Beyond the Cusp

November 24, 2017

Who Starts the Next War?

 

Oh, the possibilities we have. Will it be Trump or Kim Jong-un, Saudi Royal Prince Mohammed bin Salman or the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, the new Hamas Leader Yahya Sinwar or Hezballah’s Leader Hassan Nasrallah or will it come out of the blue from an unexpected source responding to a terror attack or assassination as happened to start World War I? Will it perhaps be China moving on Taiwan or Russia finishing off the Ukraine or Georgia? It could simply be a severe escalation of Turkey’s private war against the Kurds in Syria and Iran spreading into a Kurdish rebellion within Turkey with the entirety of the Kurdish People finally demanding their own homeland refusing to be picked apart individually by Iran, Syria, Turkey, Iraq and any terror forces sent by the same or even Saudi Arabia or the Muslim Brotherhood. It might be the Basques or Catalan People of Catalonia declaring themselves independent from Spain with Spain having the obvious reaction and moving to end such as that might cause others to have similar thoughts causing the Balkanization of Spain. There are such movements within virtually every nation of Europe and likely the world. There are numerous other peoples in Northern Africa which currently are ruled over by foreign peoples who came along with the Islamic conquests of the Caliphate. One such are the Berbers, one of the tribes which converted to Islam only to be subsumed by Arab culture and rulers. The possibilities are endless but the real contenders come down to the first few listed as those are the least stable places with the most to gain or lose as the world moves forward.

 

The possibility that President Trump will start a war are, contrary to the wild accusations of some detractors, somewhere around nil. First, he would need a declaration from Congress for any actual war or even military actions. The Congress appears barely capable of passing the budget for a single year. Trump also has no taste for any conflict despite all of his bluster and even Kim Jong-un is aware that Trump was all talk and no teeth. This was part of why Kim Jong-un and Trump both have all but ended their contest of words, both realized the other was not about to start a war at this time, so tempting one was simply a waste of effort. So, North Korea and United States are not about to go to war, which should be a relief. If such a conflict were to come to fruition, we would predict that the North Koreans would attempt to make the initial strike forcing President Trump and the Congress to respond in kind. Thus, should a war ever come between the United States and North Korea, it would be at the insistence of North Korea.

 

The next pairing was between Saudi Royal Prince Mohammed bin Salman or the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei. Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the next directly in line to the crown of Saudi Arabia and has been assuming more and more power taking over responsibilities from his father, the aging and ailing King Salman. The Prince was the mastermind behind the Sunni forces which were routed in Syria and has mismanaged the Yemen-Saudi conflict allowing Iranian missiles and Hezballah and IRGC fighters to enter Yemen. Just last week an Iranian provided missile was launched from Yemen towards Riyadh. This was declared to have been an act of war by Iran against Saudi Arabia and there were rumors of an imminent war on the horizon. Prince Mohammed bin Salman has also moved to secure his own position by arresting for criminal corruption close to a dozen of his closest relatives, cousins, leader of the National Guard, governor of Riyadh, and the internationally renowned Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

 

Further, Prince Salman has promised, or threatened, to westernize, or modernize, Saudi Arabia in an attempt to improve the economy such that it is not entirely dependent upon their oil wealth. The religious class, the clerics and heads of the Wahabbists, are very much opposed to such a plan seeing it as a direct threat to their power and influences on Saudi politics and direction. They have lived off the Royal Family paying them, rewarding them richly from the oil wealth such that they would back the Royal Family permitting them to remain in power. This arrangement left out one very important group, the people of Saudi Arabia who were sentenced to a life of moderations and poverty in far too many instances with lacking education and little chance for improvement.

 

Saudi Arabia and Iran War

Saudi Arabia and Iran War

 

All but needless to say, but a war is actually the last thing Saudi Arabia needs, now or at any time. Should such a war with Iran become inevitable, the winner, if there actually would be a winner, would not gain much and the loser would lose everything. It is for this reason such a war would be devastating to the Middle East and would also have a great possibility to spread and involve other countries. With the Iranians, one could expect Yemen, Iraq, Qatar, what is left of Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, while with Saudi Arabia, one would expect the Gulf States of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council which includes Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman), Jordan and eventually Egypt. There are some wildcards in the equation which include Pakistan, India, Israel and the United States. Pakistan actually could be thought to assist either side as they trade with Iran but they also owe Saudi Arabia for providing the necessary cash required to finance their drive for nuclear weapons. India does have a fair number of trade deals with Iran and they do have a common neighbor in Pakistan plus share the waterway, the Arabian Sea. Israel and the United States are the real game-changers which could completely alter the outcome of the conflict but are also the least likely to enter such a conflict, especially should the Saudi Arabians be the initiator of the conflict. Should Iran start such a conflict, then the probability that Israel or the United States would be greater, especially if the Saudis appeared to be on the losing end.

 

Estimating who would win such a war would need to weigh far too many variables. The basic equation places the newer and superior equipment and technology having bought $350 billion arms deal this year alone. But the Iranians have the population numbers and their military has been tested in Syria and thus experienced, especially the IRGC and Hezballah, the core fighters Iran would use for the tip of their spear. The Saudi Arabian military are known to march very nicely and have little to no actual experience in actual combat. The best equipment cannot make up for lack of experience and experience only mitigates lesser weaponry partially, so the question is which would be the greater equalizer and how long would this difference provide superior fighting ability. In the end, the real question comes down to whether Russia would assist Iran and do so at sufficient a level before the United States decided they needed to assist the Saudi Arabian side of the conflict. The final wildcards bring a nuclear answer to this conflict should nobody use such earlier as Iran is suspected of having nuclear weapons and Saudi Arabia is rumored to have an agreement with Pakistan to provide as many as a dozen such weapons on demand. These wildcards are North Korea and their eight-hundred-pound gorilla which often accompanies them in endeavors, China. One could trace how a conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran could draw in other nations until it would become the next World War, World War III. Such a war, according to Albert Einstein, would guarantee that the following World War, World War IV, would be fought with sticks and stones. We are thinking of going and picking up some stones tomorrow.

 

The real question we should be answering is, who might be planning to spread their influence and do so successfully enough that they become a threat to the peace of the entire planet? North Korea has talked of conquest but it has mostly been about the Korean peninsula and occasionally of the United States, and that second is simply bluster for domestic consumption. China appears readying to become the Pacific hegemon sharing that title with the United States and have raised expectations that they will be the first to build a Moon base. Japan has also talked of plans to place a base on the Moon in the near future. The United States and Russia have talked of Moon bases as well. Hopefully, the next war that threatens humanity will not be a Moon War where Moon bases start shooting at each other. The Moon race will hopefully be used to initiate cooperation instead of conflict. So, fortunately, the Moon is unlikely to spark the next World War. There have been accusations that Israel desires to conquer much of the lands surrounding them forcefully displacing the Muslim populations. That is pure propaganda which is provably false, as Israel has given up claims to land such as the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza in efforts to reach peace with varying amounts of success. Then there is Iran which has spread their control since the Iranian Revolution in 1979 to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. Iran has made claims that they intend to destroy Israel and the United States, establish a Shiite Crescent across the heart of the Middle East (see map below). The truth is Iran is in the stage of cementing their Shiite Crescent and may be looking further starting with Yemen.

 

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

 

The one item which Iran has claimed to desire is represented on the map above by the big green star, that covers Mecca and Medina, which along with the oil fields in the northeast of Saudi Arabia make up the targets upon which Iran has set their eyes. Iran has also made constant references to the Persian Empire and reestablishing exactly such hegemony over the Middle East and reaching all the way into Greece and Egypt which was once the extent of the Persian Empire. Both the founder, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, and his successor, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei, have both made references to spreading Shia Islam over the entire planet fulfilling the promises given by Allah in the Quran for Islam to rule the planet. There have been Sunni Muslims who also claimed they would fulfill the same promises such as al-Qaeda, Islamic State and Hamas. Al-Qaeda and Islamic State do not appear to have had much success in this effort and Hamas appears to be currently stymied by Israel and if they were to spread any form of Islam, it would probably be Shia since, just like Hezballah, Hamas is now in the service of Iran. For all intents and purposes, the only groups or nations with any current abilities which have also expressed the desire for word conquest all appear to be serving or are Iran. Additionally, Iran has spoken of their intention to erase the nation of Israel from the map commenting that Israel would be a one-bomb nation once they have sufficient nuclear weapons. They have also shared research with North Korea and shared tactics for a southern approach for using an orbital nuclear weapon to deliver and EMP to the United States destroying much of the electrical infrastructure. The real question that the world needs to address is who is going to stop Iran, when do they plan on starting and what it will take for people to take the concept of Iranian world conquest seriously. Ask almost anyone other than a minority of military leadership about Iran declaration of intent for world conquest; they will laugh at you as if you are insane if not actually trying to get you some medical assistance for your obvious problems. We all may as well face the fact that nobody believes in world conquest by any nation any more now, than anyone had in 1933 when Germany talked of world conquest. The world did finally respond to Germany but had they worked to prevent Germany from building up their military the world would have been saved the horrors of World War II. Iran has spread its influence across the Middle East, has all but surrounded Saudi Arabia, had closed in on Israel on three borders and has control over the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab el Mandeb Strait giving them control over oil shipments to the world and the southern exit from the Red Sea blocking any use of the Suez Canal. How far does Iran need to go to prove they intend to try to conquer the world for Allah and Shiite Islam? This is a question which may get more important as time passes, or we may get fortunate and their efforts fail from reaching any critical point where preventing them becomes an absolute necessity, which would mean they have reached military capabilities making world conquest a possibility.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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May 8, 2017

Coming American Foreign Policy Challenges and One Done Right

 

We may as well start by talking briefly about the one area that the United States has started addressing and thus far has taken the proper and righteous approach. Contrary to what many have claimed, President Trump had begun to implement a Syria strategy. The first, and thus far, primary step has been to work to show that the United States has a group they are willing to stand with and are going to protect. They have made this statement boldly and sent a message to President Erdogan of Turkey that the Kurds are to be left alone. No longer will his indiscriminate attacks by air and land against the Kurds be tolerated and if President Erdogan desires to join the fight in Syria, then it will be against the Islamic State like he has told the world he was fighting and not against the Kurds who was who he was really fighting. The green and gold banner of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and the colors of the United States were noticeable as they flew side-by-side in northern Syria for the first time. The images of Army Strykers and YPG vehicles rolling in Kurdish territories in Syria flooded social media and is intended to send a hands-off message to Turkish forces and to President Erdogan in Ankara. The YPG Militias are part of the Syrian Democratic Forces that the United States has been backing through arming them and now is showing a more active support. In the Washington Times Erdogan was quoted saying on Sunday that he vowed to carry out more strikes against Kurdish targets in northern Syria, telling reporters in Istanbul he was “saddened” by the images of the American and YPG flags flying in tandem. He impressed that this would be a major issue at his scheduled May meeting with President Trump in mid-May. We hope President Erdogan is prepared to be disappointed.

 

United States Armored Troops Move into Kurdish Areas of Syria

United States Armored Troops Move into Kurdish Areas of Syria

 

More news on the Syrian front comes as the White House has called for making areas safe-zones complete with enforced “No-fly zones” in place. President Trump spoke at length with Russian President Putin and it was reported that the talks were productive and the two men appear to have found some common middle ground. It is expected that Turkey’s President Erdogan will oppose any no-fly zones or safe zones that include Kurdish held ground as President Erdogan has sworn to wipe the Kurdish people from the map as he sees them as no different than the Ottomans viewed the Armenian and he desires applying the same solution. Should Presidents Putin and Trump reach an accord on these safe zones and no-fly zones and mutually enforce such, then Erdogan would prove to be a mad-man should he decide to test the resolve of Russia and the United States. Still, we suspect that he will test the American resolve at least twice and once he loses some of his aircraft will he finally return to Turkey and resign that he will not reach his envisioned “Greater Turkey” (see map below). Meanwhile, despite the fact that Syrian Dictator Bashir al-Assad would dearly love to see the Kurds crushed, he shares with Erdogan their mutual hatred of the Kurds viewing them as less Muslim than their own people, the Alawites for Assad and the Turks for Erdogan. As far as the Russians are concerned, as the Kurds have mostly just protected their own spaces and not attacked anyone other than the Islamic State, they are not posing any direct threat to Russia or Assad in their eyes. This will likely lead Putin to allow the Kurdish areas to be designated safe zones and placed under a no-fly order, which would fall to the United States to enforce. President Trump can expect Erdogan to attempt to disallow American aircraft from the base in Turkey to be utilized for this purpose. President Trump could then use an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea off of Syria or Israel, secretly use an Israel airfield, or ignore Erdogan and test his resolve. Erdogan just might be the fool enough to test President Trump by taking measures against American forced in Turkey thus potentially making Turkey the test case for what happens to people who test a commitment by President Trump. We figure such would be a very risky move with terrible consequences, but Erdogan believes that the United States is still under weak leadership as the American media have portrayed President Trump with their constant questioning and belittling his every move. This could have horrible consequences.

 

Greater Turkey

Greater Turkey

 

There will be two areas where President Trump will face great tests. His being used to business deals where contracts actually mean what the two sides intend to commit to is quite different than when dealing with rogue regimes. President Erdogan will simply be an introductory course in the art of international miscreants. There will be little learned here as this will be reminiscent of President Trump’s days growing up in a rough and tumble New York neighborhood where deeds were the real rest and talk often could substitute for deeds until somebody called you on your words and you needed to then prove your mettle. The real test will come from North Korea and the Palestinian Arabs. Both Kim Jong Un and Mahmoud Abbas have the same record in observing and keeping promises made in agreements, none. Both men will sign agreements, demand the other side meet all obligations and then refute that any demands or promises were made by their side and renege on everything upon which they had agreed. This defaulting by them has no bearing on their demands that everyone else meet the terms of that very agreement. This is the kind of dealing which gets one a bad name in business dealings but is not so uncommon in international affairs. The dictatorial and rogue states are well versed in double-dealing and will not feign from taking affront at others’ comments about them while dispensing insults as if they were candy at a children’s birthday party. This may be something Trump needs to realize that there is no arbitration between nations and the only means of enforcing agreements is through coercion, threat or actual use of force. Where this may be undesirable, it is still a necessary lesson that such is the way of the world and things are far from ideal.

 

Kim Jong Un and Mahmoud Abbas

Kim Jong Un and Mahmoud Abbas

 

The first installment of this message came fast and furious from the Palestinian Authority (PA) this week. While President Trump lauded Mahmoud Abbas for promising to end the payments to terrorists and their families commensurate on the numbers of Israelis the murdered and injured including those in prison in Israel, Mahmoud Abbas and nearly the entirety of the PA hierarchy upon Abbas returning came out in force to deny that any such promise had passed his lips. They also pointed out that such payments were a central tenet of their government and would continue. We guess the good news is that at least they did not announce an increase in these payments. This comes atop news that President Trump promised the PA additional funds and we can only hope that these funds are now prevented in response to the announced continuing for using such funds to reward terrorism directly, a definitive form of incitement if ever there was one. The unilateral PA announcement that funds will continue to be used to pay terrorists benefits commensurate with people murdered and maimed should be used by Congress, if the President does not take the initiative, as the reason to end all United States aid to the PA and to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). The additional reason for including UNRWA is the curriculum, which is full of terror incitement and terrorist glorification throughout their schoolbooks and enforced further by employing Hamas members as teachers and administrators in Gaza and PA appointees in similar positions in Judea and Samaria. Their teaching incitement and aggrandizement of terrorism is reason enough under stipulations already in place to end funding to all entities involved. This is but the first test from these two fronts.

 

President Trump will need to understand the duplicitous dealings from these actors before dealing with Iran who proved to have taken President Obama to the cleaners. The fact is President Obama desired just such an end and actually led the parade with the part of class clown aptly played by Secretary of State John Kerry. The fact that Secretary Kerry was actually attempting to please his boss and attempting to do as best as he could only added to the shame heaped on the United States by the Nuclear Deal with Iran. Making matters even worse was the fact that Iran wrote up the agreement they were to make in Farsi which nobody at the State Department or Defense Department ever translated or checked to verify it concurred at least with the European or Russian versions, we already knew the United States version was for domestic use only and that everyone had their own version, this deal was a farce in action. When the news broke that the United States version given to the media did not jibe with either the Russian or the European versions, the Russian and European versions at least matched fairly well and were likely the sole true representation of the actual agreement, the media reported on that for two days never quite detailing the differences and then the Iran deal became old news seldom to be mentioned again until the campaign and Trump using it as a campaign point. Such a fiasco can and must never be permitted again in the future and any and all translations need be vetted for reality and matching the actual points as agreed upon, otherwise we are allowing each member to write and sign their own version of reality and everybody leaves with copies of a treaty which do not match one-another and everyone just then does what they decide is best and no real treaty exists.

 

Kin Jong Un is also delusional, megalomaniacal, and dangerously paranoid. This is not a healthy combination when it comes to world leaders of nations, especially nations on the verge of having warhead size thermonuclear weapons and the ICBM’s on which to place them threatening the entirety of the globe. The entire population of North Korea have been raised and actually believe that when their country fails, that is when, not if, that the entire globe will also be failing as everywhere is just like North Korea. The reality is except for Venezuela of late, the rest of the globe is doing much better than North Korea which is an even more dysfunctional state than Hamastan in Gaza, the PA in Judea and Samaria and possible on par, without the warfare, with Syria. The people are close to starving as a rule of life, there is little relief in sight but they honestly believe that should North Korea fail by war, starvation or plague, then the entirety of the globe must fail with them. This is how they are educated from infancy through into the military if they are fortunate as the military at least can afford food and shelter. Kim Jong Un lives like a king and his top people, military commanders live well, and he is only shown small areas of the capital of Pyongyang where his leadership live in relative comfort with ample housing. The distressing poverty of the country is kept from his eyes as should he realize the mismanagement, nobody can predict how many and whom he would have executed as responsible. As he has had an uncle executed for speaking sharply to him, executed a general for treason with little evidence and even less of a trial and his half brother assassinated sending a hit squad to another nation to murder him, Kim Jong Un has earned his credentials as unstable. How to make such a person hold to a treaty or anything resembling sanity is the question. Strangling him through embargoes may be all it would take for him to initiate nuclear Armageddon.

 

As if Erdogan, Kim Jong Un, Hamas, the PA, Islamic State and Bashir al-Assad was not enough facing President Trump plus a roguish President Putin with his exploits, there is one last madman backed by a regime of madmen, Iran. Their Supreme Leader, the Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei (Persian: سید علی حسینی خامنه‌ای‎‎) believes that he speaks with and for Allah and Muhammad here on earth. He is to be the leader to prepare all Islam for the coming of the Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam who has been in hiding for near on nine-hundred years. His return is to be some mythically magical event and a highway has been built from the perceived well in Qom to the center of the capital of Iran, Yehran, where he will be welcomed by the Supreme Leader, the Assembly of Experts and others from the religious heirarchy in Iran. Iran had two independent militaries with seperate lines of command and sets of orders. The Iranian military is a normative military which is tasked with protection of the nation from all external enemies. The IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) is responsible for activities outside the nation and national security within the nations including the religious police. They are responsible for providing troops and weaponry for the efforts in Syria, for Hezballah in Lebanon, occasionally for arming, training and providing rocket technology to Hamas in Gaza, running and securing the training camps in the Tri-Border region in South America. The Tri-Border Region (see map and picture below) is an area on the borders of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil and an area where all three national police and militaries refuse to interfere. It was from these camps that the terror squads, which carried out the bombings on Israeli and Jewish targets in Buenos Aires, were carried out. This has been an IRGC and Hezballah training paradise since the mid 1970’s and has faced little to no interference largely because it is almost as well armed as any force that might be sent to face them in the surrounding jungles. This is the reach available to the IRGC who are in close operational interconnectivity with Hezballah as both serve Iran as foreign contingents. The advantage of the IRGC working with Hezballah is that through such affiliation they provide Iran with sufficient separation to have plausible deniability. Never suspect that Iran does not know how to play political games, remember that it was the Persians who invented the game of chess.

 

Tri_Border Region of South America Terror training haven and Iranian proxy state in the Americas and Base of operations for the 17 March 1992 Israeli Embassy Bombing murdering 29 injuring 242 and the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) 18 July 1994bombing murdered 85 injured over 800 and now we must add the murdered Argentine Prosecutor Alberto Nisman to AMIA fatalities

Tri_Border Region of South America Terror training haven and Iranian proxy state in the Americas and Base of operations for the 17 March 1992 Israeli Embassy Bombing murdering 29 injuring 242 and the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) 18 July 1994 bombing murdered 85 injured over 800 and now we must add the murdered Argentine Prosecutor Alberto Nisman to AMIA fatalities

 

Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as he is oft referred in the international media, knows well the art of warfare by other means. He appears to be versed in Sun Tzu and the other writers on warfare. He uses words for weapons and assassins when required to strike where he desires. His rule is absolute and as such he has grown accustom to things as he prefers to see them and his subordinates dare not fall short in their assigned tasks. The power structure in Iran follows a duality just as does the military. The Iranians have two main targets, the United States and the Zionist Entity, as they refer to Israel. Together these two make up the Great Satan, United States, and the Little Satan, Israel. Israel is privileged in this world as unlike the United States that only need worry about the Iranian Army and the IRGC military, Israel gets to have an addition to these two adversaries, the al-Quds force, named for the Arab name for Jerusalem. The al-Quds force is responsible directly for the reconquest of Jerusalem primarily and secondarily for the complete destruction of Israel and the death of the Jews, that is all Jews. The al-Quds force is a special group of squads who are selected from the Special Forces groups within the IRGC, which is considered the Special Forces taken from within the military ranks rated on their military prowess and their religious purity. The entirety of the IRGC is religious warriors modeled on the Persian Immortals from history and the al-Quds would then be the Hashshashins, a select group willing to fight to the death without a second thought. Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is a person not used to being denied that which he desires. Still, he commands the respect that one will speak only truthfully when answering his questions. This does not mean you will be well received or even survive the telling, but if you are caught in a lie, things will go even worse for you. Torture is a tool in Iran as it is in the PA, Hamastan and North Korea as well as more of the world than most would like to believe. Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei truly believes that his position will welcome the coming of the final days and be at the center of the world once it has been transformed. He realizes he might not be alive to see this day but that whoever fills the role of Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah must be prepared to take on this mantle at any moment. They will be the leader of the conquering forces, which will subdue the world and bring everybody to Islam as they believe. They honestly believe that the Shiites, who are approximately ten percent of Muslims, will win out as the preferred of Allah instead of being murdered as Apostates under a world ruled by Sunni Islam.

 

These are simply the initial individuals who often define the world as they wish it to be and then act from there. The one thing all these leaders and their followers have in common is that they believe they are the rightful and powerful on the world’s stage, and that the United States can be easily defeated and they know exactly how to proceed to do so. They all believe their country to be one of the major forces in the world or a member of what will be the ruling force in the end when everything is settled. They all believe that the world can be brought under the rule of a single individual and that they are the one. (This is where normally we would have to say, “Zathros know, you are not the one, Zathros can tell.” One need remember the show Babylon V to understand or recognize this.) The Western World has reached the decision that the world cannot be conquered and placed under a single leader. They also believe that this is intuitively obvious and that everyone can see that world conquest is a pipe dream that cannot be accomplished. All this means is that they will never rule the world but it does not mean that there are no longer people out in the world willing to try. One might remember in the early days of the Islamic State when, as ISIS, their forces of terrorists were taking uncontested ground and destroying all they could find including irreplaceable artifacts and treasures and their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was declaring himself Caliph and announcing how the ISIS fighters (terror forces) were going to conquer the world for Allah and convert or murder all unbelievers and simply murder all apostates. Their initial run was impressive until the clash with the Kurds and was bloodied. There went their invincibility, from there the Iraqis contained them, and they stalled out completely. The point was that al-Baghdadi with a few thousand fighters, many not well trained or untrained, still believed that ruling the world was possible. Turkey’s President Erdogan sees himself as the Caliph ruling over the same areas as once made up the Ottoman Empire, which started as a single tribe in Turkey that set out to conquer the world. President Erdogan sees himself as the one to reestablish the Turkish-Ottoman Empire with himself as the central Caliph. It is time that the Europeans woke up and smelled the threats at their doorsteps and their own self-made weakness and how dangerously unprepared they have become for their own defense. They have at most a decade before such might becomes necessary and already it appears that Germany, if they remain with Merkel and France after electing Macron, have simply surrendered to their conquerors. President Trump needs to awaken a sleeping world to the onrushing dangers before the onrushing dangers reach their shores and announce themselves formally. Thus far, the violence has been sporadic and disorganized. That will not remain the case and the time is drawing nigh with not a lot of time to turn Europe around and prepared to fight to save their way of life and their liberated lifestyles. President Trump may have been elected at a crucial time but it will be the two Presidents that follow Trump who will really be inheriting the whirlwind. Inbetween, we will see broken promises strewn as windblown autumn leaves.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 11, 2016

Fallujah Residents Caught in the Jaws of a Vice

 

Let us pretend for a moment that you and your family are amongst the Forty-five-thousands or so civilian residents remaining in Fallujah and you want to survive; what does one do? If you remain in the city, the unmerciful shelling and other indirect weapons will eventually strike your home destroying it and your terrified family. If you try to leave, both sides will do what it takes to get you killed. The Islamic State desires two things from the Sunni citizens of Fallujah; they want you murdered using the most horrific means possible such that you and your family can be shown in Facebook and in the media who are stanchly supporting the story line and as human shields once the fighting commences. What story line is that, pray tell? Well, that depends again on whose telling the story. The Western coalition will tell the story of your family’s death as a horrific price being paid to free the city from the Islamic State which placed your family in harm’s way. The Islamic State and Muslim Brotherhood will use the horrific and tragic death of your family as proof of the horrific cost of this war brought down on the rightful rulers of Fallujah by Iran and the Shiite militias who are nothing more than blood thirsty mobs of subhuman scoundrels of the worst kind. The Syrian supporters of Bashir al-Assad will claim that the tragic death of your family simply proves what they have claimed from the start, that they are simply fighting against these same Sunni terrorist forces and the world simply does not understand the situation because if they did they would be backing Assad, not bombing them. The Druze and Kurds would likely claim to put a pox on both your houses as all they want is to rule their own little plot of lands free from the slaughtering forces of both sides which have routinely murdered their families in the name of liberating or defending them literally since the end of World War I and the disaster that Sykes-Picot brought down on the region by its design. These guys may be the only ones with clear vision and also the ones who see the sole path to enlightened behavior, give each tribe or even family their own fig tree, orange tree, a few grape vines and a dozen sheep per adult male and everybody go home. Unfortunately for you, your family and anybody still in Fallujah; ain’t never gonna happen!

 

Apart from the obvious tribal divides and the religious Sunni-Shiite divide, there is another overarching problem; only one side will be left standing at the end of the day still seeking to rule the world and the world does not want anybody ruling the entire world except for their sacred and Heaven chosen leaders. In Iran that is the Supreme Leader whoever is currently in that position which right now is Ali Khamenei. Those with the Islamic State want their Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Ask the Western Leaders and they just want to have the old order restored and everybody at each other’s throats but leaving that to killing those within their national border within reason or they will remove you from power and the next idiot they leave in charge will start killing those within the border until it gets ridiculous at which point the Western militaries will come in and replace them with another opposition leader thus keeping the region forever embroiled in petty intra-fratricidal schemes and fighting instead of making any progress towards a modern cohesive society which can compete with Europe in any means of production and resorting to the only other thing they can do for currency, sell the raw materials within their borders to the Europeans who will then make the goods to sell to you and your people who are the chosen sect of the month.

 

Almost nowhere on the face of the planet is there actually nations whose leaders and people desire for all the rest of the world to do well and also desire their people and nation to be free to pursue that which benefits all their people the best and most rewarding way possible by the best available means. Often where one has a leader who appears to desire, there are those groups within the nations who desire to wrest power from that leader by any means necessary and not always within the structure of the society even be that a democratic style of governance with actual fair elections as elections can be so messy and your ideas are all about order, instilling and keeping order, order as you see fit to define it. Where you have a people that desire that the leader inevitable sees some injustice or place in the world where things are not being done in a proper manner as defined by their views, then they must put together a coalition of the willing and sometimes the not so willing and repair that problem until it no longer can bother them. This is sometimes done in a civilized manner otherwise called a trade war. Right now the civilians of Fallujah would welcome a trade war and settle for there being no leader anywhere with a say in their business, not even from amongst their own fellow Fallujahittes. We have to face it that Fallujah had it not so terribly awful under Saddam Hussein as there were plenty of other eggs to crack and/or fry before they came under his attention, never a good thing. Then saving the day came the Americans and their coalition of the willing under George H. W. Bush to free Kuwait and put Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein back to Baghdad preventing him from turning south and taking Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States thus gaining a monopoly on much of the world’s oil. Many question if it was worth the price as he remained in power which caused yet another destructive war whose costs are still not ended piling up.

 

Gulf War I was it worth the price A
Gulf War I was it worth the price B

Gulf War I was it worth the price C

Gulf War I was it worth the price?

 

Row 1) F16s Flying Over Burning Oil Fields Immediately After Set Alight by Saddam Hussein
Row 2) Israeli civilians in shelter from rockets (left) aftermath attack in Ramat Gan, Israel (right)
Row 3) Destroyed Iraqi civilian and military vehicles are left sitting on Highway of Death.
Row 4) Aerial view of destroyed Iraqi T-72 tank, BMP-1 and Type 63 on Highway of Death.
Row 5) Kuwait Oil Fields Ablaze, Sky and Ground Blackened as Camels Desperately Forage

 

The cost of a war is impossible to gauge until far after the ramifications are complete. By that standard the initial push by Persia into Greece which eventually led to the conquest of Persia and beyond by Alexander the Great which brought on Rome which fell into a morass of tribal fiefdoms and the Byzantines which fell before the Caliphate and finally knocked out by the Ottomans who fell in World War I leading to Sykes-Picot which leads to so many wars as well as World War I leading to World War II and the current mess we call the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the refugees flooding into an already bankrupt and financially desperate Europe and spilling into Canada and the United States where the race for the Presidency will be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the beat goes on, and the beat goes on…

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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