Beyond the Cusp

January 24, 2015

Netanyahu Invite by Congress May End the World

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If one listens to the Liberal, Progressive, Socialist political fronts from both sides if the American-Israeli divide one might get the opinion that a great transgression had occurred as the Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to appear before the United States Congress. The hue and cry from these corners over the timing of the invitation claiming that it is a sneaky ploy by Netanyahu to appear on the world stage to make points immediately before the coming election might originate from an actual and very valid complaint providing there is proof that Prime Minister Netanyahu actually had a hand in arranging this invitation. There have been calls from both nations for an invitation to also be extended to the Labor Party leader Yitzhak Herzog to speak before the United States Congress. This manufactured end of the world scenario, if one is to believe the claims that there are some underhanded maneuvers arranging a stage to exhibit Netanyahu before the world leading into the coming elections. The problem is that there is another reason for the invitation and its timing which explains everything, makes perfect sense and provides the reason that only Prime Minister Netanyahu received this invitation. Unfortunately, it is not exactly simple.


The Democrat leadership of Senator Harry Reid and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi echoes the complaints from some of the Labor Party ministers in Israel decrying this supposedly blatant misuse of their power by the Republicans inviting the Israeli leader this close to the Israeli elections. But what if the reasoning behind inviting Prime Minister Netanyahu has nothing to do with the Israeli elections and would have been extended even if there were no Israeli elections on the horizon. The reason behind the invitation of Prime Minister Netanyahu is due to the intransigence promised by United States President Obama. The reason for this invitation is to be given a second and opposing opinion on Iran and their nuclear weapons programs along with any pertinent information and developments in the Iranian missile and ICBM development programs such that any steps the Congress might wish to press forward with they would have the necessary details which thus far have not been forthcoming from the White House, State Department or the Pentagon as all are keeping to the pretense that all is just fine following the President’s lead. The person who has been most vocal on the world’s stage and has challenged President Obama’s position is Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. One reason for not also inviting Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog is that his position has been consistently to claim that Netanyahu has alienated the American President and that Herzog’s claim is that he will repair the relations with President Obama and stand with the President particularly in reaching a peace with the Mahmoud Abbas and also back the President in his wise course in negotiating with Iran as Herzog claims to have complete faith that President Obama knows exactly what he is doing and is the sole best hope for preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Netanyahu has been invited more for holding question and answer sessions with the key people as well as before various Congressional committees and as many Representatives and Senators as time permits. Most of the work which will be accomplished at this set of meetings will be done in private beyond the bright lights of the cameras and beyond the hearing ears of the media and will be more of a planning and working session for a bipartisan approach to Iran armed with the information which Prime Minister Netanyahu can provide.


The real reason is the promise from the White House to veto any and every bill which reaches the President’s desk which includes placing stronger sanctions on Iran even if the sanctions are scheduled for after the current deadline for an agreement to be negotiated between the P5+1 and Iran whether that turns out to be March 1, 2015 or July 1, 2015. One of the people who most likely played a large role in pushing for the meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was New Jersey Democrat Senator Robert Menendez who has authored legislation which would reapply many of the sanctions that he and others believe were prematurely lifted by the White House and has stated in the legislation that the reapplication of those sanctions would only take place were there no progress in the negotiations with Iran on their nuclear weapons program. There will also be many members of Congress who will want to know what the Israelis know about the newest rocket which Iran has on the launch pad outside of Tehran which was just pictured by an Israeli intelligence satellite. The fact that this was set up out on a launch pad just as an Israeli intelligence satellite passed overhead allowing it to be pictured implies that the Iranians desired to make this new rocket known without necessarily having to launch it such that it would have delivered a payload somewhere in the Atlantic or Pacific spending the rocket in the process. This way the Iranians have left the properties such as range and payload up to those people assigned to make such assessments for the military by the Israeli government. There will probably also be questions seeking Israeli insights on the new Saudi Arabian King Salman, age seventy-nine and also not in the best of health. King Salman has promised a smooth transference of power and a continuation of King Abdullah’s reign for the immediate future. Additionally, the events in Yemen will likely be another front where Iran will have extended reach and should the Houthis be capable of ousting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), things will worsen as this would place Iran perched over the straight named Bab el Mandeb which basically grants control over sea lanes passing from the Red Sea including to and from the Suez Canal and from the Israeli port of Eilat, to and from the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and beyond.


There are quite a few questions on events, predictions, assessments and pure conjecture which the members of Congress could desire to pry from Benyamin Netanyahu as well as promising him their support should anything fester and explode into any manner of a war. There are currently threats being made by Hezballah which are rather doubtful unless demanded of them by Iran, Syria which has at the least the two reasons they could use to launch an attack on Israel with the recent airstrike which killed a number of Hezballah fighters as well as some five Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) troops with one senior Hezballah officer and an Iranian General, and, of course, there is the threat from Iran who has threatened to strike Israel with lightning bolts unlike anything Israel has ever experienced and will be completely defenseless against such an attack. The Congressional leadership and many members will vie for some personal time with Prime Minister seeking more information than the time will allow even should they manage some one-on-one.


If anything, this working visit with the members of the two houses of Congress and meeting those willing from both parties will prove to be more of an anti-campaign event than it would prove as a positive part of his campaign. Already President Obama has stated that neither he nor any member of his administration will be meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister and has threatened that the Israeli leader will be made to pay dearly for this visit and his not clearing the visit with the President before accepting the invitation from Speaker Boehner. The fact that President Obama is targeting the Israeli Prime Minister and not targeting the Republican Speaker of the House for not informing the President of his plans to invite a foreign dignitary to speak before Congress means he believes the Israeli Prime Minister is cowed as he has likely misinterpreted Netanyahu’s civility in the past for timidity, a view which is about to be corrected. The refusal of President Obama to meet with a visiting head of state says more about the American President than it does Prime Minister Netanyahu. President Obama could have made more points with the liberal socialist progressives from the Israeli Labor Party and his fellow democrats as by simply inviting Yitzhak Herzog along with Hatnua Party head Tzipi Livni who would share the Prime Minister position should their combined ticket allow for them to be chosen and succeed in forming a ruling coalition. Instead the President simply acted almost childishly doing virtually the same thing as stomping one’s feet and threatening to hold one’s breath until they turn purple. It will be interesting for all to see how this melodrama plays out though I doubt seriously it will have any bearing on the election. What may have an unimaginable effect on the election would be an attack by Syria, Hezballah, Iran or any of the Iranian proxies on Israel. I can only hope and pray that there not be any kind of assault on Israel, both in Israel or outside her borders. If I were a supporter of the Prime Minister I would also hope that President Obama would do everything within his powers to resist and fight Netanyahu while he is present in the United States making as big a scene as possible as these activities would only serve to press Israelis to vote for Netanyahu.


Beyond the Cusp


May 26, 2014

Today is Memorial Day in the United States

Believe it or not, this day for remembering the soldiers, sailors, airmen and others who served in the United States military should be celebrated over much of the planet. The odds are that if your nation was threatened by the Axis Powers in World War II or were under the oppressive rule of the Soviet Union or if you live somewhere which has you hoping for a warrior on a steed of war to ride over the horizon and save you from some horrid oppressions, well, the odds are the ones who arrive to save you past, present and future will be wearing the uniforms of the United States military. This is not to be construed as a blanket affirmation of the correctness of United States policies but is a testament to the individual men and women who put their lives on the line wherever in the world they are sent and who give everything they can for the people in whatever nation they are stationed. This is a testament to these individuals who, although not exactly perfect, are some of the finest and most generous people serving the policies of their government often with a kindness and softness unexpected from combatants. These are the men and women who are too often taken for granted or even scorned as they make herculean efforts to provide protection while also attending to the little things and the ideals which are a part of virtually every service member though not a required part of their required duties. It is seen in their giving a child the chocolate from their rations or carrying wounded civilians in a land that a week earlier they might not have been able to find on a globe but whose people are now job one.


Despite their training in combat sciences the United States military personnel often pull additional duty as brick layers, carpenters, roofers, dry wall hangers and whatever construction job is called for to build the first school, first clinic, first hospital or first structure for just about any function one can imagine that the villagers in some remote location have ever seen, let alone ever expected to have one in their own little hamlet. They often have to wear different hats such as medic, friend, teacher, counselor, trainer electrician, telephone installer, repairman and, of course, protector in some of the most remote places on the planet. The United States military can be tasked to go anywhere on Earth and arrive after hours of travel without rest and hit the ground running be their task to provide protection, serve as members of search and rescue personnel, construct a bridge, bring aid and comfort or just about any other thankless task and do so professionally. Will they sometimes gripe about the long hours, sure, who wouldn’t. No matter what, they are prepared to do whatever it takes to make the lives of the people safer and richer for having had them present. Most of what these service men and women do in selfless service is never lauded or written up in the daily news as their meritorious works are considered commonplace and nothing of note, unless you are the recipient of their deeds. What does make the news is any time they commit an error or make a decision with poor judgment as these are noteworthy exceptions to their dedicated and consistently well intentioned performance often under the worst of conditions. No matter the requirements of the deployment or where they may find themselves, the men and women of the United States military exemplify professionalism and often are scorned not because of their actions but because of preconceived notions or ill will towards their government, the government they must defend regardless of their personal political or other views as that is what a professional soldier does. So, this Memorial Day how about if you should see one of the service members you smile and just tell them “thank you” and see if that doesn’t bring a smile to their faces as well.


Beyond the Cusp


March 27, 2014

Pollard Offer Too Good to be Believed

The Pollard offer appears to be far too similar to a previous promise to grant Johnathan Pollard his overdue release to be accepted at face value. That is not only the Israeli view but also that of many leading American authorities familiar with even the classified information pertaining to his case have said and sworn in statements. There was a strikingly similar offering given by an American President to an Israeli Prime Minister that bears inspecting and the details and other questions which arise in that telling will simply amaze those who have forgotten their history. First, perhaps a scratch on the surface history of the Pollard spies case. Johnathan Pollard was a United States Navy intelligence officer who worked with analysis of satellite and other photographic reconnaissance. He was caught having given Israeli intelligence information concerning troop movements, military placements and other pertinent information on Arab nations’ installations and units including what would become vital information and photographs of the Iraqi Osirak reactor complex which the Israelis later neutralized in a bombing raid. Much of this information was already supposed to be made available to the Israelis due to a mutual intelligence assistance agreement but was being blocked and denied to the Israelis due to high level and cabinet appointees to both the State Department and the Department of Defense. The spurious claims that Johnathan Pollard had compromised United States field agents to the Soviets and was generously rewarded by both the Israelis and the Soviets were later revealed to be false. Despite this being revealed, Pollard’s sentence was not reduced back to the plea bargain length which these false charges whispered in the presiding judge’s ear had caused him to break the agreement and sentence Pollard to life in prison. Pollard, as it turns out, was not even rewarded in any significant manner by the Israelis and gave no information to other entities. Furthermore, Pollard did not, as a reconnaissance officer, have access to files or even names of field agents spying in the Soviet Union and those compromised agents were later found to have come from a Soviet spy placed into a high level State Department position which provided hthe Soviet agent the clearance to see those names.


The instance this current offer resembles so closely occurred in 1998 and also included Netanyahu as Israeli Prime Minister. The release of Johnathan Pollard was dangled in front of Netanyahu as an enticement for Israel to grant additional concessions to the Palestinians in what the State Department has ascertained as a sufficiently generous offer which would produce a peace treaty. The American President who made this offer was Bill Clinton. Even with the additional concessions, Yasser Arafat still stormed from the negotiations refusing to even make a counter offer and ended the negotiations. After the Israelis made their concessions and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to President Clinton about making the arrangements for the release of Johnathan Pollard, President Clinton made disparaging and degrading remarks concerning the acceptance of the offer for the release of Pollard implying that Prime Minister Netanyahu a fool and naïve to have fallen for believing the offer.


Returning to the present, we have United States President Obama and the State Department reportedly attempting to entice Israeli Prime Minister to release more terrorist prisoners and apply a renewed building freeze in the areas of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem which exist beyond the Green Line, the 1949 Armistice Line, in exchange for Johnathan Pollard’s release and what amounts to his deportation to Israel. What makes this situation even more suspicious is the fact that President Obama has been known to seek the advice of former President Clinton. Additionally, almost immediately after the information that the United States was entertaining the idea of using the release of Pollard as an enticement to get the Israelis to release the final groups of terrorist murderers from Israeli prisons where many were serving life sentences as well as implementing the building freeze presumably to allow the peace talks to continue past April, both the White House and the State Department denied that any such offer had been made and that there were absolutely no plans for releasing Pollard commuting his sentence. As the great baseball player and philosopher Yogi Berra once commented, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”


Whether former President Clinton advised President Obama or if President Obama decided to make this offer completely on his own volition, Prime Minister Netanyahu could not be blamed for suspecting the offer may not be a valid one. Having been hoodwinked once by a President of the United States and having suffered from deceitful actions derived from malicious intents from the United States State Department, one could not blame Prime Minister Netanyahu from being suspicious of this offer and demanding that Pollard be released prior to any Israeli concessions made to the Palestinians, especially since any concessions are being made largely to satisfy and bend to pressures from the United States. This reluctance and lack of trust is merely a prudent and reasoned reaction to what has all the evidence of being another sucker play to get Israel to act against their own interest and give away another bargaining issue to the Palestinians in exchange for a reward from the United States. Comments coming from numerous sources within the Israeli Knesset have expressed disgust and reluctance with making the final prisoner release, especially as the Palestinians have made it crystal clear that they are only negotiating to accomplish the release of terrorists and plan on curtailing the rest of the negotiations immediately after the next release.


Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas has commented that he is negotiating with the Israelis in order to pocket any concessions or compromises he is able to extract from the Israelis such that these items can become permanent expectations from the Palestinians adding them to what they refer to as “Israeli obligations from previous negotiations.” This has been the modus operandi of the Palestinians from the very first when the Oslo Accords were originally drawn up and the fiasco called the peace process began. The Palestinians either refuse to make any concessions or simply refuse to enact any concessions that might have been made during talks. Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki recently stated that any agreement reached with Israel to continue the talks will be “non-binding” allowing the Palestinian Authority to take unilateral steps against Israel following the end of the nine-month negotiating period ending at the end of April. Knowing the declared intentions as articulated by the Palestinian leadership, what reason could the Israelis have to continue down this destructive path. The time is long overdue for Israel to demand concessions from the Palestinians and to no longer give away bargaining points simply to have the Palestinians usurp more lands and rejoice with a hero’s welcome released terrorists who were guilty of murdering Israeli civilians. The one sided bend which has defined the Middle East Peace Process needs to be rejected once and for all and Israel needs to forget about finding ways to ingratiate the world and have the world love them, such will never happen. Even if refusing to concede at every stop along the ways of the peace process results in the United States backing away from their unilateral friendship with Israel and thus leads to the United Nations Security Council granting the Palestinians their desired state, that appears to be an inevitability as any witness to the peace process from its latest inception in 1993 with the Oslo Accords to the present tracking the continued string of Israeli concessions and sacrifices made to placate a hostile world and to allow leaders and politicians from around the world to be able to announce they have worked to reach that allusive peace and feel good about themselves and their empty accomplishments has got to come to a close. The sooner Israel takes an unmovable stand and declares this is as far as we go, the better the chances that opportunities will present themselves and a real solution can be reached. Continuing on the current path will only lead to the eradication of Israel and possibly the Jewish People simply by inching their way to taking all of the land from the Jewish State. Israel must stand against those who would willingly compromise Israel out of existence as their way of defending themselves in the current time thus only postponing their being consumed eventually after Israel’s memory has faded and her memorials forgotten statues.


Beyond the Cusp


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