Beyond the Cusp

November 15, 2016

Trump Trial by Fire Revving Up

 

Donald Trump has barely had the votes counted and has yet to even been elected officially into the office by the Electoral College, let alone been sworn in and the tests he will be facing from day-one onward are already manifesting themselves. In a fair and basically sane world an incoming President elect could expect the current administration to work with their transition team and address the most threatening and serious problems in order to maintain a smoother transition of power. That is very unlikely to be what we will be witnessing. President elect Trump can fully expect that in its final two and a half months in office that President Obama and his top cabinet officials and others in his administration will be want to raise a finger to remedy any situation. Instead we can expect inaction at best and complete failure to resist or hold any ground with withdrawals seemingly so poorly planned as to give the appearance of having been routed and lost all nerve to stand to defend any position anywhere. The announced suspension of routine services by the United States Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in response to increasing terror threats as a “temporary precautionary measure” will set the pattern for the remainder of the time until the Inauguration in late January of 2017. These partial and potential complete closures of embassies, consulates, smaller military instillations and virtually anywhere that American foreign based personnel even hear a loud “Boo!” in the night will simply make hitting the ground running impossible as much of the advanced frameworks will need extensive re-manning and rebuilding before they will even return to normal operations, let alone execute any needed actions.

 

This should be no surprise as it has been the modus operandi of the entire Obama eight years in the Presidency. We witnessed this with the immediate pull down and collapse of everything accomplished in Iraq, the debacle which was Libya, the response when bluff was called by Bashir al-Assad in Syria as well as reactions to Syria generally, the lack of coordination within NATO to the obvious infiltration of Europe and starting in the United States with embedded terror forces included as a fair percentage of the “refugees” allowed to enter in torrents. This resulted in waves of unvetted and unchecked immigrants against any terror watch lists. We saw it as the response to the situation in Benghazi which cost the lives of Ambassador to Libya John Christopher “Chris” Stevens and four others (pictures below) left unaided and alone to fight a hopeless battle holding on desperately waiting for the cavalry to ride over the hill and rescue them, but the cavalry was never even permitted to try. The assault on the Benghazi Consulate and Safe House will be recorded by history as an embarrassment not of Embassy staff or the meager security attachment as Former Navy Seals Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty put up a resistive fight holding a surrounded position under both direct and indirect fire for up to eight hours through the night before succumbing to a withering mortar barrage backed by significant RPG fire coordinated on their position all but destroying the entire structure. Theirs was a herculean and heroic stand which deserved being rescued and given, at a minimum, air support from the Mediterranean Fleet or any of numerous United States military operation throughout Europe. The abandonment of these four individuals was an unconscionable act of pure cowardliness and dereliction of duty on both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her superior, President Barack Hussein Obama. This will also be the model for any coming security threat, pull out all unessential personnel or even simply flee completely leaving everything behind, even those printouts with a large letter ‘C’ in the top corner classifying the document as sensitive information contained within. There will be no holding of ground between now and the inauguration under the guise, the excuse, of not wishing to establish policies and impose them on the incoming President though that is exactly what they are doing, imposing a policy of tucking tail between legs and scampering away and never fight any day.

 

Ambassador John Christopher Stevens and Information Officer Sean Smith Former Navy Seals Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty

Ambassador John Christopher Stevens and Information Officer Sean Smith
Former Navy Seals Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty

 

Meanwhile, as the enemies and others seeking to make threats and force the hand of the United States into complete routing before even the slightest of offensive gestures will be gaining more and more courage as these cowardly tepid responses at best and flight responses at worst become more and more evident as an actual policy. This will place incoming President Trump in a tighter spot than was necessary, but that is the whole idea. When your rules of engagement (ROE) read something along the lines of when facing any threat to security or personnel, at all costs do not discharge weapons as this may provoke a situation. The proper response is to hastily pack your personal belongings and any pictures adorning your cubicle or office, grab your awards and then make all haste to departing vehicles and depart. Those with weapons and charged to guard the building and personnel should depart last as once the people have left the building, why guard the building. Any classified State Department documents inside have likely already been pilfered from selected computer systems within the State Department which were cracked way back during a previous Secretary of State whose computers in her basement or wherever fed on the darkest recesses of the State Department and who knows where else, the White House, Pentagon, Joint Chiefs of Staff and even NORAD central command. Whatever was left behind is not worth defending as it is only information which has reached around the world twice over after being hacked. The new mission statement for overseas personnel is please do not make waves or cause a need for anybody to make a stand or protect anything as if it has value, just stay out of the way and maybe the President will get out of Washington D.C. without any further legacy, oh, wait, we mean damage, not necessarily legacy, that would have been mean spirited and we are supposed to be magnanimous because, hey, anybody remember why we’re supposed to be magnanimous? Well, somebody suggested we be nicer from now on and we promised, well, promised absolutely nothing of the kind, we will remain the mean-spirited skeptics we’ve always been. As the saying goes, “It’s worked this far, why change now?”

 

These actions of retreat first will collectively be one item which will have a definite and hard-hitting effect on the incoming administration as well as on President Trump. Hopefully the damage can be mitigated and a reversal can be implemented. Such a policy directive on day one or two can prevent further damage and should Trump manage to have any input before being sworn in, this should be high on the priority list as it will parallel with his intent to restore military funding and strengthen American forces making them more readily deployed. Trump would be advised to have ready to submit to the Senate an entire list of Ambassadors, chiefs of operations where the position is an appointee, any changes to the General Staff and other high ranking military positions, placement of ranking and overseeing staff for intelligence gathering and making the President’s daily briefings and all the major cabinet and other positions such as Attorney General. President Trump should also announce the name of the person to fill the Supreme Court vacancy caused by the unfortunate and untimely passing of Antonin Scalia and pass it along to the Senate. These items need to be a top priority and Trump needs to find where to strike the balance between established political entities and bringing in people from the private sector in order to make the changes promised and run the government as a profit making entity as far as productivity and strict budgeting. Granted, we understand that President Trump is somewhat stuck with the budget as it has already been laid out and approved but that does not mean that this is a completed job. Just sticking to the budget as written will be sufficient challenge. That said, President Trump’s first major hurdle where the bar could be raised higher than desired will be the next yearly budget and though it is not necessary to get approval until the fall, starting to propose and work with Congress as soon as possible will pay off in that the excessive lead time will permit using the secret weapon possessed by this administration, the people who voted for change.

 

Donald Trump’s Presidency may require utilizing the public pressure method of pressing Congress to ally with the President’s efforts. President Trump might consider making prime time (6:00 PM on the West Coast) addresses to the nation every three weeks or even more frequently and lay out his plans on what need be accomplished in the ensuing period. A President Trump should announce appointments he feels are necessary and explain who and what each appointee brings to the table. Such announcements will work best for those people Trump can convince to take the bite of a huge drop of income and placing their investments with a trusted investment agent who manages their financial affairs while they serve the people and the President. These actual civilians who are not beholden to any party or lobbying groups will be the greatest tool that Trump will be able to pursue and we hope he succeeds in getting those people he most desires and trusts. Vice President elect Mike Pence is going to be an indispensable assistant and advisor on who from amongst the political community can be trusted to perform in a position serving to cut waste and trim the budget with skill and ample enthusiasm. People brought from the business world already understand the idea of getting the most possible for the least treasure spent, allocated rather than the spend as much as possible so we can demand even more next year in order to finally take a stab at last year’s set goals. Trimming the government does not mean less services for the population, it means doing more with fewer employees and having only one team of four people to present a simple report instead of eight teams of five people and a committee to hear all the proposals and choose which three get to spend yet another year working on the project before the final team is selected and then set off to start from the beginning because objectives changed over the two and a half years it took to get this far. That is much of the current system which produces some of the greatest boondoggles known to mankind; oh, sorry, not mankind, peoplehood, that’s the word from the newspeak dictionary of double-plus good and approved words.

 

There is one set of events which are seldom talked of but which can break a President and fill them with such dread that they are reduced to inaction. These are the briefings from Military Intelligence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an alphabet soup of agencies and departments we have and never will hear about that exist in the darkest crevices of the world and country. An incoming President earns one-third of their grey hairs on these first days and the briefings they receive. A few weeks or even months the President will awaken sweat pouring off his body, eyes fluttering, breathing hard and unable to speak immediately. Once relatively composed he tells his wife to go back to sleep, it’s nothing and then goes to his study in the White House and grabs the secure phone and sets up meetings for 6 A.M. and everybody better be there and be sharp. Then the President will demand an update on what was first discussed right during that first week where everything was a whirlwind and the memories are blurred some. The President will know it is important when Generals and other advisors are made to leave the briefing due to not having ample clearances. These are the briefings we the people will never learn about but are behind a rare few of the conspiracy, world is about to end, martial law is coming lunatic fringe stories. That’s right, there are little grains of truth the size of a grain of sand within that gallon can of end of the world stories. The secret is finding that little grain and combining it with other grains of sand plucked from an hourglass, just one grain, and from a sandbox around the corner, another single grain and then there are many along the beach, the trick is knowing which grain and where it fits in the great sculpture which nobody has ever viewed the entirety all at once. There are those working on the knee joint, another on the big toe and yet another the parting of the hair but all except three never see beyond where their piece is to fit, the three seeing it all are the appointed head of the agency, the head of the entire project and the President, and the President gets to see most of these programs and their designs and this is what ages them, knowing exactly how close the world is to falling beyond the cusp and into the chasm of oblivion. Such knowledge and then watching the insane dancing with nuclear weapon of Kim Jong-Un, the North Korean Dictator and Supreme Leader; the bombastic proclamations for the destruction of America and death of Zionism by the Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei of Iran (what is it with this ‘Supreme Leader’ titles?); the madness of island building and militarily arming them to the teeth by Chinese President and an up and coming choice for Paramount Leader (they stress this term should not be translated incorrectly as Supreme Leader, whew, that’s a relief, not!) Xi Jinping, and Bashir al-Assad and Islamic State and Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (isn’t Caliph kind of like supreme leader?) or Putin or who knows who or what else as for all we know there might also be the Supreme Leader Gnodsnarkch who rules the Seven Planets and Three Systems of the Lizard Elites Empire who are negotiating with the leaders, all the other Supreme Leaders of Earth and we expect Presidents not to completely lose it from time to time. The only thing I can think to add is to pat Donald Trump on the shoulder and state, “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”
full poem Gunga Din by Rudyard Kipling.

 

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 28, 2013

Empty Threats

President Obama has managed to take the full might and power of the United States of America and make it as impotent as a child who threatens to hold their breath until they turn blue. Once again this week President Obama stepped up and reiterated his willingness to act should Bashir Assad or either rebel group utilize any of Syria’s extensive stores of chemical weapons. His actions were necessitated by reports of possible use of said chemical weapons as reported by the intelligence agencies of France and Britain. These reports coincided with a more strongly worded statement from the head of Israeli military intelligence that President Bashir Assad had indeed used his chemical weapons. The Israeli communicated that they had proof that Syrian troops had released Sarin nerve agent on two occasions and not just military grade tear gas whose use had been reported earlier. This was likely stressed as President Obama had discounted the use of the military grade tear gas as not being sufficient to cross President Obama’s red line on chemical weapon use. The Israeli report was initially confirmed by United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel who later retreated from his position claiming to have been surprised by the Israeli claim as they had not informed him while he had been visiting Israel earlier on the week. So, where does that leave things?

 

The thing about the Israeli claim is it was backed up by the Syrian rebel forces which are currently receiving nonlethal supplies from Western powers when they admitted to knowledge that Israeli agents were working within Syria and would quite likely have first-hand evidence of any chemical weapons use. For the rebels to actually admit to the presence of Israelis inside Syria is a rather bold statement that would not be issued lightly. Despite the mounting evidence that Bashir Assad has resorted to using his chemical weapons, President Obama has chosen inaction and a simple restatement of his initial threat that any use of chemical weapons by either side would result in immediate action by the United States. When the initial reports of potential use of chemical weapons was issued by Britain and France President Obama requested clarification as to which chemicals were known to have been released. When it was then reported that there were suspicions of possible caustic chemicals as well as the aforementioned tear gas, President Obama dismissed the rumored use of caustic agents dismissing them as equally possible industrial chemicals such as chlorine being accidentally released as a result of the use of explosive munitions. When President Obama backed off these initial reports it might have been understandable that the American threshold to qualify as chemical weapons use was higher than that of their European allies and Israel. But with the reports of Sarin gas being released on the battlefields of Syria one might expect a reaction from the United States at least somewhat stronger than words, especially a stale repetition of the President’s original warnings. Does President Obama really believe that setting a red line and then when it is violated, simply resetting the red line will gain respect from the likes of Bashir Assad, a treacherous dictator who has already murdered tens of thousands of his own countrymen and sent millions into exile will recoil in fear from mere words that President Obama has given indication he never intended to back with actual actions?

 

And Bashir Assad is far from the only world leader watching to see if President Obama is a credible leader who backs his words with actions. There is always North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, another one who likes to hear himself threaten. The one thing absolutely necessary to keep the likes of Kim Jong-Un impotent is to mean action when one threatens to use it. If Kim Jong-Un expects for a minute that any threat of action by the United States is not going to be actually executed, then he is very likely to act on his threats in the belief that there would be no real consequences. And Kim Jong-Un is not the most dangerous of threats on the international stage. There is Iran and the Ayatollahs with their nuclear project which thus far words have proven to be less than useless, yet here too President Obama appears to be satisfied to talk until a nuclear Iran is a verified fact and a half a dozen cities around the world lie as smoldering ruins. With new leadership in Mainland China there is a need for the words of the President of the United States to have great weight, not great doubts. It is for exactly such reasons that President Obama must not allow his word to become a matter for questions rather than being taken at face value and his every word heeded. It is for reasons of credibility that President Obama may find necessity requiring him to act against the Syrian chemical weapons threat. It is not necessary for United States military forces to put boots on the ground as all that is required to fulfill President Obama’s warnings against the use of chemical weapons would be to destroy the chemical weapon storage facilities. My bet would be that should President Obama decide to commit a couple of B-2 stealth bombers, as he did in a show of strength to Kim Jong-Un, to actually bomb the Syrian chemical weapon stores, Israel would be more than agreeable to provide accurate coordinates and might even offer to turn off the Syrian radar grid, though such would not be really necessary with stealth bombers. The old children’s rhyme, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never harm me,” does not apply in the realm of world politics where words can do one great harm, even break more than bones.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 25, 2012

Too Much Talk about Syria Intervention

There have been votes over whether or not an intervention to end the slaughter of innocents in Syria should be carried out by the United Nations. Thus far they have been blocked by the vetoes of permanent members Russia and China. There were rumors about six weeks ago that France and Turkey had discussed joining for an intervention to end the reign of President Bashir Assad allowing for a new government to be formed by the rebel forces. And there have been the biweekly rumors or accusations, depending on the source, that an Israeli attack is imminent to either remove Assad, secure Syrian chemical weapon stores, or simply expand their possession over the areas near the Golan Heights. Thus far none of the scenarios for a Syrian intervention has proven to be true. So, the killing of innocents and combatants continues; the shelling of urban and residential neighborhoods slowly destroys more infrastructure and lives; the casualties from the civil war and from terrorist bombings mount; and accusations of torture, mass executions, and whole families or groups disappearing amid fears of mass arrests. And now there is an additional rumor entering the equation, the fear that Bashir Assad has instructed the moving of his chemical weapons of mass destruction with a likelihood there are plans to use them in a last ditch desperation to turn back the tide and defeat the rebels with no cares about the consequences of such an eventuality.

Probably the best definition of the world’s reaction to the horrors ongoing in Syria might be that it is a situation full of sound and fury; signifying nothing. The one bright and intriguing item is that the one group of countries which have actually taken some actions, even if they have been tentative and have lacked having any real results, has been the Arab League. The Arab League, mostly Saudi Arabia, have backed the rebels with arms and technical assistance including communications equipment. Their most recent initiative, though unlikely to prove of any consequence, was to offer Assad for he and his family to be given safe conduct providing he relinquish control and end the civil war allowing for a new age to begin for Syria and her people. This offer is in stark contrast to the Russian rebuke of those claiming they had offered to give Bashir Assad asylum just a couple of weeks ago. The only path, other than military intervention, that could possibly end the violence and allow for the Syrian people to begin to repair their country and move towards some normalcy would need to provide Bashir Assad, his family and those who are part of his inner circle and their families asylum and also offer some guarantee that the forces still remaining loyal to Assad are given absolution for any of their actions during the civil war. As long as there are calls and threats to bring Assad and his remaining officers and advisors before the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, we can look forward to continued violence and even more desperate measures taken by both sides until either Assad and his inner councils are all dead or captured or the rebel leaders and most of the Syrian people who remain within Syria are dead. Unfortunately, neither side is going to simply surrender as both suspects, with good reason, that the other side will not accept any compromise and will execute all who had any part in the support of the other side. This is like every former revolution with very few exceptions; yes, the United States revolution was an exception; where whichever side prevails, they will execute every single person of any rank or position from the other side and any semblance of a trial might prove either a formality or unnecessary.

So, what should be done if a decision is reached or the situation forces a military intervention? The first necessity is for extreme discretion and air-tight secrecy as any forewarning of a coming military intervention has a good probability of provoking Assad into making rash decisions which have a possibility of his deploying chemical weapons on a broad and inclusive front, some might even say a likelihood after Assad’s threat to use them should any foreign troops enter Syria. Any military intervention would require the use of numbers sufficient to bring the desired results in as rapidly as possible while being sufficiently small so as not to be detected and arouse any suspicion that an attack is imminent. Such an attack will require that it be done without debate in any public forum which rules out United Nations being consulted, even the Security Council as Russia, China, or any of the other nations currently serving in the Security Council would likely make public any such plans. This implies the requirement that such an intervention be the result of a single country or at most two, maybe three, working together. The United States has the capabilities but would require the cooperation from a neighboring country to Syria. This would mean making arrangements with either Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon or Iraq. We can count both Iraq and Lebanon out as Iraq has already informed the United States in no uncertain terms they would never permit an American attack on another Muslim country from their soil and Lebanon is currently ruled by a coalition headed by Hezballah who are allies of Bashir Assad. Israel would appear to be the most likely to keep such activity under wraps but launching from Israel risks triggering a larger regional war. That leaves Turkey or Jordan. Both countries would likely not allow such an action and also would be risky as far as secrecy is concerned. That would mean launching an attack from the Mediterranean Sea which would require extensive logistics which compromises any chance of secrecy. Odd as it may seem, the only country that likely could intervene to bring the slaughter in Syria to an end would be Russia, but that is a virtual impossibility as Russia has been protecting Assad thus far. I would like to say stranger things have happened, but I am at a loss to think of one such example.

Beyond The Cusp

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