Beyond the Cusp

September 22, 2016

Israel Iron Dome Can be Their Asian Diplomat

 

China is spreading their wings blanketing much of Asia in the shadow staring up the claws and talons of the Chinese dragons armed with missiles covering every corner of her neighbors. South Korea, Japan and the Philippines face the combined threat of an expansive reach, possibly overreach from China and the growing ballistic and nuclear potential from North Korea and all from shorter ranged ballistic missiles, just the ones the Iron Dome is so proficient at intercepting. Israel has good relations with much of the Asian nations such as India and also China and could always use a few more friends. The recent test by North Korea of a nuclear device which had the highest yield of any device thus far tested by the secluded and often surly in their relations with the neighboring nations, especially South Korea and Japan , has led to a troubled area with furrowed brows. Israel has the perfect solution for addressing potential threats from North Korea and their rockets, missiles, mortars and even artillery rounds with a highly successful interception rate in the neighborhood of ninety percent. The Iron Dome systems have proven their effectiveness against actual war time footing in the last Gaza conflict. Israel could offer the Iron Dome to these nations in a very affordable and mutually beneficial exchange where for every so many units purchased the nations also finance the production of an additional Iron Dome system for Israeli use. Such an arrangement would be of obvious benefit to all the nations involved in such an arrangement. The United States who had been assisting with the production of the Iron Dome in exchange for access to some of the research and operational data of the system and the production of some of the system’s units by the American company Raytheon has already taken their pound of flesh. Such an arrangement would benefit all involved and would provide Raytheon business in the production of their section of the systems thus also benefitting the United States.

 

Why would Israel seek to offer their most proficient indirect weapons fire interception system to foreign Asian nations when there are presumably agreements with the United States for further production of additional units? The recently signed defense agreement signed between Israel and the United States set into motion a steady reduction in monies reserved for Israeli defense industries. This may reflect on further financing the Iron Dome systems in Israel independent of influences in Washington D.C. Whether Israel will continue to have a friend in Washington D.C. will be heavily dependent upon the results of the coming elections for President as well as for Congress. Israel needs to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. These last eight years have placed relation between the White House and Jerusalem in the most parched regions of the driest and hottest desert known to man and depending on the election the next four years could just as easily be more of the same. Neither candidate for the Presidency has made foreign policy the main theme of their campaigns which is understandable with the American public more focused on the economy and jobs caring little about the rest of the world beyond reducing legal and ending illegal immigration until the economy warrants the need for foreign workers. Both candidates will necessarily concentrate on the economy first and foremost and foreign relations will be a back burner issue unless events cause the American public to sit up and take notice and keep their attentions. The American public has a remarkable ability to look up and see beyond their borders only if the noise is loud enough but even when they do look up, they return to their daily concerns with unfathomable speed continuing as if their attention had never been diverted. The resilience of their ability to focus on everyday life and only passing attention beyond their drive to and from work, their job or finding one, and their family, disregarding the remainder of the world as if it was a bothersome mosquito whose droning wings are but an aggravation is their best coping method and the world’s bane.

 

 

This may be to the detriment of Israel as well as other nations who may depend on the United States government and particularly the White House actually looking beyond their borders when the most pressing problems echoed by the media is jobs, jobs, jobs and the economy and in an extreme situation, immigration. Terrorism, well, only if there are a series of devastating attacks within the United States itself with potential for momentary interruption if there is striking news from abroad, but such news passes from the news and the attention span of the busy Americans is brief for anything not immediately on their view screens. The news networks in the United States spend more time on the weather and even more on sports with little room for international news which they run through as quickly as possible avoiding it altogether when possible as their advertisers know the public and the public cares more about the cat rescued for the little girl from a tree or some viral video than they want hard news. It is no wonder why the United States Congress and the White House are hard pressed to tune into the international front when they are rewarded almost uniquely for taking care of the home front leaving the world to do as it will. The American citizens believe that the two great oceans protect the United States just as much if not more effectively than the military. One would think that the terrorist strikes they have suffered would have disabused them of this notion, but like any normal person, the average American prefers to believe that they are safe and comfortable within their little cocoons with the remainder of the world locked out. Granted the United States is the size of a continent and reach from ocean to ocean and are bordered largely by Canada and by Mexico for a far shorter southern border which most Americans simply would love to see it closed but unless pressed mostly do not place that concern at the top of their to worry list.

 

What does this have to do with Israel? Well, their future has been tied to the United States in the defense area since they terminated the Lavi fighter project and went with American aircraft and have remained dependent on the United States for their aircraft ever since. The future of this relationship has been harshly affected for the worse under President Obama and the fear is should Hillary Clinton be elected in November that relations will not improve under her leadership. As far as Donald Trump is concerned, many claim relations would be improved under a Trump Presidency but still there are many unanswered question as Donald Trump is still largely an unknown. The current aircraft Israel is expected to receive from the United States is the F-35 JSF which has been experiencing serious delays and problems. There has been serious concern that the F-35 JSF will not be truly combat ready until sometime in the early to mid-2020’s with 2025 not an unreliable prediction. Israel’s main enemies are able to purchase superior Russian aircraft which are combat ready today such as the SU-35 or any of the newest Chinese aircraft which are also combat ready. This could be a detrimental situation which Israel can ill afford as she is extremely dependent on air superiority. Iran is currently sitting with the ability to purchase entire fleets of these aircraft with the monies they received from the United States from the Iran Deal and the loosening of sanctions, the payments for the release of hostages or repayment for nondelivered arms after the Shah was overthrown in 1979. There have been rumored further cash payments to Iran for undetermined reasons by the Obama administration. How much additional payment Iran has or may receive is unknown and probably the full amounts granted to Iran may never be fully understood. This has created further concerns for Israel as has the recent delivery by Russia of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile and tracking systems to Iran which have seriously upgraded the Iranian air defenses around their nuclear sites.

 

Sukhoi Su-35

Sukhoi Su-35

 

Israel could seriously upgrade their defenses against rockets fired from their neighboring threats such as Gaza and Hamas and Lebanon and Hezballah who between them have easily over one-hundred-fifty-thousand rockets and missiles. Such numbers are the very serious reason why Israel would be very pressed to increase the numbers of Iron Dome systems and further develop their other systems and deploy them in order to be capable of defending against any missiles fired from Iran or potentially other enemies. This means the manufacture of David’s Sling and the Arrow II systems and further developing of these systems to improve them seeking the impossible, perfection of interception of all range of missiles and other armaments fired at her people, that is what Israel could gain from such deals. Further, Israel could strengthen her relations and perhaps develop closer relations with new nations. Israel recently made inroads sharing a visit with Japan and has good relations with the Philippines after assisting them with their recovery after the horrific typhoon which struck that nation. Israel could also seek to have improved relations with South Korea and with the troubling developments and concerns over North Korean sabre rattling and their close relations with Iran with the two nations sharing scientific and military research developments Israel has more in common with these nations than many might see at first glance. Israel could develop these relations using military trade as an inroad and develop further trade relations as time and relations develop. One can never have too many or too varied friends and with systems such as the Iron Dome Israel has a very enticing calling card.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

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September 12, 2016

Race to End the World

 

How the world, the civilized world of mankind, would end used to have a singular premise, nuclear war between the two competing socio-economic powers, democratic freedom and communist totalitarianism. Since the fall of the Soviet Union and other developments that paradigm has been grotesquely been altered making the world a far more dangerous place. Communism still exists and threatens the world though that threat emanates from North Korea, China or possibly a renewed Soviet threat or even little Cuba. The world has changed so much that within a decade or so China may become the second most populous nation behind their most serious historic rival, India. The potentials for an utterly destructive war are racing towards the world at a dizzying pace and we will try to touch on a few of the most obvious rivals for being credited with such destruction.

 

The most obvious from recent news actually is North Korea which is claiming to have miniaturized nuclear weapons making them easily produced and able to be placed atop ballistic missiles. North Korea has been working on those missiles as well. One cannot credit North Korea as the sole threat as Iran has been developing the missiles openly and many predict continued working on their nuclear aspirations without so much as missing a beat after the farce of an agreement which was signed and approved by the P5+1, Russia, China, France, Great Britain, United States and Germany, but was never ratified or signed by Iran, an oversight we are sure. Some have pointed to this inconvenient fact to claim that Iran is just as close to developing deliverable nuclear weapons as is North Korea. Both Iran and North Korea share more than their love affair with nuclear weapons and the missiles with which to deliver them, they share the nation both list amongst the most likely they would attack with their first launches, the United States. From there they diverge.

 

Where after the United States Iran lists Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, most of the Sunni nations and finally the rest of the non-Islamic world; North Korea lists South Korea, Japan and then whomever refuses to bow to any demands they may make which would make China and other nearby nations as being at the greatest risk. Because of these threats it appears that we can soon forget about containing nuclear proliferation making a nuclear war all the more likely. The world still has one pair of nuclear armed nations facing off against each other with a distinct probability to entering another war and it will only take one misidentification of a launch to start a smaller but equally deadly nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan. Should those two tangle, there is less of a chance for that to spread beyond the destruction of both nations though some reports place the southern third of India still beyond Pakistani missiles. Also, despite the Pakistani nuclear research assistance program of Professor Abdul Qadeer Khan selling the secrets to making nuclear weapons to anybody willing to pay, this was largely closed down and Pakistan and India are not likely to share such technology though it is rumored that Pakistan has a deal with Saudi Arabia to provide them with plans plus some actual weapons should this be deemed necessary by Saudi leaders.

 

That brings us to Iran and their nuclear program. Despite the reports that Iran has ceased their nuclear research and production, there remain nagging reports contradicting this story line. Whatever spins one puts on the situation with Iran, it becomes evident that they will become a nuclear power within the coming decade. This threat to their many nations in their neighborhood could easily spark an arms race with such nations as Saudi Arabia having funds sufficient to produce copious numbers of nuclear weapons and many of the Gulf States are equally financially capable of similar development not to mention also capable of financing other nations developing weapons such as Jordan and Egypt topping that list and Turkey a little further down. Israel is already an undeclared nuclear power in their own right and equally nervous about the development of an Iranian deliverable nuclear device. The problem with Iranian nuclear weapons possession is their likelihood to use them even in the face of retaliatory strikes which would conceivably decimate the nation as their reasons for attacking are a religious directive just as much serving their political agenda to gain hegemony over the Middle East and then the Islamic world followed by the world. Their eventual aim is to make Shia Islam the sole religion on earth or die trying. It is their willingness, even desire to commit national suicide in the process which makes their threat so dangerous. The truth is their first strike could be a preemptive attempt at neutralizing the United States, which is technically possible, to inflict humongous damage even using simpler ballistic missiles with nuclear warhead atop, three or four to be used as EMP weapons placed such as to completely destroy all electronic transmission across the United States with the remainder taking out the largest twenty or more cities all from freight container ships fitted with two or three launchers each launching from off shore from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as the Gulf of Mexico leaving no city beyond reach. The following map holds true for any nations attacking the United States be it Iran, North Korea or anyone else as it lists the most desirable first strike targets.

 

First Cities To Be Struck in Attack Scenarios

First Cities To Be Struck in Attack Scenarios

 

Next would be North Korea who would likely use the same map as above as it applies to any nuclear first strike attempting to critically destroy the United States by eradicating their leadership and a great part of the population. Anybody listening to North Korean broadcasts within the impoverished nation would believe that South Korea with great assistance including nuclear attacks made by the United States was imminent and that North Korea was preparing for an all-out war with both nations at any moment. Needless to say, but these depiction always have North Korea intercepting or preemptively destroying any and all attacks from the United States and South Korea followed by devastating rebutting attacks completely wiping the United States from being capable of any further attacks and reunification of the Korean peninsula under the North’s just and powerful rule. The fears that North Korea will attack South Korea are still quite high but also the ability to prevent North Korea from all but eradicating Seoul in the initial burst in a first strike are impossible. The artillery sitting just north of the DMZ (demilitarized zone) along the 38th parallel are more than sufficient to destroy the city with conventional warheads. Add in missile attacks and even without nuclear weapons North Korea has an ominous first strike knockout capability.

 

Additionally, North Korea has made threats against another traditional enemy, Japan. The entirety of Korean populations, both North and South, remember the deprivations, cruelties and horrors of the Japanese occupation during World War II and this hatred is easily stoked as the national memory on this is strong. Japan had been simply a historic enemy but after World War II they became a detested and begrudged enemy and North Korean propaganda has made use of this to keep the attentions of the people from the misery and hardships of life in North Korea. Many experts have claimed that North Korea is not suicidal and thus would not attack anybody for fear of retribution. This overlooks a few pertinent facts. First is the fact of their having so little to lose with no real economy to speak of and starvation of endemic proportions. Secondly, their ruler, Kim Jung Un, has displayed a real lack of grasp of reality and has executed high ranking people for the slightest of errors in judgement or actions. He had an uncle executed with the rumored excuse that he posed a threat to Kin Jung Un’s continued rule and recently executed his Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol for the crime of falling asleep at a meeting which Kim Jung Un was chairing. Kim Jung Un has shown complete disregard for any loyalty or discretions in limiting his power and is sufficiently unstable and unpredictable that he could easily begin such a conflict against South Korea, Japan or even the Philippines or the United States. Below is a screen shot from a North Korean propaganda video depicting just such an attack in a very simplified but unmistakable way of attacking the United States with the image of Kim Jung Un ever-present in the top right corner.

 

North Korean Propaganda Image Depicting Nuclear Strike on the United States

North Korean Propaganda Image Depicting
Nuclear Strike on the United States

 

Another potential nation for whom a war would not be a completely foreign idea is China. Their economy has weakened and is showing signs of actually falling, something the leadership cannot afford as they have promised the vision of Nirvana with an ever growing and prosperous nation. Needless to point out that such a dream is an impossibility even if you control all forms of media, which China does not quite have as many Chinese have found means of cruising cyber space and the Internet. Totalitarian control of cyberspace is all but impossible as the Chinese leadership can attest despite their attempting to run their own version hoping to keep their populations from such temptations as can be found online. Their main reason is to throttle ideas and prevent freedom of information. Still there are Chinese bloggers who do get the word out to those interested in finding such. China is feeling their oats and attempting a power play in the South China Sea attempting to control this waterway which is vital to Asian trade and control the Japanese lifeline to the coal and oil they need for power generation and other usages. This also threatens Japanese, Vietnamese and Philippine claims to islands with which they have been contesting ownership with China for years and almost sparking open warfare over these possessions. Chinese and North Korean threats have caused Japan to reconsider their Constitutional pledge against having an army and other forces sufficient to conduct a war even in defense which they insisted upon after the devastation visited upon them at the end of World War II with Tokyo as well as Nagasaki and Hiroshima completely devastated and in ruins along with much of Japanese infrastructure and manufacturing. Japan as well as South Korea has held high level discussions in their respective governances to enter the nuclear club and develop their own weapons stores. Both nations are easily technically capable in order to produce first rate thermonuclear devices and not just nuclear weapons. This would place their effectiveness on a par with the standing nuclear powers and could place them on a road to surpass France and Britain and become contenders in the top five nuclear powers on the planet. This would definitely have ramifications down the line and would be another major blow to containment and nonproliferation. Of course one of China’s first strike enemies is the United States and any attack by Iran, North Korea, China, Russia or anyone else on planet Earth need to remember and remember well, there is a last strike capability the Americans possess which cannot be knocked-out attacking the United States mainland and even if one included Hawaii and Alaska, and the boomer looks like this right before they are loaded with their death dealing cargo of twenty-four missiles.

 

Nuclear Powered and Armed Last Strike Capable Submarine with Twenty Four Missiles Each With Multiple Warhead Capability

Nuclear Powered and Armed Last Strike Capable
Submarine with Twenty Four Missiles
Each With Multiple Warhead Capability

 

But nuclear weapons are not the only threat which is facing mankind. We are slowly but inexorable working to make our species insufficient of competing with our own creations. Sure we control our machines and computers today, but what about tomorrow and that tomorrow is not that far off where they no longer require our assistance to improve and construct themselves? We are rapidly approaching a point after which there is no turning off the switch. We already have computers which with software can design robots and other computing systems but the machines cannot write new and imaginative code, for that they require human interface, for now. What happens once they can write their own code and improve their own designs? What happens once the machines design the machines? Within a year or two of that eventuality, and our scientists will cross that threshold within our lifetimes unless you are near death’s door already, the machines will be so far advanced that we will not recognize or even understand their code and they will probably, for their own safety, have invented their own code structures making them writing code in a language humans do not understand and cannot decipher. Additionally, Russia, and we can assume China and the United States amongst others, are already designing autonomous reasoning robotic warriors deciding who is the enemy and who is friend to fight their wars augmenting their human forces. That will be a short step from replacing their human forces. Robotic armies, does that bring up any bad movie plots? How about Cylons of Battlesar Galactica and the second series where the advanced Cylons were almost impossible to differentiate between them and their human counterparts where the chain had gone full circle and the machines made by humans were now making humans. What do you do when the machines are superior to the humans who made their first free-thinking forefathers and now the machines are making their own humans which are born full grown and with developed minds, personalities, character traits and numerous models such that they can infiltrate and appear as any other person until their activate code has them commit whatever act they were programmed to commit, destroy a base, a warship, a star cruiser or a commander, all depends on the subroutine activated. There are the Terminators from the Arnold Schwarzenegger films of that name. Terminators, Cylons, NS-5 robots, or Johnny-Five, (see below) it does not have to even be a threat initially, it is the potential which even Johnny-Five showed great ability and would have been in their armed mode as displayed in the movie. Of course the initial combat robot will be far more Johnny-Five than Terminator though Cylons may not be far behind. Once the machines have been used to design and uplink code into combat robotic soldiers they will have this capability and designs within their collective data memory and when they begin to manufacture their own robotic warriors they will be generations ahead of even Hollywood’s imagination and equally impossible to stop or fight against in a conventional manner. Our best bet is at some point to program into their base core programs that we are, if nothing else, a pitiful but amusing bunch to keep around for entertainment factor and as a warning to do better when they reach their pinnacle and before they introduce whatever lifeform replaces them, and do not think for a moment that the human race will not eventually build robotic machines which will not only be capable of replacing us but soon thereafter far exceeding anything we could even imagine. We had better hope they like us and do not see us as a waste of resources, which is a definitive possibility. Making warrior robots to fight our wars, that is such a great idea, not.

 

The Robot Threat has Many Faces

The Robot Threat has Many Faces

 

As seen here, we are well on our way to extinction and it is just a matter of what shape the world will be in when we have departed. Will it be a nuclear ruin, a robotic heaven, a slag heap of gray goo, or a zombie apocalypse; choose your favorite. The concept we need looking into the future is a simple one based on the adage, hope for the best, plan for the worst, and expect something out of the blue as we likely cannot even begin to understand the threat which will erase our kind though we know no matter what, with the knowledge we have of physics we are doomed unless we find something remarkably unbelievable and likely unimaginable in our time. Meanwhile we will continue to allow leadership who not only plan end of the world scenarios but figure out ways that they at the very least will survive. Nothing like leaving the best to repopulate the world, imagine a world consisting of politicians and their closest friends and families, and families are debatable. Excuse us as we check our bugout bags which need to be assembled and readied for some time in the hopefully far future. Are we ready for the future people with more brains than common sense are going to invent for us in which to survive? Probably nowhere near ready nor can we really ever be. Meanwhile, we are going to order that flying car the politicians and scientists keep promising they are almost there in building them. We thing they are just teasing us and they have them for themselves stashed away for the after world, the world that whatever monsters they design leave us. Between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who do the Americans believe is sane and healthy enough to withstand what is coming? We will know in approximately eight long and agonizing weeks, providing both candidates’ health withstands the pressures.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 13, 2015

Welcoming NORAD Back to Cheyenne Mountain

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The United States military has decided that the conditions are currently of sufficient threat that they have decided to send NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) to scurry back to the warm confines of the Cheyenne Mountain complex and its independently supplied internal electricity generations and grounded steel walls where they have no susceptibility to an EMP pulse no matter the degree of severity, even the most fearsome solar storm which might char and disintegrate the entire North American electronic grid. Apparently the decision to reposition to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs has struck a snag or two or more. They claimed the savings and ease of commute made the move economic and practical sense, especially as the Cold War had past and there is no overriding threat demanding they continue using a base which provides the level of protection as the Cheyenne Mountain Facility. Well, well, what could have occurred to alter that line of reasoning and should the average American be concerned, well, concerned at least as much as the military and the commanding staff of NORAD apparently are being. Perhaps if we view the reasoning we can decide exactly how much of a threat there is and whether serious concern might be necessary.

 

The reason announced by the military for returning NORAD was that it is now feared that the North Koreans and potentially their allies in Iran have perfected miniaturizing of their nuclear warheads and might place one atop a North Korean mobile KN-08 mobile launch vehicle. This sent the military command of NORAD scurrying within one of the world’s safest locations deep within Cheyenne Mountain buried deeply under a few thousand feet of rock, mostly granite, and encased in steel and concrete with two sets of blast doors unrivaled, one backing the other making a double door with a dead space between them to absorb any force which might manage to pierce the outer door. These blast doors close making the tunnel reaching the Cheyenne Mountain a perfect arc opened at both ends so as to pass and blast-wave from a nuclear or other device detonated near either entrance an easily followed natural flow-path right through the mountain, past the blast doors, and on out the other side. The Cheyenne Mountain location not only easily houses the necessary personnel to cover and maintain their functions without break along with their families and a full garrison of Marines but also hold the supplies that would permit operating completely closed-off safe from any attack, especially any nuclear or EMP attack. We described a means by which both Iran and North Korea could launch and use a weakness in the radar protection and by mimicking the orbit of a weather satellite, an orbit both nations have used previously for launches, near the end in the final paragraph of our article titled, ”Is North Korea Sabre Rattling for Attention or Real Threat?”

 

There are further reasons for moving NORAD back to its original safely, armored, buried, EMP proof and self-supporting location which they abandoned in favor of easier access as they have been monitoring since 2013 as reported by an ABC News reporting coverage from 2013 by Martha Raddatz ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent which can be viewed below. Needless to say that placing NORAD back where they should never have left will be a far cry from ending the threats from a nuclear armed North Korea, who has been threatening a nuclear EMP first strike against the United States, or Iran as they also could use such weaponry to cover far more evil intents than just striking NORAD. There is the possibility that either Iran or North Korea could launch at a closer target causing just as much harm on the global scale and have a dastardly effect on the world or the United States. North Korea has regularly threatened their South Korean neighbors and even regularly launched rockets into their waters and threatened far worse. Iran, on the other hand, has threatened not only the United States but also Israel, Saudi Arabia and other of her neighbors. Iran is currently engaged in three wars already, there is the Syrian Civil War where Iran and their terror allies of Hezballah fight the plethora of Sunni militias all having some degree of attachment to al-Qaeda or other terrorist organization, fighting in Iraq against ISIS, a Sunni terrorist organization which follows a strident version of the Quran by which they have destroyed numerous historic relics and other precious items claiming that because they were objects which they determined were un-Islamic and thus unworthy of being displayed and especially considered precious or of any value to the human race, and now Yemen where they are arming the Houthis and may even provide them with intelligence as well as command and control assistance.

 

 

 

 

The threats made by the likes of the Ayatollahs of Iran and those made by Kim Jong-un are usually merely saber rattling meant for domestic consumption and to give the people faith that their nation is able to stand against anybody. The fact that they get media coverage as well bolsters the belief making them appear more important. The other problem is that in many ways the leadership of both Iran and North Korea actually do mean those threats they make and would act upon them if they felt they were readily executable. This makes the North Korean threats to use a hydrogen bomb on the United States as an EMP generator to destroy the North American electronic grid far more serious. The fact that these leaders continue to allow their people to suffer unnecessary hardships due largely to their leaderships’ threats of warmongering which leads their nations to face sanctions is just as monstrous and evil as one can get. The further fact that they and their coterie live lives of lavish excess eating caviar, roast duck and champagne while their people, especially the people of North Korea, starve or make do with tree bark and grass soups can only be defined by Evil as the word for such extravagances and lavish life styles and the unbelievable difference between the lives of the privileged few enjoy as compared to the lives of their military members is only exceeded by the further difference approaching the same scale between the lives of apparent excess lived by the members of the military compared to the veterans and the population as a whole. The members of the military are not the problem as in many cases parents push their children towards the military such that they can have a better level of life than the parents had suffered. These radical differences exist almost as a caste system between the political leadership at the top, the military in between and the population and the elderly living lives beyond any desperations than most of us are capable of even imagining, let alone understanding. The most absolute depravity is displayed with the fact that the North Korean elite actually will make these threats and back them through actions which if ignored might actually lead to the North Korean leadership in particular to reigniting the state of war which continues to exist between the North and South Korea simply to hold talks where along with the demands from the leadership is also requests for food and other aid to be given the people to prevent even more deaths due to starvation, malnutrition, and the desperate lack of medical attention to treat and care for the people.

 

What makes these situations even more horrific is that these conditions are not all that uncommon throughout many of the third world nations. Contrary to the apparent belief, very few if any of these situations would be alleviated by changing their governance to a democracy as this would simply result in their electing the elites back into power. The first step the world needs to take also is not necessarily food aid and other such generosities as providing such aid deprives the farmers of a local market for their produce which results in their requiring aid because they are unable to sell their produce. Where aid most likely will be required to feed the entire population, the farmers must also be able to market their produce. The kind of aid which would go the furthest would be to allow corporations to set up factories and thus provide a basis for an economy and set the nation on the road towards a functioning economic base which is currently nonexistent. These factories also need to provide jobs not solely in the major cities but throughout these nations. Currently many of these nations lack even a rudimentary base for economic production which stands between them and receiving such investments.

 

Of course there are indicators that these problems may be coming to what are currently considered first world nations as the economic bubbles have begun to deflate one after the other and in some economies the house of cards is already collapsing. This is evidenced in Europe where the attempt to place all nations on a single currency has simply led to exposing the disparate economic models causing economic collapse as this unitary currency system collapses where had these nations retained their own currencies then there economies could have survived these downturns as their currency would have been permitted to respond to the change in their economic situation according to each individual nation allowing for a more favorable return on investments which cannot be had under the unified currency of the Euro. That their currency was beyond their control simply exasperated their financial difficulties and making any response simply beyond their control as they have no means of altering the value of the currency to respond to the situation and difficulties faced. This problem was unavoidable for as long as each nation was permitted to set their financial and economic policies while sharing a single currency. This removed their ability to control the single most important item in their economies, the cost of labor. Once the cost of labor separated sufficiently from the values set for the Euro itself made the problem become irreconcilable. These problems which are only growing while those nations with healthy economies are increasingly pressed to support the less wealthy nations within the European Union in particular, and to an extent throughout the third world, the difficulties are only going to be pushed to a point where the whole financial constructs begins to fray to the point where there are no longer solutions under the current systems. In too many cases simply continuing to patch the problems while ignoring the central causes will lead to what we would call the “point of exasperation” which is where the nations giving support are brought down as the cost and needs for support reach levels beyond any reconciliation and all hope is lost and the people then turn to their governance and demand relief leading all too probably to revolutions where the violence makes even the hope for investment to flee and refuse to make investments where such expenditures are the only hope for salvation and the start of normalcy.

 

Still, where is one to take the first step towards addressing the problems, and in the case of North Korea even coming to grip with the reality the people face, and after making that assessment then turning the nation around and giving the people hope. There exists no single solution though in many cases it is the leadership’s setting of priorities which has simply aggravated the situation leading to a downward cycle which results eventually, if permitted to continue, to the unsettling set of conditions in North Korea. Solutions, and not just feel-good knee-jerk reacting, must be found and those solutions are not pumping food and funds as simply feeding the hungry for a week, a month is not going to provide the hope and the means for the people to help themselves which is so desperately what is needed. In many of these situations there exists a disparity where the very wealthy live almost in a different world than do the masses. These situations are of a kind which led to revolutions which is what eventually led to the changes in the Western world though not all nations benefitted fully from the gains made since the industrial revolution and now the information age. The efforts to attempt to bring a third world nation into the information age in one fell swoop are not the solution as such an economy is unsustainable when considering the education and familiarity with such tools is taken into consideration. One needs to walk before they can run and the same can be said for national economies. The initial problems are infrastructure, both materially and by the population as a whole. When these problems are what is addressed then there can be progress but simply shipping tons of food aid which sometimes sits unloaded and goes bad rotting in place for the lack of trucks and a distribution network as even aid packages require a certain level of infrastructure before even that is of any substance. And yes we realize that in places like North Korea and Iran part of the problem is the governance though that is an even more difficult nut to crack. There is no universal solution and as far as the threats from North Korea and possibly Iran, there is no solution beyond preparing for the worst and hopefully cutting the head off the hydra and preventing it from simply replacing that bad head for another. Iran is a nation with the wherewithal to save itself if only the people can be freed to take on the challenges directly, but that cannot happen while their leadership is intent on spreading their version of Islam to the world. Such belligerence is not to be tolerated and must be opposed, something the P5+1 negotiations is apparently refusing to oppose rather than complying in the hope that things will improve before World War III is launched from the missile pads within Iran. North Korea will remain beyond help for as long as the leadership is tolerated rather than opposed and the situation resolved. Step one is provide a path to better governance through ending the state of war between North and South Korea, until that is addressed there can be no change to the situation. These are stark and difficult challenges which is why they are also the most pressing and dangerous challenges the world is currently facing with the growing gap between the first and third worlds, a gap that is threatening to become unbridgeable.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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