Beyond the Cusp

April 13, 2017

Frightening Challenges Facing All in the World

 

Syria is a problem from which there may be no good solution as there is much confusion and has as many facets as a rare gem, each reflecting hostilities on all the others. Every side of this entanglement fights for their own glorification seeking supremacy. Bashir al-Assad is attempting to prove that he is as worthy to carry the torch of leadership as was his father and to the grand level his deceased brother was expected to bestow on the nation as its President. He is attempting to overcome having been always the lesser son whose superior brother died tragically leaving him as the nation’s second choice. His attempts at overachievement could be diagnosed as some twisted form of Napoleonic Syndrome despite his height but due to his being measured by his father as always coming up short of what a leader should be. Add to the mix there is the Islamic State whose leadership fully believe that they are serving a greater purpose and are the proper leadership of all Islam and that they are defining the religion for every Muslim in the world. Their initial military successes have come to a crashing halt and are starting to find their opposition making valid and strong challenges and taking back territories which the Islamic State had initially conquered. Then there are al-Qaeda and other terror groups fighting representing the Sunni opposition to Alawite rule as it is a form of Shia Islam which they oppose and believe are apostates. There are also the Kurdish militias which are mostly concerned with defending their people and are having the greatest challenge coming from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, who has claimed to be fighting the Islamic State and other terrorist groups but has used the majority of his troops to attack the Kurdish populations. Additionally there are the Iranian forces which mostly consist of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who Iran is backing further with Hezballah terror militias from Lebanon. From time to time these two groups attempt to draw Israel into the war by launching artillery or rockets into the Golan Heights. Israel will return fire when they have a solid set of coordinates on which to return fire and which also do not endanger civilians but, other than these, Israel refuses to be drawn into the fighting. Finally there is Russia who is most interested in retaining their two naval ports which are within the Alawite region of Syria which places them in the position of supporting Bashir al-Assad. The recent presumed bombing of targets with chemical weapons such as Sarin Gas which murdered civilians received a strong attack from the United States on the originating airfield with over fifty Tomahawk Cruise Missiles. This drew a strong rebuke by both al-Assad and Russian President Putin.

 

By comparison, the remainder of the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) is only slightly less violent and confused. Yemen is also in the midst of a civil war with the Houthis being backed by Iran while Saudi Arabia is supporting the government forces of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Egypt had supported the Saudi Arabian side providing mostly air support but lost faith in the situation and no longer supports anyone in the Yemen civil war. Libya is a complete disaster with tribal forces warring for preeminence while terrorist forces use some contested areas for training recruits readying them for fighting usually elsewhere. At one point al-Qaeda and Islamic State had cleared out territories they used for training but when they came under attack by tribal forces decided to simply leave as they had no reason to take part in the wars in Libya. The Sudan and South Sudan, which declared independence on July 9, 2011, have remained in a state of conflict with the Sudan sending militias forces raiding their southern neighbor as the Sudan has not fully recognized their independence and still believe that most of the people of South Sudan to be infidel or inferiors and see their military actions as a cleansing the territory of enemies of Islam. Somalia continues to be basically without true governance and has become a destabilizing force for its neighboring nations most notably Eretria as well as Kenya and Ethiopia. There are further threats centered on Nigeria with Boko Haram attacking Christian villages and other sites as well as Islamic villages where they kidnap “volunteers” to fight in their Islamic Army. Boko Haram had pledged their allegiance to Islamic State but whether that remains intact is questionable. All of these Islamic disruptions are largely traceable to what was often referred to as the Arab Spring which largely destabilized the entire area of MENA with the exception of places where there existed strong dictatorial governance such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and Egypt which survived due to the military taking back the control they had lost to the Muslim Brotherhood after President Mubarak was forced from office under direct pressure from United States President Barack Hussein Obama. Iraq is still in a state of unrest with the Sunni and Shia segments of the population still facing difficulties resulting from a premature removal of United States forces by President Obama who was fulfilling a campaign promise sparking a low level of conflict. Meanwhile the Kurds are continuing to provide their own defense and act as if under semi-autonomous rule. Then there is a problem where the developed world has been inundated by refugees from these many conflicts plus increasing unrest and instability in Afghanistan leading to the new United States President, Donald Trump, to impose a temporary ban on immigration from seven nations where vetting to identify terrorist entities has proven difficult. This ban has fallen into court challenge and is still to be resolved but odds are the ban will stay in place for the ninety days while new vetting procedures are finalized.

 

Allied loosely with Syria and Iran is another problematic location, North Korea. The erratic leadership by Kim Jong Un who has ordered executions of senior officials including his uncle and also ordered the assassination of his half-brother all in the name of national security but actually to secure his position from any challenges. Kim Jong Un has also been petulant and often challenges the United States claiming that he is prepared to reply to any and every provocation by the erratic leadership of who he calls the nation’s greatest enemy. With the recent attack on the Syrian airfield both Kim Jong Un and Bashir al-Assad have denounced the United States as being imperialistic, colonial and using false excuses to try and extend the autocratic rule of the United States over more of the world through many varied and devious means. Both leaders have recently threatened to attack the United States or its forces and allies wherever and whenever possible and as necessitated by the warlike actions of the United States. The most violent of threats have come from North Korea and have been taken seriously as by many measures, Kim Jong Un is considered to be irrational and possibly not entirely rational and sane. The latest episode is currently playing out as the United States has diverted an aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and her strike group from harboring in Australia and is having them head towards the Korean Peninsula passing through the western Pacific. Kim Jong Un has raised the specter of a nuclear strike against the aggressor United States if a posture of war should continue and claims to be watching closely any aggressive behavior by the United States and its allies.

 

A World All Upside Down

A World All Upside Down

 

Add to this the threats by Syria and the displeasure shown by Russian President Putin and there are quite a number of signals which could be interpreted seriously wrong and any one could have devastating consequences. Needless to say, such unrest around the world, nerves frayed and on edge and troops moving and shots being taken on two separate fronts, one in the western Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan, East China Sea, Yellow Sea and possibly the Bay of Korea while the other is in the Mediterranean Sea, the world is balanced on a razor’s edge unlike anything since the end of the Cold War. We are a far cry from Cuban Missile Crisis stage but the world need take a deep breath and calm itself before somebody somewhere misreads intents and starts something which could quickly fly out of control and lead to serious sets of actions, reactions and counter reactions ending who knows where. Add in the increased amount of terrorism and rising crime rate in much of Europe and that simply adds another tinderbox to the sparks and electrical arcing from friction and frayed wires on too many fronts. You know things are tense when Israel is seemingly a singular place where the level of unrest could be considered calm, at least this far into the year. Being nervous is seemingly in fashion for world leaders currently and that is never a good sign. We need to remember that it was the assassination of a little known Austrian Archduke named Fred, well, you’re right, Ferdinand, but I bet his friends called him not Fred but Archduke Fred, which started the War to End All Wars. That War later was renamed World War I as it led kind of directly to World War II and if there ever should be a World War III and the human race survives, it will be traced in some means to World War II and thus World War I. If we were honest, we would realize that one could trace all warfare back to Cain’s Murder of Abel if we really tried, so don’t be too complacent, the world leadership sure has not been of late. We have too many people thinking they should rule the world or they already rule the world and all of them are mistaken, or at least we had best hope they all realize such. They won’t and we will all be the worse off for it.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 19, 2017

Why the World is Poised to Die

 

The world is precariously teetering on the very brink of oblivion. The reasons are a collection of small offences most barely registering as merely a small paper cut but still the world is bleeding from millions upon millions of paper cuts and thin slices from a blade as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel. Many of these cuts were inflicted early in many a child’s life and they, like a hemophiliac, cannot deter the flow as these effects continue and can only worsen as life continues and demands more from every individual. The spring-force of the initial cuts begin with their early education. Way back when we attended public schools, teachers either chose the profession because they were dedicated to instructing young minds and took great pride when any student from their classes shone forth later in life and even more so should that student mention teachers without name who were the fountain that began their quest which led to their accomplishment. The rare teacher who gets actually named was often slightly embarrassed and would deflect the honor demanding it was shared with their fellow teachers. The teachers never gave going on strike for higher paychecks as denying the children even an hour of their best efforts was beyond their mindsets. These were dedicated individuals. Some of our teachers were conservative and may have even been (gasp) Republicans. I had one teacher who drove a different Cadillac to school each day with hardtops in the winter and convertibles in the spring and I learned later in life that he owned a summer camp for children which stood on a few hundred or so acres of woodlands which he owned. He was a rather wealthy man who had other incomes and never needed to teach or even have the summer camp but he loved children in a healthy way and just enjoyed watching them thrill at accomplishment or just fun. Teachers’ highest desire was to have students achieve in which they would take quiet pride and use it to have them strive to do even more. We never heard a teacher complain about their pay level or over a student who was difficult. Of course it was also when a teacher could strike a child in their class as a form of discipline. If your teacher had struck you, once and never very sharply, it was something you prayed your parents never heard of it as they would add their own corporal punishment which was always far harsher than the teacher.

 

But the failing education system is just one aspect of the threat. Another threat is the destabilization of large segments of the world. The greatest areas currently are within the Middle East, Northern Africa (MENA) as well as the Horn of Africa. These are areas caught in seemingly unending wars and in many instances one side is backed by either Iran or Islamist terrorist forces such as Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, ISIS (Islamic State) or criminal elements such as the pirates found off of Somalia. The three main wars are found in Libya, Yemen and Syria. Additionally there are nations caught in economic collapse or extreme poverty often due to economic policies which failed disastrously. Such nations include North Korea, Venezuela and Somalia. These nations suffer from starvation and deprivations beyond belief by most of us for which we should feel very grateful. The people stuck in these nations whether suffering unending destruction from wars or economic collapse cannot have any part of a normal life. These destabilized regions are capable of impacting beyond their borders through massive refugees straining the economies of neighboring countries to the point where if their economy is not sufficient to support the influx, their economy can also collapse from the pressures. Other problems can come from massive influx of refugees from one set of customs, conventions, systems or acceptable comportment. These strains on the societal fabric can be just as destructive as financial pressures can be on an economy. Put the two together and the result is often violence as the two clashing societal standards make for such systemic shock that the refugees generate a level of unacceptance that it becomes threatening to the existing native populations. The most visible of these threats currently is manifested in Europe where the refugees from the problems tearing through the MENA states and the Horn of Africa plus Afghanistan and Pakistan (and even Turkey) have been flooding Europe and the threat of similar influx into the United States was what influenced President Donald Trump to do exactly as he promised during the campaign and invoked an end to accepting immigrants from seven MENA nations, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. We are not about to get into the legality or morality of the ban insisted upon by President Trump, we are just recognizing that President Trump was simply reacting to these forces in discussion without caring about the particulars of law and ethics, just the effect, which was to preserve societal calm and, as stated, decrease the likelihood for terrorists to enter the United States along with the refugees from nations where checks of any kind were difficult if not impossible. Every one of the mentioned nations is in some form of distress with no real and functioning governance. That is the recipe from areas of disasters and importing disasters is often not a good policy.

 

Further, we are experiencing a challenge to the Judeo-Christian ethics which has guided the Western World for much, if not all, of the last few centuries. This challenge is coming from the Islamic world and Islam. Once before there was a fear of cultural invasion when there was a sizeable influx of Chinese and other Orientals largely to assist in building the railroads. These Orientals were mostly Buddhists and also brought with them opium as part of their social habits and because there were those in the United States who were making quite a profit from the sale of opium and its derivatives. Where there was some disruption, especially the opium influence, it was short-lived and limited in its scope. Even this was dispersed and dissipated as their influence spread as the railroad extended eastward, their numbers became lessened as a percentage of the general population at any location beyond San Francisco. The city was of sufficient population size to absorb the Chinese who remained largely within their small area which today is still known as Chinatown, and became a tourist attraction and the place of a thousand Chinese restaurants. The United States survived that influx as these immigrants stayed to themselves and with time acclimated to Americanism. There were numerous immigrant waves subsequent almost all from Europe. The Italians, Germans, Irish, and with each group they faced discrimination as they learned the language and customs, which were quite different than Europe but the religious customs were familiar. With time they all became Americans and there were few problems with these groups. The next influx of refugees which had only a cursory introduction to America were from Viet Nam. These particular refugees were eager to learn and become fully American as they were fleeing the Communist takeover of their nation and saw the United States as their saving grace.

 

These experiences would lead one to believe that the United States would be capable of making Americans out of any refugees. What need be made clear is that in each of these groups were not so much Americanized by the people of the United States as much as these refugees desired to become Americans. One might then posit that the same would hold for the Islamic communities given time. The only metric we have for measuring this has been the refugees and their incorporating into European society. If this is the only measure, then there is a problem as the Muslims have fallen into two distinct groups, those willing to become more European and those demanding that Europe become Islamic. Let this be made clear, they are not demanding that Europeans become accommodating and accepting of Muslims but rather that the Europeans must submit to Islam and make Islam the main faith superior to all others and that the Muslims should govern all of Europe. They further threaten war and terrorism should they not be accommodated completely and all their demands met. Directly proportional to their increased presence sexual predation of women has directly increased, terrorism has increased only lagging slightly behind the numbers and crime in general has increased also proportionally.

 

There are those who have claimed that these increases have not been seen in the United States. That may be the case but then the United States has also not seen the same increase in percentages as has many nations in Europe. Further, the nations with the least percentage increase of Muslims have seen little if any increase in their criminal numbers while the nations with the greatest increases in percentage of Muslims have had notable increases in some cases leading to blowback from their native populations. In the United States it should be noted that there are areas where Muslims have taken control of entire neighborhoods and made them fairly inhibiting to non-Muslims and uncomfortable for those non-Muslims who have refused to leave their homes for whatever reason. Those who had fled these neighborhoods often claimed the Muslims had destroyed their formerly peaceful neighborhood. One example is Hamtramck, near Detroit, Michigan. There are also Islamic only camps where they hold military style training and place armed guards at the front gates denying even law enforcement from entering. One such location in New York is the hamlet of Islamberg neighboring the Town of Hancock, New York and located 145 miles northwest of New York City. Muslims who have come to the United States over the years have all blended in well. Statistics show that there are two groups of Muslims where this is becoming far less the case. Where the most recent refugees were as high as fifteen percent which may have terror ties according to some reports and a mere five percent by more moderate assessments, either could become a problem as their numbers increase which is why vetting becomes important. Even vetting will not prevent the second, a ticking time bomb, as the children of Muslims are more likely to become radicalized than their parents were, especially disaffected teens looking for meaning in their lives making them targets for the radicalizers to prey upon. Also more likely to become radicalized are converts who often adopt the most radical forms of the religion. All of these require more careful vigilance which was what was once said and attributed to many, including Thomas Jefferson but never proven, there is the admonition that, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Perhaps this is the solution, this and a good vetting system and an engaged public in elections and the education of the children, the most precious resource we have.

 

Burning Israel Star of David

 

There will be a final sign when the world is about to change and enter one of its darkest periods in all of its history. That sign is one that people are screaming hysterically will be brought forth because the President is Donald Trump, but that is not the case. This event will occur under a President who will more than likely have received over three-quarters of the American Jewish vote. This President and the supportive Congress, which will be of the same party, will have had overwhelming support from many Jewish agencies and groups such as the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Anti-Defamation League but will likely be opposed by the Zionist Organization of America. This President and his Congress will force through laws which will seem appropriate for the time and will be claimed are not targeting Jews as they slowly pass laws which conflict with Torah observance in the name of public safety. Eventually this government will allow the expulsion of Jews from the Universities and then their refusal to be licensed and licensing revoked to practice law and then medicine and slowly draw the noose around the Jews necks. All the while there will be prominent Rabbis who will make excuses for these moves against the Jews finding some absurdity to keep the majority of Jews sleeping as to do otherwise might cost them their reputation as a good left leaning liberal. Will Jews be placed in camps at some point? Probably not as they will slowly be forced from any position other than the most marginal in the public and the whole while they will continue to vote for those who favor these restrictions because that will be considered the right thing to do. Eventually, any Jew with an ounce of self-respect and love of Torah will leave the United States and travel to the lone nation where Jews are permitted, Israel. The Jews remaining in the United States will continue blaming Israel for their woes and never blink in taking every opportunity to protest Israel as the source of their problems, and not leadership like the current leadership in the Democrat Party. I do not need to name names as we have done so before but what I will point to is the actions of Jews currently who after voting for Hillary and then turning on President Trump and labelling him as an anti-Semite which is just the perfect example of what we are referring to as Hillary was the one who would have tried to destroy Israel and bring in as many Jew-hating people as humanly possible in the hopes of empowering the Democrat Party with new strength built on the prospect of crushing Israel and the Jews. The inability of the American leftist Jews to see what is plainly before their eyes bodes poorly and is the very reason that this future is all but guaranteed. It is so very sad and we wish it were not so, but just look at the actions of the ADL during these acts and threats against Jewish institutions and see where they fall should one of the people found for making these threats turns out to be a leftist, they will rush to their defense. That is why we fear the Jews will vote for their own persecution and ignite the End of American Freedom and bring about the End of American Exceptionalism.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 17, 2017

Let’s Talk Middle East Conflict, Minus One Overly Blamed Nation

 

We are going to do something which the average person would believe impossible, discuss conflicts in the Middle East, which includes North Africa and the entirety that goes by the initials MENA, without mentioning Israel other than this once. Yes, that is not only possible but necessary such that people can learn how solving the Palestinian issue would not bring peace to one of the most troubled areas on the planet. There are a number of separate wars going on in Libya alone. In the capital city of Tripoli the government’s forces hold a little more than the offices of the Parliament, the President and the other government buildings and their residences, and only because they reside very close to this central area in Tripoli. There are usually a minimum of two rebel groups at any time fighting the government as well as one another. Often there are more than two as these clans believe that they should be the ones running the country and that Libya is their personal playground. These clans also fight against any terrorists who they believe are trying to take over their areas which they actually do control. The terrorists fight to retain their training grounds. Benghazi is also an open warfare zone with no real governance which controls the entire city but it is the second largest concentration of government military forces. As the government forces do control the port of Tripoli there does exist some trade which is mostly necessities as well as arms and ammunition to keep the government in control. Further, Benghazi, Tobruk, Surt and the other major ports are often changing hands as different groups will exert the necessary force to take the ports when they are expecting shipments from their arms merchants. As some European and many Middle East and Asian arms dealers are making a fair profit, the risks of doing business with the different clans and terror groups operating in Libya is worth the risks involved. Needless to say, the violence in Libya does not always stay in Libya; it often crosses borders into Egypt, Algeria, Chad, Niger and even the Sudan. One of the main arms providers is the Sudanese government and arms dealers taking side action arming the Sudanese neighboring nations including Libya but excluding South Sudan as this is not permitted by the Sudanese government.

 

There is a very good reason that the Sudanese government has made the providing of arms to South Sudan a capital offence, they are still fighting a war and committing a slow genocide against the Christians and Animists and act as if nobody in the world has recognized South Sudan as a separate nation. As long as the world, including those who have recognized South Sudan as a separate nation, do nothing of consequence to protest the nascent country from its far stronger and well-armed former rulers, the killing will continue. There have been some troops provided by the African Union. The United Nations also has sent troops to South Sudan. The problem is what is really necessary would be an entire army, which is not what has been sent. Back in 2013 the United States took what it claimed was measures to assure the genocide in South Sudan would be relieved by allocating one-hundred-fifty Marines and a few aircraft to the Horn of Africa from where they were to be capable of evacuating people under threat in South Sudan. As is said repeatedly in Bill Cosby’s routine on Noah, “Right!” Our new United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated this week that refugees were fleeing cities and towns and that “The security situation continues to deteriorate in parts of the country and the consequent impact of this ongoing conflict and violence, has reached catastrophic proportions for civilians,” A United Nations report stated, “The rise of militias under the loose command of the SPLA or rebel commanders is spreading the fragmentation and dislocation of its territories, which risk, if this trend continues, remaining out of any government control for years to come.” The United Nations further reports that the numbers of refugees currently seeking relief is beyond one and a half million.

 

Now we can slide over to Somalia which is only a real country on maps for lack of a better means of describing the area. Like Libya there is no actual ruling government but instead a series of gangs ruling their territories with iron fists and warring with each other trying to increase their domain. The people have to make sure they are aware of which gang is currently ruling their block of homes as that will also define where they are allowed to shop and who they may visit. Crossing from one region to the next carries varying degrees of danger. Some of the gangs along the shoreline engage in pirating for a living seeking pleasure yachts, merchant ships and even passing warships which are traveling without escort. These pirates have varying levels of gall living by the code “no guts, no glory.” They have attacked European, Asian, Australian, Canadian and American shipping and anybody else who comes within their range. Their method is to use a larger ship which remains out of sight but relatively close and smaller craft attack the target vessels and attempt to board and commandeer the ship then demanding ransom for the ship, crew and cargo. They check the cargo for anything they might desire or need to keep for themselves and will take any weapons they find an board the ships they take. There has been some degree of international efforts to bring this to an end but for the most part ships take their own risks coming out of the Red Sea after passing through the Suez Canal.

 

Of course that means they need to make their way through the Bab el-Mandeb Straights without being struck by Houthis shelling out of Yemen. The Houthi rebels in Yemen are Iranian backed and attempting to conquer all of Yemen to give Iran a base from which to attack Saudi Arabia from the south. This will come in very handy should Iran decide to attack Saudi Arabia from Iraq and the north mainly the northeast of Saudi Arabia which has the majority of Shiite Muslims as well as most of the oil fields. Additionally, Iran has made friends with Qatar and has made overtures claiming than Oman and Bahrain are actually breakaway Iranian provinces. Much like China keeps threatening that they will one day rejoin Taiwan to the mainland as it is simply a breakaway province, Iran makes the same claims on Oman and Bahrain. Bahrain has a Sunni monarch and a predominantly Shiite population. During the Arab Spring (boy was that a joke and a complete disaster from the word go thanks in part to President Obama who had a hand in these failed revolts with great assistance from Hillary Clinton and the European Union) the Shiites in Bahrain revolted and things appeared to be heading for real troubles, that was until Saudi Arabia used the multi-lane causeway highway to send troops to quell the revolt. The Shiites left their Mosques on Friday all revved up to overthrow the monarch when they found tanks, armored personnel carriers and heavily armed Saudi Arabian troops at both ends of the block so everybody calmed down and went home. Sure there were a few short outbursts of violence which were immediately quelled. The entire Arab Spring in Bahrain ended that Friday with barely a whimper. Similarly, the Shiites in the northeast of Saudi Arabia thought about staging an uprising but were quickly persuaded to remain calm. That thought of rising up was so short it did not even make a single news cycle.

 

Egypt is next on out little tour and is currently largely complacent. They had their Arab Spring and threw out military rule and President Mubarak and replaced him with the predicted Muslim Brotherhood candidate, President Morsi. President Morsi was advised by Turkish President Erdogan to take a slow and steady approach to Islamizing Egypt but paid that no heed. He took off on a radical program of change trying almost overnight to make Egypt a Muslim Brotherhood run totalitarian hellhole. This was met with a public already in revolt mode and they rose up again and demanded Morsi’s head. General of the Army Sisi took the hint and removed the Muslim Brotherhood from power and held new elections. Having the most recognized name in Egypt and having just saved the day, surprisingly Sisi who had stepped down from General of the Army ran and won the Presidency of Egypt. So Egypt is now safely back under military rule for intents and purposes and appears happy to be so. The one problem is the Sinai Peninsula. The Sinai Peninsula is filled with terrorists from al-Qaeda and Islamic State to Hamas and even Iranian backed groups. They attack Egyptian military outposts with varying degrees of success. They often attack the border outposts between Egypt and Gaza in order to allow the flow of terrorists, arms, and contraband into and out of Gaza where Hamas and Islamic Jihad share control. What is interesting about Gaza is that Islamic Jihad is supplied by Iran amongst others and Hamas is Muslim Brotherhood thus provisioned by them and also on occasion they are given rocket engine technologies and even rudimentary guidance systems from Iran as Iran will even arm Sunnis if they are attacking Iran’s favorite target. Egypt has yet to put down the menaces in the Sinai Peninsula and they have even been cleared to use whatever troops and equipment they need and they are apparently fighting a losing battle, or at least not completely reaching a totally peaceful situation. Perhaps they never should have accepted the Sinai Peninsula back when they made peace between President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin.

 

Turkey is also involved in a war which few appear to care to mention. They are claiming to fight against Bashir al-Assad in Syria as well as against Islamic State but somehow the majority of their efforts appear to be barely across the border. They seem preoccupied, or at least President Erdogan is preoccupied, with the Kurds. Turkey could actually make a great agreement and win an ally for life if they would simply allow the Kurds to form their own nation out of northeastern Syria, northern Iraq and at the worst a few tens or hundreds of square miles of southeastern Turkey where the population is majority Kurdish. The United States or other groups would probably handsomely reward Turkey for the lost lands, give a relocation allowance to any Turkish non-Kurdish citizens desiring to leave the Kurdish nation and return to Turkey and all could be settled. Even if Turkey refused to sacrifice a small portion of land, the Kurds in Turkey would likely relocate if they were granted recognition as a nation as was promised them by the British (we all know how good the British are on their promises when oil is involved). Turkey has been bombing and using ground assaults backed by heavy armor against the Kurds who have largely been fighting the Islamic State. Apparently Turkey would prefer the Islamic State on their border than the Kurds, there is no accounting for taste.

 

Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

 

Then there are the wars outside of Yemen and Gaza where Iran is a major player. We are referring to Iraq and Syria where Iran is attempting to rule Iraq through proxy and reestablish Bashir al-Assad as the ruler of Syria. Bashir al-Assad has lost almost the entirety of his nation to the Islamic State, a number of other rebels, a Kurdish section which is simply attempting to protect their own people as well as the Yazidi refugees they took in after rescuing them when the rest of the world twiddled their thumbs, President Obama leading the thumb twiddlers. Iran has a friend in Russia who are actually fighting simply to retain their Mediterranean Sea port privileges such that they retain a warm water port capable of allowing ships to enter the Atlantic Ocean year round without having to pass through the Dardanelles in Turkey, an iffy situation at times. That is why the majority of the Russian operations center around Latakia and the port facilities located in that Mediterranean coastal city. Latakia is also in the central region where the Alawite Tribe resides which also happens to be Bashir al-Assad’s allies and tribal alliance and they along with some of the Druze except they have largely withdrawn and are simply, as are the Kurds, defending their own people and lands from the Islamic State and any other threats. They are safe from the Russians, Iranians and Syrian Army and even most likely the Hezballah forces from Lebanon who are supporting Bashir al-Assad as if Syria was their own country and not Lebanon. Hezballah is there because Iran insisted they fight or else Iran would have cut them off and they would then be facing the rest of Lebanon ready to dispose of the Hezballah terrorists who have been ruling Lebanon through their military threat. The one benefit of Hezballah fighting in Syria and taking the casualties in numbers far higher than are admitted is they are unable to attack any others including but not limited to the Christians and other minorities in Lebanon.

 

Our final stop is at the Afghanistan and Pakistan end of MENA. We left out some of the nations at the far end of northern Africa where one of the major problems is Boko Haram who are bloodthirsty Islamist terrorists who often kidnap Christians and even other Muslims and sell them into slavery. They specialize in selling to the sex slave industry and thus most often target young women and boys. Their other main effort is to murder Christians and Animists, something which sounds familiar from the South Sudan. Boko Haram operated largely centered on northern and central Nigeria and the neighboring areas even south to Mali. Meanwhile, Afghanistan and Pakistan consist of large areas which are considered tribal and the government rarely enters these zones as the tribes are well armed and do not recognize the governmental right to their areas. Too often these tribal areas will war with one another and then they make their money off of allowing terrorists to train and make a lucrative business from poppies. The heroin trade is something the government does not fight as they too benefit from the trafficking in illicit drugs. Until there is introduced another cash crop the farmers will grow and sell the easiest and most profitable crop they can raise, poppies. The flowers are almost as pretty as the profits. Needless to point out but where you have such profits there will always be violence as the tribes desire to expand their fields and taking the tribe next door’s fields is the quickest way to making more profit. Additionally, there is the constant state of conflict between Pakistan and India over Kashmir, a nation which appears on older maps and had the distinction of having to be colored white because it had so many neighboring nations on its border that it needed it own color and white was the best one not in use anywhere else. That concludes our Middle East conflict roundup leaving one nation obviously ignored, imagine all this without mentioning the nation always considered the source of the Middle East conflict chart. Perhaps the rest of it is not so peaceful after all.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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