Beyond the Cusp

June 22, 2017

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Al-Jazeera and the Gulf States

 

One of the places where that fabric of the world is stretched the tightest is along the Persian Gulf with the Straights of Hormuz being at the near breaking-point. The fabric was ratcheted even tighter right before United States President Trump’s recent visit when Qatar backed out of the deal made which made the Trump visit possible. Following right behind Qatar were both Oman and Bahrain, who also backed out of the deal, leaving Saudi Arabia in a predicament which has its problems and its rewards. The problem is now Saudi Arabia must foot the entire approximately four-hundred-billion dollar deal over three years. The good side is Saudi Arabia will be arming themselves to parity if not exceeding the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The next problem is that Saudi Arabian Military is great at marching and wearing fancy dress and intimidating mostly unarmed protesters and putting down any aspirations for the Arab Spring within Saudi Arabia, which took almost five minutes after the Friday launch date when protesters were outnumbered by Saudi Troops in the streets. Then there was the Shiite Arab Spring uprising in Bahrain which was appearing as if they might overthrow their Sunni rulers until, you guessed it, Saudi Arabian armored columns used all six lanes of the connecting causeway sending troops to end the uprising (pictured below). The Arab Spring ended in Bahrain with just the show of force and not one person was killed. Overwhelming force has its place and advantages. So, the Saudis will be the eight-hundred-pound-gorilla with sufficient armaments for two such gorillas. In case these arms are required to defend Saudi Arabia, which includes Mecca and Medina being in Sunni hands, the excess armaments owned by the Saudis will be distributed to well-trained Egyptian troops. Believe it that if the Saudis are in danger from outside forces that Egypt will provide manpower and, if necessary, Pakistan is in agreement to provide the technology to produce along with, some claim, as many as a dozen nuclear weapons. Now we have the chess table set with only a few other necessities which will be revealed as we follow a possible story-line, a scarily possible story line.

 

King Fahd Causeway is the bridge between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

King Fahd Causeway is the bridge
between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

 

Currently, Saudi Arabia is less than thrilled with Qatar for their pulling from the deal. There are some who believe they did this as a means of financially testing or even injuring the Saudi Arabian Royal Family who are not as affluent with money overflowing coffers as many in the West believe. Of course, it goes without saying, that Iran was behind this idea for their friend and sometimes, more often than not, ally, Qatar. There are many, ourselves included, who believe that Iran not only asked forcefully that Qatar pull out right before President Trump arrived such that the Saudis would have no recourse but to take up any needs. Then it is thought that Bahrain and Oman were also requested under threat by Iran to also pull from the deal. This has set up a very tense situation in the area around Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and the length of the Persian Gulf with the Straits of Hormuz the shortest distance between the two rivals (see map below). Qatar is using their control over their news service, Al-Jazeera, which combines television, radio, cable, internet and print media. Much of their electronic media is transmitted via satellite making it next to impossible to block. Qatar has been using their visual media to almost constantly show the visit of President Trump and particularly his visiting sacred and sensitive Islamic areas with women not wearing hair cover or burkas. The women were modestly dressed but not to the strict demands of Islam. These pictures are being accompanied with charges that the Saudi Royal Family are not real Muslims and they have disgraced Islam with their reception of President Trump without forcing the women to be properly covered. These accusations and the near constant flow of the pictures are on order from Iran attempting to insult the Saudi Royals before the Islamic world. The divisions as they currently appear to be are as depicted below.

 

Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Gulf States and the Length of the Persian Gulf with the Straits of Hormuz

Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Gulf States and the
Length of the Persian Gulf with the Straits of Hormuz

 

The problem, and even possibly the intent, is the media assault on the Saudi Arabian rulers by Qatar can only end one of two ways. The first is that Iran orders an end to the constant attempts of insulting and defaming the Saudi Arabian Royal Family and Qatar along with Al-Jazeera move on returning to often broadcasting Iranian attacks on the United States and Israel with occasional mention of Saudi Arabia or Egypt, i.e. regular broadcasting. The other is the attacks on the Saudi Royals leads to their demand they stop or they will be considered as a declaration of war on Saudi Arabia and her allies. The stress of her allies is important. This could result in the Saudis sending troops into Qatar to close down Al-Jazeera and that could result in a reaction from Iran at the request of the rulers of Qatar. This has been the Qatari Ace in the Hole by which they are able to continue to attack their larger neighbor, Saudi Arabia, through their manipulation of their control of the media in the Arab world using Al-Jazeera. This has been their means of bludgeoning the Saudi leadership and governance in service of their Iranian sponsors. The problem is should there begin to be unrest and calls for the end of the rule of the Saudi Arabian Royal Family and things start to become close to a point where the Wahhabi clerics might believe they could take control directly through a popular revolt, the Saudi Royals would act before that point could come to be. This would force their hand and an assault on Qatar, and on the Al-Jazeera headquarters in particular, might become the most viable option.

 

Should things reach the point that Saudi Arabia uses their military superiority to squelch the media assault originating from within Qatar, this might be the flashpoint leading to a far larger military confrontation. Such an attack could result in an Iranian response attacking Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates and counter the Saudi Arabian assault in Qatar. This might not even be the worst result. Should Saudi Arabia respond to such an attack with strikes inside Iran, the response could become a general attack by Iran across the Middle East on the heart of Sunni Islam striking towards Mecca and Medina from both Yemen and western Iraq using Houthis as their shock troops out of Yemen while they strike across Oman to Yemen and possibly land amphibious troops in Yemen for a pincher movement striking Oman from both ends and using Hezballah as their shock troops striking down out of Iraq getting a running start from Syria southward. There might be one feel-good side-effect; the Iranians may find it easier to simply eradicate Islamic State in the process. Jordan may or may not be amongst the targets of an Iranian first strike against Saudi Arabia, but they will be a target if for no other reason as they would allow Iran to surround Israel and Jordan has tens of thousands of Palestinian Arabs who might just join Iran if they were given the right promises. This would be the definitive war between Sunni and Shiite Islam with the winner taking all of Islam or at least a huge step towards that goal if Iran wins and the end of Shia Islam if Saudi Arabia proved triumphant.

 

The truth be told, if Iran were to defeat Saudi Arabia, their number one rival and quite possibly the top of the Iranian bucket list ahead of the United States and even Israel, they would control the two most important cities in all Islam, Mecca and Medina, and gain a treasure trove of weaponry. With the good relations that Iran has with the Sudan and the natural enmity between the Sudan and Egypt, almost a sibling rivalry between the two former British colonies and still Arab colonies, truth be told, Iran would have a natural front with Egypt, the sole power between Iran and total domination of all Islam. This would place Iran a stone’s throw from establishing the Shia dream for the past thirteen-hundred plus years, the defeat of the accursed Sunnis who murdered their leaders and actual descendants of Mohammad and true leaders of Islam, or at least that is their story. Of course, the Sunni will tell a different story about renegade Muslims who are merely apostates.

 

This is one of those pressure points upon which the world may turn upside down, or right-side up, depending upon how you view the world’s current state. Where this is but one of the far too many breaking-points where the stretched fabric of the world is measurably thinner than average and which makes it a point where even the smallest disruption could punch a hole in the fabric from which a tear would soon start if the violence spread leading to a series of events insuring an ever larger ring of violence. Leading to World War I there was an assassination which led to a state of war that even before it was declared began tearing the world apart. Each side began calling in their promises of mutual support and before you knew it, most of the world was engaged in a struggle which after the lines settled simply stagnated with intermittent slaughters when one side or the other sent their troops into no-man’s-land rushing from their trenches attempting to reach the other side’s trenches. Both sides had this little invention, though under separate contracts and differing names, known as the Maxim machinegun (see image below). Maxim became wealthy and by the time the war ended and all the treaties were signed and borders established with the movement of populations, the resultant death toll exceeded fifteen-million.

 

Maxim Machinegun Trenches and No Man’s Land

Maxim Machinegun
Trenches and No Man’s Land

 

Making matters worse, the impositions, including and specifically monetary, placed on Germany were all but directly responsible for World War II and another approximately eighty-million deaths. All told, an assassination of an Archduke and his wife led to close to one-hundred-million deaths and the toll is still being counted as the Sykes-Picot Treaty is responsible for much of the trouble and dissolution of the Arab world, where things are sensitive and reaching a critical mass. Even if the current crises are calmed, the entire situation will simply rise to another similar point of overt pressure in the future unless a permanent solution which recognizes the individual tribes and allegiances. Even then, who knows, and who can even believe they can know. Until humankind learns to live one with the others despite their differences and when the concept of world conquest is forever laid to rest, we will simply live from one crisis to the next until one ultimate crisis ends the existence of humanity leaving so few humans that all knowledge is lost within two or three generations and humanity has to begin again from square one. Who knows how many times we have come to this precipice and fallen, once, twice, one hundred, how many? There has been evidence found of a former cataclysm and there are the ancient Indian texts telling of weapons with unprecedented destructive powers. The world once again has such power, the power to end all civilized life on the planet and cause an unprecedented extinction event exceeded only once or twice in all of Earth’s history. In the famous T. S. Eliot poem, “The Hollow Men” ends with the following two lines, “This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but with a whimper.” He was close as the last sound will be a whimper but all but immediately before that there will be a series of Earth-shattering bangs of near unprecedented destruction in all of human history combined as all the secondary nuclear powers release their destruction on all who are not fit to live by their definitions, which will be against the others and each other ending all, then the few who survive for a short period will finish with the whimper.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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June 13, 2017

Trump Sunni Middle East Plans to Crash and Burn

 

President Trump has planned this wonderful little arrangement for how to counter and defeat the Iranian menace hegemonic ambitions whose launch was assisted by President Obama and currently is assisting miring Russia in Syria. A quick aside, this Trump plan has very little if anything further to do with Russia, sorry kids. Trump’s master plan would be wonderful from a tactical viewpoint as it would add the Saudi Arabian money and weapons systems sold to them by the United States with the manpower of the Egyptian military and have them directed and assisted by the Israeli technical, intelligence, coordination and military superiority in an allied effort to oppose Iran. The Iran side is augmented by North Korean nuclear and missile technology, Chinese military plans and technical assistance, Iraqi military, Houthis and Alawite civil wars for expanding their spheres of influence, Hezballah terror infrastructure which spans the globe, and a recent influx of billions upon billions of American dollars with some in pallets and pallets of hundred dollar bills freshly minted and which were likely still warm when arriving. Iran and North Korea ally in coordinating their testing and development between their respective technical and physical abilities. On paper or in a game of Risk, President Trump’s policy might appear ideal. Unfortunately, in the real world it will run into some obvious and some not so obvious difficulties which will blow it to pieces. So, let us delve into the deep underbelly of this beast.

 

We will start with the obvious and work our way to the ridiculous in his perfect Middle East plan. First, no plan in the Middle East lasts more than thirty seconds from when it is attempted to be implemented. Second, plans which try to ally Arab nations with Israel, the Jewish State, or as they call it, the Zionist Entity, are guaranteed to be blown apart and possibly lead to a war to prove that there never was any such plan as soon as it hits general knowledge. Fortunately, or not so fortunate for us, BTC does not lead directly to general knowledge. The American mainstream media does and would more than happily place such an agreement made in secret very public while claiming that President Trump was out of his mind making this agreement public while they scream it from every newspaper front page and six and eleven o’clock news casts and radio news on the hour and at the halves. But this aside, they would wait until such a secret alliance of these abilities was most needed before making everything public, providing they could actually contain themselves that long. But Israel is more an inconvenience to blowing this plan apart. Allying Saudi Arabia and Egypt for any long-term agreement which requires their sharing responsibility and each allowing the other operational independence in command leaves large holes in any planning as each will assign the most dangerous and difficult field assignments to the other nation. Neither nation cares to take the more difficult upon themselves or place their soldiers at risk in an agreement with anyone else, as risking other nation’s soldiers is always preferable to risking your own. This was instrumental in their alliance against Iranian forces fighting in Yemen despite both nations having tactical and financial reasons to defeat that threat. Saudi Arabia has Yemen on their southern border which would provide Iran with a southern front against them in Yemen and a northern border with them in Iraq which would be intolerable and pose a difficult threat to address in any conflict with Iran. For Egypt, having Iran control the Bab-el-Mandeb strait at the southern exit of the Red Sea, this could make the Suez Canal useless to any ships Iran prefers to prevent passage. This would cause Egypt extreme financial difficulty as passage through the Suez Canal is one of the major inflows for funds to the Egyptian economy. Still, the two nations were incapable of coordinating and continuing an allied effort to fight the Houthis and prevent the Iranian efforts. Egypt pulled from the alliance without comment, normal in the Middle East, as they thought their losses were excessive for the effort share they had assumed. So, just getting Egypt and Saudi Arabia to play well together is enough of a difficulty and adding Israel to the mix is the same as throwing lighted Zippo lighters into a pool of gasoline while standing in a central island in order to remove the gasoline, it appears to work on paper but explodes in ones face in reality.

 

Trump in Saudi Arabia

Trump in Saudi Arabia

 

But let us assume for the remainder of the article that threats of being exiled from the military assistance of the United States will be sufficient to keep these three nations and the ancillary nations necessary to complete the alliance together. For the inquiring minds, the ancillary allied nations include the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, with some North African states whose addition is mostly inconsequential adding little military power but providing the appearance of a large coalition. So the alliance is rumored to have a number of Arab nations with reports that Israel is a silent ally though being crucial to the operational ability of the entire alliance as the Israelis have the critical command and control ability and experience as well as the intelligence capabilities and assets necessary for operational planning. The point of critical and highest contention would be the days immediately before any actions were required. This would be the absolute worst possible time for it to become common knowledge that Israel would be making decisions on where and against whom Arab forces would be fighting and that the Jews would be sending Muslims to fight other Muslims for the Zionist Entity’s benefit. Just imagine the destructive force a headline stating “Zionist Entity to Command Muslims Forces Against Muslims” would read as the one-inch print on the top half page of the New York Times (NYT). Exactly how long after that morning in New York and the NYT hits the streets and its news alarm gets around the world in seconds after 5:00 AM. That would be the absolute end of that coalition as every Arab and Muslim nation in the alliance officially announce their not knowing about the Zionist Entity’s inclusion in the coalition and demonstrably screaming they would never work with the forces of the Devil. That is why initially the mainstream media would be silent or even denying reports from Iran and their allies about the Israeli efforts as a part of the efforts for as long as such knowledge was not critical. Destruction of any Trump plans are best served when they will do the most damage to Trump and his Administrations even if doing so places the entirety of the free world at risk. Destruction of all that is good is but a small price to pay if Donald Trump can be brought low. The end of all President Trump attempts to accomplish is the main reason for having the mainstream media. News and accuracy are secondary to the deconstruction of all things Trump, that is the new call of news desks across the United States and much of Europe where Germany leads the anti-Trump charge.

 

The efforts by President Trump were almost completely ignored as he made his first foreign tour stopping in three critical points on the globe. Only the final stop was more photo opportunity than anything else, as the Pope has already made his disgust with President Trump more than adequately obvious. The work was completed by the time President Trump hit Rome and made coverage safe again. What was completely not newsworthy was that President Trump was presidential and had much success in his first two stops, Riyadh and Jerusalem. In Saudi Arabia President Trump met with fifty heads of Arab nations, all ruled by Sunni leadership. There was an agreement reached which simply placed a price-tag on President Trump’s visit and that was presumed to be shared between the three wealthiest nations, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia. The agreement was struck and the arrival of President Trump imminent when suddenly Qatar backed out of the agreement which immediately led to the UAE exiting right behind. This left Saudi Arabia footing the entirety of the bill but also will provide all the American weaponry to the Kingdom. President Trump made his disdain for the two nations reneging on their agreement as unprofessional and of causing extreme displeasure. President Trump was not overt but showed his disdain subtly through giving a cold rift to the defaulting leaders. Trump gave them the idea that business rules now applied to the dealings with the United States and any actions would be taken as insult and treated as serious affronts. President Trump made evident to all, there is new leadership and the taking advantage of a weakened United States Presidency was past and that toeing the line was now expected and nothing less was acceptable. Still, President Trump was honored by participating in a sword dance and was awarded the top Saudi honors all while the women in his entourage remained with their hair uncovered. This too was a statement that wherever the President of the United States visited, the rules of conduct of the United States take precedence. President Trump stated in clear protocols and conduct of his people down to the woman who carried his briefcase with hair to the winds, the United States has resumed her position of leadership and the world take note. This was not meant as insult to the Saudi Royal family or the other Arab leaders, this was a political statement meant to claim the highest seat in the yard. This was very possibly a lesson which was taken hard but accepted as reality has returned to normalcy.

 

President Trump may have set up the initial structure with the Saudi Royals and Egyptian President Sisi. Presidents Trump and Sisi were reported to have held a cordial and warm talk during the Riyadh summit. Now, on to Jerusalem and President Trump in Israel where the President made all the regular pilgrimages to Yad Vashem, the Prime Minister’s house for dinner, the Knesset and on. President Trump also made a first when he prayed at the Western Wall. Whether President Trump left a note in the crevasses will remain a secret as that is the nature of such notes, they are not meant for us here to know, they are meant for a higher force. There was another notable event which showed that President Trump is growing in the high office. He was shown evidence which should have come from his advisers, but they too are learning that they are in a whole new game with its own rules and atmosphere. Somebody, we all assume it was Prime Minister Netanyahu, introduced President Trump to some of the delicious realities on You Tube showing the real education of incitement and the actual incitement by Mahmoud Abbas personally. This led to the dressing down in Bethlehem. President Trump was apparently very perturbed and let Mahmoud Abbas know that lying to President Trump, and especially doing so blatantly with the truth so readily attained, was unacceptable and only earns one a place of scorn in the President’s circle. President Trump read Abbas the riot act making it very well known that further financial assistance from the United States would be pinned to the ending of financial rewards for terrorists and their families and an end to incitement. This should become evident in a complete loss of funding by the Palestinian Authority and perhaps also UNRWA as Abbas will not change nor will their education of hatred and murderous desires against Jews, not just Israeli Jews, but all Jews. This dressing down and allowing it to be known publicly is a new precedent setting act by President Trump. Apparently being on his bad side can become costly.

 

Should the rumors that President Trump desires setting up a secret alliance where Saudi Arabia and Egypt, begin working together again under the direction of the United States which also will have them working in some manner with the Israelis, on the qt; this has all the intricacies of a good spy novel. We have seeming enemies being allied by an overseeing superpower with a new leader who is unlike any other previous leader. The contrast with the previous holder of the office makes Trump a complete game changer. The meetings in Riyadh were likely the most dramatic and far reaching in that President Trump was speaking to fifty Arab leaders and laying down an entirely new set of rules for his time as President. We can bet that many of these rulers long for the previous leader or a close facsimile. Unfortunately for those leaders, for at least four years and barring any surprises, this is what they have to work with. At the other extreme, the Israelis thought they had the change of a lifetime. The reality came up somewhat short as they did not exactly get the complete and total reversal as hoped. On the other side, there were few who were not pleasantly surprised with the public dressing down of Mahmoud Abbas by President Trump. Still, everything is still in the potential phase where there can be many a slip between the bowl and the lips. It remains to be seen how much of what was displayed and what the reality will be once the State Department gets their input and inflict their anti-Israel bias. This is where there needs to be much swamp draining. The lack of moving the embassy was presumably an upsetting bit of news, though if honesty is permitted, this was actually accepted. The news that moving the embassy would very probably become used as the bargaining chip used as a threat against Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority and as reward for Israel is extremely distressing as it makes the whole move questionable. The reason this was no surprise here at BTC was because, something we had previously reported as being the mistake by Prime Minister Netanyahu pressing Iran as more important than all other issues. Prime Minister Netanyahu had stated that Iran was the only Israel problem and refused to discuss any and all other issues until the Iran threat would be settled. Some, including us at BTC, thought this emphasis was used too strongly and that these other issues are equally important as the defensibility of Israel depends on having a defensible depth at the middle of the country. The nine miles which the Green Line offers is not acceptable and Abbas and the Arab world realize this and that is why their demand is for all the lands. Somewhere in the near future Israelis will need to wake up and find new and inspired leadership. We hope that day comes soon as the new leadership has already made themselves known and obvious, now we just need everyone else to catch on and see the light. Hopefully this will happen before another anti-Israel President is elected in the United States and the threat to Israel become unbearable.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 7, 2017

The Times They Are a-Changin

 

The times, they are changing and in opposing directions and the two most dynamic forces behind these changes are both dealing with Islam but are from opposite directions, one pushing and the other pulling and the fate of the world depends on which one comes out on top and wins the coming argument. The pushing force is the one pressing Islam into new regions trying to press the borders of Islam throughout the world using the old forms of Islam which powered it coming out of the Arabian Peninsula, the spread of Islam through Jihad using the sword. The other force is trying to pull on Islam and bring it back to its initial writings where coexistence and freedom of religion and other freedoms recognized initially by Judaism in Torah and the driving concept of the Christian Bible though for over a millennium this was misrepresented by rulers in order to drive their ambitions. Christianity was eventually pulled back to its roots by the Protestant Reformation which demanded that Christianity meet its initial preachings of love, charity, harmony, and acceptance of the stranger, the precepts before the Roman Empire first set Christianity on the path of conquest which continued through the Inquisitions and finally died in the pulling back to the roots by the reformation leading to the Renaissance on to the Industrial Revolution which steeled the West as the great powers leading again to conquest and the colonialism which came to an end between the great wars, World War I and World War II. The Western World now sits at a crossroads and is vulnerable and vulnerable of falling before an invasion initially through infiltration by Islam “refugees” followed by a possible actual invasion within the century. The outcome will be determined by which force prevails in Islam and the order will be the most crucial determining factor and that perhaps will also determine the future for the United States as well.

 

 

We have covered the push of Islam into central Africa, Europe and Asia as well as their potential infiltration onto the North American continent, especially the United States. So let us inspect the pulling half of this equation, understanding that this is probably the more important and the one which the Western world can assist more readily, that they appear ready to control the infiltration which has spread an increase in terrorism directly in proportion to numbers of Islamic immigrant arrivals. One of the interesting meetings recently which much of the mainstream media outside of Israel all but refused to cover was President Trump and his visit in the Middle East. There was likely very good reason behind the lack of coverage, he acted and presented his case with Presidential demeanor. He did things which no President before him even attempted, let alone succeeded in all his attempts. President Trump met with the leadership of fifty Arab nations, yes, fifty Arab nations in Saudi Arabia and did not grovel or act condescending and instead took a presentation exuding his position of power demanding they toe a line he was laying down. When speaking of the Arab-Israeli conflict he made no mention or allusion to a Palestinian state or two countries or other reference which they have come to expect from the Presidents of the United States. He laid down expectations for them to change their actions regarding addressing and suppressing terrorism. He insisted they change the education process and resources such that terror and rewards for violent behavior and the superiority of Islam spreading it throughout the world by Jihad, though he did avoid the word Jihad to the best of our knowledge.

 

Then while in Israel, President Trump became the first President to visit the Western Wall and then to add to his visit, he prayed while at the wall. His Israel visit was friendly and warm though he still did not announce he was moving the embassy to Jerusalem, but he did not say he was not going to do so at some point which Nikki Haley said he still intends to accomplish this before leaving the White House. This was a refreshing change in tone from the relations with one certain United States President. Then President Trump went to visit with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem. This was reported on in some of the international mainstream media and even some in the United States simply because despite what were unprecedented actions, meetings and changes in relations, this was by far the most impressive. Many referred to it as President Trump scolding Mahmoud Abbas for lying to him in Washington D.C. and demanded that all payments to terrorists and/or their families end, otherwise all United States aid will stop, and that their education systems be revamped to actually teach as he had claimed, for peace with Israel and that all incitement be stopped, period. President Trump seemed even more furious when he informed Abbas that he knew and was fully furious and avidly incensed and fully irritated by the situation where Abbas himself was proved to purposely incite terrorism while also extoling and glorifying terrorists and that this too must end. This was a full dressing down unlike any previously seen in recent time even to include Hillary Clinton’s tirade berating Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as Secretary of State which presumably had lasted almost three-quarters of an hour. Reports claim that in the entire conversation with Abbas, President Trump never mentioned a Palestinian state or anything about independence for the Arabs under his rule currently. This was also entirely different and unprecedented. There is definitely a new sheriff in charge of the United States and he is not constrained by the old paradigms.

 

Since President Trump visited Saudi Arabia, there has already been a change which makes the new rules evident. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt decided to cut ties with Qatar and boot it out of an Arab coalition fighting in Yemen in order to pressure the nation to expel Hamas terrorist Saleh al-Arouri who was instrumental in the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teens. It is also reported that the terrorist Musa Dudin was also expelled by Qatar and that there may be additional Hamas individuals soon requested to leave the nation. This coming soon after President Trump made his crucial visit to Saudi Arabia and demanded that the Arab world take responsibility for ending terrorism of every kind, which has emanated from the Middle East and in particular from allies of some of the fifty heads of state who attended the meetings with President Trump, is an astounding turn of events by so rapidly responding to a visit from any United States President and may be quite an accomplishment, but do not expect the American media to notice.

 

There is another hero in the Middle East making a difference in Egypt. That would be Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. He has taken to the podium before the Imams who teach and run Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the leading Sunni institution of higher education in the world, and both times demanded that they bring their institution from its darker teachings which belong to years long passed and begin to bring Islam, Sunni Islam, into the twenty-first century. The first effort appeared to have likely gained more laughs and jokes in private as laughing to his face, even for these high-ranking Imams of Sunni Islam, really would have been over the top and undignified, and their dignity may have had them differ to the better parts of valor. After President el-Sisi made a second visit and did not shy from his demands, perhaps they began to realize that he was not a man with whom they could trifle. Al-Azhar University has now done what before would have been unthinkable, they have hired an instructor to their medical school faculty who is a non-Muslim. Have we used the word unprecedented already? Well, it applies here as well as this is all but beyond belief and is as if a three-hundred pound jockey rode a horse to victory at the Kentucky Derby.

 

Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt

Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt

 

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt has another surprise in store for the world showing a new direction for Egyptian leaders. When there were recent terrorist strikes against Egyptian Coptic Christians, an event which previously had seen police and even military personnel joining such attacks previously, this time resulted in Egyptian pilots bombing the terror bases in Libya. This was not a one off event but a response which has occurred multiple times. Imagine this, Egyptian pilots, from the nation where the Muslim Brotherhood was birthed in the 1920’s, have flown retaliatory strikes for terror attacks upon Christians. This truly is a new page in Egyptian culture and leadership and further proof that the ruling culture in Egypt has changed. Now we can hope that a few more things in Egypt can also see change. One of the first would be the illiteracy rate which can be addressed through increased availability of public schooling and requiring even the religious schools to teach reading, writing and basic arithmetic instead of solely concentrating on memorization of the Quran. Next will be something which will require change across the almost the entirety of the Arab and Muslim world, the end of anti-Semitism which has been a rampant disease which need be rooted out on every society around the world. Proof that anti-Semitism is a worldwide problem can be realized here.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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