Beyond the Cusp

April 10, 2017

Did Trump Just Give Putin a Way Out of Syria?

 

The article by Mark Langfan for Arutz Sheva is a good read and has some interesting propositions. His optimism and suppositions would make the world a safer place if they came to fruition but perhaps we should scale back the ideas of future cooperation and settle for the possible over the preferable. Peace and secure and unchallenged borders throughout the Balkans would be wonderful but are not exactly possible as the spirits there are too unsettled and restless. Further, it is not likely that Putin would settle for just one-third of the Ukraine plus the Crimean Peninsula as he desires the weapons manufacturing capabilities in the central regions of the Ukraine and all the wheat fields to feed all of Russia just as Stalin had done. Putin would never allow his prize to become part of NATO. But the one interesting piece from the article was the exit policy which, with the world and their condemnation of Bashir al-Assad over the release of Sarin nerve agent on a civilian population, gives Putin the perfect excuse. His theory is Putin will use this incident to pull his support for al-Assad and then working with NATO, or with Trump to be more accurate, will place an acceptable, and presumably pliable, leader in Syria in return for the two naval bases and airfield and then everyone will be free to remove ISIS, the Islamic State, working in coordination. We hope at least this part of Mr. Langfan’s exercise in a proposed future in Syria and the rest of Europe, the Balkans and Ukraine will come to fruition. It almost appears that Mr. Langfan believes that Presidents Trump and Putin are cooperating in a pact of mutual endorsement and support, likely a misconception, but still appears to permeate his thinking.

 

Unfortunately, thus far President Putin appears to be stanchly defending Bashir al-Assad and placing the blame on the munitions kept presumably by the rebels, possibly ISIS, at the targeted location. That is not the actions of a man who is planning on deserting al-Assad to replace him with anyone, especially a Sunni. Russia is not about to alter their cozy relations with Iran either. Had Russia any plans on removing al-Assad and deserting their support for Iran, the delivery early this year of the S-300 anti-aircraft batteries would never have happened. Russia is firmly committed to the Shia cause and the projected plans by Iran to spread Shia Islam across the Middle East and eventually on to Northern Africa and beyond. What the Russian plans are, is quite a mystery but the Iranian plans are an easy read as it is all in their holy books under Jihad.

 

The Mullah of Iran intend on spreading Shia Islam to every corner of the globe, including Russia. Their plan is not to accomplish this by this year or even in the lifetime of the Supreme Leader nor the next Supreme Leader or necessarily the next or the next but eventually there will be one who does finish their destiny. The leaders of Iran are assured that their viewed destiny cannot be prevented because it was written in the Quran and Allah’s will can never be denied. Of course the Sunnis, such as Islamic State or the Royals in Saudi Arabia, also believe the same verses guarantee their eventual supremacy of the entire world. I know what some are saying, both sets of what some of you are saying. One group is claiming that they cannot both be correct and there is another group simply exclaiming for us to give them a break and are we really trying to push that crazy Islam intends to conquer the world canard? The latter groups will claim that nobody still believes they can honestly conquer the world and that the idea of conquering the world went out after the death of Alexander the Great, when Rome fell, with the end of the British Empire, or when the Soviet Union collapsed. Well, here are a few little clues which may answer a few doubts. First, we are not claiming anything new with the idea that, Islam will conquer the world because it is Allah’s will, that is in the Quran. The Quran can be confusing for many reasons, first of which is it is not arranged in chronological order, it is arranged for ease of children memorizing it starting young so it is in order from shortest to longest. For more information we wrote an introductory article a number of years back which we should update when we get a chance.

 

As far as nobody thinks they can conquer the world any more, allow us to mention a few other than our Islamic friends, allow us to introduce the Chinese in command of the mainland who have yet to surrender on the concept of a world ruled by their improved version of Communism with a touch of Capitalism, and there is Putin who was sold before he became a member of the KGB that Russia must rule everything. Also, there is our chubby friend Kim Jung Un who is just insane enough to still think he will be the one though he can be discounted due to lack of sanity and we are sure there is someone else somewhere who cannot let go of the megalomaniacal hope that they will one day rule the world, if not the universe. Just because the western world reached the conclusion that the world was not capable of being conquered and it was more profitable to engage in commerce does not mean that everyone else in every other part of the world also saw such as the only sane result and still believe the best way to attain world unity is not cooperation but by their singular conquest of the world or the complete domination of their philosophy, rules and religion. The world does not run under one philosophy or one set of understandings. That has been a somewhat difficult belief to have some in the western world to understand as they honestly believe that the rest of the world has or will adopt western culture and ideas as they honestly believe that it is superior. Surprise, that is also a form of conquest of the globe through a less violent means, by cultural dominance erasing all other cultures. One of the problems with this idea is that not all of the globe has electricity and many nations closely monitor all information and even music from coming within their borders. Some manage this through propaganda or religious edicts and strict enforcement.

 

What matters is that there really are bad people by western standards of Judeo-Christian morality. Don’t start rolling the eyes at the use of the worlds Judeo-Christian morality as that has been the dominating force in the western world which allowed for the scientific revolution and the progression to the separation of church and state which allowed for the technological progress of the last few centuries. That was not universally the case and as the western world made great progress and appeared to become dominant, the Islamic world crept into their shell and believed that returning to their original roots when they were dominant, the seventh century through eleventh century when they were on their way to conquering the world (see map below). Islam has been waiting for their opportunity to return to preeminence. The Saudi Arabians believed they could buy that future with their oil wealth along with the other Arabian Gulf States, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and have been buying the necessary weaponry over the years and have been supplying much of the arms and funding, through back channels for deniability, for the Islamic State, formerly ISIS. They were the money behind al-Qaeda, provided fifteen of the nineteen hijackers on 9/11, have assisted the Wahhabi sect of Islam which have their own designs on world conquest and have expended too many American and allied soldiers fighting their wars to keep them safe. Some concepts and beliefs die hard and Islam promise from Allah of ruling the world might just top the list.

 

Spread of Islam Across North Africa and into the Iberian Peninsula

Spread of Islam Across North Africa and into the Iberian Peninsula

 

The conclusion of this is that Putin has signed on with Iran and the Shiites for better or worse as the Sunnis betrayed Russia when they switched sides changing over to American arms and protections. The odds are Putin not only remembers the betrayal but that it weighs heavily on him and is a part of his reasoning of supporting Iran. He likely sees Saudi Arabia as the leader of the Sunnis and the main reason why he will not betray Iran and thus stand by Bashir al-Assad. As for was al-Assad responsible for the Sarin Gas chemical release, that will remain something which might be discovered in whatever ensuing investigation is conducted. That also could depend on who does the investigation. It is possible there will be multiple investigations with them being at odds with one another depending on which side conducts the investigation. Such is the state of our world and it could not be more dangerous.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 9, 2017

Trump and the New Syria Policy

 

Trump has a new Syria policy which, except for one major change, which may not even really be any change, looks awfully similar to the Trump old Syria policy. What we witnessed last Friday was the Trump policy on the use of weapons of mass destruction against civilians. It mattered not whether it had been Syria, North Korea, Libya or any other place where such hideous acts might have been carried out. Wherever there would have been any use of chemical, biological, nuclear or any other weapons of mass destruction against civilians; whoever or whichever nation or leader who would have utilized weapons of mass destruction murdering any number large or small of civilians; would have probably been the recipients of an American strike by Tomahawk Cruise Missiles or B-52 long-range heavy bombers or other long arm of United States military reach to send the message that the United States would no longer stand by and simply twiddle our thumbs or make empty threats setting erasable red lines against such use of these weapons. The message might even have been extended for any mass murdering of civilians using even normative weapons such as barrel bombs or even artillery bombardment. This was President Trump announcing that the United States of old has returned and that nations and their leaders will be held responsible for their actions. We bet that exactly what Trump announced as a challenge to the rest of the world during his short commentary on the Syria attack was the meat that we should take away from the action against Syria, that he desires leading the world in efforts to end the horrors of terrorism by targeting the terror leadership.

 

So, what about this war against Syria everybody claims President Trump just declared? Well, first thing is that, as a number of Congresspersons mentioned, Congress is the body of the government which declares wars and also must be conferred with and approve any sustained military engagements. If President Trump plans an extended military confrontation against Syria, he will be required to get Congressional approval. We would advise not holding your breath waiting for the speech from President Trump before Congress asking for either a declaration of war or an extension for military operations in Syria. President Trump was simply sending a message with an exclamation point. His promise not to enter the Syrian war remains in place as does his promise not to get mired down in any Middle East war. Syria will remain a Russian playground unless Bashir al-Assad has not learned his lesson. Even if Assad is thinking that he might just desire to test the mettle of this new American President and see if this was just simply a one-off and that President Trump simply really is no different than his predecessor, President Obama; the odds are that Russian President Putin likely would advise him against any such stupidity. Even if Bashir al-Assad did not get the message or believes the message which was sent, we can trust that President Putin definitely got the message and that will serve just as well.

 

Donald Trump

 

But what about the long term cost of this military adventure? Has President Trump completely alienated President Putin? After all, President Putin did cancel the agreement where the United States and Russia exchanged information between their military commands so as not to have any misunderstandings or run any risk of their two militaries running into one another as a surprise. That action by President Putin was more posturing than actual anger as that communication likely was used before the attack so that the Russians were advised, likely with insufficient time to warn the Syrians and just sufficient time to get their own people to safety. Even if the Russians were able to warn the Syrians, the message still was received and both leaders, Putin and Assad, likely also know if another such punitive attack should become necessary, there will be no warnings next time. This was a message for more than Assad or Putin; this was a message to the world and most definitely was not a declaration of the United States entering the Syrian war. Those claiming such are simply attempting to be alarmist and are simply people who were not strongly supportive of Trump and were seeking a reason, any reason to run from him and joining those bashing him daily on social media. Those others who would love nothing more than for President Trump to get mired down in the Syrian war and have come out of the woodwork to support this military actions and are calling for more follow-on military actions are not friends of the President and are not seeking the best for him. These are the ones who have opposed President Trump and his non-interventionist policies and are hoping beyond hope that they can finally force him into supporting their policies. They will lose as President Trump if nothing else is his own man and will do as he desires. He signaled exactly his desired path during the campaign and this attack was no deviation.

 

On another front, this attack should remove some of the silliness that President Trump was nothing but President Putin’s marionette. The distraction from the real scandal should be dead and buried and we can now get on to looking for how deep the rabbit hole which starts with President Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice and likely leads right to the President himself. Even if the Russians did actually purloin e-mails from the Democratic National Committee and from Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chief, John Podesta, e-mails and make them public, had the media been worth their salt they would have found this information themselves. The Democratic National Committee e-mails were not stolen anyway as it is already a known fact that they were leaked by somebody inside the DNC. This means that the media was probably given access to this information and decided to sit on it as it did not serve placing Hillary into the White House. That would even include FOX News as many of the reporters and editorialists even at FOX were in the, “Anybody but Trump Camp,” even if that meant Hillary Clinton. It took somebody not so much interested in the election as they are in releasing anything which was factual and the public should have the right to know. Information on a Presidential candidate definitely fell into those criteria. That was likely the main driving factor behind Wikileaks putting out the information which was in those communications. They actually provided a service for the American voters by placing before them news which the media refused to provide despite its obvious importance. These leaks were more of a shaming of the media than it was a shaming of Hillary Clinton, as it was Hillary Clinton which shamed Hillary Clinton. President Abraham Lincoln loved the truth and trusted the people and his words should be revered by the media and rejoiced by bartenders. President Lincoln is quoted having written or said, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” We too favor his opinion, waitress, another pitcher if you please.

 

Pitcher of Beer

Pitcher of Beer

 

Kidding aside, Wikileaks should be given a great amount of thanks for revealing truths which the American media refused to release. Where we doubt that their releases actually cost Hillary Clinton a single vote, but we do believe that they may have pushed a few wavering voters to change from simply sleeping in and then going golfing to actually voting for Donald Trump. Our friends in Michigan and Wisconsin will tell us that their going for Trump had nothing to do with people not going to play golf; nobody plays golf there except in July or August because the rest of the year the weather and lake effect storms make such an unpleasant venture. Whatever those few people who were swayed by the information, the truths, released by Wikileaks may or may not have made the difference, but we doubt they did sway the election for Trump as the two camps in the United States have drifted to such extremes that there are probably not sufficient people sitting on the fence and the majority of voters are all from each candidate’s base. The problem is for the candidate who does not excite or have the trust of their party base of voters. As far as getting into the war in Syria, that would have been Hillary’s game, not President Trump. We can close telling our friends in the United States and elsewhere, President Trump was taking a shot across the bow of any state actor who might be misjudging him and thinking that they can use weapons of mass destruction or any weapons indiscriminately, and they had best rethink, as that is something he will not suffer. Instead, President Trump will make such a reckless leader suffer and take the side of any suffering people as long as it will not lead to harming the United States. Do not get to thinking President Trump changed as his number one love and devotion outside of his family is his country, the United States of America.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 7, 2017

What Assad Chemical Attack Means for Israel

 

Assad still has no respect for President Trump, the new American President, who he expects to be no different than President Obama. He has basically done an ‘in your face’ chemical agent attack on the Syrian people once again testing the nerve and limits President Trump might impose. But what does all of this have to do with Israel? Well, if Bashir al-Assad has so little concern for his own people, fellow Muslims, even if they are Sunni and not Shia, how much concern would he have for the Jews in Israel? The answer is obvious; None! So with this knowledge the question the Israeli leadership should be considering is what, if anything, should they be considering. So, what would we be considering were we in their shoes?

 

The first thing we would do if we were in Prime Minister Netanyahu shoes is make a call of convenience to Russian President Putin. We would ask how’s the family, how’s the weather in Moscow, did you sleep well last night, and then ask, what do you say we talk a little Bashir al-Assad. When Putin says he does not desire to talk about anything to do with Syria the next thing that should be said, would you like to talk or should we simply act? That ought to get Putin’s attention. Then there would come a serious discussion about Putin shortening the leash on his pet dog in Syria or Israel will take care of the problem. Then we would remind Putin that the KGB is not the only Special Forces trash removal specialists in the world. Simply let Putin know that should Bashir al-Assad ever use chemical agents again that it would be one of the final acts of his already too long life. We would then thank Putin for his assistance in advance and tell him to feel free to call should any problems begin to appear that might need discussion and express Israeli willingness to always discuss any problems or difficulties which may present themselves in relations between our two nations. Then we would thank him for his time and express the hope that there would be no further need to discuss Assad in the future.

 

Vladimir Putin and Bashir al-Assad

Vladimir Putin and Bashir al-Assad

 

There would be no need to tell the world or to make any threats or rattle any sabers. Such posturing would only act as a challenge to Assad to go ahead and use these weapons again simply to prove that he is not afraid of the Israelis. By engaging the Russians, that path might prove to allow for them to apply soft pressure to prevent any further use of chemical weapons in Syria and also against Israel in any future military confrontation that may arise between Israel and Syria and might even prove to be a warning to Hezballah leader Nasrallah also that such weapons use would result in his being hunted down. Unfortunately, there is no warning which would have any effect on the Iranian leadership as their actions are guided by fanatical religious fever where no amount of threat to the leaders will turn them from their decisions for using any weapons, especially against either Israel or the United States as they feel that they are being commanded by Allah to wipe out both nations and take their place ruling the entire planet. What makes the Iranian leaders even more dangerous is their fanatical belief that should they fall in such efforts they would be rewarded in the afterlife and the next rulers would simply follow with their efforts and eventually their efforts must succeed as Allah has promised such.

 

Trying to deal with Iran is fruitless as they are on a religious quest which they believe was assigned them by Allah and thus their lives are meaningless in comparison to their charge by Allah. Their belief cannot be swayed by reason or threat as to them such would only serve to send them to Paradise in an afterlife filled with unending pleasures in lush environs with rivers and waterfalls and all the physical things they were denied on earth. They believe they are but tools and part of something far greater than themselves which has been predetermined and already set in motion and their part is but a brief role which will more likely to be completed by their successors which is perfectly wonderful as far as they are concerned. Nasrallah is also a religiously inspired individual but also has proven to be very fond of his own life. This has been proven by his spending much of his life hidden in a bunker presumably to prevent any Israeli strike killing him. He more often than not does not appear in person and makes his appearances by video feed or recorded video also presumably for his safety. These actions stand in stark contrast to the Mullahs who almost always appear in person often announced well ahead of time with little if any regard for their safety. They have no apparent fear of an Israeli strike almost as if they expect they have their lives protected by Allah. Bashir al-Assad also has shown actions which point to his valuing his life very much. He had a large security force assigned to one thing, protecting his life. These soldiers were considered elite, well-trained, expert security officers who would be willing to give their lives to protect Bashir al-Assad, similar to the Secret Service in the United States and other similar security forces throughout the world protecting numerous world leaders. Religiously driven leaders who are more concerned with religious fates than their lives do not usually surround themselves with large security forces or use remote video when making speeches or other appearances.

 

The facts pointing to the fact that both Assad and Nasrallah take great concern and care in protecting their own lives means that any warning which is taken seriously by these men could serve to prevent these men from acting in undesired manner. This would also imply that by sending such a serious warning through Russian President Putin to al-Assad with having him alter his actions in the future would imply that he and possibly Nasrallah might now be persuaded against using weapons of mass destruction against Israel. Such a reality could be very precious in future scenarios which may come to fruition where Israel and either the Syrian or Hezballah in a war against Israel. The use of such weapons as part of a war where Israel was engaged with Syria or Hezballah has been a serious concern, for both the people and especially the government. The use by Assad of weapons of mass destruction has sent chills through much of the world and especially many Israelis as anybody using such weapons on his own people would be little concerned with using such against others, especially Israel with whom he considers them mortal enemies. When President Obama backed away from his set ‘red line’ the world should have realized then that Assad was an unstable individual who has no regard for the lives of others. His use of chemical agents, barrel bombs, and other bombings and other attacks on civilian centers relentlessly should have set the world on edge as the fact that Assad was using such weapons without any opposition would allow any other megalomaniac with such weapons, say some leader in North Korea, to also turn to using such weapons expecting no reprisals. That is the reason that Assad needs stopping and as Israel has the most to lose from Assad’s use of such weapons, they should consider an intervention, and using the Russians is probably the most efficient means. Anyway one looks at this recent use of chemical weapons by Assad, the world need make sure that this was the final time and the only considerations should be what means should be utilized in assuring that Assad never again uses such weapons, even never again using any weapons would be preferable.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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