Beyond the Cusp

June 18, 2012

Abbas Announces Death of the Peace Process, Blames Israel

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Palestinian Authority President Abbas announced in a conference in Ramallah, “The peace process is clinically dead and the Israeli side is definitely the one responsible. The ball is in their court.” Just days before his meeting with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and putting further emphasis on this not so surprising announcement, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat added the following speaking to AFP on Sunday, “I was assigned by President Abbas to inform US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of our position on resuming negotiations once Israel commits to stopping settlement activity and release of prisoners, among other obligations. These are not preconditions but obligations and Israel must abide by them. We hope the American administration compels the Israeli government to fulfill its obligations in order to get the peace process back on track.”

Before anybody starts digging a grave for the obviously moribund peace process, shall we look a little deeper at exactly what was said, what was omitted, and what it is exactly that Mahmoud Abbas and his fellow conspirators are attempting to achieve by all this bluster. The first thing of note is that these grand statements and high drama come immediately before a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton. So, the first possibility is this was all setting the table for guiding the talks with Secretary Clinton in a desired direction. The crucial phrase was given to Saeb Erakat to relay and were, “…resuming negotiations once Israel commits to stopping settlement activity and release of prisoners, among other obligations. These are not preconditions but obligations and Israel must abide by them.” There are two items to note in this excerpt from Mr. Erakat. The demand that these are not “preconditions” but rather are “obligations” and as such Israel is bound to meet these requirements before anybody can even start to talk of the two sides meeting and negotiations restarting. That begs a few questions starting with where does this set of obligations derive from? Were these parts and parcel of any agreement between the two sides? Was this a binding resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations or similar decree from any other body holding the power to make these demands upon Israel? The answer is no. These are an ever lengthening set of demands that appear to sprout from the furtive imagination of one Mahmoud Abbas. Israel not only has never agreed to these stipulations, they have never discussed such things in all of their negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. And that leads us to the second consideration of what exactly is meant by “…Israel commits to stopping settlement activity and release of prisoners, among other obligations.” The idea of stopping settlement activity was a misstep, intentional or out of pure ignorance, made by the President of the United States Barack Obama which did lead to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu actually committing to place a one-time moratorium on settlement construction for ten months. During that period, Mahmoud Abbas twittered away the first nine months and only in the final three weeks made any appearance of an effort to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu. The end result was President Abbas demanding that the American President force the Israelis to extend the settlement freeze for an indeterminate amount of time until Abbas judged that the negotiations were completed. That demand never had any chance in the world and President Obama did not even back that demand.

About the rest where it adds, “…release of prisoners, among other obligations.” The release of prisoners is ridiculous as Israel recently released a large number of prisoners, over one thousand in total. But, needless to say, in the world of Mahmoud Abbas such does not count and Israel must release hundreds of prisoners each and every time he requests or they are obstructing the negotiations. The best part is the open ended “among other obligations.” This wonderful catch-all phrase fits the Mahmoud Abbas negotiation method perfectly and defines his approach for the past years explicitly. This allows Mr. Abbas to add item after item after item just in the case where Israel might decide to call his bluff and meet the stated demands. These other obligations inevitably will lead to the one deal breaker Mr. Abbas keeps in his back pocket for those emergencies when he is caught without a new demand, that is the “Right of return” where he insists that Israel absorb four and a half million or more so-called Palestinian refugees. We will get into the unique definition of Palestinian refugee in a moment. Other standard demands that he currently has been including in this list include but are not limited to the following; release of all Palestinian prisoners who have been incarcerated from before the year 2000 (this consists almost exclusively of prisoners who have murdered multiple Israeli civilians and are serving multiple life sentences, or put another way, the worst of the worst), surrender of all of the Old City of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall (which then would be made off limits in practice if not in fact through violence such as is often seen when Jews visit Jacobs Tomb in Hevron), usage of the 1949 Armistice Lines as the starting point for the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, and others. The latest and most mind boggling of President Mahmoud Abbas demands was introduced in the last week or so when he now demands that the Palestinian Authority, fresh off being recognized by UNESCO as a member country, have the right to import weapons. Be assured, he will claim to the press that he intends only to upgrade the pitiful weapons his security forces and police are forced to use currently and nothing really serious. The Palestinian police and security forces are armed with two year old M-16s, a commensurate number equipped with M-209 grenade launchers, M-60 30 caliber belt-fed machine guns, 9MM side arms, and whatever older weapons they have from unofficial sources which include many Kalashnikov assault rifles, Russian and other RPGs, and when including the terror arm of Mahmoud Abbas’s PLO, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, very likely anti-tank launchers and other and various crew served weapons including small and medium range mortars, Grad rockets, Katyusha rockets, enhanced Katyusha rockets, Qassam rockets, and other various mines, explosives grenades and indirect fire weapons. Yet, Mr. Abbas sees the need to enhance their armory with whatever he can drag across the border with assistance from Iran, Russia, possibly some European countries, and whomever else might be willing to trust him to take the weapons now and pay them some time in the future. And this is also an obligation he requires of Israel despite their never having agreed to anything even remotely resembling such.

Now for the promised definition of a Palestinian Refugee. Where in the real world, that is anywhere not part of the Palestinian influence and support groups, the refugees are cared for by the UNHCR which is tasked with caring for refugees and making every possible attempt to arrange for the refugees to return to their homes after any crisis has ended or be absorbed into an accepting country in cases where the refugees are the result of a war or agreement which changes state boundaries. One example were the hundreds of millions of Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu refugees who found themselves on the opposite side of the formation of India and Pakistan and desired to be relocated to their respective states. Oddly enough, today all of those refugees have been relocated and are living as citizens within one or the other country. Pakistan was founded approximately one year earlier than was Israel and due to much the same problems of religiously motivated warfare between Muslim and Hindu people as compared to Muslim and Jews in the founding of Israel. The main responsibility for UNHCR is to resettle and resolve all refugee situations. This was totally unacceptable to the Arab and Muslim states which desired to retain as many refugees as possible to use as a political bludgeon against Israel. They desired a way to actually increase the numbers of refugees. Within a decade of the founding of Israel, approximately six-hundred and fifty-thousand to seven-thousand Arabs were displaced from their homes within Israel by the Israeli War for survival after Israel was attacked by more than five Arab neighbors the day after her founding. The vast majority of these refugees had willingly abandoned their homes believing the promises of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Amin al-Husayni who promised them a quick war where the Jews would be massacred and they could return to their homes and take of the spoils of victory. During the same period many Arab and Muslim countries either forced their Jewish population to leave or the Jews fled extreme violence and pogroms leaving behind their homes, businesses, and any wealth they were unable to carry. These Jews numbered over seven-hundred-fifty-thousand and some estimates place the number near to nine-hundred-thousand. Today there are no Jewish refugees left from that time and even millions of Russian Jewish refugees have been absorbed by Israel and Israel is in the process of absorbing hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian and Indian Jews currently. Today the number of Palestinian Refugees is estimated at somewhere over four-and-a-half-million. The United Nations went so far as to have an agency just for the Palestinian refugees separate from all other refugees. This organization is UNRWA and has the charge to increase the number of those considered Palestinian refugees by any method possible. Unlike other refugees who had to actually have been alive and lost their homes at the time of whatever event caused their refugee status, Palestinian refugees are not so tasked. If either parent is a Palestinian refugee, then the child is a Palestinian refugee, and their children will be refugees and their children will also be Palestinian refugees. Under the care of UNRWA there exist millions of second, third, fourth, and possible starting to be fifth generation Palestinian refugees. The sole solution the world has been conditioned to allow for these refugees is their incorporation into Israeli society in order to overwhelm the Jewish population of Israel and thus conquer Israel through sheer numbers. This is the intent of the demand for the “Right of Return” for Palestinian refugees. It is simply another imitation of the Jewish laws for the return from the Diaspora of Jews to Israel which is the “Law of Right of Return”. The Palestinians have even now begun to refer to the Palestinian refugees as being the Palestinian Diaspora in order to make them appear to have the same heritage to return to their ancient homeland. To initially qualify as a Palestinian refugee one need not even have been living within the Middle East and definitely not within what became Israel to qualify. All one need claim is that they resided in the British Mandate area for two years between 1940 and 1949 and they became Palestinian refugees. Even if they lived in Palo Alto, California in the United States during the 1948-1949 Israeli Arab War but had lived in the British Mandate from 1941 to 1944 they became Palestinian refugees as have their children and grand-children on and on. This is just the tip of the iceberg that is the scandal that is the Palestinian refugees. There are no Palestinian refugee camps within Israel; they all exist either in Palestinian autonomous areas or in Arab countries such as Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon etc. President Assad has numerous times shelled some of the Palestinian refugee camps in Syria during the civil war that is ongoing. In Lebanon the Palestinians are forbidden from most forms of employment and are not allowed to own land or even rent an apartment and their camps are guarded to keep them within, not to protect them. Jordan was the sole country to grant Palestinian refugees citizenship. Many of those citizens were stripped of that privilege after the Black September uprising by Yasser Arafat when he attempted a coup in Jordan against the King. The Palestinians remain as refugees multiple generations after their original loss of their homes in a war they did not start and neither did the Israelis start, but that was propagated in the Palestinians’ names by their brother Arabs and Muslims. That is an introduction to the reality that is the Palestinian refugee problem. Even under Mahmoud Abbas in the Palestinian Authority areas of autonomy the Palestinian refugees are contained in squalor of their refugee camps in greater poverty than their brethren who feel nothing for them and only wish to use them to destroy Israel.

Beyond the Cusp

June 12, 2012

Should Pollard Receive Presidential Pardon?

On the subject of Jonathan Pollard spying for Israel and handing them classified photographs presumably of the Iraqi Osirak nuclear complex and reactor, it would have been easier to write of if he will be pardoned by United States President Obama at the behest of Israeli President Peres; very likely not. Instead, let’s look at the somewhat more controversial subject of if Jonathan Pollard should receive a pardon and be released. There are more sides, opinions, complications, over-simplifications, added-complications, theories, conspiracies, excuses, explanations, and lastly, accusations that to fully examine this subject and take in every obtuse angle which are splattered throughout the blogosphere and try to make heads or tails of it will drive one’s sanity right over the proverbial cliff. So, rather than actually go to a place more insane than where I am accused of residing, I figured I would simply try to write using things from my Swiss cheese memory. So, off we go into one more romp through blunderland.

The most important controversy about the entire Jonathan Pollard affair refers to exactly what he was guilty of. This is not what he was charged with or what he pleaded guilty to or even what the agreement was, we can go there in good time. The problem is there are many who claim that the judge broke the plea agreement when he received confidential, classified information which revealed the true extent to Pollard’s perfidy. I thought I might address what is likely the most serious of the supposed secret told to the judge right before sentencing. It was claimed that Pollard had sold the Russians the complete list of all our agents in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union which cost us both numerous agents’ lives and years of careful placement of placing people in the sensitive positions where they could best complete their missions. Here is the singular problem with this scenario. Jonathan Pollard worked as a Navy intelligence worker who handled photo reconnaissance and other related data and information. As such, guess what, Pollard had absolutely no access to the lists of our operatives, especially Central Intelligence Agency operatives, behind the Iran curtain. The real problem with Pollard revealing such information was simply impossible. Another claim from those on the opposite end of the spectrum is that Pollard was set up by being accused for all the misdeeds performed by master spy Aldrich Ames in order to divert the investigations by providing a believable suspect, though eventually Ames was caught. This is difficult to believe as I would hope any Judge worthy of trying such an important espionage case would be sufficiently knowledgeable to realize the limitations of Pollard’s security access dismissed much of what such claims would have entailed.

So, perhaps we should proceed under the premise that Pollard was charged with the same charges as were included in his plea deal and there were no other extraneous factors. Jonathan Pollard pleaded to the charge of passing sensitive classified information to an allied power. One has to remember that Pollard was nothing more than the person passing on information he came across in the performance of his Navy Department employ. He was not planted in the United States by a foreign country and actually passed on information that might have technically been covered under an agreement the United States has with Israel to provide them with intelligence information and satellite pictures pertaining to areas of what is referred to as special and mutual interests. One might have thought that satellite high-resolution pictures of the Iraqi Osirak Nuclear Power Plant would have fallen under such a classification. The problem was that the State Department did not consider that such intelligence was of any relative importance which Israel should be privileged to acquire. Since these items were classified, considered sensitive information, and determined of no interest to the Israelis, Jonathan Pollard had committed an act of espionage.

The passing of classified information, even to an ally, is very serious and very illegal and anybody caught and convicted of doing so, plea deal or not, deserves serious sentencing. The standard sentence has been reported to be an average of two to four years for passing such to an ally and as much as eight, though usually just four or five, for passing such information to an enemy state. Most often, somebody who is found guilty of passing sensitive information, which is not as secretive or as serious as classified items, to an enemy country is most often exchanged for whoever is found guilty of spying in said country in order to have a warm body to offer for trade long before they finish serving their sentence. My most unimpressive memory tells me that often they serve only two to four years despite what the sentence passed down.

So, what are we to believe should be done with Jonathan Pollard who has now languished for over a quarter of a century? One of the problems is that Pollard was spying for Israel who the United States would never stoop to spying against. Partially this is due to the fact that Israel very often informs the United States through one of the varied channels available of their military operational intentions, shares a fair amount of their intelligence information, and has agreements through which many of their military research is conducted in a shared manner jointly with American companies and appropriate American interests, and generally works willingly with the United States in many other areas. The truth of the matter is that Jonathan Pollard may very well be being held to the end of his life sentence simply as to be used as an example of the United States not operating under the direction and influence of Israel or their overly exaggerated influence reputably held by AIPAC. Releasing Pollard would cause a situation where somebody from the State Department would need to explain how releasing an Israeli master super spy, Pollard’s deeds have been inflated to the standard of rivaling the likes of Bond, James Bond, rather than leaving him to rot till death in some long forgotten dungeon, or if we have to be civil, a nice prison cell. Plainly put, releasing Pollard would mean admitting that some people went to great lengths to go overboard over the “Pollard Affair” and that perhaps he was given somewhat longer sentence than was rational, let alone believable. There will be no admission of such. The State Department and others in the seats of power will never ever admit to having been ham handed and blowing this case way out of proportions, thus Jonathan Pollard, the greatest spy since Mata Hari, will forever rot in prison and never be a free man. If some are feeling particularly generous, maybe they will allow Jonathan Pollard to travel to Israel to be buried, but maybe not.

Beyond the Cusp

January 16, 2012

President Obama’s True Metal Looks Rusted and Tarnished

The last few weeks have brought everything to a critical point for my evaluations of President Obama. This does not mean that before this I had any doubts as to his disturbing tendencies to treat menacing adversaries and enemies as honored and valued friends and allies as despicable, devious and traitorous enemies. I have also been aware of his great and boundless hatred and revulsion towards our military, his pure disgust for private entrepreneurial enterprise, especially if they are successful. I have also observed President Obama’s great love affair with all-encompassing and unlimited government, and his affections for stifling, vague regulations and their use to inhibit any freedoms and bring all under direct government micromanagement. I have been conscious of his disdain and revulsion for those who believe differently than he and his close little group of quasi-dictatorial czars who make up his shadow cabinet which has usurped the constitutional powers of the actual department heads and cabinet positions with a couple of notable exceptions which include the State Department and Defense which are under the management of two of President Obama’s fellow socialist, possibly even communist, travelers, Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of Defense Panetta. But a few actions of late have perfectly exemplified the perfidy with which President Obama conducts most of his assigned responsibilities and ducks those others he finds distasteful and detrimental to the completion of the total transition of the United States of America he had promised in his campaign. Remembering his promises, or should I call them what they were, threats, which he proudly exclaimed to roars of approval his intentions to radically and unalterable transform this great country into an image most detrimental to its continued greatness while much of the country was blinded by media’s hyperventilating infatuation with what they described as a blinding intellect beyond any measure or description. Now we are just about three years into the first term of President Obama and his shining and glimmering armor now appears to have become rusted and tarnished.

Let us first go back to early this past December when we were informed that one of our advanced stealthy drones had been lost and reportedly been captured by the Iranians. This turned out to be fact but it remained unclear whether it was lost due to a unit malfunction or if the Iranians had figured out a way of blocking the signals to the drone causing it to lose contact with its controllers. Iran having been able to block the controlling RF Controlling Signals would not be as technically difficult as many might believe. What is disturbing is that after losing reception the drone simply, according to some reports, landed safely after a set period of not receiving any instructions. I think that somebody needs to rethink that part of the programming and alter it such that the drone upon losing signals and thus instructions would return to its launch site or to a preprogrammed safe location and if unable to achieve that it would have some form of self-destruct ability, even if that was simply diving full speed into the ground, in order to deny its capture by unfriendly forces. But then again, it may actually have those abilities and they had been disabled on this mission in order to facilitate its capture, but that would be too close to being a conspiracy theory to be believable, or is it? Once it had been confirmed that the drone, a presumably highly valuable and highly technical drone, had fallen within Iranian territory, it was reported that President Obama was given three options he could pursue, send a mission of Special Forces soldiers to retrieve the drone or destroy the drone if unable to retrieve it or order a strike mission to destroy the drone. President Obama chose option four, do nothing and then, after a few days, simply plead with the Iranians and ask nicely, “Would you please return our drone?” Wow, that sure was forceful and a strong action, how could the Iranians refuse such an ultimatum?

Next issue just occurred this past week when another Iranian scientist who was a member of their nuclear program was killed. Iranian scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was a chemistry expert and senior official at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran and was killed in a drive-by-bombing when a motorcyclist placed magnetic explosives on his car and sped away before they ignited killing the scientist and his two passengers. Iran has laid blame on the West, the United States and Israel to be specific. Early the next day Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a statement to the press disavowing any connection to the killing of the Iranian scientist by the United States, something both expected and admirable for somebody in her position. I definitely would not expect anybody representing the United States to claim credit for the operation even had it been a covert operation of the United States. Later in the day while addressing some Military Personnel at Fort Bliss, Texas, Secretary of Defense Panetta also disavowed any part by the United States being played in the assassination of the Iranian scientist but also went further by claiming that, “We have some ideas as to who might be involved. But we don’t know exactly who was involved.” This would be an interesting comment made solely on its own but takes on a whole new dimension when we include the interesting phone call made earlier in the day by President Obama. The President had called Prime Minister Netanyahu and while discussing Iran and other issues, President Obama demanded from Prime Minister Netanyahu an explanation for Israeli actions that were involved in the assassination of the Iranian Scientist and the other two occupants of his car. President Obama went further and demanded that going forward that the Israeli Prime Minister clear any actions Israel may be planning on taking with President Obama before issuing the orders or acting. Then came the coup de grace. On Saturday Time reported “Like three previous Iranian scientists ambushed on their morning commute, the latest nuclear expert to die on his way to work was a victim of Israel’s Mossad, Western intelligence sources tell TIME.” Time added, “Wednesday’s attack followed the pattern of previous operations planned by Mossad and carried out over the past two years by Iranians trained and paid by Israel’s spy agency, according to intelligence sources.” One does not need to be a rocket scientist, or an Iranian nuclear scientist, to figure who were Time’s intelligence sources. Time was simply being a good soldier and adding one more nail in the Israeli covert operations coffin as instructed when given the incriminating evidence, the statements of intelligence sources who will remain anonymous now and forever, but trust that these intelligence sources are unimpeachable and have never steered Time wrong. You can have complete faith that the intelligence sources were not attached to or in any way related to the White House.

When adding these two simple incidents we can see more of the love thine enemy but destroy old friends, especially if they happen to be Israel, which the Obama Administration has pursued from day one when President Obama made his first official call from the Oval Office after the inauguration to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Add to this the simple oddity of President Obama and his actions concerning the Arab Winter. He did not back the demonstrators against the Iranian Theocratic leaders. He relatively quickly threw Egyptian President Mubarak under the bus and into the hospital ICU and on to the trial being used to execute him. President Obama was all ready to pull together an alliance to assist the Libyan rebels in their struggle to remove Muammar Gaddafi. He did nothing to assist the rebels who are still dying by the scores in Syria in an attempt to remove President Bashar al- Assad. President Obama has personally invented two new demands which have now become the bane that is killing the Israeli Palestinian peace negotiations, the idea for an all-inclusive building freeze and the 1949 Armistice Lines as the starting point for setting boundaries which would undo something that all previous agreements had already settled, namely dividing Jerusalem which had already been agreed to be ceded to Israel in exchange for some of the bordering Arab towns a few miles south of Jerusalem. If you check President Obama’s actions throughout the Middle East, any time he could support or at least not oppose a leader or country that was actively threatening Israel he worked to allow that situation to continue and if anyone had signed a peace with Israel (Mubarak) or had not taken any steps against Israel in decades (Gaddafi), President Obama did everything in his power to replace them with what he very likely knew or hoped would work to destroy Israel. But, of course, I’m simply insane and paranoid. Just keep thinking that but also keep what this paranoid has said and let us see. We have at least one more year with an option for four more years. I, unlike those who are so completely sure of President Obama’s defeat, am not anywhere near as comfortable that such is anywhere near guaranteed. Actually, I expect it to be a very close election and should it be a landslide, then I expect we have five more years of President Obama. Please let it be I’m simply paranoid.

Beyond the Cusp

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