Beyond the Cusp

February 22, 2017

Nasrallah and Allies Throwing Threats at Israel

 

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel to “Count to one million!” this past Monday before starting any attacks or violence against Lebanon. To those who know Israel they realize this threat has nothing to do with any threats which might emanate from Israel, they have everything to do with Nasrallah reinforcing his own standing as Hezballah has some difficulties as their losses in the Syria conflict continue to mount. Hezballah requires their front with Israel to give their movement legitimacy and without support in Lebanon they would not have this front. Nasrallah’s problem is the fighting by Hezballah in support of Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad in his war to try and reestablish his country with him still in control. Hezballah only has an obligation to fight for al-Assad because Iran insists they assist the Iranian efforts to support al-Assad, an ally, or should we say the more honest assessment of puppet, and thus retain Syria as the anchor on the Mediterranean of the Shiite Crescent across the Middle East. This Shiite Crescent begins with Iran bordering the Indian Ocean and Persian (Arabian) Gulf across Iraq and on through Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea. Should Iran lose their claim to Syria personified by Bashir al-Assad who is more Shiite than Sunni as an Alawite Muslim, they lose their western Shiite Crescent anchor. The civil war in Syria has drawn more assets from Iran who has sent mostly Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) units and as the fighting had continued they demanded that Hezballah assist the efforts and this demand has only increased as the fighting became more and more desperate. Initially Hezballah had great successes but soon they began to have sufficient losses that they were no longer able of hiding the deaths and severe injuries to their fighters. As Hezballah is mostly an all-volunteer force, leaving Hezballah has proven bad for some individuals’ health.

 

Hassan Nasrallah Gesturing during remote feed video onto large screen during Hezballah semi-annual pretense of readiness to defeat any Israeli assault as he remain in hiding presumably beyond the reach of Israeli drones and commandos. This enhances his appearance of constantly under threat by Israeli forces seeking to assassinate him. The likely truth is that Israel had no reason, desire or even bothered to draw up plans to do so. As far as whether Israel could find Hassan Nasrallah’s various secreted locations, probably already have them pinpointed on some map just in case it becomes advantageous to remove Nasrallah from his position as the figurehead of Hezballah.

Hassan Nasrallah Gesturing during remote feed video onto large screen during Hezballah semi-annual pretense of readiness to defeat any Israeli assault as he remain in hiding presumably beyond the reach of Israeli drones and commandos. This enhances his appearance of constantly under threat by Israeli forces seeking to assassinate him. The likely truth is that Israel had no reason, desire or even bothered to draw up plans to do so. As far as whether Israel could find Hassan Nasrallah’s various secreted locations, probably already have them pinpointed on some map just in case it becomes advantageous to remove Nasrallah from his position as the figurehead of Hezballah.

 

Still, and especially with the losses in Syria, Hezballah needs volunteers to fill their ranks of fighters. They control much of the government forces throughout Lebanon and is allied closely with President Michel Aoun and through these connections they control the education system in much of the areas and through this they indoctrinate the youth thus providing for future volunteers. One of the main attractive themes which is used in the schools and in their seeking for new recruits is the idea of fighting the Jews, Israel in particular. This has been a central theme even in Iran where their two major indoctrination inducing themes are “Death to America” teamed with “Death to Israel” both of which are often chanted in demonstrations after Friday prayers. This is the Iranian version of George Orwell’s 1984 “Two Minutes of Hate.” The similarity between the Iranian use of hate and Nasrallah using hate for Israel and the Jews are asimple means of holding power through defining and demonization of the other. This has been one of the means of unifying populations throughout Islamic history beginning with Muhammad during his later period in Medina after his being cast out of Mecca as his preaching that his revelations were the only truth, something the pluralistic society of Mecca refused to accede to, eventually rubbed the leaders of the city and the populace to such an extent they rejected both his preaching and soon the man himself, Muhammad, was cast out of the city. Once he established his power base in Medina he turned on those who had rejected him, first the Jewish tribes in the vicinity of Medina and then on Mecca bringing it down and subjugating those who had formerly rejected him. This was why he called his religion Islam which best translates as submission. This is still the method used by Islam that all must bow to their wishes and as Muhammad chose the Jews for a special place as the most accursed by Islam, this theme is repeated today. This is part of why Israel is so hated and why they so often depict the United States as controlled by Jews or as the puppet of Israel and thus singling the United States for equal hate as is given Israel. Some may ask why then is Britain also given such hate even more so than France, which was just as much a colonial power after the end of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, and the reason is simple, the Balfour Declaration brining Israel into existence, as they were under Jewish control. Everything traces back to the Jews no matter how absurd such a premise may be. Below we have Orwell’s “Two Minutes of Hate” and a rally against Israel, Britain and America from Tehran and the similarities are easily recognized.

 


Two Minutes of Hate

 


Endless Mindless Hate

 

There has also been a renewed belligerence from Gaza using a new tactic of firing their rockets from both within Gaza and from the Sinai Peninsula. Other than opening up a new front by using Egyptian territory there may be more involved. These rockets have been largely a single volley and then a return to what can be described as a normal level of fear and anxiety. The truth is, as we noted in our article Hamas Appointments Signal Coming Conflict, the recent retirement by Ismail Haniyeh and his replacement by Yahya Sinwar signals an expected increase in belligerence and the definite possibility of another Gaza war as Hamas will likely start a new rocket offensive this spring and into the summer. More rockets were fired into Israel today and all that remains is to see who and how many take credit for the attacks. Currently there is a war ongoing in Gaza in a rather subdued struggle for control of the area, the attacks on Israel as well as potentially Egypt between Hamas and Islamic State. Both groups would desire to eradicate Israel and both find Egyptian President Sisi to be a threat to their particular version of Islam, as he is calling for a reformation within Islam placing the emphasis on the Meccan coexistence verses instead of the Medina conquer the world and subjugation verses. Both Islamic State and Hamas see conquest as the true path of Islam holding no question in the supremacy which must be brought about by any and all means necessary including by the sword. Their argument with Sisi still would take a back seat to their hatreds for Israel and the Jews. In the case of Hamas one should not believe their aim is simply to destroy Israel and scatter the Jews to the far corners of the Earth as their Charter calls for the annihilation of all Jews wherever they may be found. Quoting the Hamas Charter, it states in Article 7, “The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslim, O servant of God, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’” Further, it states in Article 32, “Zionism scheming has no end, and after Palestine, they will covet expansion from the Nile to the Euphrates River. When they have finished digesting the area on which they have laid their hand, they will look forward to more expansion. Their scheme has been laid out in the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion.’” These are actual beliefs which they intend to act upon yet nobody appears capable of understanding their deep-seated anti-Semitism and the extents to which they intend to carry the extermination of the Jewish People. What the world need understand is that the Islamic hatred for the Jews goes all the way back to the beginning starting with Muhammad and was not a product of their influence from the Nazis but rather it was an Islamic influence of Jew hatred which spurred the Nazis even further and was responsible in part for the “Final Solution” which was in part formulated through the input of the Mufti of Jerusalem in discussions he partook in at the Wannsee Conference. Hamas is simply the continuation of Muhammad’s preoccupation with the extermination of the Jewish People.

 

Ismail Haniyeh and Yahya Sinwar

Ismail Haniyeh and Yahya Sinwar

 

What poses the real threat is the possibility of facing a two front assault from the south using both Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula by Hamas as well as facing Hezballah in the north potentially attacking from both Lebanon and onto the Golan Heights from within al-Assad held areas around Damascus in Syria. Where such would not prove an impossible task for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), it would limit that care which could be granted should the IDF only need fight on just one front. There would be a necessary broadening of any theater of operation with less ability to use discretion when targeting essential structures being used as rocket launching facilities or command and control. This would be particularly true on the front against Hezballah as they have been provided with sufficient ability to destroy much of Israel with their estimated one-hundred-fifty-thousand rockets and missiles. With such an arsenal they could probably overwhelm the Iron Dome systems and in order to preserve the nation the IDF would be required to rely on intensive air strikes and use of Israeli missiles in a series of precision munitions. The usual surgical precision and calling off air strikes simply because there would be a potential for civilian casualties would need to be given less urgency as many of these rockets and missiles and their launchers have been placed in what Hezballah refer to as their hardened positions which they claim Israel is unable to strike. What they are relying upon is that no Israeli government would ever permit the unrestricted use of missiles and air strikes regardless of civilian casualties. The difference in any coming conflict with Hezballah is that it would come down to Lebanese casualties or Israeli casualties and that would not be a difficult, though it would be an unpleasant, thought for any Israeli Prime Minister no matter where on the political scale they may sit. Any Israeli Prime Minister who would hold Lebanese or Gazan lives as more important and more precious than Israeli lives and call off strikes which would save Israeli civilians simply because Lebanese or Gazans might be hurt should step down immediately. There is a point where being humane when fighting a war has to give way to the practicality of fighting a war. Any war with Hezballah who have been provided with more missiles and rockets than many European military powers could put into use at any given time by Iran with the intent of overwhelming Israel and destroying as much of the country and murdering as many of the people as possible, that requires taking off the gloves and fighting any confrontation as what it is, an all-out no-holds-barred war. Such is not exactly something to be proud over, but reality has consequences and the only thing which Israel can promise is that she will not fire the first shot.

 

That leads us to the final reason Nasrallah made the comments he did. His other purpose is to establish through quotations the idea that any confrontation must have been started by Israel. In this with repeated statements of how Hezballah will go to any length in protecting Lebanon from Israeli aggressions, Hezballah will not shy when Israel attacks, Hezballah stands ready for the coming Israeli attacks and statement after such statement that when Hezballah strikes Israel in a cross border raid killing IDF soldiers on patrol and kidnapping soldiers if able they will claim the Israelis attacked and the world, even for a moment believes and reports such, then the entire following conflict will be blamed on Israel. Many of the world media will point to all the times Nasrallah warned of impending Israeli attack. The problem is Hezballah claims that the Galilee is occupied land and that Israel illegally holds these lands so when they attack it is in defense of lands they claim are occupied despite there being a recognized international border which places these lands within Israel. The entire length of the Lebanon Israel border is fenced and any attack required crossing through the fence at recognized crossing points. The entire border between Israel and Lebanon is supposed to be monitored by the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon. These are the same peacekeepers who were supposed to prevent Hezballah from rearming and prevent their digging an entire new set of underground facilities. This is the same United Nations peacekeeping force which the Europeans walked out of supporting, India left after they were threatened and these peacekeepers now basically work for Hezballah. These United Nations forces were referred to as UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) and were put in place after the Second Lebanon War and almost lasted two years before basically turning the other way and allowing any breaching of the agreements they were supposed to enforce. They became so threatened that one seldom sees any United Nations vehicles south of the Litani River and those one can find are often being driven by and used to transport Hezballah units, rockets and provisions. UNIFIL became a joke and if there is any logic left in Israel, they will never again trust the United Nations, European union, European nations or most of the world to keep even a single promise if doing so places them in opposition to the forces of Islam as the world is more afraid of terrorists than they are of Israel because Israel will not be blowing things up in their capitals or anywhere they care about. Israel needs to realize they are on their own for the most part and any friends they may have after an election may disappear after the next election and their promises will leave with them. Such is the lesson of the written agreement given Ariel Sharon by George W. Bush which has since become a dead letter with at best may become resurrected briefly but will then be eclipsed somewhere down the road, guaranteed. The only promises Israel can count upon are in Torah.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 19, 2017

Hamas Appointments Signal Coming Conflict

 

The appointment by Hamas of 55 year old Yehya al-Sinwar, released from Israeli prisons after serving a mere twenty-two years of his four lifetime sentence as part of the Gilad Shalit exchange, as the new political leader of Hamas with his deputy Khalil Alhia, both coming out of the Izz a-Din al-Kassam terror group with links to the extreme Islamic Salafist movement promises future conflict. Yehya al-Sinwar gained fame for killing of Palestinians who he called “collaborators” including one senior Hamas commander without the bother of a trial because he perceived him to be a potential rival and thus he just had to be a traitor. Sinwar is well known by Israeli intelligence agencies who reveal that his dreams are for the founding of the two state solution as he knows full well that Hamas will take control of the Palestinian entity from Fatah and the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas “either through the ballot box” if elections are held “or by the bullet,” Sinwar’s actual phrasing, and “have Israel subject to rockets from all directions.” He dreams of a final glorious battle where he will scatter the Jews back to the far corners of the world as predicted by the Quran from the Seventh Century. He fully believes in Jihad exactly as laid out in the Quran. He intends to force the world through the BDS Movement to estrange Israel from the body of nations. If need be he will implement plans to buy the necessary political, media and academic leaders in crucial position to attain this end. He intends to first separate Jerusalem completely from Israel having the world proclaim Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and have Hamas force Israel completely from the entirety of the city believing that Israel cannot survive once Jerusalem has been taken. History actually backs this prediction which makes him all the more dangerous. Yehya al-Sinwar and Khalil Alhia being placed at the top of Hamas portends a coming war likely starting this spring and continuing into the summer. The question is of when, not if, the violence will begin. The recent launching of four rockets at Eilat may be the signal of the start of rocket launches ever couple of weeks eventually becoming more common building into a full assault with hundreds of rockets each day or more just as the last two wars. We can also expect that the world media will wait until Israel responds to report anything and then to lead their reporting with Israel attacked Gaza, or Gaza City, and only later in the article mention that the Israeli actions was in response to weeks of rocket attacks by Hamas, if they even admit that Hamas initiated the attacks.

 

This situation signals that Hamas has decided that total war and perpetual Jihad is the path they need to implement going forward. There are certain things which Israel has available to perform in reaction to these obvious moves by Hamas towards a more violent path. Israel currently provides Gaza much of their electricity, water, natural gas and other petroleum products. These take a deal of effort to keep operating, especially when the difficulty is within sniper range from Gaza as Hamas and Islamic Jihad will often shoot the repair personnel who are working to repair and return electric power to Gaza. Hamas and the residents of Gaza do not pay for the provided power and the United Nations, European Union and many nations demand that Israel not deduct the costs from funding for Gaza as that is collective punishment. These entities and nation do not care that the nonpayment for services is a collective lack of payment and there is no concern for the collective punishment of Israelis who pay additional rates to cover the costs of power and water and other provisions which Israel provides both Gaza and the Palestinian Authority, both entities which refuse to pay their power and water bills. This is collective punishment on Israel and the world shrugs and claims that Israelis can afford to pay for the very people’s power and water who are attempting to kill them on a regular basis. Where else is such a situation forced on a people, nowhere. Only Israel is subjected to being forced to provide power, fuel, water and even medical provisions and even often provide medical treatment all for people who support the murder of Israelis, many often giving active support. There are numerous stories of Palestinian Arabs attempting to bomb the very hospital or clinical care facility which has treated them and often saved their lives. So, let’s talk common sense and what Israel ought to do in order to persuade Hamas that attacking Israel will not be in their better interest and that if they expect to live in a modern society with nice homes and facilities and shopping centers, then they need to act civilly with Israel, recognize Israel’s right to exist, and recognize Israel in every way if they expect Israel to continue to provide them with essentials.

 

The first promise Israel should make the leadership of Hamas, both political and military, that Israel knows the location of their homes and if a new war is waged, their homes will be amongst the initial targets which will be destroyed. Israel should promise the most prominent people in Gaza that their homes will be targeted one house at random for every rocket position which has to be destroyed which is placed on apartment buildings in the less well-off neighborhoods. No longer will only the poor lose their homes and have their lives destroyed by Hamas violence, the wealthy will now also be targeted and pay a similar price. The wealthy who hold the money and thus influence and power are going to be targeted and more. The malls and fine restaurants and theaters and other pleasure palaces the wealthy enjoy will be destroyed at night when they are empty to decrease the loss of life but not the loss of property and convenience. When violence breaks out there will be a similar cutting off of water, electricity, gas and less gasoline and diesel fuel provided. The higher the violence the lower the provided fuels, electricity, water, gas and other provisions which Israel provides. Perhaps Hamas had better make deals with Egypt to provide these essentials before they start a war with Israel and have to go without. But Egyptian President Sisi is not exactly enamored with Hamas so that too may prove difficult. Another war from Hamas and Islamic Jihad will have ramification on the nice lives lived by the leadership of these terror groups and continued violence will result in ramifications for the leadership and wealthy of the whole of Gaza and not just the poor people, the unfortunates which the wealthy are more than willing to sacrifice and whose homes do not matter to the wealthy, well, that should change and the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their wealthy friends should be made to know this.

 

Israel has to get serious about demanding the right of a nation to peace and secure borders and this should start with making a deal with Jordan and Jordan Opposition Coalition (JOC الائتلاف الاردني للمعارضة) who have offered a solution to the Arab Palestinian situation and desire peaceful coexistence and cooperation with Israel to their mutual benefit. They desire to build a democratic style governance in Jordan for all the Palestinian Arab population and recognize the Israeli right to the lands west of the Jordan River as defined by the British Mandate, San Remo Conference, Treaty of Sèvres and backed by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter and all of International Law. Such a deal would finally bring the Arab-Israeli conflict to a sustainable resolution which also would recognize the agreements made after World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire which happened in parallel with the dissolution of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in Eastern Europe. Israel has every bit as much legitimacy as Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Algeria, Jordan and the rest of the nations defined by the series of treaties reached settling the disagreements and other considerations at the end of World War I and affecting all the nations and empires which fought in that war even including Japan and the United States which both were members or observers to every agreement, conference and treaty. It is finally time for the world to make good on their promises to the Zionist Congress and other interests which finally resulted in the formation of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948 with the borders as pictured below which were immediately invaded on all sides at the first light of dawn. Israel survived but did not come out as the victor in any means other than survival. Instead Israel lost the Gaza Strip to Egypt and Judea and Samaria lands and Eastern Jerusalem (West Bank) to Jordan. In the Six Day War of June 1967 Israel liberated these lost lands and took the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, which has since been returned, the Golan Heights from Syria, which has been annexed to prevent the return of Syrian snipers shooting Israeli farmers and others and provide a more stable and defendable border which has been a blessing with the current situation in Syria. Gaza will remain with Hamas as Israel released those lands in a treaty though a revolution all but immediately replaced the Palestinian Authority government.

 

Definitive Map of Israel May 15, 1948 As the Sun Rose Immediately Before Half a Dozen Arab Armies Invade Assisted by Militias from Several Entities

Definitive Map of Israel May 15, 1948
As the Sun Rose Immediately Before
Half a Dozen Arab Armies Invade
Assisted by Militias from Several Entities

 

The time and situation have reached a critical mass where Israel must exercise her rights to her full border promised, the border which the world is fully aware includes everything west of the Jordan River including all of Judea and Samaria and Eastern Jerusalem. The Palestinian Arab, those are the non-Israeli Arabs, may have Jordanian citizenship where the group mentioned above desire forming a self-rule governance, either without their current King or with the King having a ceremonial position at his preference as he spends much of his time away from Jordan and not particularly ruling, has promised to accept them as citizens even arranging with Israel to allow those desiring to remain in their current location to have voting rights in Jordan and resident alien status with Israel as long as they remain law abiding, and make a deal, where Israel would provide those who would desire moving to Jordan a generous buyout of their homes and business as well as a relocation bonus all for a limited time. The Palestinian Arab leadership would likely relocate somewhere in Europe or the Arab world as the Jordanians remember the revolution attempted by Yasser Arafat and would probably not be willing to risk their presence again. There would need be a limit to the time in which the new Jordanian Arabs could receive the buyout and relocation bonus of maybe as much as three years and perhaps even an offer to Israeli Arabs who have relatives living in Jordan and other cases on a case by case basis all considering the benefit to Jordan as well as Israel. It would be unlikely that the Palestinian Arabs would be offered Israeli citizenship, especially when they were being offered citizenship by the Arab nations of Jordan which was originally intended to be the Arab state formed from the British Mandate. The idea of the Hashemite Kingship was a British idea to satisfy their World War I promise to the Hashemites who lost their lands which included Mecca and Medina when the Saudis took the lands by force around World War I and the Hashemites also aided the British against the Turkish Ottomans during World War I. None of these complications in Jordan should ever have had any influence on Israel other than the Jordanian illegal occupation of Judea and Samaria and Eastern Jerusalem for nineteen years. Just because Jordan occupied the lands of Judea and Samaria and Eastern Jerusalem does not translate into any rights for them to give it as a present to the Arabs which resided there or were transferred there by Jordan against International Law, especially when their claims to have given the areas to Yasser Arafat’s PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) terrorist group came in July 1988, twenty-one-years and one month after the loss of the lands in June of 1967. First, one cannot give away land which was occupied and not legally theirs to begin with and most definitely cannot give those lands away over twenty-one-years after the rightful owner liberates them.

 

The reason there need be a solution to the problem in Judea and Samaria, which includes Eastern Jerusalem, such that Israel retains full rights over the lands with the Arabs only permitted, at most, self-rule in either a semiautonomous region or as resident aliens with Jordanian citizenship granted self-rule potentially in selected cities is so the IDF retaining full operational rights throughout the areas prevents any opportunity for Hamas to establish an operational base from which to attack Israel. Simply stated, the two state solution already exists with Gaza and Israel and a three state solution must be put to rest and buried never to resurface even in a horror film. It is hoped that this was stressed with President Trump and needs be discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping (习近平) and whichever other international leaders who might be sympathetic or require being informed for other considerations. Israel must start making the process that she will retain all the lands other than Gaza and that there is no such thing as another Arab nation being carved from the body, the legal body, of Israel and that Israel will be retaining control over all the lands which were and still are promised her under all of international law, United Nations Security Council Chapter Six Resolution 2334 included as that particular resolution must be voided by the United Nations due to it breaking Article 80 of the United Nations Charter and thus cannot stand if the United Nations desires to continue to have relevancy and any degree of credibility. If this resolution stands then the United Nations Charter is invalidated and thus the entire credibility of the United Nations is sunk and nothing the United Nations ever does can be considered as permanent if it is unable to observe its own charter. Stating it in easy to understand English, “No Charter, No Credibility.” As for the European Union and the other NGO’s and countries which decide they really desire to back carving up Israel further, we all know what is driving that desire and such hatred will be at best ignored and if too persistent should be acted against with Israeli sanctions enforced and even joined by other nations who side with Israel. The time has come for Israel to stand definitively and take an active stand stating with strong enforcement that Israel will retain all the lands promised by the world, the League of Nations, the United Nations and every nation which recognized Israel in the United Nations vote in November 1947. Any nation wishing to renege on their promise can decide to risk Israeli sanction if they so choose and with so many applications for computers, cell phones and so many other developments, discoveries and inventions, how many nations really wish to do without Israeli discoveries or goods, that is the risk they are entitled to take. Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions can work both ways, something to remember and consider going forward, think hard.

 

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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