Beyond the Cusp

August 29, 2013

Please President Obama, First Things First

President Obama please find a path around opening a new and unnecessary front within the Middle East. Instead of waging even a limited war and instead try and save lives which your Cairo speech and the Arab Spring which you supported so completely have left behind and are facing unimaginable sorrows, violence, persecution, and hatreds. When you were first elected you yourself spoke about a kinder, gentler America which was loved around the world and stood for peace and the betterment of mankind. You yourself scolded America’s past where we were perceived as warmongers who only knew how to rain death and destruction down on people who strayed from the path we had chosen for them. You went on an apology tour and now you threaten to continue with dealing out death and destruction, the very thing you once denounced. There are avenues right now that cry out for a hero to come and save innocent lives which simply wish to live in their homes in peace and security, worship as they choose, and have those simple things which you and I almost take for granted.


Unfortunately these unfortunate victims of sectarian violence no longer have their homes, their businesses, their houses of worship, or any vestiges of a normal life. And the only thing that you and your administration need to do, Mr. President, is allow them a Visa to come to the United States. These people are the Coptic Christians and if a brave and compassionate world leader would open their borders to the Coptic Christians then there are people who would see to getting them out of danger and to safety. It would require less planning and less efforts to provide this religiously persecuted minority a venue to freedom from persecution and the free pursuit to worship in their religion in peace and security than it will take to launch Tomahawk Missiles at Syrian military and government targets. There would also be less ramifications and danger to the delicate balance on which the current peace of the world is now teetering. Providing the Coptic Christians a route to freedom and liberty would gain you much recognition as the great transformational leader that you once claimed you strove to be instead of simply being just another President of the United States who resorted to bombs and missiles over diplomacy and new solutions.


Once you let loose the dogs of war on Syria over what many say was a use of chemical weapons by the rebel forces and not Bashir al-Assad there is no taking those actions back. Once the buttons are pushed launching your next kinetic action there will be no turning back. This Syria slap on the wrist tempts the fates and could set in motion a series of responses which would have the ability to fly out of control and cause results that nobody in their right mind could desire, unless the destruction of much of the world and the collapse of the world’s economies is one’s idea of a desirable end. Saving the Coptic Christians could only lead to be an example to other nations who could follow in kind and be the first wave in a sea change of compassion and consideration instead of an attack in the name of retribution. Is validating your “Red Line” threat worth risking kindling the instigation of war by Iran, Syria, Lebanon and numerous terrorist interests and other allies of Syria and Iran including both Russia and China, especially after that very same “Red Line” had been crossed twice previously as per intelligence provided by American allies Britain and France as well as Israel? Why this time and not those two previous deployments of chemical weapons? Please just pull back from the brink and instead make a gesture of kindness and compassion by extending a hand to rescue the Coptic Christians instead.


Beyond the Cusp


March 9, 2013

Will President Obama Challenge Hamas and Other Palestinian Threats?

Mushir al-Masri, speaking as a Hamas representative from the Al-Aqsa Mosque, declared that should United States President Barack Obama visit the Temple Mount during his excursion in Israel, it will be equivalent to a declaration of war on the Arab and the Islamic world. He demanded that there should be a declared third intifada and requested Egyptian assistance in the “resistance” of such a desecration by the American President take place. Khalid al-Batash, a senior Islamic Jihad member, also called to prevent Obama from visiting the compound. And these were not the most definitive of warnings. Sheikh Akrameh Sabri, former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and current head of the higher Islamic council was quoted by AFP warning, “Any visitor is welcome to Al-Aqsa, but they should follow the regulations of the Waqf and enter through the Lions’ Gate and not through Mughrabi Gate, to ensure Muslim sovereignty. The visit shouldn’t have a political theme to it because Al-Aqsa belongs to Muslims only and it is their place of worship and we refuse that any Israeli official accompanies the visitor.” Hatem Abdel Qader, head of the Jerusalem portfolio for the Fatah movement, said that Obama’s visit should be coordinated with the Palestinian Authority and with the Jordanians.


With such demands and even the somewhat overt threats makes one wonder if President Obama will simply avoid making any visit to the Temple Mount and what kind of result would such produce. It can be expected that should President Obama not visit the Temple Mount at all just to assure that he does not insult Islam or the easily riled Palestinians that such will be interpreted as a slight and a surrender to Israeli pressures which obviously had advised the President not to risk a visit. Whether or not the Israelis actually gave such advice will be of no consequence, the expressions of anger and reaction to insult is all that matters. Why else do the different Palestinian groups and even individual spokespeople make contradictory statements which when taken in full cover every possible action or lack of action as insulting and offensive to Islam and the Palestinian cause. These statements, demands and counters are made such that after President Obama has returned to the United States the Palestinians can choose which demands or warnings were transgressed and have the appropriate riots and violence targeting Israelis as the responsible and guilty party. The Friday riots after services on the Temple Mount were far more violent, viscous and animated this week and included not only the usual rock throwing and riots but also included Molotov cocktails and greater numbers and severity of attacks against security personnel stationed around the Temple Mount. This should be viewed as a warning of violence to come and a preliminary riot on which to build upon at a later date.


There has been an increase in violence with an emphasis on attacks in Judea and Samaria that has been escalating for the past weeks. There has been a definitive rise in rock and firebomb attacks on motorists and Israeli housing and crops. Some have already referred to these increased acts of violence as the beginning of yet another intifada. It is very likely that such is actually the case and that the plan is to use President Obama’s visit and some otherwise unimportant event as the trigger for the third (some say the count is as high as six) intifada. Additionally, there will be some within the leadership of the Palestinians will also blame Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for having formed a coalition which they see as unhelpful and biased against the Palestinians. This will be the complaint no matter which parties are included within the coalition and even with Tzipi Livni, one of the most likely to offer unprecedented concessions in peace talks, being placed completely responsible for any peace talks or other dealings between Israel and the Palestinians. Prime Minister Netanyahu is likely making this decision relying of Mahmoud Abbas to refuse any offer no matter how generous that Tzipi Livni would offer. This is another reason for another intifada as starting such violence would likely scrub any possibility of restarting the peace process while such increased violence is occurring. The Palestinians also are likely counting on the rest of the world, especially the Europeans, to demand Israeli gifts and concessions in order to end the violence and entice the Palestinians back to the negotiating table and restarting the peace process. We have seen this act so many times over the years that one might be tempted to think that it would not still work. The truth is that as long as Israel is being forced to sacrifice the Europeans and much of the world will gladly demand such sacrificial acts despite knowing they will be fruitless and will not engender any advances in the peace talks. But first, will President Obama actually visit the Temple Mount and if so which gate will he use? Then comes the other point of inquiry, will he attend to the Temple Mount with security provided by Israel or by the Palestinians and depending on which, how safe should President Obama feel?


Beyond the Cusp


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