Beyond the Cusp

February 17, 2015

A World Without America Revealed Through President Obama

 

I hope all those people throughout the world who complained for years how the United States was behind all the strife and warfare in the world are happy and are enjoying a world more to their liking. They claimed that wherever there was war, wherever there was trouble, wherever the world was falling apart, there you would find America and that was because America was the cause of what was wrong with the world. For the last six year we have had a world where America did not answer the alarm, did not take the lead, did not come when trouble settled in and made life impossible and the world started to unravel. President Obama called it “Leading from behind.” What he meant was that America would not answer the call unless others took the lead role. Did you notice any difference? We have.

 

The first difference was that even with America holding back she was amongst the first to show up with supplies and manpower whenever the problem was so large that it could not be ignored. Such as the 2011 Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown or the 2010 Haiti earthquake where the United States was either the first or second nation to be there and set up health care and other hospital services as well as search and rescue and virtually anything else which was required to help. Fortunately for the world the United States was still there in the lead when natural disasters struck. But for what President Obama referred to as “Manmade disasters,” the United States held her hand and waited for somebody else to rush in and for a special invitation before doing anything. The United States was not going to rush all over the globe putting out fires and responding to every emergency leaving the world to face its own problems, especially when the world as a force of nature was not the cause, we the human beings were the cause. Look around and see if this is the kind of world you want, the kind of world you desire. Probably the best example of what a world without America will become is plainly evidenced by ISIS which has metastasized and like a cancer has spread well beyond merely infecting much of Syria and Iraq and now spreading across Northern Africa, especially in dysfunctional Libya and now having Boko Haram claiming fealty to ISIS has now started to spread its terrorist claws beyond Nigeria and into Cameroon, Chad and beyond. The Islamist terrorist who struck the Paris kosher deli Hyper Cacher claimed to have ties to ISIS and there have been signs that ISIS has begun to infiltrate Gaza, Judea and Samaria with plans on replacing Hamas and Fatah and taking over the terror war with Israel. The fight against ISIS has really displayed the problem of a world where the United States does not take the lead.

 

The United States was still the first responder but just not as active as in the past as she was only willing to supply some of the air cover and air strikes aimed at supporting the Kurds and Iraqi military and in gathering a coalition, something the United States demanded be done before she would even join in giving air support missions. What is missing is having the United States supply the lion’s share of the fighting forces. Now in facing off against the threat of ISIS we have the entire world, especially those in the crosshairs of ISIS such as Saudi Arabia all waiting for the United States to provide troops on the ground before they will even consider sending their forces to fight. Instead they stand poised to defend their land should ISIS come knocking at their border but are loathe to fight ISIS where they are instead of waiting for ISIS to threaten their lands and people. What is wrong with such a strategy? Well, first off that means you will wait until ISIS feels they have the forces to take you on, on your own soil. That means allowing ISIS to grow in strength, numbers, equipment and training all before you take a stand and even then you wait for their assault, never would you go and strike them where they live, just as long as they do not invade your home. The exception thus far being Jordan, who is responding to the brutal and inhumane execution of their pilot by burning him alive in a steel cage by ramping up their air attacks against ISIS and is considering placing forces in the field to fight ISIS and destroy them. The United States President has promised to weaken ISIS and degrade their abilities and eventually weaken them to the point that the forces against ISIS will have the upper hand and will vanquish them. The notable part is the lack of American forces on the ground for any part of this conflict; the world is on its own.

 

There is more to this new order in the world that should frighten the average citizen who lives anywhere in the world where the norm had been the United States taking the lead and doing that which needed to be done, that world may have passed on by forever going forward. The United States has her own difficulties of which supporting an army spread throughout the globe and fighting in every theater even those which do not make the daily news has passed. Facing a monumental debt which can no longer be ignored and must be trimmed down, even if at the cost of a military force capable of being the world’s policeman thus the United States may be facing become more like the European nations and guarding their closest interests and hoping the other problems remain far from her shores. There is no new sheriff and the old sheriff has handed in his badge and retired, or at least taken a long holiday. For at least the next two years the world is going to have to find its own way and hold off the bad guys all by themselves. And to make matters worse, the next President of the United States might have a similar view of riding to the aid of every last cry for help as too high a price or even not America’s problem. There are Republicans as well as Democrats who feel the world will just have to get along without the United States to lean upon for support every time an ill wind blows by. Rand Paul is a noninterventionist and we know very little about Hillary Clinton or Senator Elizabeth Warren when it comes to foreign policy though we know that Hillary Clinton is more proactive than President Obama has been, though that should not be taken as too much comfort and almost anything would be more proactive than lead from behind Obama. We very well may have seen the end of Pax Americana and be entering a new phase for the world, the world beyond American interventions, so how do you like that idea?

 

We foresee some real problems and difficulties as should the United States step down from the role of leader of the free world, then who does the free world turn to to take up the role? It might be possible that the most outspoken leader of a Western power might be Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada. But this role is not a normative role and Canada will be getting a new Prime Minister in the upcoming elections, or at least that is what the pundits have predicted. We probably should not look to Canada to become the new leading nation with troops spread all over the globe in a leading role of protecting the realm from all harms. Canada has paid an outstanding role as best ally and we will put our shoulders to the stone along with the rest of the world and even be one of the leaders to speak up, but act as the savior of the world, probably not. Then there’s Britannia which once ruled the waves, but perhaps her last stand was her holding out against the Nazi assaults long enough to provide the United States with a jumping off point in the war in Europe during the last world gone mad war known as World War II. Even in that war the British relied upon every ship, boat, raft and rubber dingy to retrieve her embattled troops from Dunkirk in what became known as the Mosquito Armada and which very likely saved the war for the British as they could have lost the better part of their military had they not been pulled off by an armada which included far more civilian craft than anything else. For those needing reference, May 27 through June 4, 1940, the “Mosquito Armada” had managed to evacuate 338,226 allied troops while leaving almost all of their equipment abandoned on the beaches at Dunkirk. For more reading this is a good reference on what was officially referred to as Operation Dynamo. I guess we might look to either the European Union (EU) or possibly the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) though the latter often was simply another term for the United States. We could look to the United Nations (UN) though I have my reservations about troops wearing baby-blue helmets operating in an actual war zone as they would more likely make grand targets more than anything else. Apparently there is no ready and capable replacement for the role the United States has played for approaching a century, some might say since she entered World War I breaking the standoff which had raged for years with horrific tolls on both sides, tolls which were exceeded in World War II which makes any prospect of a World War III one of the most frightening prospects of all times.

 

So where does the world go if the United States has retired from their role of Guardian of the Realm, so to speak. Obviously there is no other Guardian of the Realm ready to step forward and the major coordinated alliances such as NATO, EU, UN, SEATO or the Anglo Alliance (English Speaking Nations of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain, and United States) which is an unofficial alliance of convenience made by speaking a similar language, many have noted the subtle differences and as was said by Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, or George Bernard Shaw depending on your preferences, “The United States and Britain are two nations separated by a common language.” The one thing which can be noted is that only one of the above entities is presumed to be empowered to settle any world problems which are brought before it, the UN. The EU and Anglo Alliance are more referred to as trade alliances which set up favorable treatment between nations for trade and commerce. SEATO and NATO have remained but is a treaty reliant on the powers of the United States largely and might still have sufficient bite as the United States is bound by treaty to come to these nations’ aid when called upon and theoretically this come to the aid part also presumably works in the opposite direction should the United States need assistance and saving from an attack on her shores. That brings us back to the United Nations and all one need ask is does anybody out there honestly believe the United Nations can be counted on to save the day? Us neither.

 

That returns everything to square one. Obviously the United States filled some massively large shoes which no other nation or group of nations seem able to or even willing to give it a go. That obviously means that the world is going to have to find some new way of opposing the ills which plague it from time to time and pray the United States gets out of bed after her slumber and puts on those unimaginably huge shoes and returns to guarding the gates against the barbarians and miscreants. In the meantime, the rest of the world will, by necessity, need to gird their collective loins and go forth and slay the trolls and ogres which threaten the peace and security of the nations of the world just in case the world is going to need to hold its own for the time being. The United States actually may have exhausted herself by the overextending its forces between Iraq and Afghanistan and need time to recuperate and renew her military. There is a chance that renewal of the American military might not be possible and the United States be relegated to playing just a supportive role and not take the fore on every charge going forward. I realize that is a sobering thought but it is a thought we must face just in case it becomes the reality with which we all must live. We may be facing not just a world without America but a future without America and that is the scariest thought of them all. This all depends on the next Presidential election and of all the candidates who have been discussed, not a one has what is needed if the United States is to raise back to her former glory and fulfill the role of Guardian of the Realm. There is one person we can recommend but alas they are not actually a politician, something which might be a recommendation for the next person to be President of the United States. Perhaps we should say the name but prudence says to remain quiet and hope his conscience wakens him to the call to come and repair what needs repair so that the world can once again depend on the United States to rescue those in need of rescue in times of peril. Without that hope the perils will only grow exponentially. One thing we learned, Hope and Change was not exactly what most of us thought it was and now we simply hope for a change back to the United States we once knew and often criticized and detested publically for her overbearance and brazen chutzpah, but now we have had our eyes forced open wide and glimpsed a view of a world without America, and do we like what we see, we do not and believe the vast majority agree with that view. Should the sleeping giant reawaken and return to that ever so difficult role, we must remember these times without America and welcome her lead rather than detest her greatness as her greatness is the world’s hope and we do not want that to change.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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September 12, 2011

Israel and America, Differences Without Any Real Difference

So many of the authoritative sources on terrorism tell us how the United States does not face the same type of terrorist threat as does Israel. They will point to the numerous differences claiming their importance while ignoring anything which would tie the seeming disparate threats together. Some will point to the fact that most Israeli terror attacks produce fewer casualties per attack than the massive style bombing attacks against American targets. Some assert that America is vulnerable to attacks all around the world while almost all attacks against Israelis are committed within the borders of Israel and the contested areas of the West Bank and Gaza. Some have argued that Israeli terror is purely local while terror against the United States is global and shared by European countries, Asian countries, basically any country anywhere on Earth. At every turn the experts find differences that allow the world to react to terror attacks against everybody except Israel as one type of terror that is undeserved and unjustifiable while consistently pointing to Israeli actions or mere existence as reasons for the terror against the Jewish State bending events beyond simple definitions in order to place the blame on Israel while excusing the terrorists as acting with justification.

Perhaps these false differences can explain the reasoning behind the coming universal conference being assembled by the United States. This conference will be co-chaired by the United States and Turkey. Yes, Turkey, the same Turkey that sponsored the Mavi Marmara Flotilla that attempted to break the Gaza Blockade and attacked the IDF units that boarded the Mavi Marmara Flagship with steel rods, knives, bats, and handguns. That’s the same Turkey that has threatened Israel to break off relations should Israel not make a formal apology for the Flotilla incident and the death of nine Turkish IHH terrorists who viciously attacked the Israeli forces who were enforcing a legal blockade and have carried through on this threat. This is the same Turkey that has ignored a United Nations investigation which found that Turkey had supported this terrorist attack against a legal action by Israel, another United Nations member. Oh, that’s right, that was Israeli terror which has nothing to do with the terror faced by the rest of the world.

Maybe it would be wise to look at the rest of the countries which will make up the rest of this effort. Also invited will be Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, and the European Union. All right, these are innocuous enough, though many of these countries as well as the European Union are often to be found taking a side critical of Israel at virtually every turn. Slightly more problematic members joining this American effort are South Africa, China, India, Colombia, and Russia. Both Russia and China are Iran’s protectors in the Security Council as well as helping with nuclear, missile, energy, and other technologies. The others in this group, especially India, are examples of countries that would make good additions to this conference.

But it is the last group that things get really questionable. Somebody at the State Department decided that no conference on combating terrorism would be complete without the participation of Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Is it honestly necessary to go into particulars and list the items that make these choices problematic at best? I doubt it, or at least it should not be required, especially for countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan.

But the most disappointing item is not so much who the United States State Department and other security agencies included as much as the one country conspicuous by its absence, Israel. The United States is holding a combating world terrorism conference and has decided to invite numerous countries where much of the instigation, training, indoctrination, monetary support, and other terror supportive activities yet decided that Israel would have little if anything to contribute. Oh, that’s right. I keep forgetting that the terrorism that is committed against Israel is completely different than the acts of terrorism inflicted elsewhere in the world. I guess most have forgotten that until and aside from the one attack on September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda had committed fewer attacks and caused fewer American casualties than Hezballah. Have we forgotten the embassy and marine barracks attacks in Lebanon back in the 1980’s or was that a different era when America shared a problem concerning terror with Israel, a little matter that the United States appears to have forgotten.

Beyond The Cusp

June 27, 2011

The Two Faces of the Netherlands

This week had the climax of one of the longest running controversies in recent history ending with the Dutch Court’s decision that Geert Wilders was not guilty of hate speech and his commentary, though possibly distasteful to many and even insulting and offensive to select groups, was none the less permissible in the forum of free political debate. This decision has been countered with the debate in the Dutch Parliament over whether ritual religious slaughter is inhumane to the animals as it does not stun them before slaughtering. Where this debate was originally depicted as being against the Muslim practice of Halal slaughtering, it has come to light that the vast majority of Muslims have no compulsion against stunning the animals first except in a rare ultra-religious minority while this law would render the only Shechita (Kosher) facility illegal forcing religious Jews either to have to buy their meat products outside the country or refrain from eating any meat or fowl as there would be no source for Kosher meat.

With these two opposing stories, it leaves one to wonder in which direction the Netherlands is turning. Should the Dutch Parliament pass the law next week against religious ritual slaughter, it will most definitely place another hot potato right back into the Dutch courts for final arbitration. This time, the actual existence of the Jewish community of the Netherlands will stand in the balance of that determination. But, let us first celebrate the decision to uphold freedom of speech, more importantly, political speech, by the Dutch courts. They were able to recognize that the law that was intended to protect people from harm, intimidation and abuse by making taunting, hateful speech directed in a personal manner was being twisted and manipulated in order to prevent speech to protect actions more egregious than the speech originally targeted. With the original charges and affiliated death threats against Geert Wilders, as well as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the late Theo van Gogh and others, that the Netherlands may have collectively lost their minds. The latest Dutch election had started to renew my faith in the Netherlands, but this verdict vindicating Geert Wilders and other small events may be signs that Europe just may be beginning to come to their senses. Perhaps there may be hope, but that depends on other factors too.

Those other factors bring us to the vote coming this Tuesday in the Dutch Parliament as to whether or not to ban religious ritual slaughter. Not all that long ago, Shechita was referred to as the most humane and painless manner in which to slaughter an animal while keeping it safe for consumption. Now, Shechita is facing being outlawed in the Netherlands, and a similar motion was recently tabled for the time being by the European Union and New Zealand found themselves needing to reverse their decision to ban religious ritual slaughter and this debate is happening in a number of other jurisdictions. What is so deceitful about the call in the Netherlands to outlaw religious ritual slaughter are two-fold. First, it will affect only one butchering house in all of the country, the sole producer of Kosher meats and fowl for religious Jews. Second, the extents where misdirection and outright deceit and personal attacks have been used by those proposing this measure have been sufficient to taint their efforts and possibly their reputations. The two “scientific reports” upon which their argument was based were intimated to have come from the reputable agricultural University of Wageningen but were instead produced by Wageningen UR, an NGO which took a name similar to the University for obvious purposes. Since this has come to light, the author of the study admitted that his study cannot be considered true factual scientific research. Since then, Professor Joe Regenstein of Cornell University and Professor Temple Grandin of Colorado State University (possibly the finest large animal veterinary school in the world) have raised a number of critical questions about the validity of the study in question. Karen Soeters, the head of the Scientific Research Institute of the Party for the Animals, suggested that Professor Regenstein was biased and also belittled any evidence submitted refuting her party’s original claims and premises. These points do tend to throw a suspicious light upon the true reasons behind continuing to push this legislation that will only be effective in closing the sole Jewish religious ritual slaughterhouse in the Netherlands. This tends to remind me of the upcoming ballot referendum in San Francisco to criminalize circumcision.

Beyond the Cusp

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