which has been defined as intended to degrade and defeat the Islamic State, ISIL as President Obama refers to them as well as the Junior Varsity, is confusing to say the least.

 

But much of this all fell by the wayside in the last few days as this was the week that somebody took their stand as solidly as possible and then immediately reassured itself of the backing of the group to which they belong and had a pivotal role to play previously. We are referring to the shoot-down of the Russian fighter-bomber by Turkish anti-aircraft weapons. There were initial reports that one of the Russian pilots managed to parachute from the stricken jet after it was struck by Turkish fire and was captured and executed by Turkish forces but those reports have been found to be false. The pilot in question was rescued in a twelve-hour operation involving Special Forces according to Russia sources. This may help to deescalate the crisis which is Turkey at the moment. It has been suspected, actually a lot stronger than suspected all the way past known and into certitude, which Turkey has been key for Islamic State recruitment allowing them to set up interviewing sessions in hotels which were moved every few weeks to give the appearance of having to avoid being too overt. It is a shame that Turkey did not follow this charade up by having heavily armed police storm the room in the hotel which was used right after they had moved on. This covert on-the-sly support for Islamic State’s most important business, recruitment and their sale of oil, to be channeled through Turkey who makes out financially well due to these facts. Everyone knows that Russia, especially under Putin, does not let things lie unbalanced from their favor even if it takes decades for them to serve-up their cold dish of retribution, some might call it revenge or even vengeance. Turkey must expect some payback from Putin; the only debate is how serious the Russian vengeance will be. What was distressing was that within a few hours Istanbul (Constantinople) had placed a call to Brussels, Belgium in order to request that NATO forces and nations stand ready to support Turkey in the case of any overly overt acts by Russia such as an invasion to take control of Turkey’s greatest asset, the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles, the gateway which separates Europe from Asia. This has been the classic line between the two continents. Now it could become the initial battle in a much greater conflict should it become a reading of blows with each one made to be one measure harder than the previous measure. The main question NATO may need to answer is whether that old remnant from the first Cold War has any teeth or validity now in what is rapidly becoming the second cold War and may go hot at any moment as long as threats of escalation or simply this for that trade-offs to continue.

 

 

Various Stages of Russian Fighter/Bomber During Turkey’s Provocation Over Claimed Airspace Violation by the Russian Pilot

Various Stages of Russian Fighter/Bomber
During Turkey’s Provocation Over Claimed
Airspace Violation by the Russian Pilot

 

 

Where this will go nobody at this moment other than Russian leader Putin and potentially Turkey’s leader Erdogan can say. Both men are strong willed and willing to go to any lengths to maintain their power. Putin switched the job descriptions for the offices of President and Prime Minister in order to get around the term limit and switched everything back as he returned to his previous position. On the other hand, Erdogan used his party and influence to prevent any government from taking power in order to force new elections where through intimidation and other frauds was able to return his party to absolute power with a majority of the seats in the Turkish Parliament. These are the extents these two men have used to remain in power for most if not all of this young century. We can be assured that neither will back down nor will they let such assaults lie without some form of retribution. Meanwhile, there has already been ramification with Russian Foreign Minister cancelling his visit to Turkey which was scheduled for early next month. There have also been a number of trade deals backed out of and voided placing financial pressures on a nation which can ill afford any such disruptions. Truth be told, both nations are financially vulnerable at the moment and this could have further ramification on a world financial situation where very few nations are sitting particularly safe from fallout if a trade war ensues between Turkey and Russia as this would mean potentially Russia refusing to use the oil pipelines which cut through Turkey which would be a major blow to the Turkish economy. One can bet that for as long as this is a contentious issue that Russians will not be vacationing on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, another financial hit on Turkey. Relations and actions will be measured and may quiet as long there are no future provocations between Turkey and Russia though I expect that Russian aircraft may avail themselves of taking bombing routes dangerously close and likely over the Syrian Turkey border rendering that border being crossed by Russian aircraft making raids on Syria acceptable and this be Putin’s revenge because it is the also on the face with the gauntlet followed by throwing at the feet of Erdogan just daring him to take another shot at one of the Russian aircraft ignoring the border at their leisure. This could get intense and seriously large real fast, especially if these two leaders start to play the international form of the game of chicken as neither one of these leaders will even flinch, let alone swerve away at the last moment; this situation would produce a clash of massive proportions which Turkey would be well-advised to avoid because against Putin, Erdogan would lose and Turkey be irrevocably damaged, perhaps destroyed would be more appropriate a term.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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