Beyond the Cusp

July 15, 2013

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Fall Upends Obama Middle East Aims

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It has been reported by the <a href=>World Tribune</a> website the absolutely shocking and controversial content of President Obama rendition of the future for the Middle East which the United States as their policy goals for his second term in the White House. The Israelis did not respond in any manner and allowed President Obama to enthusiastically reveal every detail of his vision for solving all the problems in the Middle East simply by building an alliance under a triumvirate of shared absolute power by Shiite Iran teamed with Sunni Egypt and Turkey. It was in the pursuit of this end that President Obama pressured to the point of threatening Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu into apologizing and committing to a complete capitulation to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara terror incident when a Turkish backed flotilla attempted to run the Gaza blockade. When the prearranged ambush was sprung on the IDF soldiers, who boarded the ship armed with paintball guns loaded with pepper spray balls, beating them with metal rods, large knives and other bludgeoning weapons (some reports included gunshots coming from the ship’s attackers before the IDF soldiers responded) as well as taking one soldier below decks and throwing two other IDF soldiers overboard, the IDF soldiers resorted to live fire, as they feared for their lives, killing nine of their attackers. This exchange was the cause of Turkish President Erdogan breaking off relations with Israel and demanding a formal apology and paid retribution for the families of the slain attackers aboard the Mavi Marmara. It was said that the Israelis were in a state of shock but heeded their instruction not to question or comment on anything presented by the American leader.

The plan which has President Obama so enthusiastically engaged calls for the strengthening of Iran, Turkey and Egypt, the Egyptian strengthening has begun with the shipment of F-16 fighter jets to be delivered during this year, and having these three strengthened Muslim nation cooperate and through such cooperation form a single Muslim federation. President Obama claims that such an arrangement would relieve any troubles that might have developed due to the Iranian drive to attain nuclear weapons. President Obama informed the Israeli leaders that once his plan was executed that with Iran now allied with Turkey and Egypt the threat of a nuclear arms race between the various Muslim and Arab nations would no longer be a threat so nobody would need fear a nuclear armed Iran in this scenario. I am sure that this calmed the Israelis being informed that allying Iran with Egypt and Turkey would remove any threat of Iran nuclear weapons being used against the other Arab and Muslim nations and that there would be no adverse results to a nuclear armed Iran as long as the three nations were responsible to each other. President Obama apparently believes that Iran would refrain from attacking Israel with nuclear weapons because Turkey and Egypt would object and prevent such actions. Yes, sure they wouldn’t.

Another nation that is most conspicuous by their absence from President Obama’s new Middle East scheme is Saudi Arabia. The implication was that Saudi Arabia along with Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar and the rest of the nations of the Arabian Peninsula would be under Iranian control making the land to be renamed the Persian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf. The betrayal of Saudi Arabia and all of the other member nations of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) as a sacrifice given for the honoring of Iran and to reward them for joining President Obama and his plan super Caliphate where the Iranian Shiites along with the Turkish Sunnis and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Sunnis all lie down together in harmony and bliss for the good of the Muslim World with President Obama as the great facilitator. This is where the little upheaval in Egypt becomes far more than an inconvenience as for President Obama to make his plan work must have the Islamists in control of each of his three chosen nations, and the Muslim Brotherhood just lost Egypt. Of course this dream Islamist coalition shoves aside the centuries of Sunni-Shiite hatreds in the immediate timeframe in order to unite the adversaries into an irresistible unified force for Islam and return to the glorious Caliphate such as was the Ottoman Empire at its height. What President Obama has caught on to as the solution to all the world’s ills, especially the Muslim World, is the simple walking back the results of World War I, the repealing step-by-step the entirety of the Treaty of Versailles and the Mandate System as they pertain to the world of Islam. No more separate Arab and Muslim nations or any other arbitrary lines and chosen potentates which were put in place just to serve the colonialist European powers, those decrepit and corrupt enslavers of all who were different than they. This is President Obama’s vision, the end of the ill effects of colonialism on the Muslim World and by ridding the Muslim World of this European imposed crippling systems and divisions, the Muslim World will be returned to its golden age.

There are a few major items which might cause this stratagem to fail and fail in a splendid and admirable fashion, a failure unequalled in all of human history, rivaling the Tower of Babel and other epic failures. The most glaring is that the Shiites and Sunnis only know one method for burying the hatchet, and that is to bury it as deeply as possible in the other’s skull which tends to settle any argument. Another problem for President Obama is to get Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to agree to share power and make compromises even with the Muslim Brotherhood approved leader of Egypt, assuming that President Obama can manage to reinstate the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt, no easy task all things considered, let alone the Shiite Grand Ayatollah in Iran. Further problems might arise as I seriously doubt that Saudi Arabia (especially the Royal Family and the Wahhabis), Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman or Bahrain would be enthusiastic about being handed to Iran no matter what the reasons. Looking at just the countries which have experienced governmental changes as a result of the Arab Spring one will be witness to a collection of train wrecks where the whole idea was for elected governments to be in place and improvements in every aspect of society with the most advancement coming financially and in personal rights and freedoms. Instead we see a state of affairs better described as having entered an Arab Winter with Libya, Yemen and Syria still experiencing internecine violence as the different factions and tribes struggle for preeminence and control where those interests vary including tribal groups, al-Qaeda and Hezballah fighters, the Muslim Brotherhood forces, State Militaries, and Mujahedeen fighters from throughout the Muslim World and the four corners of the Earth. And last but not least, little Israel would definitely fight to the last soul against any attempts to remove the Jews from their homeland as they have just started to get it together and hit high gear towards rebuilding their society and gathering in their lost children from every corner of the globe.

President Obama may be enthusiastic and all excited, one might even say all atwitter, over the concept of redrawing the Middle East and the rest of the Arab and Muslim Worlds to suit some grant strategy to reconstruct and usher in a second Golden Age of Islam. The idea that the borders between countries, even those borders as artificial as those drawn mostly by the French and the British, can be erased with a few words and there would not be any resistance to turning everything everybody has known in their lives upside-down is foolish and not something worthy of the man who is the leader of the United States. There should be somebody within the Administration to advise the President that his plan is simply not possible. But then we need to remember who the real people are who make up President Obama’s inner circle of advisers. Recognizing that we are counting on Secretary of State John Kerry, Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, among others, to give sagely, well thought out, wise and experienced advice to President Obama reveals the crux of the deficiencies surrounding the President. The problem is that each of these high Administration officials have little if any experience in foreign affairs and other than John Kerry and Chuck Hagel the rest of these Presidential Advisors have spent the better part of their lives as agitators for social justice and social transformation and would be more at home designing government mandated single payer healthcare regulations than advising on anything to do with international affairs. And the fact that one has to resort to Chuck Hagel and John Kerry for astute, intricate and nuanced advice should be sufficient to send shiver down one’s spine and a cold chill throughout one’s body filling them with a strong sense of anxiety and trepidation. I can assure you it does so for me.

Beyond the Cusp

July 11, 2013

United Nations Human Rights Council November Insanity Returns

Every November the United Nations General Assembly treats UN watchers and news hounds to a bit of theatrical absurdness unmatched almost anywhere else in the known universe. That is when the new members are chosen to serve three years on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). This year there are fourteen seats up for grabs of the total forty-seven seats to be divided amongst the different regions. Among the nations whose terms are ending are stellar rights abusers Pakistan, Venezuela and Kazakhstan. Not to fear that their absence will be sorely missed as the nations vying for their slots include Algeria, Chad, China, Cuba, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Vietnam. It is nice to know that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Some of the other current member states include Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Cuba, Mexico and the United States. The membership of the UNHRC has been a bone of contention amongst proponents of true human rights when pluralities of the nations serving on the United Nation agency presumably to protect human rights worldwide are actually some of the worst violators of human rights. The reasons behind this shortcoming are obvious when one remembers that the nations are chosen by the United Nations General Assembly, an equally notorious group of nations making up a majority of the members of this less than respectable body.


This year there will be editorials like this raising the question as to whether there is a solution to the methodology used to choose the members of the UNHRC can be rewritten in order to facilitate a body which represents nations whose reputation and records concerning respecting human rights of their own citizens are the only contenders for the UNHRC. Of course there is no magic answer as even if there were a set of conditions which would guarantee such choices, they would not be acceptable by a majority of the nations which make up the General Assembly and would never be acceptable to all the permanent veto wielding members of the Security Council thus there is no body within the United Nations which would agree to such restrictions being imposed. So, until the world matures and evolves hopefully towards greater respect of our fellow humans and a higher respect for everybody’s human rights, then we will be left with a very suspect group presumably responsible for judging the human rights records and actions of the rest of the world. And this will result in the UNHRC continuing to persecute Israel primarily and to such an extent as to be beyond ridicule and utterly preposterous. Yet, we can pretty much count on the fact that the UNHRC is extremely unlikely to waste even a minute of their precious time considering the possible human rights violations in Syria, Egypt, Mali, or countless other places currently experiencing great turmoil, civil wars or other destructive actions which produce excessive human rights abuses. Nothing to see there, what did Israel do today? That is the normative actions and there will be little change again after the new group has been chosen. Oh, there is a distinct possibility the UNHRC might take time out to condemn the United States should they decide to take a break from condemning Israel, there is always that possibility because according the UNHRC the United States and Israel are the world’s two worst serial human rights abusers and that is the one item the UNHRC has displayed complete agreement since its inception.


Beyond the Cusp


June 18, 2013

United States Picks Between Wrong Sides in Syria

President Obama’s Administration reached a decision to, in theory, begin to send small arms directly. This is being sold as the United States will begin to send arms to the rebels in Syria. This implies that the United States was not arming the rebels before this decision. If only they were that discerning in their decision making. What this is actually announcing is that with Turkey now falling into chaos with riots in every major city across the nation, the United States has lost their go between which had allowed them to funnel arms to the Syrian rebels, mostly originating out of Libya, through Turkey while being able to pretend in the domestic news to appear to not being at all involved in the Syrian Civil War. The question the American public needs to decide is has their country chosen the right side to support. The obvious answer is they have not but the reality is that there was no correct side to choose. All that is being chosen in Syria is which terror groups will lead the Islamic world for the immediate future in any future engagements with the rest of the world. Perhaps some inspection and tracing the history behind this decision will make things more understandable.


Perhaps the first item would be to attempt to discern who gets the credit or blame for deciding to support the rebels in Syria. The first item we need to state is that, like or hate the choice, President Obama really did not have much of a choice in which side to support. He chose whether or not to support a side in the Syrian Civil War, but the side was chosen all the way back in 1953 and possibly even earlier. It was that year the United States backed Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi in the 28 Mordad coup, date of the coup in the Persian calendar, with Operation Boot under the title of the TPAJAX Project during the end of the Truman Presidency, replacing the democratically elected government in Iran which was proposing to ally with the Soviet Union. Needless to point out that this alignment and access to the oil fields were the driving motivations for the United States and no altruistic reasons were present. This was purely a case of we will put our man in for the oil and to spite our adversary, the Soviet Union. Perhaps it was attempting to make amends for the previous devious actions that inspired President Carter to back the revolt which brought the Ayatollah Ali Khomeini to power establishing an Islamic religious regime which remains in power today under the second Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The miscalculation by President Carter was quickly made evident as the new leadership in Iran chose to ally with the Soviet Union soon after coming to power. Perhaps there was just a bit of schadenfreude felt by the Iranians and Soviets from these turns of events. This resulted in the current alignment with Russia aligned with the Shiites and Iran and the United States aligned with the Sunnis and Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Hopefully that is sufficient historical reference.


The current excuse for a Civil War in Syria has in all actuality become a power struggle for preeminence of the Muslim world between its two main groups, the Sunnis and the Shiites. The Alawite Ruler of Syria, President Bashir al-Assad, is backed predominantly by Iran which has provided him with troops from the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) and Hezbollah terrorist troops from Lebanon, another satellite of the Iranians. These are the Shiite Islamic forces in Syria. The rebels originally consisted of one side representing secular interest and the other representing Islamist interests. The secular rebel forces have basically been all but removed from the conflict and have virtually no hope of prevailing in the conflict. That leaves the Islamist forces which consist of two camps, those with the Jabhat al-Nusra Front which has declared their alliance with Ayman al-Zawahiri and al-Qaeda and those supported by the Muslim Brotherhood. The challenge in this is to find which side consists of the good sides, or at least the less bad side. President Bashir al-Assad has utilized intimidation, torture, rape, and other equally abhorrent instruments of oppression to retain his hold on power and his two supporting groups are equally renowned for cruelty and ends justify the means reasoning. This does not necessarily make the rebels any more benign. There is not much that needs to be said about al-Qaeda beyond World Trade Center terror strike and the horrors of a fateful day in September 2001 and their compatriots in the conflict, the Muslim Brotherhood, are not the choir boys who have, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, “…an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam.” In truth they are exactly the opposite but somehow possibly still preferable to al-Qaeda as long as one ignores such aligned subgroups such as Hamas. So, this pretty much defines the adversaries from which President Obama has now presumably chosen one side to support. Perhaps he simply chose the side which was not supported by the Russians, but one might hope that such a decision was made with deeper concerns that just that.


So, President Obama has chosen to back the al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood in their attempt to be the preeminent guiding force in Islam while the Russians are supporting the Iranian sponsored terrorist out of Lebanon, oppressive dictator of Syria and the terror specialists out of Iran, the IRGC. The problem is deciding which side is populated with people who deserve the support of the nation which claims to be the bastion of freedom and human rights in the world. Truthfully, the reasoning behind President Obama backing the rebels is more realistically stated as backing Saudi Arabian and Egyptian interests and opposing Iranian interests, not to mention opposing Russian attempts to rise to power over the Middle East. As mentioned before, the sides were chosen far before the Civil War broke out in Syria and goes back to two fateful choices in Iran, the 1953 coup that brought the Shah to power to prevent Soviet Union preeminence in Iran and the 1979 coup that placed the Ayatollahs into power who then chose to join the Soviet Union block of nations despite the attempts by President Carter to make amends for the perfidy under the administration of President Truman. Now all that remain is to have one side prove out victorious and gain, for the moment, the leadership of the Muslim world. Will it be the Shiites with their Russian allies or the Sunni with their American allies? Why does it matter? That is the problematic part of the equation. Which side of this conflict would present the higher likelihood to bring peace to the Middle East? The Sunni Muslim Brotherhood has benefitted greatly from the Arab Winter which was initially represented as the rise of democracy in the Arab and Muslim world but really has simply changed the prearranged winners in every election from some nationalist dictator to some Islamist dictatorial party such as the Peace and Justice Party in Egypt which is nothing more than the Muslim Brotherhood political influence. The Sunni Muslim Brotherhood has risen to power across Northern Africa in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya all with backing and praise from the United States. Those changes in leadership were of no consequence to the power structures as the dictators were Sunnis as are the Islamists who have replaced them. Syria is the first place where the Sunni and Shiite both have a serious shot at controlling Syria. Syria is vitally important to Iran as it represents a critical nation in the Shiite Crescent which currently exists starting in Iran and the Persian Gulf and proceeding through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea. Saudi Arabia has the most interest in neutering of Iran and breaking their control through the heart of the Middle East would be an impressive first step. If, on the other hand, the Shiites prevail and retain their control over Syria, the potential for the Shiites to continue their slow spread across the Middle East and, more importantly, the greater oil fields in the center of the Middle East, Iran will continue to spread its strangling tentacles across the Muslim world. Iran had made an attempt at expanding during the Arab Winter revolution in Bahrain in direct opposition to the Bahraini Monarchy, Saudi Arabia. The Shiites were repulsed by heavy Saudi Arabian troops which were sent across the causeway which connects Saudi Arabia with the island nation of Bahrain. This was the second part of the Sunni-Shiite contest for preeminence in the Middle East after the Shiite taking control over Iraq after the United States war to remove Saddam Hussein. Syria will be the deciding battle. Should the Shiites and Iran prove successful the spread of the Iranian influence is likely to continue while should the Sunnis and the Saudi Arabian-Egyptian alliance will present a more stable future.


So, what does this mean we should look for in the future that might signal a change in the status quo? Should the Sunni win out in Syria there will be relative quiet, is the Middle East ever really completely tranquil, and the first sign of trouble coming would be the overthrow of the Saudi Arabian monarchy by either the Wahhabi or the Muslim Brotherhood. This would soon result in the final contest to begin for who will lead the Muslim forces in any eventual contest. Should the Shiites prove victorious in Syria their next target appears to be Turkey followed by Jordan. After Turkey and Jordan, choosing their next target will be problematic as their preference would appear to be Saudi Arabia and their satellite nations they provide protection for such as Bahrain, Kuwait, the Emirates, Qatar and Omar or Egypt in order to begin a march across Northern Africa. Iran is being patient with their slow and inexorable march to gain the preeminent position at the head of the Muslim world. But the first stop of this creeping revolution is in Syria. The worst result that could result in Syria would be actual Russian or American troops intervening in the Syrian Civil War. Should either of these nations transit from arming their chosen side to actual boots on the ground or even fighters in the skies, the other will be obliged to also enter the war. Where that leads is unimaginable and something to be avoided at all costs. The critical point of no return will come when one side appears poised to prevail and defeat the other side and the United States or Russia will have to either accept defeat of their surrogate or intervene. Intervention should be avoided but I seriously doubt that either President Obama or President Putin is capable of accepting defeat. That means that the only end to Syria may be decided across the entire planet and that should scare any reasonable person greatly. This does not bode to end well or even to end any other way than a devastating conflagration.


Beyond the Cusp


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