Turkey is as good a place to start as any. Turkey is in the midst of a purge which would make Stalin proud. Over six thousand judges and lawyers as well as military ranking officers and others whom Recep Tayyip Erdoğan decided might not be with his Islamization of Turkey. Turkey is now a lost cause and will now, unless something completely unforeseen should disrupt Erdoğan and his plans, slowly sink under the yoke of Islamism. The military, which Mustafa Kemal Atatürk originally tasked with protecting the realm and preserving the secular rule in Turkey has been completely cleansed of its officers dedicated to their Constitutional tasks and Turkey no longer has a savior. When the military could have easily replaced Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party early in his rule and were prevented by the European Union (EU) and President George W. Bush and were continually prevented by President Obama and the EU, it led to this purge which was required before President Obama left office. It was recognized that should Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, the upper hand held by Erdoğan may pass from the possible. That is why Erdoğan knew his time was limited and the recent coup gave him the cover to execute his planned purge. Whether the coup was a false flag executed by Erdoğan or Fethullah Gulen and his loyal followers saw the purge coming and acted hastily, which the numerous failures to control critical infrastructure intimated, brought forth a perfect storm allowing for the witch hunt. Turkey has fallen to the Islamist side and into darkness from which it may never return. The sooner NATO and EU member states realize such and divorce themselves from Turkey, the better.
Moving on to Syria and we are facing the cauldron of discontent. The forces are almost as diverse as could be imagined. There is the swath controlled by the Islamic State with al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda associated forces, Bashir al-Assad representing the Alawite who are Shia and backed by Iranian forces including IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) as well as Hezballah terror elite from Lebanon and having Russian support in defense of their Mediterranean fleet bases being far forward and independent of the Black Sea fleet bases in the Crimea which could have been choked by Turkey and their control of the Bosporus. Syria, as the refugee situation has proven, is no longer a state in control of its territory and unable to enforce any form of legal control or sense of order. Continuing to Iraq and the situation also includes Islamic State and both Sunni and Shia forces in dispute over territory. The one constant in both north-eastern Syria and Northern Iraq has been the Kurdish Militias, Peshmerga, who have proven to be some of the best equipped and motivated against the Islamic State defeating them regularly and even regaining land and cities previously overrun. These forces would be best used to fight the Islamic State except that the Turkish Air Force has claimed to be bombing the Islamic state front lines when in reality they have bombed the Kurds more regularly than any other targets. Assisting the Kurds and even granting them a homeland as was promised them at the end of World War I before oil was struck around Mosul caused the British to renege and give the promised Kurdish lands to their chosen ruler of Iraq in exchange for the oil rights. The British were not exactly the most dependable when it came to promises made during World War I, just as the Jewish State of Israel which was delayed and directly prevented from establishing a homeland for the Jews at the start of World War II when the Jews desperately could have used a safe home to which to flee Germany and the advance of the Reich and the gas chambers. During these years the British limited Jewish emigration to seventy-five-thousand a year allowing less than thirty-thousand at best under the pretense that they required time to process applicants.
Jordan is one of the few breaths of fresh air. The Monarchy has permitted further democrazation and is granting more power to the Parliament over time and had the support of most of the populace. The horrific and public execution of the captured Jordanian pilot and the bold reaction of their monarch to the provocation won the King great favor and admiration from the Jordanian public. Jordan is one of the few stable republics in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf States are relatively stable even if much of the stability is due to the Saudi Military which was utilized to quickly put down the Arab Spring revolt in Bahrain. The sole problem in the Arabian Peninsula is with Yemen which again relies on arms and IRGC support. The war became sufficient of a threat that Saudi Troops soon backed by Egyptian air support were required to prevent a total collapse of the government from Iranian insurrection. This had prevented Iranian control of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait which controls the southern passage of the Red Sea into the trade routes to Africa and Asia.
This brings us to Northern Africa where we can begin with Tunisia. There has been some discontent with the government and the lack of positive economic improvement. This was partially defused with new elections and things appear to be moving ever so slowly in a positive direction. The nation is still in the grasp of what might be called a malaise similar to the Carter years in the United States but hope exists and the elections have been judged to be open and fair. Tunisia is one country where there exists a degree of hope going forward. This is especially true considering their neighbor, Libya. Libya is a nation in ruins with several disparate warlords controlling separate areas and the supposed central government ruling a central area of the capital city and little else. Libya will be a ruin for the next several decades and might never again operate as a single nation and instead operate as several fiefdoms with constant clashes and wars over territories never again forming any singular rule.
Algeria has yet to collapse but is also teetering on financial implosion and has several challenges which could at any time explode causing universal unrest resulting in another failed state similar to Libya next door. Algeria is one to watch as to the direction they may end up heading as things are uncertain at best. The rest of the nations bordering northern Africa have a completely different problem as many are divided north from south. In nations such as Nigeria, Cameroon and their neighbors the Islamic forces control much of the northern areas with Boko Haram operating against the Christian and Animist southern regions. These nations are all on the verge of full blown civil wars. Unrest between Islamic force and Christian and Animist populations exist all the way eastward to the division between Sudan and Southern Sudan. These clashes also reach to Kenya which borders Eretria and Somalia where Islamic warlords control separate areas and also are waging a war with Kenya and other neighboring nations in an attempt to spread Islam into Central Africa. The Kenyan Army thus far has held their own but without outside aid they will eventually lose ground as they get worn down. This is an area where the Western Powers could do some good along with Nigeria, Cameroon, South Sudan and the other nations thus threatened.
The next stop is Egypt which is a crucial and unusual place. The most prestigious Islamic Studies Institution, al-Azhar University is located in Egypt’s Capital City of Cairo and thus shares the seat of power in Egypt. Egyptian President Sisi has twice addressed the faculty and ruling Imams of al-Azhar University expressing the crucial need for an Islamic reformation allowing for Islam to coexist with other religions and not be based on world conquest and the destruction of all which is not Islamic. Though he has not mentioned some of the cultural crimes such as the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan which were exploded by Taliban forces as they were judged an offense to Islam and idolatrous, President Sisi has challenged the Imams of al-Azhar University to spend effort in retrospective evaluation of Islam and to seek a less violent and strident path (see below). President Sisi of Egypt is true and honest in his hopes to lead a reformation of Islam but is facing an uphill battle which may at some point cost him his life. His position is every bit as treacherous as was that of Anwar Sadat for making a peace with Israel. He too saw the need for change and President Sisi has taken up the challenge which will be required if Islam is to survive as eventually the world will rise up and that would result in the termination of Islam as a world religion possibly leaving small bands scattered about the Middle East.
Moving to Iran, as far eastward as our travels will take us, and here we find the appearance of a representative democracy which appears to be functioning with only minimal upheaval as is witnessed elsewhere including right next door in Iraq. On closer inspection, a different reality becomes evident. The elections for the Parliament are a complete and total sham where the candidates must find approval before they, or even their party, are permitted to field candidates. Even then the candidates are vetted by a higher level of government. The reality is the government is a dictatorship and the office of President provides Iran with the appearance of normalcy. The truth be told, the Supreme Leader is the nation and the sole limitation on his power is the Council of Elders, the same body which selected Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to replace Supreme leaders Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini after his death. Since the 1979 revolution aided by United States President Jimmy Carter under the premise that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was necessarily a desirable and principled leader being an Islamic Holy Man, such misplaced logic has been indicative of American Middle East policy proving their presumed knowledge of Islamic culture and designs are woefully inadequate to even begin to formulate a cohesive and supportive strategy which would bring some semblance of peace to the region. The Supreme Leader is accountable to the Council of Elders which is constituted by elderly and respected Shiite clerics, Imams, who assure that the Quran is followed and that all the Islamic codes and other orders derived from the Quran are in fact obeyed and do indeed limit even the Supreme Leader. The reality is Iran is an oligarchy based on a religious hierarchy. Like other Islamic sects, the Shiites too seek to lead the final Caliphate which will unite the world under the banner of Islam and all will bear witness and surrender to Allah and his true heir in a lineage derived directly from Mohammad. Many Iranians believe in the Twelfth Imam who will rise from his solitude and hiding place from a well in Qom. Once the Twelfth Imam has risen, all Islam will unite behind Shia Islam and complete the struggle in a world war of unimaginable death, destruction and pure horrors. In the end there will stand the Twelfth Imam, the Mahdi, victorious and ruling over a unified world under Islam.
One of the serious problems with this interpretation is that the Twelfth Imam cannot appear until the world is already soaked in blood and a great conflagration engulfs the globe. The Shiite End-Times depiction is one of horrific terror and warfare engulfing the entirety of the planet. Some descriptions are so over-the-top that they appear to describe an all out nuclear exchange by every nuclear armed nation either against their main adversary or a broader attack on as many nations as possible. Some experts have claimed that just such a conflagration, with EMP pulse weapons destroying entire electrical grids and all the systems which rely upon them, would set civilization back centuries and cause the death of over three-fourths of the population in affected areas. It is also known that both Iran and North Korea have jointly worked on just such a weapon, a super EMP weapon using a heretofore unknown use for a hydrogen bomb as the driver of their EMP device. The power of such a device exploded four to five hundred miles above the center of any continent would disrupt and destroy virtually ever electronic device including those not even powered at the time of the strike. Virtually, if not actually all, any large generator with their massive windings would melt down into a shorted blob of copper and become useless. The United States and Europe are woefully unprepared neither to prevent such an attack nor to have hardened their electrical grids and specifically their largest transformers. Such a strike was exactly what makes Iran such a threat to the world and their sharing test results on nuclear weapons, especially EMP weapons, and rocket and missile specs and dimensional schematics showing exactly how to construct these weapons of war. Iran and North Korea are not working with such dedication to develop a true ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Weapon) just to be capable of striking Israel as that ability is and has been a part of their inventory for at least the past decade. Their desired targets are London and the British Isles and North America, more precisely, the United States.
The people running the military from deep within the Pentagon substructures which are capable of taking a direct strike partnering with NORAD Command (North American Aerospace Defense Command) which has recently been reconstructed flushing out full personnel and returning to their Cheyenne Mountain facility beneath an entire granite mountain suspended on necessarily huge shock absorbers and blast doors which once closed can withstand virtually anything coming through the mountain in its arching tunnel and the initial blast door is backed by a second blast door just as thick, capable and closed along with the primary to protect those inside. The return of NORAD to their Cheyenne Mountain facility from the Colorado Springs facility attached to the Air Force Academy was deemed a necessary and prudent reassignment. This was an expensive move as all the systems throughout the complex required rewiring to accept and facilitate the newer and more powerful computing capabilities. This was the stimulus to compel the Air Force and NORAD Command to reestablish the Cheyenne Mountain facility which was left due to its inability to power and transfer technical data and other necessities with any accuracy or alacrity. Cheyenne Mountain had reached the end of its road offering but one saving grace; it can withstand as many as a dozen direct strikes on the mountain and continue to function. No other Military facility can boast of such protection. Something in the intelligence community impelled NORAD to seek shelter in her nest egg in the Rocky Mountains and despite the fact that anybody can order a map of the area and find the Cheyenne Mountain facility, it will remain as close to indestructible as anyone can boast. To give one the real scope and size of the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, one need start with the entire mountain and move inward to grant the place its full, impregnable glory (see series of images below).
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Air Force and NORAD believed, as did many all too optimistic futurists, that the years of war and unrest had finally arrived and democracy and human rights would spread throughout the world and all the nations of the world would slowly but inexorably reach advanced cultures and finally an age of peace would rule. This might have actually been possible except for another warrior class culture stepped onto the world stage where all were forced to take notice. As long as Islam was solely an Israeli problem with minor flare-ups which were thought to be unrelated and easily put down and managed, then all was well and the world would allow unrest against Israel knowing that the Islamic thrusts were limited to Israel. September 11, 2001 ended that sleepy little mirage where all was well with the world and the only rough spot was against the Jewish State. The burning collapse of the Twin Towers in New York bringing down three of the main buildings from the World Trade Center also destroying one of the main subway stations in New York, the ramming of another passenger liner into the Pentagon and a final passenger plane whose target remains unknown was brought down by the passengers in a desperate assault on the cockpit leading to the craft crashing in a field outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, signaled the onset of World War III upon the western and developed world with the Islamists ready to wage a war of attrition, infiltration and subsuming the governments of the non-Islamic world. The other half of this offensive thrust would be the purification of the Islamic world forcing all to obey strident and violent forms of Islam. The leading nation initially appeared to be Afghanistan and possibly Iraq. The truth was that another source was moneyed individuals and organizations from Wahhabist interests and financiers from Saudi Arabia, Muslim Brotherhood associated groups including Hamas, al-Qaeda and other Muslim Brotherhood entities, the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) who were initially a pan-Arabist nationalist group but have slowly been taken over by Islamists which has left Mahmoud Abbas in a delicate and threatened position. These all have a single common denominator in that they were all Sunni groups. Standing against these Sunnis was a highly organized and capable Shiite Arab fundamentalist force led by Iran. There was Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad, as well as Hezballah led by a figurehead Hassan Nasrallah whose wars against Israel and the Lebanese Christians would have left Hezballah all but utterly destroyed if not for the resupply of missiles and associated weaponry including scud missiles and even larger missiles as well as rifles, explosives, mortars and other weaponry whenever they could successfully pass them past Israeli intelligence and interception, sometimes even intercepted while transiting the Sudan. Further assistance was provided for both Narallah’s Hezballah and the Syrian forces supporting al-Assad with Special Forces from the IRGC. These forces trained and were deployed from Iran and would have stood against Israel until the Arab Spring turned Arab Winter destroyed Syria causing a struggle for supremacy between Sunni and Shiite forces in largely Syria and spreading into Iraq as the Islamic State, another Sunni terror groups whose barbarity is almost beyond measure. The Islamic State made great advances initially but they were eventually slowed and have since held their grounds with losses and gains equaling out in the current stalemate.
Currently Israel is facing potential attacks from Hamas in the south out of Gaza where Hamas is the government and Israel has completely removed all their forces and citizens from the area. They face terror attacks coming from Fatah and other Palestinian Arab forces as ordered by Mahmoud Abbas associated terror squads. There are also lone wolf attacks from these Arab forces and even Israeli Arabs who have complete rights in Israel have attacked Israelis with knives, hatchets and other implements and also ramming with vehicles into crowds similar as what occurred in Nice, France recently. The same style attacks which have plagued Israel for the past century even before the state was formed, often at the behest of the Mufti of Jerusalem, are now striking innocents beyond Israel and across Europe and North America. What Hamas and Fatah bring upon Israel, the Islamic State and al-Qaeda take unto the rest of the world. Much of this build-up of Islamic fighters is directly due to the surrender of the easy grounds by President Obama in his belief that the United States was the problem and native forces such as the Islamists were the cure. President Obama went so far in his trusting of Islamists that he prepared the ground for Iran to become a major nuclear power within five years of his leaving office. The question that need be asked in every election in the free world going forward is which candidate is best prepared to face a nuclear Iran led by a religious fanatic who regards the destruction of his nation as a simple price to pay to destroy Israel, the United States, Europe and the rest of the free world allied with the man-boy ruling North Korea with an equally sufficient nuclear weapons stockpile and both sharing ICBM technology aiming at a new world with vast tracks turned into nuclear wastelands with no electrical production after massive EMP pulse weapons are deployed followed by city buster hydrogen thermonuclear bombs reducing their centers to rubble and the external areas into radioactive piles of rocks and bricks. This is the near future within a decade if actions are not initiated to end the madness allowing for religious fanatics who believe that dying for Allah guarantees them a place in heaven with seventy-two perpetual virgins allied with an irresponsible child who murdered his uncle simply for his disagreeing with the man-boy ruler and had him hung immediately without a moment of consideration. How could anybody believe this lunatic would not join the Iranian fanatics in the destruction of the world in the hopes of ruling the ruins. This is the world that faces the voters in elections going forward, so think hard and long for it may end up as your last vote ever taken.
Beyond the Cusp