Beyond the Cusp

November 24, 2013

Afghan United States Treaty on Hold Until After Elections

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai has agreed in principle to the deal hammered out concerning a residual presence for United States military personnel but has informed United States President Barack Obama that he will not be able to sign the agreement until after the upcoming Afghani elections in a few months putting off the application date into 2014. Needless to say, the spineless American President has accepted this demand without even a whimper. There is also the small matter of putting the agreement before the Loya Jirga, a council made up of over 2,500 tribal elders, for their approval which is a necessary step as they hold great influence, sufficient to unseat Karzai from the Presidency. The agreement is anything but a panoply of favorable restriction on powers the United States military personnel will be permitted to perform. The agreement basically turns one of the finest and powerful fighting forces on the planet into President Hamid Karzai’s personal riot control force. Some of the restrictions on the American personnel is that any mission undertaken must receive Afghani approval before being executed allowing for those within the Afghani government who are more loyal to the Taliban than the United States to warn any targeted Taliban personnel, the Americans are banned from entering any Afghani personnel residence making every single hut, home, apartment or other residence a safe hiding place for the Taliban and others who oppose the United States, as well as other restrictions making posing any threat to the Taliban and other terrorist interests virtually an impossibility.

 

The main reason given by Afghani President Hamid Karzai was, “my trust with America is not good. I don’t trust them and they don’t trust me. During the past 10 years I have fought with them and they have made propaganda against me.” While President Karzai was speaking a female senator interrupted him, shouting that any deal with the Americans meant betraying the country. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki spoke about the desires of the United States referring to the treaty stating that signing it “sooner rather than later is essential to give Afghans certainty about their future before the upcoming elections, and enable the United States and other partners to plan for US presence after 2014.”

 

But what is the reality behind president Karzai’s reluctance to ratify fully and sign the treaty now and wanting it to be delayed until after the elections? The reality is as obvious as it could possibly be, Hamid Karzai is basically demanding if the United States really wants him to sign the treaty then they had better make sure he wins reelection by any means necessary. He is basically pointing to the fact that his adversaries in the elections would likely not be treating anything to do with the United States favorably and would definitely demand that President Obama pull all American personnel from Afghanistan. The validity of his claims is unimportant because if even a few or even just one of his opponents in the elections for President opposes any American presence, then can President Obama really risk just waiting to see who wins and hoping for the best? Judging from much that President Obama has done concerning the policies of the United States in the Middle East he might very well not only gladly wait until after the elections but actually support an anti-American candidate behind the scenes. The sole reason that may prevent President Obama from such a nefarious move is that he has taken ownership in many speeches and comments over his Presidency and thus needs to show success at least on the Afghani front. Still, bending to the blackmail by Hamid Karzai that the United States turn a blind eye or possibly assist him in stealing the election, if that becomes necessary, just to preserve a treaty may be a price considered too high by a principled individual. I suspect President Obama will do whatever is necessary and provide President Karzai with whatever he requires in order to prevail in the upcoming elections much to the disgrace of the United States. This may be an election which will deserve some closer attention than would normally be normal for an election in Afghanistan. Any shady dealing should be investigated and if the United States State Department or the White House and its operatives have any part in influencing the Afghani elections then prosecutions should be considered. The reputation of the United States should not be sullied by such dealings as her reputation has suffered sufficient damage throughout the Middle East over the last almost five years.

 

Some notes on other fronts from the Middle East. Resulting from the pressures from President Obama and the State Department for the reinstallation of dethroned President Morsi and returning Egypt to Muslim Brotherhood rule rather than the current military rule which has thus far received the support of the majority of Egyptians, Wednesday came reports that Egypt reached a $4 billion arms deal with Russia designed to let Egypt at least achieve parity with the Israeli Defense Force. This deal is being underwritten by the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia who are also on the outs with the Obama Administration over the surrender to Iran over their nuclear weapons program. With Turkey also turning away from the United States and Israel feeling like she has been cut loose and is on her own in preventing a nuclear Iran and actually being opposed actively with both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry doing everything in their powers to assist and back every demand and desire of the Palestinian Authority, the United States sole friend in the Middle East may be the Iranians who are sworn to a “World without America and Zionism.” Could it get any worse? Just wait, there are still three years plus for even more misadventures in foreign policy and especially the Middle East. We did say repeatedly that Obamacare and the economy were of little importance in the last American Presidential Elections and that the main concern must be focused like a laser on foreign policy. The reasons appeared obvious to us but apparently history is going to be given every chance possible to repeat itself. We just hope that somewhere there is another Winston Churchill and we believe one candidate is Canada’s own Prime Minister Stephen Joseph Harper. What a world where Canada, France, Australia and Israel are left to lead the free world and save the world from another Dark Ages.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 6, 2013

Ready for Iraq War III?

As many other than just we here have noticed, Iraq has started to come unraveled and violence has risen to levels rivalling or exceeding those from before the surge brought relative calm to the country. There has been a resurgence of al-Qaeda with car-bombs and suicide-bombers, many of whom have targeted the police and security personnel and government offices in particular. There are a number of reasons which we will discuss but the overriding reason which has exacerbated all of the others increasing their deadly effects and that was the inability of United States President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to reach an agreement which would have permitted American forces to remain in Iraq and assist in establishing and maintaining tranquility. Many of the other problems are persistent throughout the Middle East and derive from the culture and manner in which the area has been ruled since the Biblical era. That is what made the United States presence so vitally necessary because the United States personnel and leadership were able to propose compromises and make such compromises acceptable solely because a third party was making the proposal and was responsible for any compromises that were required. Without the United States as mediator these compromises became impossibly difficult to arrange as neither side was able to culturally accept anything less than victory over any adversary and is culturally unacceptable. This has been evident throughout the so-called Arab Spring (we like to call it Arab Winter) especially in Egypt where this week the trial of former and now deposed President Morsi was to be tried for his role in the deaths of protesters but he refused to recognize the court’s authority as he still claims to be the rightful elected President of Egypt and refuses to accept any other reality.

 

One of the primary problems that face any governing body in the Arab world is that compromise is interpreted as a weakness and that the customs dictate that one is wise to follow the strong horse over the weaker horse. When a leader or government makes a compromise then those with whom they made an accommodation as being in a stronger position and the government is diminished as they were forced to make accommodations instead of forcing their will upon the situation as they are expected by the population to have done. The area has been under the leadership of Kings, Caliphs, Dictators, Emperors, Warlords, or other totalitarian or monarchial governance and this has produced a history and culture which values strength and dominance and seldom if ever compromise and acquiescence. This culture makes the governing forms of such as democracy, republic, parliamentary representation and other governances found throughout the industrialized world virtually impossible to have leading these nations in the Middle East and Northern Africa as these systems work on reaching accords through debate and compromise. The people other than a percentage of the youth find debate a weaker and untrusted manner to resolve differences when it is much preferred to simply demand and threaten and use brutish force in order to implement whatever position the leadership desired without regard for the ideas and concerns of the opposition. The question is how this caused the apparent breakdown in Iraq.

 

The problems came when Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki no longer had United States officers who would have enabled differences to be solved through compromises which the United States personnel would suggest and as the United States with its military victories was unmistakably a strong horse so their suggestion being implemented was seen as their dictating their desired solution despite that it was actually a compromise worked out between all the parties with the United States moderating. Without the ability for moderation the government returned to the norm for the culture which led to the Shiites who were in the majority and had the power eclipsing the Sunni who were now in the weaker position. This was aggravated and made worse as after the decades under Saddam Hussein and Sunni dominance many Shiites were ready for some serious payback. Early after the United States withdrew the vast majority of personnel and the remaining troops were placed in a base outside of the cities out in the desert, the Shiites led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki began removing many of the Sunnis in positions of power. They even placed a number of the Sunni leadership on trial for charges of crimes against the government where the charges were irrelevant as the verdict was predetermined. This led to the Sunnis returning to their position of weakness and under dire threat by the Shiite majority. So what do you think the Sunni did? They turned to the same people who had caused the United States to commit more troops in a strategic move named the Surge where the Shiites were made to accept Sunni near equal participation in government and the Sunni allowed and some even aided the United States in clearing out the elements from al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, the same al-Qaeda now invited to return by the Sunnis as this provided the protection and power necessary to blunt and possibly turn around the Shiite dominance and oppression. Now there are bombings and shooting and the beginnings of a war which will be every bit as destabilizing and deadly as the civil war is raging in Syria. The results of the renewed violence has murdered over thirteen thousand people with over one thousand in October alone.

 

Currently, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is in Washington conferring with President Obama and other government officials. The rumors are that al-Maliki may be requesting that the United States intervene and provide some answers to the situation that the mismanagement of having the dominant position of power in ruling the nation and refusing to compromise or do anything that might appear as showing weakness leading to the disasters now befalling Iraq. By providing answers al-Maliki means troops, at least sufficient troops to make al-Qaeda think twice about continuing the violence. The problem is the American people very likely do not care or would even permit without large protests for troops to be retuned into a war situation in Iraq. The problem for President Obama is that the al-Qaeda difficulties in Iraq are directly tied to the violence in Syria and in Syria al-Qaeda has been somewhat on the same side against Syrian President Bashir al-Assad but are fighting against what is the presumed United States ally in Iraq, al-Maliki. With the mishandling of Syria from the very beginning President Obama is now in the unenviable position of being for and against the same people as along with al-Qaeda working to aid the Sunnis in Iraq there is also their allies the Muslim Brotherhood, which also was the father organization from which al-Qaeda was spawned. So, will President Obama be supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Tunisia while being sort of supportive of them in Syria except when they attack the pro-democracy minority called the Free Syrian Army, and dead against the Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq? Add to this that the Shiites in Iraq have also cozied up and become very close to the Ayatollahs in Iran and have aided the Iranian efforts to preserve Bashir al-Assad in power in Syria by allowing overflights and transport across Iraq for Iranian supplies, weapons, materials, and troops mostly from the IRGC who are fighting against the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, the Free Syrian Army and anybody else not aligned with al-Assad. So, will President Obama decide to engage in Iraq War III and who can he blame it on this time, certainly no George W. Bush, thinking on it some more, maybe we should not rule that out.

 

Beyond the Cusp

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