Beyond the Cusp

June 30, 2015

The Thirty Days of Ramadan


While there are thirty days in the Muslim holiday of Ramadan as of the writing of this article we are merely approaching the midpoint of the holiday and have but a dozen days’ worth of news to pull from; thus, this is more like the Twelve Days of Ramadan. Perhaps it would be worth it for us to recall back in the days of the Second Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan where the allied troops were warned by the commander of the combined forces, the commander of each nations’ forces, and likely had the reminder driven home by every level right down to your squad leader. Then, additionally, whenever your squad was to perform a patrol the warnings were given in reverse starting with your squad leader to your platoon officer to your company commander and potentially to your battalion commander and, should one be extremely fortunate, your brigade commander to whatever was appropriate to the size of the mission and numbers of troops being dispatched. The warning would quickly sound like a broken record (for those who have never seen a turntable, let alone a record player, a broken record would have damaged tracks causing it to skip, backwards in this case, and repeat the same thing until nudged forward) warning the troops not to eat when Muslims were able to see your actions as this would be insensitive to their fasting during the daylight hours and eating after sundown. Be extraordinarily polite when dealing with a Muslim and be respectful of this holiday of ultimate importance in Islam, and whatever one did or whatever the circumstance nobody, they would usually emphasize this by adding, and I mean nobody, then continuing with the admonition, should discharge their weapon particularly aimed at a Muslim as such action would be desecrating and disrespecting this holy month of Ramadan. For some untold reason these rules of respecting Ramadan by restraining from any use of force was not part of the observance of those the allied troops in Iraq and Afghanistan were observing as they continued their usual ambushes and planting IEDs (improvised explosive devices which served a similar purpose as mines and were simply more ingenious in their construction and camouflage) or other steps of violence against the infidel troops besmirching not only their sacred lands but their sacred holiday by presenting themselves as targets forcing them to shoot at them during Ramadan.


Getting down to the serious discussion, Ramadan began on Thursday, the 18th of June, but with Islam using the same changeover of days like the Jews the start is actually the evening before at sunset and will continue until Friday, the 17th of July ending at sunset. Thus far it has been a busy first half of Ramadan despite the allied troops has almost completely disappeared from Iraq and being pulled out from Afghanistan. It was kicked off in Israel with the regularly scheduled rioting, vehement protesting any anti-terror activities such as checkpoints, despite their numbers being decreased for the entirety of Ramadan while concurrently issuing additional travel permits so that Arabs from Gaza desiring to worship at the Temple Mount could do so if they placed any importance on such activities being performed there. These passes were not honored for one entire day in response to rocket attack made the night of Tuesday, June 23 on Israel during Ramadan out of Gaza. The ramifications concerning Ramadan violence took a serious turn for the worse on the second day of Ramadan which was June 19 when Danny Gonen and a friend stopped their vehicle as they were leaving a spring they had visited to assist an Arab man who flagged them down appearing to be in distress. It was then when the Arab man upon approaching the vehicle opened up with a handgun shooting both young men and murdering one of the young men, twenty-five-year-old Danny Gonen, who died as a result of his wounds soon after being airlifted still in an unconscious state to Tel Hashomer Hospital. His friend, whose name has been withheld, received moderate to serious wounds with gunshots mostly to his arms and legs and was taken by ambulance for treatment at Tel Hashomer Hospital. His condition after arrival and treatment at the hospital was reported as moderately injured but stable expected to recover.


Just two days subsequent on June 21 a Border Patrol Officer was stabbed repeatedly by his Arab attacker with his most serious wounds resulting from a stabbing wound to his neck. Before losing consciousness the Border Officer managed to shoot and fatally injure his attacker preventing him from injuring others at the scene of the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. The officer regained consciousness after treatment some time on Monday and is expected to recover from his wounds. Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino paid him a bedside visit on Monday morning and was quoted to have told the officer’s family, “They told me what happened to him after the stabbing, it enhances his heroism.”


The next day, Monday, June 22, the body of a farmer, David Bar Kapara aged 70 years, was found in his orchards. David Bar Kapara was murdered by what was described as Arab laborers who illegally entered Israel seeking employment and who were likely told that David Bar Kapara and not having found work they struck out and murdered an elderly man little capable of posing any risk to his attackers, a craven and cowardly act. These individuals, when caught, should be charged with having committed a brutal and horrific act, murder of the most serious kind, premeditated as they likely demanded employment threatening David Bar Kapara, a seventy-year-old farmer who was the most innocent and helpless against such an attack by so many attackers and then beat him to death. They could have simply stopped at any time while he would have survived but instead continued the assault like animals in a killing frenzy. They deserve to be treated as the rabid animals their attack closely imitated with its depravity and brutality resulting in cruel murder on a defenseless elderly farmer without any provocation and resulting merely because of their frustrations, a motivation hardly the equivalence of their horrific actions.


Then come Friday, June 26, there was an assault on an IDF manned checkpoint in the Jordan Valley. The initial investigations have revealed the perpetrator stepped from his vehicle and proceeded to open fire on the soldiers without managing to hit any of them. A short but decisive gun battle ensued resulting on the attacker’s death and no injuries of the soldiers stationed at the checkpoint. This is being treated as another Arab terror attack. The terrorist was armed with a modified Carl Gustav automatic weapon pictured below. These attacks and attempted murders with one target having suffered fatal wounds have represented the unfortunate upswing in terror attacks both in severity and frequency with these attacks having taken place solely in Israel.



Modified Carl Gustav automatic weapon used in the Friday, June 26, 2015, assault on an IDF manned checkpoint during Ramadan celebration and observance

Modified Carl Gustav automatic weapon used in the Friday, June 26, 2015, assault on an IDF manned checkpoint during Ramadan celebration and observance



Come Saturday night an ambulance and its driver were shot upon while returning from Ofra driving on the recently opened new highway adjacent to Beit El in the Binyamin region of Samaria, north of Jerusalem. The terrorist was standing next to his car with its engine running when, without any warning, the terrorist brandished his weapon and opened fire hitting the vehicle three times but injured nobody. The terrorist then proceeded to fire at the next vehicle right behind the ambulance. After apparently missing striking both vehicles the Arab shooter decided to call it a night and climbed back into his vehicle and sped off out of sight. The ambulance driver was quoted revealing that, “We get a lot more attacks at the entrances to Jerusalem, where they throw rocks, firebombs, and other things at us. I was told that this was the first time they fired at an ambulance in this area.” Let us hope that was the last attack on that route from this day forward.


This weekend and start of the new week has seen more than its share of Ramadan violence. Still listing violence in Israel, on Sunday there were two separate incidents. The first incident there was nobody hurt or injured as the IDF and security sources prevented the attack by intercepting a woman, an Arab Palestinian, who was trying to cross the security fence from Qalqiliya into Judea-Samaria carrying a rifle slung across her back. During questioning the would be female terrorist revealed that Hamas had sent her to carry out a terror attack to shoot as many Israelis as she could before being captured or otherwise prevented from continuing her assault. Then early on Monday we suffered a far more serious attack when an Arab woman and terrorist stabbed the twenty-five-year-old female IDF soldier placed to guard Kever Rachael (Rachel’s Tomb) north of Bethlehem and south of Jerusalem. In the assault the IDF guard was wounded with repeated stabbings largely in her neck as well as other minor injuries. The soldier received treatment at the scene and was still unconscious and listed as serious when placed for transit to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. During the trip, the female soldier regained consciousness and by the time she was transferred to the hospital she was listed to be in stable condition. She is expected to also make a complete recovery.


There was another attack Monday night first reported in the final hour before midnight and Tuesday morning. In yet another shooting attack these terrorists this time opened fire on a car near the community of Shvut Rachel where their bullets wounded four occupants in the car in which they were traveling. Of the four injured three were in light to moderate condition and the fourth suffered serious wounds. The most severely wounded victim was evacuated to the Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem along with one of those in moderate condition while the other two victims were transferred to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. These attacks were in addition to the return of rockets across the Gaza front and the barrages of rocks, bricks, cinderblocks and other various objects hurled at vehicles mostly in Judea and Samaria with recent outbreaks beginning within Israel largely thus far in central and northern Galilee. There also has been a marked increase in rockets fired by the Gaza terrorist outlets including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.


Israel was far from the only scene of Islamic Jihadist violence. By now it should be becoming evident that as Giulio Meotti in “Terrorists are not Barbarians, They are Enemies at War with the West” made evidently clear, this is not simply a bunch of lone wolf attacks or even coordinated attacks meant to simply scare and worry people but a bonafide war being waged by slow escalations with the eventual intent to make one last final thrust and depose every Western Government in Europe and around the developed world. These soldiers of this Jihad are slowly being placed in vital points to take out leadership and infrastructure thus causing maximum confusion and lack of leadership and then exploiting the chaos that results. In what many news services are covering as three completely separate incidents with nothing in common except that they have been declared by many government experts in the Western World are loudly and vehemently exclaiming that they have nothing to do with the religion of peace, Islam. Yet, in the weekend following a call by ISIS for their followers around the world to rise up and terrorize the world, and three responded. We have and will continue to be told that these three individuals had nothing in common with each other and these were isolated incidents which just happened as these three simply went insane each at their own time for their own reasons.


Tunisia is reporting that they have arrested the first of those who planned and carried out the beach terror attack in which at least thirty-eight people were killed. They have detained “a significant number of people from the network that was behind this terrorist” attack on a popular tourist resort in Port El Kantaoui. The authorities have also claimed to have identified 23-year-old Seifeddine Rezgui as the man who has pulled an AK-47 from its concealed location inside a beach umbrella and began walking along the beach shooting as he walked along the beach. During the same period there was an assault on a Shia Mosque in Kuwait City. This attack murdered at least another twenty-seven people and wounded over 200 others simply because they practiced a separate branch of Islam. Finally, in Lyons, France, Yassine Salhi, who has admitted to decapitating his boss and placing his head trophy style on the fence post at the gates to the factory, has been detained along with his wife, sister and one other person. The man beheading his boss and mutilating his body, being as disturbing as it may be, that is the worst of the story as the explosion caused by Yassine Salhi ramming and exploding his truck into the gas factory where he has been employed resulted only two injuries while the rest of the employees were evacuated with no further harm to people. This may result in having been a terror attack which also targeted the terrorist’s place of work and mutilating and decapitating his boss may also be classified as possibly the worst case of workplace violence. Even removing the French attack, the Kuwait and Tunis attacks murdered sixty-five innocent people thus far and let us pray for no more to be counted amongst the dead, and well over two-hundred injured. The fact that these attacks occurred almost immediately after ISIS leadership called for their followers to rise up and attack and terrorize those who are the enemies of ISIS and their version of Sunni Islam, a call that likely places two-thirds of Sunni Muslims as legitimate targets which has been proven by the numbers of fellow Sunni Muslims have been murdered after ISIS has taken some presumed Sunni areas where the people apparently were not quite diligent or exactly the same as the one defined by ISIS. The one item which the people need to start with their elected representatives is that they no longer jump immediately to the conclusion that nothing initially appears to be a terror attack and then dancing around the point avoiding that which is obvious to the rest of us as terrorism. They and their co-conspirators from the mainstream media must be forced to recognize that the so-called unwashed masses are literate these days and though we may not have gone to Harvard or Columbia Universities, we are thinking and smarter than many of them would believe and we can handle the truth (no matter what Jack Nicholson may declare). They need to trust the people as the people, as a group, will often come to a better conclusion than the five-hundred-thirty-five, thirty-six if we count the man at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, seem to be capable of reaching. The people would not write laws which one must pass to know what is in it and the people would write laws that make sense and not make laws because they had little else to do. I’d rather have a society designed by fifty to one-hundred land-owning farmers than a thousand lawyers, and thinking of it, was that not who wrote the Constitution of the United States that our modern day heroes are attempting to redefine to mean what they want it to mean and have a court which has recently twisted almost to if not past the breaking point. No, give me that original and unpolluted document even with the first ten amendments and allow a start-over for America, she will be better for the restart. Just as Israel would be at a greater advantage and healthier to return to their original constitution, not the one started as a conglomeration of “Basic Laws” which can be changed at whim, I mean Torah, the five books of Moses, even if it does mean no government making new laws, just using the ones written in Torah, all six-hundred-thirteen commandments.


Beyond the Cusp


September 3, 2014

Second Beheading and Still No Plans?

In what was probably a moment of unusual crystal clarity, President Obama told reporters, “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet. I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we are at than we currently are.” The President commented further stating, “There’s no point in me asking for action on the part of Congress before I know exactly what it is that is going to be required for us to get the job done.” President Obama did have some appropriate statements where he stated, he has asked America’s top defense officials to prepare “a range of options” about what the United States could do to go after ISIS in Syria, which he described as “a safe haven” for the Sunni extremist group. The President’s most salient statement came when he stated, “We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans, that we’re developing them. At that point, I will consult with Congress and make sure that their voices are heard. But there’s no point in me asking for action on the part of Congress before I know exactly what it is that is going to be required for us to get the job done.” President Obama also made clear that these things take time and require a regional strategy. He also asserted, “We’re not going to do that alone. Clearly, ISIL has come to represent the very worst elements in the region that we have to deal with collectively, and that’s going to require us to stabilize Syria in some fashion. And stabilizing Syria means that we’ve to got get moderate Sunnis who are able to govern and offer … a real alternative.” Obviously those who have hounded and stressed that the President had stated that there is no plan and this meant he was clueless has been somewhat a whole lot of grandstanding.


Could President Obama have initially stated his position more diplomatically? Obviously there probably were some poorly chosen phrasings. Did much of the media make a mountain out a mole hill? Of course as it has appeared to become the main job of the mainstream media, to play gotcha and tear down anybody anyway they are able. The fact that he has instructed the Pentagon and other sources to research and present plans and to check out and find allies, especially other Sunni and Arab allies who are willing to assist and thus provide most likely a more deeply understanding plan and a way of addressing the situation which would provide a solution which would be workable beyond any initial military solution which is obviously going to be an integral and important component of any plan. It would have been a far more judicious for President Obama to have stated that he has requested the Pentagon and State Department to coordinate and present him with plans by the end of the week for his and his administration advisors to review and make additional requests and make further inquiries to assure that they all have a full understanding and can make intelligent decisions. He might have added that he desires to make intelligent decisions and not rush in where others fear to tread without a solid and workable plan which has sufficient support from our allies in the Middle East and around the world such that we can maximize those contributing to our success. Actually, it was somewhat unlike the President to feed the ravenous patrons of the media such red meat with his, “We don’t have a strategy yet,” comment. But, as they say, that which has been said cannot be unsaid, especially if any of the mainstream media heard your comment, and as the President was fielding questions there were plenty of media sharks just waiting to feed.


This second beheading murdering Jewish-American journalist Steve Sotloff should instill some urgency in the White House, Pentagon, State Department and any intelligence and other contributors in preparing any strategies for moving forward. There will be those who will state the obvious that much of this problem might have been avoided had there been some plan instituted early in the Syrian civil war when the majority of the rebels were presumably mostly secular while others claim that had a Iraq Status of Forces Agreement been reached and the negotiations for such had been initiated earlier so as to allow for separation of time between signing such a treaty from the immediacy of the elections which likely caused reluctance of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki fearing that such an agreement would have cost him the election. What those making these protestations refuse to recognize is that the radicalization of Islamist rebels has been growing ever since the Iranian revolution in 1979 which paved the way for a state actor which financed terrorism across the Middle East and even reaching into the far reaches of the globe including governing and entire city in the tri-state area in South America where Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil borders meet. Iran has financed and provided aid and training for Hezballah in Lebanon, supported Bashir al-Assad’s reign of terror in Syria and Hamas in Gaza. Iran recently boasted to having provided Hamas with the technology and production know-how to produce the longer range rockets utilized by Hamas in the recent fifty days plus of rocket barrages which began weeks before the initial Israeli Defense Force (IDF) actions in Gaza and lasted throughout the conflict. As al-Assad with assists from Hezballah and Iran had raised the levels of carnage and destruction to unheard of levels it is almost poetic justice that something like ISIS should come from the dark heart of the Syrian civil war to not only oppose Iran but also threaten the Iranian control of the government and military in Iraq. Still, it is not good for the world that there is another terrorist group which has the violent brutality which rivals those backed by Iran even if they would be a balancing force against the Iranian terror forces. This has been proven with the recent beheadings, slaughters of Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, Shiite Muslims and even fellow Sunni Muslims as well as anyone else who does not match up with their world view and aims. In many ways this current horrific panorama playing out across the Middle East from Gaza and Lebanon across Syria and Iraq and anchored at the other end by Qatari financing and Iranian fanaticism and seemingly every permutation which has evolved into the savagery of ISIS balancing the brutality and insanity of Assad’s Syria and Hamas and Hezballah.


The reality of the threats which have grown and spread throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa, often abbreviated as MENA, have taken what was originally labelled the Arab Spring and turned into a worldwide disaster where terrorists and tribal armies are fighting for dominance and threatening the established norms from Mali to the tribal lands of Pakistan. ISIS is simply the latest horror to be produced by this misguided attempt to micromanage changes across this large area of the globe turned nightmare. The repairing and rifts and tears will take far longer than the explosive results we are reaping now of which ISIS may appear to be the most pressing, but that remains to be seen as there are likely more surprises waiting just around the next corner. There will be plenty more opportunities for President Obama and whoever wins the coming elections to take the White House to be quoted saying exactly the wrong phrase in response to media questions. What might we take away from this dustup? The first item would be to research exactly what our leaders have said and not rely on any sensationalism which simply takes the worst possible sound bite and edited out the rest of the President’s or other spokesperson’s comments because they did not serve their ulterior motivations. Politics is a dirty little business and it is not made any less so by the media seeking sensationalism from every interview and who cares about the facts and reality. Still, we had best hope that the world as well as President Obama came up with a reasonable and workable set of plans which address not only ISIS but the rest of the formidable and escalating situations spreading across the globe. Yes, sure, we can all run about screaming and pointing fingers as our world crashes down about our shoulders or we can pull together and try to find a reasoned and workable set of solutions which will actually address these problems before they explode even further. Time is getting short and these problems are not about to get any easier to find solutions so we had best find ways to support solutions and leave the games of the mainstream media outside of the realm of reasonable people seeking real solutions. Feeding the media frenzy will not produce a single solution and might only serve to exacerbate the problems beyond any ability to find a path leading to solutions before we pass this world on to our children and grandchildren, and they really do not need the residual disasters which we refused to find solutions for before it became too late.


Beyond the Cusp


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