Beyond the Cusp

November 10, 2016

Trump Trumps Clinton Now What? (Electoral College 279 to 259)

 

The total as of this writing was Trump with 279 Electoral votes from approximately 59,441,968 (47.5%) popular vote while Clinton held 259 Electoral votes from approximately 59,649,606 (47.7%) popular votes. Once again the election goes opposite the popular vote, something often criticized as are the men who designed the Electoral College such that the big state numbers have their advantage but face it being slightly marginalized by the setup of the Electoral system. First let us indulge in a quick review on how the Electoral College works and the reasoning for it being used by the United States. The system is easily broken down. Every state and the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. all get two electors for what is their Senatorial representation (Washington D.C, is treated as if it were a small state with representation of a single delegate in the House of Representatives and two Senators). After this each state receives an elector for each Representative they hold in the House of Representatives. California receives fifty-three Electors for their fifty-three Representatives plus two more for their Senators for a total of fifty-five Electors. Wyoming receives a single Elector for their sole Representatives plus two for their Senators for a total of three Electors. This allots greater representation per person for Wyoming over California by a ratio over five-to-one and it is this type of disparity which causes many to loathe the system. The reason the Founding Fathers went with this seemingly convoluted system was identical to the reason for a bicameral Congress with one side, the House of Representatives, set by population thus favoring the larger states and the other side, the Senate, with two per state providing the states themselves with equal representation regardless of population size or land mass. The Founding Fathers realized that should they have permitted straight democracy that this would have produced mass rule, followed soon by mob rule and then collapse as had every democracy throughout history, and they desired building a nation which would be more stable. The main difference came about when the House of Representatives ceased being based on one Representative per set number of people to a set cap of four-hundred-thirty-five Representatives and the States receiving a minimum of one Representative and the remainder allotted proportionally. This also capped the Electors in the Electoral College at five-hundred-thirty-eight once Washington D.C. was allotted three Electors despite not having any actual representation in the Congress.

 

NBC News Final Electoral College Election 2016 Map

NBC News Final Electoral College Election 2016 Map

 

Next we need talk about the polling data being so skewed throughout the campaign and only closing in the final thirty-six hours though the lead did narrow slowly before the rush to even the night before Election Day. There are numerous claims as to why the polls consistently favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. One claim was that their intent was to press the idea that Trump could not win, period. This would, in theory, berate Trump supporters with so much bad news wearing them down such that they would give up and not bother to vote. The problem with this tactic is the vast number of Trump voters fell into two main categories, those who believed that a President Trump was the answer to America’s woes and those who were voting to emphasize their view that America was failing them and its Constitution. The first group was true believers with many voting for their first time despite having been registered for years. This was evidenced by the record number of voters in Republican primary elections. These people would have walked over burning embers to have voted Trump just as Hillary Clinton’s true believers were voting for her no matter what. The second group was making their voice heard loud and clear as they had a message for America and thus were determined to vote. A majority of Trump voters were with him at the start when he was one amongst seventeen and stayed the course. The third group of Trump supporters was the “stop the Hildabeast” and would stop at almost nothing to prevent the catastrophic consequences of Hillary Clinton being coronated President. Trump was not their choice, he was their life raft and these people were highly motivated to vote but were also motivated not to tell pollsters the truth about their vote choice. There was a minimum number of people who were pulling the Trump lever in the voting booth who were not firmly entrenched in the ranks of Trump supporters though for many a varied and different reason but were all there for the whole four quarters and would have remained just as committed should the race have gone into sudden-death overtime, which it came close to doing.

 

Then there is the fact that the media is skewed to the left end of the political spectrum. When one considers that Fox News is touted, even victimized cast as a reactionary, right-wing, extremist, conservative to the point of reactionary news station where every anchor and host must prove their ultra-conservative bonafides in order to get in the door, then it becomes obvious that the remainder of the news is far more liberal and even leftist by comparison. What then pushes the rest of the news syndicates even further left is this definition of every and any-body of note at Fox News is, by definition, ultra-pure reactionary-conservative which presumably includes, wait, wait, wait for it, Chris Wallace (see image below). As per the link, Chris Wallace worked at ABC News for 14 years where he served as the senior correspondent for Primetime Thursday and a substitute host for Nightline. Before that Chris Wallace served a NBC’s Chief White House correspondent from 1982-1989. Chris Wallace moderated Meet the Press from 1987-1988. Chris Wallace also anchored the Sunday edition of NBC Nightly News from 1982-1984 and 1986-1987. Chris Wallace began his career with NBC at WNBC-TV (NBC 4) in New York in 1975. Chris Wallace is, at the most extreme of his leaning right, a moderate of impeccable discernment. Fox News is considered to be so far to the right because the rest of the news groups live with the academics in unassailable Ivory Towers found only in the extreme leftward climes. Fox News is to the right of almost all news services with the exception of CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) and a few select others and many on-line commentators most of whom have their following and limited audiences. Like in all things political, it is all relative to where you yourself choose to stand. Us, well, we stand so far off to the outside that we fall Beyond the Cusp.

 

Chris Wallace

Chris Wallace

 

Meanwhile, let’s get back to the election. Donald Trump did win, so stop pinching yourself. Hillary Clinton gave an honest and worthy concession speech in which she expressed her hopes that though she was not fated to break that glass ceiling, that perhaps one of her many supporters, possibly one in the hall listening as she spoke, would be the woman to break through shattering that glass ceiling once and for all. Trump was gracious as well in his victory comment where he praised Hillary Clinton for her determined and high pressure campaign which had pushed him to strive and become a better person in response. Trump thanked and congratulated the Republican candidates and politicians who backed him for their support. He thanked Dr. Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, his family including parents, brother, his other brother who has passed on, his wife, children and so on and thanked a number of workers he noted in the crowd. He was the real Donald Trump, the Donald who stops and talks with the guys digging the ditches at a construction site and the carpenters, brick layers, crane operators all before, after and even during holding higher level talks with the foremen, supervisor and engineers. This is one trait which makes the Donald who he is and why so many speak so highly of him, he actually takes the time to recognize everyone and give all a piece of the praise and credit. We will need to wait and see how this translates to the insular nature of the Presidency and life in a bubble, a very nice bubble, but a big white mansion style bubble called, remarkably, the White House. One thing for sure, being President is far more challenging than running for President and we are about to watch a capable man try and meet the biggest challenge of his life and starting out with two outs, man on second base, a three balls two strike count down five runs in the top of the third inning. It will be vital to equip himself with a top notch team as he cannot, nor would we here at Beyond the Cusp wish, run the effort almost singlehandedly. His pick for running mate showed good judgement and was wise but it will have to wait for more trust, let alone praise, to be lauded upon Donald Trump. He will have an excellent chance to prove his metal right out of the box filling the huge gaping hole left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia in the Supreme Court bench. This selection will act as an initial window to Trump’s soul, an entity which was called into suspect early on by some stalwarts of the Republican Party. Should this choice not fully measure, up these suspicions are very likely to reappear and do so very quickly.

 

The main Cabinet appointments will come at the State Department, Secretary of Defense, Education Secretary and United Nations Ambassador. For this last office returning John Bolton, should he decide to be available, would be a strong start. Rudy Giuliani would be a strong choice for any high profile position but might be best used to either lead the deconstruction of the Department of Education returning virtually all power down as locally as possible and keep almost nothing in Washington D.C. which could save many a school system as they would be liberated to spend all their time on teaching and none on meeting testing requirements, indoctrinations ordered from Washington and meeting near endless paperwork requiring additional staff who are not in any manner connected to teaching. They simply document compliances and send the forms to their school district, county, city, state, Washington D.C. and file copies with the office, every vice Principle, the Principle(s), Advisors, required teachers, required parents and whomever and whatever else is demanded. Some of these forms are actually daily reports and that is what many school systems have become, report generators which produce endless streams of paperwork and uneducated graduates whose school years are documented thus presumed productive. Donald Trump’s choice on who leads the Veterans Administration will be carefully watched as will any changes which are implemented. Here is another place where paperwork takes precedent over actual work. Hopefully Donald Trump will be able to bring a fair number of real administrators and managers from the real world into government positions where they can do some real good for the government and its ability to serve the people. Needless to go further than to simply say his appointments will speak very loudly and hopefully be armed with Teddy Roosevelt style big sticks. Tell the truth, not only do the people of the United States await Donald Trump’s important appointments’ names, but many around the world are also waiting to see who he is able and desires for top spots, especially his inner circle which includes but may not be limited to the Foreign Affairs Advisor, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Security Advisor, Joint Chiefs of Staff amongst others. What will be another indicator is who a President Trump calls to the White House from the Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as who, if any, he invites from the Democrat side of Congress. These choices could prove to be greatly tactical as it may establish who a President Trump feels will best work with him on his agenda.

 

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

 

In conclusion, it will be educational once we start to see the choices Donald Trump makes officially sending to the Senate for their review and vote and those he keeps close under his vest and does not seek the Senate’s approval. Will a President Trump continue the underhanded and unethical practice of having “Czars” who actually perform an identical function as the Secretary over a department who the Senate passed review such that the President had two advisors for all too many departments and the actual Secretary was often left out of the loop and the Czar would actually run the show dictating policy and decisions to the actual Secretary serving the Cabinet. This was simply the means President Obama appointed some controversial people granting them the power equal or higher than the Cabinet Secretary while avoiding Senatorial oversite as per the Constitution. Ending this practice and setting up even a Constitutional Amendment which would define people with certain powers and responsibilities regardless of their title requiring Congressional oversight and be vetted and approved by the Senate as does any other appointee with such powers. Such a move might not prevent a future President from acting in a similar manner but it will empower Congress to then act having the Constitutional leverage to do so. Remember that the first hundred days often set the tone between a President and the Congress, people, national leaders and the world in general. Trump’s initial steps in the Middle East and North Africa will reveal his true foreign policy outlook. The man will be walking into the middle of a forest surrounded by swampland with an angry beehive just over his shoulder and a bear coming for the honeycomb sure to disturb the hive. It will likely be a dark and threatening sky with a hard rain approaching and tornado sirens blaring in all directions. Welcome to happy old Washington D.C. where this is the standard start of a day with a bright outlook and do not ask how a bad day starts, just hope you never find out but as a hint, it usually follows a night where you did not sleep and will be making a speech to the nation the coming night to explain that which you are not totally sure you understand, but make that speech and speak of the solution and whatever you do, do not let them see you sweat and make sure you are dressed appropriate to the news and pray that you get to sleep more than three hours the next night. Mr. President; President Trump, welcome to the world where real people play the game of risk with real wars full of intrigue and always an unknown factor lurks just beyond the cusp out of view arising only at the worst possible time, and we have not even spoken about the media. Media has a single rule you must always remember, they are not your friend, your buddy or somebody you should ever trust because you are the biggest story they have even if they need make up two thirds, they will do so thus be ever vigilant when speaking and they are visible as that places them within hearing that one-third out of which they can manufacture a scandal, and they get paid to do just that. Good Luck and may Heaven assist and guide you throughout your Presidency.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

 

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November 7, 2016

Finally It is Your Turn to Speak, So Speak Loud and Clear

 

After over a year of he said, she said, they said, the time is here for the only opinion that matters. It is the time that you the voters will say and then it should be settled and the world will hear your answer; or will they? There are those Liberals who in their holier than thou selective memories claim that Donald Trump is the only candidate to claim that the election system can be gamed. Apparently the cries of “Selected, not elected,” over the 2000 election of George W. Bush and the Florida hanging chads recounts where there were so many challenges and recounts that all the holes ended up pushed through on some ballots making them void. The same cries were heard four years later over Ohio and Barack Obama claimed before Election Day that should he not win it could only be through voter fraud, so that should be all for claiming that Donald Trump is entering new areas of calling into question the validity of the system. Hillary Clinton has claimed that the Russians are going to steal the election for Trump because Putin is convinced that Trump would be the easier pushover and more willing to work with Russia than Hillary would be. Actually the only commentary attributed to Russian President Vladimir Putin which has any shred of validity was his fears that Hillary Clinton being elected threatened starting next world war. It matters little tomorrow on this important but relatively ignored subject as the first order of business is to get past the initial casting of ballots and their initial counting.

 

Hillary Clinton – Vladimir Putin – Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton – Vladimir Putin – Donald Trump

 

That reported initial registration of election results may actually decide the victor and do so completely overwhelmingly that there would be no viable means of challenging the results. Either way, this would be a result which would best serve the American people and ultimately the world. A smooth, court free, uncontested election will always bring the smoothest of transitions. That would be the most preferable means to transfer power especially in this election whose process and integrity has proven so acrimonious and has produced challenges to the system even before the Election Day voting has begun. There has been complaints of an uneven playing field in the media from both camps while there have been claims of Russian interference favoring one side, the election of Trump; while raising claims the entire Wikileaks e-mail stories have been a Russian ruse and those claimed e-mails were never sent nor crossed that server nor had Ms. Clinton broken any law or committed any questionable actions which might have compromised the national security. This claim has gone well beyond the claim that Hillary Clinton was cleared from suspicions to the entire e-mail investigation was chasing after a Russian fabricated ploy to assist electing their pawn, their Manchurian Candidate who would do Putin’s bidding, Donald Trump. One can only wonder what comes next.

 

Then there are the polling numbers. This election has witnessed swings in the polling which often appeared to precede certain critical events and news stories throughout the campaign. The most recent came the last week of the election where the Clinton lead all but disappeared bringing Trump within striking distance and this slide arrived a full four days before FBI Director Comey reporting his reopening the e-mail investigation as New York investigators looking into child sexual misconduct revealed the existence of thousands of backed-up copies for the communications coming in and out of the office of close Clinton aide and confidant (if anyone can be considered to be that close and intimate with Hillary) Huma Abedin. These records were found on Huma Abedin’s estranged (and downright strange) husband, disgraced former Representative Anthony Weiner’s laptop computer which was seized as part of the New York police investigation of his sexting an underage girl. This will get very messy.

 

Here are some rumors which have surfaced as a result of this investigation and how it will affect the e-mail scandal investigation. These back-ups will definitively prove that Hillary Clinton, along with top aide Huma Abedin, acted loose and careless with Top Secret and other highly classified and sensitive information, e-mails, documents, files and reports. There will be overwhelming evidence that such compromised information had been shared or allowed access by people without the proper clearances, Anthony Weiner for one and Clinton Philippine housekeeper Marina Santos for another who was indicated to have printed out such intelligence and information while working at Clinton’s house in Washington, D.C. Then there appear to be references to actions and fetishes in which others outside the Clinton camp, though they may not be spared once the onion has been completely unraveled, who may have committed and continue such acts which would warrant ethics investigations at the very least and criminal investigations in the worst case scenarios. The full extent will not be known nor revealed for quite some time though some people may fall well before the investigation reaches its final conclusion. Some of this information has been verified by trusted people.

 

The one item in all of this we would love to see brought into the light is the uranium deal where it resulted in Russia gaining the mineral rights to one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. One of the crucial signings of approval came from the State Department which was under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at that time. Russia gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013 and each step of the way there did result in a flow of cash to the Clinton Foundation. Further, a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin paid former President Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in Moscow. This was the bank which was promoting Uranium One stock and stood to make sizeable profits in the process. It was Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining financier, who orchestrated his first big uranium deal which initiated these transactions and which was completed with Mr. Clinton at his side. The two men had traveled to the meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan in Mr. Giustra’s private jet. This deal was a major victory for UrAsia, Mr. Giustra’s then company which soon saw its future brighten significantly when it merged with Uranium One, a South African company with assets in Africa and Australia. Uranium One was controlled by UrAsia investors which included Ian Telfer, a Canadian who later became chairman and Mr. Giustra, whose personal stake in the deal was estimated at about $45 million. Mr. Giustra donated $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation in or around the months following the Kazakhstan mining deal. It also turns out that Ian Telfer made a $2.35 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. More detailed information can be read showing deep involvement of both Bill and Hillary Clinton in the entire train of events and includes State Department approvals and one could say accommodations all in a New York Times article. A full disclosure of how twenty percent of United States mined uranium is sold to Russia by a Canadian friend of the Clintons receiving every necessary accommodation and authorization while Hillary was Secretary of State and known to be able to pressure other Cabinet Secretaries to follow her lead in providing permissions and licenses all while the involved Canadians are contributing millions upon millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. Something here just does not figure and we would bet there are even higher and bigger fish to catch in this little pond, really big fish.

 

Meanwhile, tomorrow the American people will speak. We can expect, if this is at all even close, for the losing campaign to kick off the challenges followed soon behind by the winning party just to assure they are not excluded from the efforts to gain electoral votes. There may even be a challenge to the integrity and manner in which the Electoral College is arranged such that it can oppose the winner of the popular vote. We could hear that tired complaint about how Wyoming voters are way over-represented when compared to California or New York thus making those residing in such populous states being denied equal representation. This complaint has been answered ad-nausea pointing out that this was the actual design and is functioning such that, at least for the Presidency the smaller states get privileged representation as a barrier against pure democracy mob rule. This is a result of the equality the states enjoy in the Senate, so live with it. Of course if the losing side did not carry lonely and most sparsely populated Wyoming, then this argument makes perfect sense to those on that end of the Electoral College. Further claims will be filed in every state where the margin of the loss was under 5%, even 10% with both contesting as many as possible in order to topple the initially announced winner or to retain said position. Who knows what court challenges and other lawsuits will be filed but the process for validation will likely take the United States well into Thursday before the candidate at the wrong end of the vote starts to run out of options, but they have lawyers to address this until the Supreme Court ends the misery, which with a four-four split with one open position left by the passing of Justice Anthony Scalia this past February, the court may not be of much assistance.

 

We will see what the American people desire and the level of their interest by the percentage of eligible voters who actually vote. This is something we have always been troubled about. The President who should represent all the people is often only receiving one-third of the potential votes which could have voted and less when including potential to be registered voters. The math is sickeningly easy to do but a touch more difficult to explain. First we need to start with the adult population over eighteen which numbers at approximately 236,000,000 out of the approximately 309,000,000; or around two-thirds. This is the entirety of Americans legally eligible to vote give or take a million. Of these only 70% on average are registered to vote and a mere 60% actually vote. These results in only 42% of eligible voters actually vote in an election. We can safely claim that no more than 45% of voters actually do vote and it is considered that taking 55% of the vote represents winning in a landslide thus a big winner receives a mere 24¾% of the total number of people who meet the requirements for voting (representative graph by age group below). It is true, candidates need only persuade one-fourth of people eligible to vote in order to win, providing it is the right one-fourth.

 

Graph by Age Representing Voter Registration and Activity and Apathy

Graph by Age Representing
Voter Registration and
Activity and Apathy

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 30, 2016

Why We Think Trump Had Said NATO is a Problem

 

Donald Trump is doing something of which very few of us will ever understand the difficulty. For people used to blurting out whatever is on their minds, damn the consequences, it becomes even rougher row to hoe. Being of a similar mold and having attempted a run for office you quickly realize that there are some truths you hold close and can never reveal as they are one of many blocks of Kryptonite. The problem arises at some point where your natural nature breaks through and you start to speak one of those truths which must not be spoken and as they start to slip your lips you recover just short of the hidden nugget within which is the real poison to your campaign, so you quickly and abruptly end your sentence as smoothly as possible. The media, the darling little devils, are a devious lot and when they smell an opening, they are like jackals on carrion tearing at the carcass of the bedeviled thought seeking that hidden nugget. When Donald Trump complained about NATO, I got the sense that his problem was not the financial costs as he maintained upon further pressure from many media types. As Trump is closer to a third party candidate where there is no Republican running, he has been pestered and hammered from both ends of the media and his rather combative nature tends to allow for more unforced, though coerced or due to carefully laid traps, misspeaks and half-speaks leading him ever further down the rabbit hole, and wonderland is the worst place for a politician to end up as there it most certainly ends with the Red Queen screaming, “Off with his head,” pointing at them. And who wants to be executed by a horde of red animated playing cards? Such has been the NATO issue and the reason is far more potentially intriguing than the answers we have been giving, not that we disagree with having those nations incapable of providing the troops required to field NATO adequately to its demands having to pay the United States for making up the difference.

 

Thinking of what else Donald Trump might have been told which could include NATO it became obvious when it leaked into our ears, well, before our eyes really, the answer to the riddle and it concerns one of our pet problems with the world, Kurdish independence. The plan is to make Syria a collection of autonomous cantons with the Syrian government responsible solely for those items which cross the borders such as main roadways, money, national defense and others. The first canton mentioned was for the Kurds in the north and northeast of Syria. This was leaked as part of a report by respected Turkish journalist Mahmut Borzarslan who gave information we received in one of our memos from American Center for Democracy concerning a plan being brought forward initially in Syria by the Russians. The initial laying out of the plan while receiving all-out support by the Kurdish representatives was roundly dismissed as pure fancy with no hope of acceptance by the Syrian government of Bashir al-Assad be their position less tenable than they may yet realize. What makes this all the more interesting is that the Kurds would be natural allies to the United States as they have proven extremely helpful in Iraq allowing American forces to concentrate on the bigger problems while they basically ruled and kept straight the entire northern third of Iraq and assisted with the pacification of Mosul. Further, the Syrian Kurds, with assistance from their Iraqi cousins, have had the greatest success against the Islamic State defending their own held areas while liberating other areas with some of the toughest fighting coming for control of the city of Kobanê, which they accomplished with some assists in the form of targeting Islamic State positions with bombings, and a remarkably few at that. The Russians will soon point out that if Bashir al-Assad desires to remain among the living and rule over anything he will need to realize two things, he can only hope to rule an Alawite Canton and only that with the second, Russian assistance and if he desires the second he will need to accept the first. This he will understand even if the Russians need ground their planes, silence their artillery and retreat their forces to hold only Latakia and protect their naval instillations there.

 

There is no means on Earth which would make this idea acceptable to President Obama as his new best friend forever and darling of the Muslim Brotherhood since the fall of Egyptian President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government has been Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The removal of Morsi and his gang of undesirables proved the Egyptian people more knowledgeable than the United States President and State Department, the latter not that difficult a feat as it takes minimal common sense and does not require literacy, calling on even the military to retake power as they would be a kinder and more beneficent master. The added problem is where Donald Trump and NATO come into the picture. Turkey is a member of NATO due to their geography. They hold the southern front on Russia, formerly the Soviet Union and the reason for NATO, and control the Dardanelles, the waterway and series of straights leading from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and the world and also the Russian access to a warm water access to the Atlantic Ocean (see map below). Being a NATO member, Turkey could claim and likely verify terrorist threats against her by Kurds being aided and secluded by Syrian Kurds making a case for it being an act of war. As attacking Kurdish region of Syria would place Turkish fighter aircraft in space over Russian zones and might even draw Russian assistance to the Kurdish side as the Kurdish actions have aided Russian interests, they could demand military assistance under the NATO Charter. Should the United States enter such a conflict in even the smallest of means; one could bet the Kurds would have no alternative but to request Russian assistance even simply to provide air cover to prevent bombings as the Kurds have no air forces and likely minimal if any air defenses. Remember that Turkey has already downed a Russian fighter jet under somewhat questionable conditions and Russia is not a nation to forget such and jump at an opportunity to repay in kind and then some. This could quickly get out of hand with Russian and NATO, potentially including United States, aircraft in combat against one another. Does any rational person really want to see where such could lead?

 

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

 

For this reason and numerous others, it will be best left until after the United States Presidential Elections and the late January inauguration before any serious negotiations on such a solution can have any hope to progress. This is where Hillary Clinton can claim that Putin would prefer Donald Trump as both she and dear Vlad know theirs would be a tumultuous relationship at best and adversarial at the very least. If there is to be any cooperation between the United States and Russia on Syria and a host of other areas, then Donald Trump need be the next United States President. Hillary Clinton has already made it clear that her foremost foreign policy objective will be to humble and force Putin to bow before her will from the very first moments of her reign. This is also one of the main unspoken fears, dare we say horrors, many foreign policy theorists and experts foresee. The guaranteed irritant on so many trouble spots and potential disasters would result from a continuation of an American shirking of international responsibilities. Should America continue leading from ever further behind soon to never even arrive, added to a focus on pressing only Russia and President Putin frustrating him while continuing to arm “rebels” in Syria, could lead to an ever greater set of conflicts. Add the blindness to Islamic pressures and subversions would bring much of the ensuing violence down initially upon Europe and soon thereafter on the United States as well. As learned, or not, from both world wars, the United States sitting on the sidelines refusing to lead the powers of democratic governance, freedom and liberty against the powers of darkness and human bondage; be it physical, mental, spiritual or otherwise; only prolongs the insufferable carnage and adds, nay, multiplies the numbers of combatants and innocent civilians slaughtered and can even place the final outcome in doubt as was the reality in World War II where had the Nazis broken through Stalingrad and connected to the Arabian oil fields the outcome may have been very different. Of course should Donald Trump become complacent concerning the possible designs Vladimir Putin may be considering for Eastern Europe and many of the former Warsaw Pact nations, that too could lead in a very threatening and dangerous direction. Oh the trials and tribulations of trying to run the world with so many other actors filling the stage. The solution in Syria will never resurrect the visions of Bashir al-Assad and he may become the sole obstruction to an agreement all the other groups agree with once the Islamic State has been vanquished, an inevitability no matter who wins the election. Such a position would make Assad a problem for Russia, and even worse, for Putin which would make Assad no longer desirable. That would be a very nasty place to be standing surrounded by Russian military and special agents and further, Bashir al-Assad is not unreplaceable with a new and compliant Alawite leader and there are likely quite a few just waiting for such an opportunity. Assad should remember the Arab Code, “Me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world. And all of us against the infidel.”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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