Beyond the Cusp

December 31, 2017

The Muslim Challenge

 

Islam periodically since its birth tests the world and the strength of the backbone and the willingness of the world to actually stand up and say, “No!” If the world shouts that no loud and clear, then Islam settles back down and waits a period of a few hundred years before rising again and testing the waters again. The most recent previous testing of the world’s waters was literally testing waters, the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean near the North African coastlines. This was referred to as the Barbary Pirates who demanded the Jiyza from the Western World in order to allow their merchants to sail the seas in safety. Of course, there was still the occasional, well, more like regular stopping of ships and stealing their contents and some of the sailors taken in to serve the Muslims as slaves. In cases that are more drastic, the Barbary Pirates would sink a ship taking the entirety of the crew into captivity for ransoming the officers and slavery for the working sailors. The problem first met with the Americans, they chose the same treatment as the Europeans had taken, paying the ransoms. Throughout the terms of the first two Presidents, George Washington and John Adams and during the term of Thomas Jefferson, the third and most isolationist and noninterventionist President, who finally reached the point where the demanded ransoms became too high for the young nation to afford, and this brought on the First Barbary War. Once the Americans had engaged and defeated the Barbary Pirates, the Europeans also stopped paying their protection demands and instead patrolled their trade routes with naval warships. This ended the Barbary Pirates for a period of time and after the war between the British and the United States in the War of 1812, the Barbary Pirates thought perhaps the two largest navies, Britain and the United States, having fought a war and might be less likely to fight against them and their pirating resumed. The United States soon thereafter engaged in the Second Barbary War and again they defeated the Barbary Caliph and a second peace was reached ending the Islamic pirating of the trade routes.

 

The recent history with the rise of al-Qaeda, the Taliban and finally Islamic State, the world is once again facing the Islamic pressures to see if the world will resist or simply roll over and submit to Islamic demands and dominance. Once again, the Europeans do not appear to care to engage in any resistance and some have even gone so far as to invite the Islamic refugees into their nation with Germany taking the lead. There are some exceptions that have surfaced from eastern Europe such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, three of the eastern European nations which the European Union has launched a legal case for their refusal to take in Arab refugees. There were others, but the European Union has specific persons they wish to intimidate and the most successful of the former Warsaw Nations so as to force them to knuckle under to their leftist policies. The Warsaw nations have witnessed a lifetime of leftist policies and politics from the Soviet Union and want nothing to do with such policies again. They demand to be permitted to draw their own lines of travel in politics, economics and other vital policies which are very different from those the western or old European nations and the established European Union members. These newer eastern European nations may find they will have a new friend from an unexpected source, merry olde England and the British Isles. These former Warsaw nations may be forgoing taking in refugees for economic reasons or for political reasons, that is irrelevant. What is important is they are taking a stand against the encroachment by Islamic forces, be they refugees or as some have claimed, an advance force in the lead of an Islamic invasion and conquest of Europe. This may appear to be somewhat of a preposterous idea or it may be valid, as Islam has attempted three times to conquer Europe, once being stopped at the Battle of Tours by Charles the Hammer Martel and twice at the gates of Vienna, once by Polish King John III Sobieski and his Polish hussars. Perhaps those who believe this may be the start of a fourth attempt by Islam to spread and conquer Europe may be correct or at least have at least a shred of good sense to be warning such.

 

That leads to the current state of the Middle East. If one were to plot the wave of violence spread across the Middle East and one would find it has two sources, two sources which may be linked in some means. The initial cause could be traced to the United States and what many have called an ignorant and foolhardy foreign policy steeped in mistaken concepts, while others might believe that there was a central underlying goal behind the policies of President Obama. There was some who posited that President Obama was simply pro-Arab while others thought he was a supporter of the Shiite branch of Islam. There is a third possibility in that President Obama desired an opposing force to counter Israel in the Middle East seeing such a force could be the answer through which Israel could be forced to make a peace demanded of them in exchange for the offer of protection. His initial push was with the Muslim Brotherhood which he worked to install in Egypt and might have hoped for them to also rise to power in Syria after removing Bashar al-Assad and likely have them replace King Hussein in Jordan and surrounding Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood failed in every place which they had hoped. This may have been what led President Obama to seek a new champion with who to finalize his Middle East plans and pose as his necessary opposing force to cow Israel into allowing a Palestinian State by whatever borders were offered by President Obama and the State Department. Iran was the next choice to fulfill President Obama’s hopes but time ran out. Iran had their designs as well which included the Shiite Crescent and surrounding Saudi Arabia, their main adversary and the center of Sunni Islam (see map below). This required their supporting the Shiite takeover in Iran which required strengthening the Shiite governance and cleansing of any and all Sunni influence. Then there was another pair of challenges even further afield, Yemen and Syria. President Obama had caused sufficient distress in Syria when pressing to have the Muslim Brotherhood replace Assad and the Iranians required placing him back into power. In Yemen, the Iranians required to control Yemen as it gives them a southern front against Saudi Arabia and gives them the Bab-el-Mandeb Straight and control of the southern exit from the Red Sea. Yemen required the overthrow of the existing government, so the Iranians backed the Houthi rebels in another civil war. Once Yemen and Syria are consolidated the Iranians may finally be in the position required to threaten Israel for President Obama, but they are a year or more too late and the new President, Donald Trump, has no plans, as far as any can see, to press Israel into a peace they cannot survive.

 

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

 

Islam, be it the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Palestinian Authority, Iran, terrorists striking Western cities or the waves of refugees flowing into Europe; they are all signs of a resurgent Islam, though from different perspectives, which if left unchecked will simply continue to gain strength and grow more and more virulent. This has been the case before with the birth of the Caliphate, the Ottoman expansion, the Barbary Pirates and now with both of the major strains of Islam, Sunni and Shiite. The question is will the Western powers raise up and face the growing threat or will they wait and suffer the advances and insults from Islam as they did the Barbary Pirates until it was all but too late or will they see the coming storm and band together and make the proper united front before it becomes too dire and the conflict that results in a carnage from which the world may not survive. It will take the presence of worldview from the United States to lead the Europeans. The eastern nations are still growing from their release from Communism and the others still believe that the end of history has occurred and the world will have no more conflicts. Unfortunately, the United States is also not likely to realize what is infecting the world as the President knows only what he has been told and then only until another five thoughts come his way pushing the former out into oblivion. One can only wonder if the Pentagon survived the evisceration by President Obama of the generals with the most combat experience to also see what is forming in the not so distant mists of the future. One would think with so many generals including two Marines that they might be capable of finding a clue about the coming threats, but then they might be uncertain as to how their President might handle such news as he has likely stated that his only concerns are the economy and domestic issues and prefers for foreign entanglements to be avoided as he has no knowledge or interest in the world outside of trade. Whatever the truth, it may be fortunate that the Middle East is still having convulsions as such a series of events may delay any complete resurgence for Islam until the world is ready, and perhaps not. The future is on shaky ground, the ground is simply getting less and less stable with time, and much of that is due to the growing restlessness of Islam. It might even take Russia or China to show the world the need for actions before the situation becomes formidable, or worse, unstoppable. Islam is following the same path it has in the past, will anybody ever sit up and take notice, that is the question of the hour.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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December 27, 2017

The Race Begins

 

We now have a second entry in the move your embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem Race. It was assumed that the United States would win this race potentially as its only entrant. Then we heard about the information that the Czech Republic might be joining the race and now Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has announced his baton’s intent to join the race. Then there is the other race where Turkey has been joined by Malaysia in announcing intent to build their embassy to the State of Palestine in Eastern Jerusalem. So, now we have two races claiming the same city for opposing entities which may result in a very confused pair of announcements all pretending that they are deciding some great question in history. The interpretive nature of this versus the literal legal perspective offers a rare but insightful view of the world today and the divides which rule us just as much as with whom we believe we are friends.

 

The equation is simple, move your embassy to western side of Jerusalem and you support Israel and everything the Jewish State stands for or move your embassy to eastern Jerusalem and support a Palestinian State simply because of spiteful feelings that Judaism is supposed to be dead and Islam supreme or simply you hate Israel as well as likely Jews who are religious or all Jews just over principles. Simple stated, Western Jerusalem, favor the Jewish State, Eastern Jerusalem, favor the eradication of Israel and possibly the Jews, leave your embassy in Tel Aviv, favor timidity and refuse to take any stand just in case it proves to be costly in the end. Those are the choices facing those with embassies. Those without embassies are most likely strongly anti-Israel and the Jews, so if you even play in this game, your vote will favor the Palestinian Arab side and the destruction of Israel; so you will place your initial embassy in Eastern Jerusalem voting against history, though you will see this as your affirmation that Israel is an illegal entity and that there need be another Arab state simply so there cannot be any Jewish existence anywhere on Earth. We could call this “Embassy-gate, the Battle of the Embassy Placements.” Pictured below are typical images of the Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestinian demonstrators in support of their respective sides. What is never revealed in the media coverage, outside of a few Israeli sites, is that the pro-Palestinian side is more in favor of the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of Israeli Jews than they favor any Palestinian nation being formed. Even the PLO stated quite proudly before the June 1967 Six Day War, when their target was unequivocally Israel and all of Israel as occupied Palestine as Jordan still controlled the areas of Judea and Samaria they renamed West Bank, to rid these locations of their Jewish identity and historical realities, made very clear that once they had destroyed Israel and cleansed the lands of any Jewish presence, they were going to turn the land over to Jordanian rule as they had absolutely no desire for governing any nation, their speciality was destruction and terrorism.

 

Pro Israel Demonstrators and Pro Palestinian Demonstrators

Pro Israel Demonstrators and Pro Palestinian Demonstrators

 

The reality becomes even more stark as to the legality of each side in this Embassy-gate, the Battle of the Embassy Placements as we get into the specifics for making good on each side’s threats and promises. The very first item up for consideration is the purchasing of the grounds upon which your embassy, consulate, or other structure you desire to build. Purchasing land in Western Jerusalem follows the same rules as much of the developed world, you decide on which plots of land you wish to build, research what plot locations define the area and who owns which sections and then buy them and file the appropriate papers for each section and build according to codes after procuring the necessary licenses and contracted with builders and build. Trying to do the same or similar in Eastern Jerusalem could prove more difficult. Should the land you need for building your dream embassy belong to an Arab and you are not a Palestinian Arab, then their selling you their plot could cost them their lives as selling Arab owned land to any non-Arab would result in your being sentenced to death by the PA* as guaranteed by Mahmoud Abbas. Then there are the other costs if Mahmoud Abbas or the PA are able to extend their reach as technically, you building in Eastern Jerusalem could be as simple and straight forward as it is in Western Jerusalem provided you are willing and able to conduct your business with Israeli officials. But if you are building an embassy to support the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel, then dealing with the Israelis just might be problematic.

 

Even should you get past the land purchasing dilemma, then comes the building permits, utility hook-ups, public works and all the other necessities for operating a modern embassy. Add onto all that there is finding a contractor, which if it is in Eastern Jerusalem could mean going through Mahmoud Abbas and the kickback schemes which he and his friends and family have in place to guarantee their financial security. Then again, you could work with Israeli contractors, unless they are on your list of enemies. Actually, finding a like-minded Israeli contractor who would gladly assist your embassy dreams in Eastern Jerusalem dedicated to serving the Palestinian Arab state might prove far easier than one might anticipate. But the specifics and technicalities are less important than the political and diplomatic fallout coming from the coming events. The result of the Battle of the Embassy Placements will have less influence on the far future than it now seems it could have. The far future will depend more on silly little items such as international law and the reality they define than on the emotional interplay and the coming Battle of the Embassy Placements. For Israel, as long as they do not partake of any other diplomatic disasters such as the renouncing of all claims to Gaza, this means that eventually Israel will have full control of the lands from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, just as defined in the Mandate System, the San Remo Conference and enforced by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

 

The current score in the Battle of the Embassy Placements is all tied at two embassies each. The United States and Guatemala have stated plans to move their embassies to Western Jerusalem with talks of possibly the Czech Republic also relocating their embassy to Western Jerusalem. On the other side, we have Turkey and Malaysia stating intentions to place their embassies in Eastern Jerusalem. The next step will be the long wait to see who decides to move their embassy, if anyone desires to do so, and then to which side of Jerusalem, Eastern or Western Jerusalem. Then there will be the logistics of each move and the battles over sites and licenses, construction contracts, lawsuits in the Israeli Supreme Court most often used to prevent any nation from constructing their embassies in Western Jerusalem. These will often be brought by NGO’s which have spent much of their time formerly pursuing the BDS** support largely though the United Nations and European countries, those same European nations and the PA, PLO^* and sympathetic Arab nations. The resistance to any nation moving their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, specifically Western Jerusalem, will be ever greater with time and as more nations attempt to commit to such a move. At the same time, those expressing support for the Palestinian Arabs will find their moving of an embassy to Eastern Jerusalem being given worldwide support during every phase until built, then they will be on their own, especially during the next announced “Days of Rage” when the Palestinians start destroying everything within reach. But they will declare any price worth paying to stand against Israel when what they mean is standing against the Jews. Those who survive and persevere through the entirety of the ordeal and manage to claim their new embassy in the Israeli capital city of Jerusalem, even if they couch their bet by using Western Jerusalem, will receive no great accolades for their stand with Israel and will instead reap the scorn of those siding against Israel and the Jews and other Zionists who support the efforts to reestablish the ancient home of the Jews bringing their Kingdom back to life and doing so hopefully for the final time. If prophesy meant this period of history for the reestablishing of Israel and the building of the Third and Final Temple, then nothing done by mortal man will prevent such from coming to fruition, and whether these embassies move supporting Israel or not, in the end Hashem decides the result and Hashem has promised the Holy Lands to the Jews. Israel will be glad to work with those desiring an Embassy to Israel being placed in Jerusalem, anywhere in Jerusalem for Jerusalem is a whole city where her citizens are free to live where they choose. For now, we wait and see what develops, especially with President Trump and the inevitable fight with the State Department which will likely attempt to delay each and every step for relocating the embassy claiming every step makes such a move impossible in the hopes of outlasting President Trump so the next President can return to the normal six month hold signed every six months thus escaping the inevitable. That is what the State Department is already doing with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson playing right along with his announcement that it will take at least two and possibly more years thus placing the actual construction to start into what would have to be a second term for President Trump and should he not be reelected, then the State Department can order everything to halt and stand down while they await the signing of the waiver by the newly elected President right after he is sworn into office. That would be a very sad end to this entire incidence.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

*PA = Palestinian Authority

**BDS = Boycott Divestment and Sanction Movement against Israel

^*PLO = Palestinian Liberation Organization (terrorist group)

 

October 19, 2017

Will Europe Divide Over Religion?

 

Those of us old enough to have experienced a divided Europe between free and Communist also remember the Iron Curtain. Some may even recall the origins of that phrase being a speech given at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill on March 5, 1946. United States President Harry S. Truman was with the British Prime Minister on the dais listening to the speech. The speech is actually titled “The Sinews of Peace” despite the most famous phrase history remembers was the term “Iron Curtain” used as Churchill stated, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” The entirety of the speech can be viewed below. That curtain will potentially become the basis for a new wall in Europe, one where religion remains an important cornerstone of society and one which has entered what many are referring to as the post-Christian society. Some of the functionaries of the European Union describe this divide a between élites of Western Europe who favor a more cosmopolitan and tolerant society which is democratic-liberal and accepting of people of all faiths with various views against those of Eastern Europe who are less enlightened exhibiting xenophobic views where they are bigoted against foreigners and those with whom they are unfamiliar seeking protection in the religions of Old Europe and an age long left behind by New Europe.

 

 

The reality is that one Europe lived in a free society which brought them more freedom than they could manage leading them into a hedonistic fervor where personal pleasure was the new aim by which life was measured and immediacy of realization of those very pleasures superseded all other pursuits. Thus, they left behind the limitations of Christianity and entered their new multiculturalist, post-Christian age where the self replaced the church and each person became the definer of their own religious beliefs. The restrictions of morality imposed by religion were replaced with the hedonism of an older age where barbarity ruled and the gods demanded child sacrifice. This new age has its own version of child sacrifice where pregnancies are terminated by abortions such that the party can continue without consequence or interruption. This has led to Western Europe having such a low rate of childbirth by the native population that they have fallen way below replacement rate leading to an aging population requiring the importation of foreign workers. In an effort to find these workers, leaders such as Angela Merkel made a decision to permit free and unregulated immigration from the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) calling for any who consider themselves to be refugees of any nature seeking the liberal governance of Western Europe to come and join in the wonders of Europe. This has brought on a huge wave of Islamic “refugees” which happened to be largely males, unaccompanied males, and unforeseen problems. This may be the result of their utopian dream becoming their nightmare.

 

Now for Eastern Europe and why they have a different view of what their new freedom means compared to their fellow Europeans at the western end of the continent who have had freedom ever since the end of World War II. The Eastern Europeans were behind that “Iron Curtain” Winston Churchill so perfectly described. Other than East Germany which reattached to West Germany to reestablish the whole of Germany and thus are being taken for a political ride as their neighbors from West Germany had a population advantage and thus control the politics. That tore East Germany from the remainder of the Warsaw Pact nations. These nations led by Poland, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Czech Republic and the rest of the former Warsaw Pact nations, had experienced the godless forced atheism of the Communist regimes imposed by the Soviet Union. This denied them their Christianity making it something more sacred with time. Their areas were closed societies which left their towns, cities and nations as homogeneous as they were at the end of World War II, in simple terms, Poland remained very Polish, Rumania remain Romanian, Hungary remain Hungarian and so on. Once free of the authoritarian governments which had oppressed these societies, they were still in a similar state as they had been under the Nazis who were another socialist and atheistic society, thus these societies are still flocking to their churches and Christianity is having a revival throughout Eastern Europe or the old Warsaw Pact nations. Thousands of Polish Catholics replete with rosary beads ringed much of their nation gathering at border points protesting the continued atheistic secularism of their government and in solidarity with fellow Christians across Europe who have been victimized by the spread of Islam across parts of Europe.

 

New Divide of Europe Between Western and Eastern Europes

New Divide of Europe Between Western and Eastern Europes

 

The two Europes could not be any more separate, the first shedding Christianity for the liberation of no religion and the other embracing Christianity after forced atheization under Soviet Union dictatorships. The first has shed the concept of traditional marriage replacing it with alternate definitions and simple hook-up culture and other alternate lifestyle choices where too many are child-free lifestyles. This had the consequence of a low reproductive rate and an aging population. Since 1950, the reproductive rate in Western Europe has steadily declined to the point that it has fallen well below replacement rate and showing no signs of recovery. The other Europe had a depressed reproductive rate while under Communism and its oppressive governance which was consistently below replacement rate. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and their respective Communist governance, the Eastern European nations have slowly risen from their melancholy lethargy. Their governance has had a less than smooth transition from Communism to Democracies independent and free from the central planning under Moscow. Their economies have slowly emerged as they faced an initial necessary improvement of infrastructure in order to make industrial growth possible. The reinitializing of free and independent nations did not exactly go without its challenges and little hiccups along the way. Where the real benefits of the newfound freedoms appears to actually taking root about now as the first generations raised entirely free of the pains of Communism are reaching adulthood, the reality of the freedom is now starting to be truly felt and the signs are impressive. The people are returning to their religious roots which had been illegal and forbidden for so long. Marriage is gaining amongst the youth and it appears that population numbers are slowly returning towards replacement rate and hopefully above into a range unseen for over half a century. Eastern Europe may be approaching a bright future if they can survive the European Union. The Western Europeans would gladly chase their Eastern Europeans from the European Union and if the Eastern Europeans are smart, they will be running so fast from the European Union that their Western European counterparts will be unable to catch them to chase them out.

 

There is nothing to prevent the Eastern Europeans from eventually following in the exact same footprints down the merry path which the Western Europeans have already tread. Perhaps the disaster that Old Europe is about to become and the potential for internecine violence and possible wars similar to the past wars against the spread of Islam, are about to repeat themselves, except this time with modern weaponry. Such conflicts will be more devastating with much higher toll in human lives than previous wars. While these threats are on the increase and the violence is growing in Western Europe, Eastern Europe will be experiencing their return to their various Christian roots with their population slowly recovering and starting to grow. It may become required for Eastern Europe to come and aid their Western Europeans otherwise they may fall to Islam and then pose a threat to Eastern Europe. Maybe history will find another John III Sobieski, King of Poland, though the next Polish savior of Europe will be possibly a Polish President, or a Romanian hero whose name will convey evil as did the name of their King Vlad III Dracula, but who will turn back invading enemies. Perhaps Western Europe will be the next conquest to eventually make up the Caliphate when Islam finally settles for the lands they posses and desire no more Jihadi Wars. What the future holds we cannot know and should we be patient, it does reveal itself in its own time. Time is the owner of great secrets of which we can know those revealed already and see those that come as we live and only strike with conjecture at what time holds from us in what we always pray will be a fantastic story for our children and their children and on for generations yet to come. For now, this is what we can say today, maybe we will say more in our hoped for mutual futures.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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