Beyond the Cusp

June 15, 2017

Coming Failure of Paris Accords With or Without United States

 

There has been a huge amount of clamoring since President Trump pulled the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. Claims that this will guarantee it will fail are farcical at best and sheer straight-faced lies at worst. The Paris Climate Accord will stand or fail on its own merits. The reason for the commotion is due to the loss of being able to point an accusatory finger at the United States and excusing every other nation failing on the fact that the United States also failed and apparently their failure was worse than these other failing nations thus giving them room for excuses. Here is a little secret which is seldom if ever stated, anybody can easily predict which nations will fail and which will actually reach or exceed their Paris Accord numbers and it is easy. Simply determine whether each nation has a growing or declining economy. Those nations with a growing economic output will fail to reach their set goals and those whose economic indicators are in decline, they will be able to reach their set goals. The reason for this being the indicator is with a higher economic output a nation will require increasing energy while a declining economic outlook will lead to their lessening their energy needs. It really is that easy.

 

So, now you ask if there would be some way of taking this into consideration. The truth is that it would be very easy and could be done by altering the means by which the carbon output is calculated. Instead of simply measuring the total carbon footprint and simply using that gross output without taking anything else into consideration, the measurement should be measured against GDP and population. The solution is to take this total output and divide the number by some version of GDP or other economic measure such that you end up with carbon footprint per unit of economic production. This is the true measure of the advance or lack of addressing pollution and its controls on a scale, which is fair and places everybody on an equal measuring basis. But this is not the reason for these ecology agreements like the Paris Accord or the Kyoto Protocols. They have little concern when it comes to bringing pollution and carbon footprints into order and lessening the actual pollution; otherwise, there would be stiffer demands made of countries such as Brazil, India and China. Taking China as an example, it has been found that China is estimated to have released nearly twice the carbon emissions as the United States and around two and a half times the European Union. Yet China is usually given a pass or an inflated target which allows them to continue at their higher levels without embarrassment. The real reason for these climate change and impact treaties is to force the industrialized world to transfer their manufacturing output and production to the third world and thus transfer a large percentage of the new wealth from the industrialized world to the third world. There are a number of problems with this concept and much of it has to do with actually cleaning the environment, something such a transfer would increase the carbon emissions by many fold, potentially as high as a ten-fold increase.

 

Perhaps it is time to inspect many of these undesirable effects such as a transfer of production from the developed world to the developing world would produce. While many nations in the industrialized world have decreasing carbon emissions per unit of economic output, the developing nations would have a steady and unchanging or slightly increasing carbon emissions per unit of economic output as they would continue using coal fired plants and many of the new ones they would require in order to facilitate increased industrialization would be hastily built coal burning plants with little if any sanitizing of the output and transferring carbon emissions straight and untreated into the atmosphere and any other pollutant the new manufacturing would produce would potentially end up in the land or waters also untreated plus the increases of other pollutants such as nitrates and phosphates and other dangerous gasses and water pollutants. Much of this is because these nations do not have the necessary infrastructure to treat and control such forms of pollution and currently do not have the current infrastructure and technology. Due to lack of capital these undeveloped nations have largely agricultural economies and thus depend mostly on coal fired electric generation as this is the least expensive to construct and also the least expensive to operate thus the most production for the least outlay. These nations being forcibly pressed into increasing manufacturing capability over a short period of time rather than gradually allowing for increasing capital paralleling the increasing manufacturing forces them to have to use the least expensive power generation systems to meet the large increase in electrical demand. On the other hand, if allowed to slowly and naturally, then there would be a general increase in revenue as the initial manufacturing is built allowing for any new power generation to be implemented with carbon suppressing equipment such as scrubbers. Then as industrial output increases, the nation can handle it in stages with better planning. Slow and steady is better than forced feeding.

 

For some reality about the United States, we can realize that if every nation could match the United States going forward, then we would have progress in reduction of carbon emissions in a real sense, measured emissions per unit of economic output. This is best displayed using graphs. This graph depicts the carbon emissions per person from energy production from 1960 through 2012. There is one fact which bears keeping in mind exactly what this graph depicts. This is actually two graphs in one, the 1960 through around 1985 and then 1985 through 2012. The end period of both segments shows dropping per capita carbon emissions released in the energy generation industries. There was a reason that the per capita increase after about 1985 was due to the general use of air conditioning plus the movement of people from the north into the south as there was a general migration as airconditioning became less expensive. Additionally, with the end of the 1980’s began the computer revolution and the electronics revolution. The per capita energy use began to explode as the per household electrical demands took off with entertainment systems replacing small televisions and often two such systems in an average upper middle class home. Add in two, three, four or more computers per household and more kitchen appliances and more and more electronics and the power consumption kept climbing yet the increase in carbon emissions was finally reduced to a point where despite each household used four, five, six or possibly ten times the electrical use per household compared to the usage in 1960 and the carbon emissions increased by less than one-tenth. Despite this phenomenal increase in electrical demand there was very little increased in actual carbon emissions release per person. This is one means of making the total carbon emissions make more sense by measuring it against something that also represents demand, which represents actual people and their usage is what is being measured.

 

United States per Person Carbon Emissions from Energy Production

 

Another means for measuring and giving it more meaning rather than simple gross carbon emissions alone is to measure total greenhouse emissions per person, against GDP and with showing populations and GDP from 1990 through 2014. While both populations and GDP increase, both greenhouse emissions measured per person and per unit of GDP decreased from 1990 through 2014, which is impressive. All of this and the different measures of the United States is all well and good, but is what the United States has accomplished at all impressive? That is an excellent question which is also best answered with more graphs.

 

United States Total Greenhouse Emissions Per Capita and Per GDP with Population and GDP

 

Let us now see how China, the European Union and the United States compare in total carbon dioxide emissions with projections into the next decade plus. The comparison is stark and also reveals what we spoke about earlier, if the world were really serious about greenhouse emissions, they would be less concerned with President Trump pulling the United States out of an agreement which is more about transferring wealth from the developed world to the third world and the developing world, in particular China, India, central and southern Africa, South America and much of Asia.

 

Total Carbon Dioxide Emissions for China Compared to European Union and United States

Total Carbon Dioxide Emissions for China Compared to European Union and United States

 

The reality is the global emissions accords have worked in sending many hundreds if not thousands of manufacturers to build their plants in China to the point that China was building more than one large coal fired generating plant per month with some estimates putting it at one such plant per week. Such a rate of production of generating plants does not leave much room for building more than the generation plant and little as far as carbon suppression or mitigation equipment. When China sponsored the Olympics in Beijing, it was necessary to all but close shop on all the local manufacturing and request that residents not use air conditioning and other unnecessary electronic equipment and devices. These steps were taken so that the power company could shut down the majority of their power plants starting with those closest to the Olympic camp only restarting some to power the Olympic park and events themselves. This did manage to improve the air quality in Beijing such that the athletes would not be adversely affected due to competing in the Olympics. As a side benefit, the people of Beijing were treated to almost six weeks of clean air which was probably their greater joy and probably had them wishing they could sponsor the Olympics constantly.

 

The Truth About the Air in Beijing and Breathing Masks

The Truth About the Air in Beijing and Breathing Masks

 

The above picture shows two young women and one of the Red Guards stationed outside the Forbidden City in Beijing on the right and a breakdown of some of the chemicals that are found in the air in the city. It also tells of the history and how horrific the air quality can reach when the winds die and the pollution accumulates. Having driven into Denver in August when there are often temperature inversions and a reddish-brown bowl sat over the city in the late 1970’s and having read in the late 1960’s how people were safer to breathe through an unlit cigarette (some even claimed a lit cigarette) rather than breathing the air straight as the pollution was making air quality so horrible. I was in Cleveland in late June of 1969 when the Cuyahoga River caught fire, yes, the river caught fire, and burned for quite a distance (see video below). During that time period, Lake Erie was so filled with nitrates and phosphates that the plant life literally made the lake impossible for supporting fish. These were the days when the United States had its worst pollution and industry began to clean up their acts. Power plants installed scrubbers and manufacturers began filtering and treating their wastewater before permitting them to flow into rivers and streams. What people will claim is that government forced them to clean up their acts with the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The truth is fortunately different. The American public began demanding that Congress do something about the problem and by the time they finally agreed upon what legislation to pass, industry had surpassed their legislated levels by a fair margin with some specific, and often too spectacular, exceptions, which did need persuading. This was the reality; industry even began using their efforts in their advertising in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. So, once again we had Congress passing legislation to close the barn door after the horses had escaped, been rounded up, returned to the paddock and the barn door closed and locked. Then the Congressional representatives ran for reelection bragging about how they saved America from becoming a polluted wasteland. The truth is all too often Congress passes legislation addressing a problem after the problem has passed and then claim they fixed it for the next decade or two.

 

 

There is pollution in the world and some of it is dangerous. In Brazil, farmers will burn down square miles of rainforest in order to make farmland they can work, as that is cheaper than trying to buy existing lands. China we have talked about but India is not that far behind them and the Ganges River, which many Indians wash themselves in because the waters are presumed to be blessed and sacred, are instead actually dangerous. The danger levels of the water increase ever mile that one gets closer to its exit into the Indian Ocean. The world would be better served if the third world and developing world were first introduced to modern farming techniques so they could increase yields and feed their people at a lesser cost. By increasing their agricultural output, their economic situation would improve. There should also be work to improve their governance such that they become rule by law and not by man. The laws must apply equally to all including the rulers as other than the Queen and Queen’s Mother in England, nobody is above the law (actually neither are the royals in England though they probably are in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and so forth). Once they have an improved agricultural economy then they can begin to improve their industrial base and with assistance in building clean energy plants, they can do this with minimal decrease, if any, in air and water quality. This is something that should be done properly and in stages and with each nation brought forward only once they have good governance.

 

The age where dictators and their cronies are made wealthy charging for food and other relief sent by the developed world while the people remain hungry, ill, lacking medical care, and impoverished while Big Cheese Who Cares reaps in millions of dollars. Probably the prime example of this is in Gaza with Hamas and with the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas and his gang of merry terrorists. Yes, the developed world has a responsibility to lead and to do so properly and with respect and dignity given to all people. Further, the developed world has a responsibility to share their knowledge and experience in governance to improve the world and spread the rule by laws over other systems which keep people impoverished while their governing classes drive Mercedes on the nations’ dirt roads. Finally, the United Nations has proven completely incapable of performing these tasks and perhaps a new international group of developed democratic nations which can lead and assist the developing and third world nations and provide a message and example through which these nations will desire to learn and progress and have their development made in such a manner that their environment remains clean and their progress performed in proper and planned stages bringing them forward at a pace which matches their ability to develop clean power and their education systems produce a working class capable of the technologies as they are introduced. We believe here at BTC through examples of how such programs have been completed successfully in agricultural development such as this one in Kenya, Ethiopia and elsewhere, medical progress such as providing training and equipment for hospitals to perform surgeries on children with heart problems and other similar programs that these things done properly are doable if only people and nations are willing to make the efforts. Please do check these last links as they depict what is possible and is being accomplished through efforts of people who care for all people.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 2, 2017

Where Will the Spiraling End?

 

The United States new President, Donald Trump, apparently is not reacting to the threats from North Korea in the routine and usual manner, giving in and sending money, food and meet whatever demands are made by the current psychotic leader of that Communist death trap claims must be met or else he will destroy the world starting with South Korea and moving on to Japan and finally the United States. The past administrations have all responded with the goods every time the North Korean leader has rattle sabers making foul sounding threats if his little realm had used all the treasure from the previous confrontation has reached its end. This was the routine which wound itself repeatedly over time. Apparently, this time may end differently. First, China has called an end to their calling their attack-dog to heel and desist or even make an effort which also was a change in the normal routine. Everything appears as if the forces who might make a difference and avoid the most horrific of results has decided that they prefer to stand aside and see what the mettle of the new President is made of. The Chinese are preparing to sit this little game out and watch from the sidelines after making the feeblest of attempts to calm their friend to their south and instead allowed him to continue bellowing his threats. It appears that China is not receiving the reaction they expected as it was likely their impression that President Trump was not versed in the game of brinkmanship and would simply fold and give in to the threats from Kim Jong-un and provide North Korea with a renewed treasury, feed their starving masses and walk away simply licking his wounds and broken ego, tarnished reputation.

 

Apparently President Trump does not respond well to threats from a proven madman, a leader who has murdered a general for contradicting him, executed his uncle simply because he thought him a threat to his leadership and ordered the assassination of his half-brother in a foreign country so there could be no successor to his leadership other than whomever he should designate. President Trump initially sent the aircraft carrier fleet with the USS Carl Vinson and Kim Jong-un simply continued his ranting and threats. Then President Trump sent the aircraft carrier fleet with the USS Ronald Reagan and Kim Jong-un simply continued his ranting and threats. Now President Trump has further upped the anti and sent the aircraft carrier fleet with the USS Nimitz. We are willing to bet that Kim Jong-un could not care less and might even react unkindly or he might respond with more missile tests and possibly even a full-blown nuclear test. This situation, to put it mildly, is rapidly spiraling and where it might end is simply terrifying to imagine.

 

Kin Jong-un (김정은) is the grandson of Kim Il-Sung (김일성), the founder of North Korea; the son of Kim Jong-il (김정일), the second leader of North Korea, and is the current leader of North Korea, obviously. His threats are not to be taken so lightly as to make it appear that he is being taken lightly, something this ever-escalating response could impart. Seoul, South Korea, the national capital city is the first place threatened to be destroyed by Kim Jong-un, a threat he could carry out in under fifteen minutes from making the decision. North Korea has approximately 13,000 artillery pieces positioned along the border which could be fired striking Seoul leveling most of the capital city. Making matters even more troubling is the report by the Federation of American Scientists telling of the North Korean known quantities of anthrax, mustard gas, sarin, botulism and phosgene. Such weapons placed in artillery shells designed to release poison gas would not only permit Kim Jong-un to all but flatten Seoul, but to guarantee his artillery fire murdered most of the over ten-million people living within the city. That would be the opening scenario of Kin Jong-un deciding to raise President Trump’s move of positioning three aircraft carrier groups within striking distance of North Korea.

 

The Kim Family

 

The problem in this situation is that President Trump may have stated that all options are on the table, but this does not mean, as some in the media have claimed, that he is out looking for a fight, that he wants a war to prove something. The hope has to be on settling this problem, this saber rattling, with the least amount of violence and a lowering of the threat options. Unfortunately, this is apparently not going to be an option which either side is wishing to utilize, opting instead to raise the stakes, or at least the consequences, should the other side opt to initiate violence first. This is the idea behind placing so much power within the theater surrounding North Korea. This hopefully is the idea behind President Trump placing sufficient firepower within range of North Korea thus making any threats for use of force by Kim Jong-un suicidal at best and foolhardy at the least. The problem is that Kim Jong-un has all the classical signs of numerous psychological disorders one of which is obviously paranoia. A preliminary analysis of Kim Jong-un’s personality by Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics reveals him to apparently be agreeable, acquiescent, charming, placing a high premium on external approval, sympathetic to others’ needs and socially gregarious on the plus side along with a few other lesser traits resulting in an assessment that he is relinquishing too much authority, failing to assert himself sufficiently, delegating too much responsibility, as well as showing hesitation in taking the initiative when circumstances demand boldness or daring. As they say next, just who is really in charge and pulling the strings presumably controlling Kim Jong-un from the background.

 

North Korean Artillery Display

North Korean Artillery Display

 

Should this personality inventory be accurate, then there is an even greater danger in the threats emanating from North Korea, the person making them is hiding behind a figurehead which they are taking the precaution of making appear pompous and unpredictable. Hiding behind this figurehead making threats may make such a figure so assured of their safety from acting in the shadows that they might take chances believing that boldness would force President Trump to weaken and possibly fold or meet their demands with a simple promise from China that they have received assurances that if a basic set of demands were met by the west that North Korea would end their missile tests and enter negotiations over their nuclear program. Then it would be up to President Trump to react to such an offer. The main risk is that should they send a warning shot such as trading artillery fire as happened and reported in the New York Times on August 20, 2015 when the two nations still technically at war exchanged rocket and artillery fire in the first major armed clash across their border in five years. This was an exchange which reportedly resulted in no casualties and was a show of intent and test of wills and response. North Korea has taken an offensive stance with threatening with missile tests into the Pacific Ocean when testing potential ICBMs, shorter-range ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan to threaten Japan and claiming to be ready to test a new and more powerful nuclear weapon. The threat to Japan has been sufficient that the parliament has been deliberating to revise the Japanese stance since the end of World War II and enlarge their navy and other military strength beyond simple island protection in response to threats perceived from both North Korea and China.

 

China is another reason that President Trump may be placing so much naval and air power into the west Pacific Ocean near both China and North Korea. China has been extending claims challenging Islands claimed by Japan, Viet Nam, Taiwan and the Philippines. These challenges are in addition to their building islands in the South China Sea moving towards the East China Sea and militarizing many of these islands even to the point of placing airstrips on the larger of these water-bound embankments. This challenges one of the most heavily traversed sea-lanes in the world which handles close to one third of the sea trade making it as important as the Suez Canal, Strait of Hormuz which controls the world’s oil flow from the Middle East, and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait which controls the southern exit from the Red Sea into the Arabian Sea. Both the Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait (see map below), through their control of Yemen using the Houthis Rebels, are currently under threat of control from Iran, an ally of North Korea, allowing the two to exchange information and technology regarding missiles and nuclear weapons as they share a common enemy, the United States and the Western world. Iran is also allied with Russia as well as China which makes for a real threat in response to the presumed former sole super-power, the United States. The power of the United States is formidable but would face a serious challenge from the combined strength and nuclear power of the combined forces of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. The real question could at some point become are Iran and/or North Korea really worth facing down the United States for either China or Russia, especially with a presumed unknown in President Trump whose most powerful weapon might be his reputation of being a bit of a hot-head.

 

Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

 

Still, one can be assured that President Trump would be best served and likely prefer some assistance from China defusing the current situation with North Korea. What is troubling is if the situation is as the personality profile of Kin Jong-un is accurate and he really is just a puppet being worked by a rogue general or party official working from the presumed safety of anonymity, then President Trump and his advisers plus those in the Pentagon all actually are operating blind as they do not know who they are working against. It is difficult to find a solution if you have no real clue who is the operator on the other side. Kim Jong-un either completely baffled those trying to inventory his personality or is just as unstable as he appears or somebody finds it advantageous to make the ruler of North Korea appear unstable. All of this leads one to really feel that North Korea is, and will continue for the time being, one threat which is front and center. But if that does not frighten you, then keep in mind that standing right alongside them is Iran that has spread terror armies throughout the world and thought to have more operatives living under cover inside the United States simply waiting for the code for them to strike a predetermined target or even instructions of where to strike. They have a training center in South America in an area known as the Tri-Border Area which sits at the borders of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. And you thought that you could sleep comfortably tonight. Well, probably for tonight, but for how many more nights is the big question.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 22, 2017

Trump Arrives but Nothing will Change

 

President Trump will arrive today in Israel with much anticipation and a very warm welcome. President Trump is viewed by many Israelis as a great relief after the eight years out in the unforgiven lands of wastelands and destitution being treated as a leper amongst the nations. In Israel, we were ready for such a challenge, as we have been receiving that treatment from much of the world. That is how life is when you are the Jewish amongst nations. Just because Presidents have changed and there is hope for a brighter future, very few here are expecting much from this trip. This is going to have been a “Hello, how are you?” shake your hands kind of trip filled with photo opportunities and lots of glad-handing. The real work will begin in earnest a few weeks after this trip has completed and everybody back in Washington D.C. have had their comments and predictions as to what to do next, even unfortunately including the State Department. Where the Secretary of State may be more inclined to have an open mind about the Palestinian-Israel situation, the State Department has had an anti-Israel bias which has only intensified with time and any change does not appear to be in the cards for the near term future. The trouble comes when the advisory notices from the State Department start to pile up and the negative feed of anti-Israel bias seeps into policy once again. We have watched this play out before and we hold onto the slim possibility that President Trump truly is something completely new and capable of holding his own thoughts as valid and resisting pressures from outside influences no matter who they are. President Trump has to have a decent feel for people or he would have been a disaster in business and never have had near the success he has including winning the Presidency when everyone stood against him in both established parties. That alone gives us hope that he will see more clearly than any have previously. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both gave efforts to do as little harm as possible. President Clinton got Yasser Arafat to set the terms for peace and got Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak to agree which panicked Arafat into fleeing the conference and setting in motion the Second Intifada killing over a thousand Israelis just to prove he really would never accept any peace no matter how much Israel was willing to give up. That position has not changed despite the change to Mahmoud Abbas as the leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

 

Camp David Talks on a Break as President Bill Clinton, Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Ehud Barak Stroll the Grounds of the Complex Located Ten Miles North of Frederick, Maryland

Camp David Talks on a Break as President Bill Clinton, Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Ehud Barak Stroll the Grounds of the Complex Located Ten Miles North of Frederick, Maryland

 

The problem is not just with the PA as the Arab League met after the Six Day War and drafted what has become known as the Khartoum Resolution with its infamous Three No’s; “No peace with Israel, No recognition of Israel, No negotiations with Israel.” Many politicians from every corner of the globe, NGO members and administrators from United Nations agencies have pointed to the so-called negotiations which have been held between the PA and Israel as proof that the PA are different and are really working towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict. These same sources all make the same claim time after time that if only Israel would give the Arabs a little more, then peace would be at hand. Israel has given that little more at almost every turn for almost twenty-five years such that we have passed that little more ages ago and still the demands have not changed. All one need do is peruse the PA and UNRWA textbooks and look at the maps within and the truth will simply jump off the page and bite you. There is no Israel between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, just Palestine (see below). Even Hamastan in Gaza is represented as part of Palestine and this is so acceptable that even in Gaza Hamas has approved and uses these books. The difference between the schools in Gaza and in the PA schools is whether Hamas or the PA will rule Palestine. While Hamas and the PA may disagree on who will rule over Palestine, they share the vision of a world without Israel and with the Jews living in Israel cleansed from the land.

 

Palestinian Textbook Maps depicting Palestine as replacing Israel, not sharing the land in peace and security as the Europeans and the rest of the West insist to misrepresent

 

There is an understanding the Arabs living in the PA administered areas have that when their leaders speak to the West or even in general using English, then what they say very well could be lies stated to placate the West and gain advantage over Israel; but when they speak in Arabic, then their words are true and they mean what they say. There is a sort of ungentlemen’s agreement between the Arabs, especially from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PA, that words they speak in Arabic are of such a language barrier that they cannot be translated and reported in the mainstream media. There is an exception for those willing to spend the time wrangling through the flood of information available where their newspapers, broadcasts and media is translated into English. There are three services which do this as a service for those truly interested in the truth. These NGO’s are listed below with their identifying graphics. Taking a stroll or simply searching a subject which you are particularly interested in the actual views and policies of the various Middle East nations and terror organizations such as Hezballah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PLO, Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State and others or the various leaders of the various nations such as Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the others throughout the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) nations one can get an eye-full in a single afternoon. If we may quote the Christian Bible for a change, let us quote John 8:32 which states, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set free you.”

 

Palestinian Media Watch

Palestinian Media Watch

The Middle East Media Research Institute

The Middle East Media Research Institute

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

Back to President Trump, his trip and the ramifications. The trip will be a success for all sides. There will be those who support the President who will remark at the difference between President Obama on his first visit to Saudi Arabia and the deep bow almost as if kissing the King’s ring and Trump acting as an equal while the anti-Trump side will be showing Trump leaning over to allow a medallion being bestowed upon him to be placed over his head and screaming, “See, Trump bowed down to the Saudis too!” The media will probably claim that the trip was simply a series of missed opportunities as President Trump was not stopping at these places in order to make any grand gestures or earth-shaking policy statements, he was making what many Presidents have done, taking three or four overseas jaunts hitting three or four spots in one week simply to shake hands and smile as a meet and greet. Then, upon their return with a better feel for the people and the attitudes, the real work can begin. As far as solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict or the greater Arab-Israeli conflict, we have our doubts that President Trump will waste much more effort than to set up a meet between Abbas and Netanyahu and announce that if the two leaders are serious and care to meet and get the major work done between themselves, then President Trump will be helpful in closing the deal and getting past the last points of contention but that he does not plan on holding their hands and pressing them forward, they need to manage their relations on their own without any outside pressures. He is likely to claim that the only path to true and lasting peace is through honest negotiations between the two leaders and that anything he could do to facilitate, but not to mediate, their reaching an agreement he will be glad to assist. But President Trump will likely make clear that he will not be making trips back and forth and his Secretary of State will not be on a plane every other week running to put out the latest flare-up or dousing fires of contention, the leaders themselves need to act like men and either settle their differences or make clear that they are not interested in meeting to forge an agreement. President Trump might have told Abbas and Netanyahu in private while meeting them that it will not be any skin off of his back if the Arabs and Israelis refuse to find some middle ground but do not ask the United States to come and rescue either of them from the actions of the other as whatever comes will likely be exactly what both sides deserve. If when there is a flare-up and President Trump then repeats this mantra reminding the two sides of his warnings and telling the world of this position, then maybe some truth will finally emerge about which side desires peace and which side loves death, even the death of their own as theirs is a rush to go to Heaven and leave the earthly tragedies behind. Such a position may prove to be the wisest of all regarding the Middle East as the worst problems facing the world are numerous and only one serious problem derives from the Middle East, and it does not concern the Palestinians and Israelis and their little difficulties.

 

The problem is what can be done to tame Iran, bring some collective end to the devastation ongoing in Syria, reconstitute Lebanon into a productive nation once again and prevent the Iranians from becoming a nuclear armed nation with ICBM’s and nuclear warheads set atop them threatening the entire world with a devastating war resembling Armageddon. Another pressing issue is how to prevent allowing Iran to forge their desired Shiite crescent from the Indian Ocean on the Iranian east coast across Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea on their western coasts. This will be dependent upon forging a Sunni controlled southeastern Syria along their border with Iraq and their Shiites in the southern half of the nation from Baghdad south which could be accomplished by forging the Kurdish homelands which the British had promised them but instead struck an oil deal cheating the Kurds from the reestablishment of their homeland similar to what the Peel Commission attempted to do to the Jews and Israel. Fortunately, the Peel Commission and the follow-up Woodhead Commission had all of their solution completely rejected outright by the Arab representatives who demanded that all the land be given to the creation of Palestine and they would take care of any needs the Jewish residents would have and they would be cared for and permitted rights under Arab rule. This solution met with Jewish opposition. Supporting a Kurdistan and recommending that Turkey allow its Kurds to relocate to Kurdistan leaving Turkey and thus no longer posing any problem for President Erdoğan and removing what Turkey has claimed to be a disruptive minority from within their borders. Such a solution would also allow for the Yazidis to have a place, which would accept them as they are related to the Kurds rather closely. The Sunnis in central Iraq could be offered to also reside within Kurdistan if they so choose which would likely be seen as preferable to living under the Shiite governance of Iraq and this would solidify the Kurdish territories giving them some regional depth and defendable borders. Bashir al-Assad and his Russian backers could then be allowed the western regions where the Alawite tribe resides and the Druze could choose under whom they would prefer to live or might even be permitted their own lands if this would be preferred and a solution worked out with Assad and Putin. One would have to wonder if Trump would be permitted to speak with Putin concerning Syria or would that be considered further collusion?

 

The real problematic front facing the Trump team is the Pacific Rim and in particular North Korea and China. North Korea is making threats and causing unrest probably for two reasons. The first is as a test of the mettle of the new American President and the second is probably an attempt to garner a large cash infusion to get him to settle down. What President Trump should do regarding Kim Jong Un is a difficult proposition. The North Korean dictator is the least rational member of his family yet to have taken over the nation and his actions resemble those of an unstable mind filled with paranoia and delusions of grandeur as well as suspicions of a world fearful enough for him to have his way with the rest of the world. He appears to be just sufficiently outside rational that it may even be a difficult task for the Chinese to control him without possibly taking drastic actions such as completely terminating all relations and trade leaving Kim Jong Un without a friend in the world. Such a move would require it come in the near future before Kim Jong Un and Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Iranian Supreme Leader and an equally unstable mind which is filled with ideas of Iran returning to the glory of Persia and being the leaders of the Islamic world causing massive defections from the Sunnis to Shiites as Iran proves to be the strong horse after crippling Saudi Arabia and taking the black triangle of oil fields which spans Kuwait, southern Iraq and northeastern Saudi Arabia. Such an expansion by Iran would require the Shiite crescent discussed above to be complete otherwise Iran would not have the bases required in the Mediterranean Sea. The Iranians are already controlling the Straight of Hormuz, which ties up the Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti oil lanes, and the Bab-el-Mandeb, which is a straight that controls the exit at the south end of the Red Sea thus controlling the Suez Canal and world shipping channels. What we have reported on previously, Iran and North Korea have been cooperating working to advance their mutual scientific workings on missile technology and nuclear weapons designs. This has been an alignment that the world has been ignoring to its own peril. This is where President Trump will find his greatest challenges and where he should be placing his attentions as soon as he returns to Washington D.C. Should President Trump find a path with assistance from the Chinese on North Korea and Russians on Iran and defuse their combined powder keg, then he will have accomplished much and saved the world from a crisis which could easily mushroom into the next world war and make it a very short but devastating war with the use of nuclear weapons as EMP devices and also using them to destroy major metropolitan centers such as London, New York, Los Angeles and numerous other metropolises. The Iran-North Korean Axis could be even more devastating than the German-Italian-Japanese Axis during World War II. Let us hope that a World War III can be avoided and that President Trump can show the necessary leadership to prevent such a devastating conflagration from striking our world. Any nuclear strike from North Korea and/or Iran would necessitate a nuclear response before they could use further such weapons and devastate even more targets throughout Europe, the United States and the developed world. This is President Trump’s challenge number one.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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