Beyond the Cusp

January 10, 2018

Iran Will Become Hopes Gained to Hopes Shattered

 

The protest started in Mashhad, the second or third largest city in Iran, on December 28, 2017, over prices and the poor economy. The demonstrators were largely the poor and some students but rapidly spread both along economic grounds to store owners and their employees and to every city. We are now into the second week of the protests and thus far, the leadership of Iran has shown little concern for the problems in their society. That includes both the supposed elected officials and the self-appointed leadership, which includes the Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini and the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution who choose the Supreme Leader as well as vetting all candidates running for elected office, eliminating all candidates who show even the slightest glimmer of new ideas which might run contrary to their ninth century thinking. That has been both a good thing and a bad thing. It is kind of a blessing in disguise as the government not reacting means that they have been allowed to protest without overt actions such as loosing the Basij Militias upon the demonstrators as in 2009, but the government has also ignored their plight simply brushing away their complaints as unsubstantiated. Despite not forcefully opposing the demonstrations in their streets, the Iranian protesters have seen more than two-dozen of its members murdered. There have been reports of protesters after-dark firing shots at police armed with rifles and handguns. This is before the totalitarian government has moved to restrict or destroy the protests as they had in the Green Revolution bringing those protests to an end in 2009. The main question we have received is exactly what one would suspect, “What will happen with the demonstrations in Iran and what will President Trump do to support them?” Well, perhaps it is time to answer that composite and comprehensive question.

 

Iranian Protests December 30, 2017

Iranian Protests December 30, 2017

 

Allow us to answer the easier question first, what will President Trump do? Well, he will Tweet about the horrors and how the violence, once it comes, has to end and how he has the ability to strike Iranian leadership with a ‘yuuge’ can of whoopash. Truthfully, he will go to the United Nations Security Council demanding that Chapter Seven mandatory worldwide economic sanctions be imposed on Iran. This will probably result in a complete rejection of the Trump request with a vote where maybe two or three others on the Security Council with Poland and Côte d’Ivoire the only votes we might think to promise supporting such sanctions and with at least three; China, France and Russia, opposing such a resolution resulting in nobody even having to think of pulling out their veto power as the United States was forced to do over the Jerusalem resolution. The next obvious step, which if wise he will not even bother, would be to bring the same resolution under Chapter Six, a nonenforceable motion, form of the resolution which would meet with similar if not identical rejection. Taking any such resolution to the General Assembly would be useful only in displaying to the world how upside down the United Nations has become supporting dictators over people and condemning the free nations for any independent moves they might execute on the international stage. The combination of condemning the United States over recognizing Jerusalem, condemning Israel for existing, and protecting Iran and seldom condemning the slaughters in Syria; and while condemning Israel for Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and Palestinian Authority semi-autonomous regions for beating wives and at the same time saying nothing for the shelling, barrel bombing and use of chemical agents on the largest Syrian Palestinian Arab refugee camp destroying the camp and murdering hundreds if not thousands in the process, have already shown anyone paying even the slightest attention the duplicity of the United Nations at all levels and throughout every last one of its agencies with the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) leading the way. President Trump does not need to feed the media beast out to consume and destroy him, but he does need to go to the Security Council for whichever version of obvious defeat, Chapter Six or Seven, just to place on the international stage the complete rejection of willing principled action even for protecting citizens protesting the corruption in their government. The reason is obvious, why should the citizens have any right to protest their government because in socialist governance and dictatorial governance, the government knows best and the people should be thankful for whatever dregs are permitted them.

 

Now for the less obvious part of the question, what will happen as a result of these protests. That will come down to what happens after the initial crackdown. What will happen initially is obvious, sooner or later, more likely sooner; the Iranian government will make a pushback over the protesters. How, you wish to know. The initial anti-protest move will be a violent encounter between the civilian protesters and the ‘civilian’ pro-government protesters where the pro-government protesters will be made up of IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) and Basij Militia members in civilian attire. These are military and paramilitary groups trained in hand-to-hand combat likely armed with batons and other handheld weaponry to wield against protesters largely armed with nothing or sticks from their protest signs. The civilian protesters will be unprepared for this pushback, as up to that point they will have faced uniformed police who were only in place to steer and limit their protests from spreading beyond certain limitations. This would be little different than how protests are handled in most nations with soft power but these protests have a different element, they are not going to end by themselves and that is where the problem arises. The Iranian government will not tolerate the bad media they are receiving from having the limitations and internal problems transmitted to the entire world. The Iranian government will need to end the protests so they can return the transmissions from Iran, especially through western media, of a nation where the people are satisfied and all is well.

 

Iranian Protests January 2018

Iranian Protests January 2018

 

Once this initial pushback had played-out and the Iranian leadership has weighed the reactions of the world and the nations within and as long as there is no overt outspoken a direct protest, then they will proceed to the next level of opposition. This will bring on a number of such pushbacks spreading to other cities with the Iranian government continuing to measure international responses. Once they have received some number of international reactions that such violence must end, then the Iranian government will have received the permission they require to put an end to the demonstrations, both sides. The first and initial confrontation between uniformed security police and the protesters will show them engaging with both sides. While the protesters who were taking the government side against the initial civilian protesters will appear to be being imposed upon just as harshly as the anti-government protesters but the reality is the pro-government protesters will shrink back quickly disappearing from the scene while the anti-government protesters have not been let in on the show and will receive the blunt end of government suppression. This low-level police action will last only a few days if that long. As long as their actions do not meet with actual threats of actions taken against Iran, direct actions as they could care less about sanctions, then the protests are doomed. The final stage will be mass arrests, shootings and heavy methods of disruption breaking the will and the spirit of the protesters. Such a put-down of the protests will require a number of days, probably less than a week to a week and a half, will continue with no remorse or limitation growing more violent with each passing day.

 

This will be the sorry state unless there is some direct intervention by the world or some nation capable of intervening and siding with the protesters and bringing down the government and remaining for probably a year or two and assisting keeping the peace until a new government has taken root, a democratically elected government in which everybody is permitted to run for office. There should be elected temporary governance which will draft a Constitution and establish the new governance and its structure then holding another election for a permanent government after the Constitution has been accepted by the people. Within the initial period will be necessitated that the Basij Militia members be sought out and prevented from being a subversive element intending to return the governance to being a religious theocracy. The problem is what nation would be willing and able to intervene and back the protesters demand for a greater voice in their government? The immediate answer is always the same, the United States. Many will claim that President Donald Trump would be ready, willing and able to jump in and take the fight to the Mullahs and bring Iran back within the family of nations. Those would be the words of those believing such is even a possibility. We are really sorry, but it is necessary that we pop your bubble if you are part of the interventionist political group. There is almost no possibility of the United States intervening in Iran short of Iran attacking another nation such as Saudi Arabia or Israel directly. Even with Iran using the Houthis in Yemen to attack Saudi Arabia including firing missiles at Riyadh which is the Saudi Arabian capital city and nothing from President Trump or the United States. Even if Hamas in Gaza and Hezballah in Lebanon and Syria were to attack Israel with hundreds or thousands of rockets and missiles there would be no reaction beyond speeches, Tweets and hopefully rearming of Iron Dome intercepting missiles as quickly as possible.

 

President Trump was elected to repair the damages of the last couple of decades since the Gingrich revolution and the Contract with America. His primary objective was the economy which included mostly tax reform and regulation reform. President Trump passed an initial tax reform and reduction legislation and invoked an Executive Order that every cabinet position, with very few exceptions, had to revoke two resolutions for every new resolution they invoke. This would, at the very least, be an incentive to reduce the number of new resolutions any agency would invoke because they would be want to revoke two existing resolutions. Reality be stated, each agency probably has so many redundant resolutions that revoking one of the many would make little if any difference. President Trump also promised to make trading with the rest of the world more equal while assuring the American voters he was not in favor of using the United States military in nation building or interventions in any actions which were not a direct threat to the nation itself. Where the Iran governance could potentially become a large threat to the United States and the world once they become an announced and obvious nuclear-armed nation with thermonuclear weapons, super EMP weapons and the ICBMs with which to launch them to any part of the globe, they are not currently so armed to the best intelligence currently available. Yes, we know we have made exception with the current intelligence and fully believe that Iran is and have been building a nuclear weapons arsenal for the past two decades and now have the missiles required for launching them anywhere on the globe and in numbers sufficient to overcome any current non-space-based interception systems. That possibility is probably included in the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) and would be further reason not to intervene with anything in Iran unless it was a full-scale intervention using virtually all weaponry at the military’s disposal. Such an intervention is not likely in the near future unless Iran does an overt act against another nation and not for acts internally. The Iranians will eventually take down the protesters with more than required violence against the protesters using extreme prejudice arresting thousands with many of the leadership taken to Evin Prison where they will face torture and most will never be seen again. It will be another sorry week/month in human history which future generations will be clueless on why no actions were taken, should humanity have that long a future.

 

Frightening Nuclear Proliferation Map

Frightening Nuclear Proliferation Map

 

Between the Iranian Mullah’s religious belief that they are determined by Allah to rule the world and spread Shia Islam to every person on the globe and North Korea eventually overplaying their hand and following through on one of their threats triggering a horrific war or China, Russia, United States or somewhere electing or choosing a ruler who is more mentally unbalanced than any in history starting a conflagration as the extent of nuclear proliferation is about to explode and soon most nations will posses a full range of nuclear weapons and the missiles to launch them virtually anywhere, certainly at their neighbors. Life on planet earth is approaching a vital choice where either a new age of cooperation brought on by the acknowledgment that the major powers have developed a space fleet in cooperation with their uniting the world eliminating differences and the imposition of world governance or flying uncontrolled beyond the cusp defined by a nuclear Armageddon and the destruction of all civilization as we know it and pockets of survivors left who after a few generations will have lost the knowledge with which we build the modern world and humanity returns to the stone age. The near future hold unlimited promise and a singular threat of total destruction and the choice will be made by the most powerful nations who at some point may have to choose between total and complete destruction of an area of the planet turning it into a wasteland for thousand years or more in order to save the remainder of the world for the future. Will the leaders who eventually face this choice have the nerve to make that choice or will they leave humanity’s future up to a far more perilous set of events. May we live to see the resultant earth from such decision or better yet, may that choice never be required.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 1, 2018

Is It Time for the Iranian Mullahs to Go?

 

President Trump has finished one job in the Middle East which has been on the “to-do list” for over twenty years. That, of course, was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and setting in motion moving the United States embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. One can only hope and pray that he remains in office and on-top of this momentous project assuring that it is accomplished. Should President Trump not complete the embassy move within his remaining three years and not be reelected, then the next President could simply return to signing the six-month waiver provided in the 1995 Legislation calling for this relocation and place it back in limbo. That would be sad indeed. There was a threat which came from the various leaders of the Middle East about how this move would cause the entirety of the area to erupt into uncontrolled violence. Fortunately, the only real violence was contained to Gaza and selected locations for maximum effect in the Palestinian Authority areas. Sure there were demonstrations held for a day or two, three at the most around the Middle East, but these were obviously planned and though appearing violent and potentially destructive for the camera crews, they were likely more like the riot scene on a movie set with the action peaking when the cameras went on and some coaching and practice between shots for the noon and evening news shots in the capitals of the world. Watching these in person one would likely have seen them preparing for each live broadcast, “from the Middle East where rioting is ongoing,” But have we been shown the full extent of the demonstrations in the Middle East? The answer to that is a definitive no.

 

The media alluded to demonstrations in Iran after President Trump announced the embassy move and recognition of Jerusalem and a few had scenes of demonstrators protesting against Israel and the United States. In Iran this is a normal scene as this specific set of demonstrators are well trained and ordered in their mayhem and are employed ever Friday after prayers to whip up the crowd before the government official, occasionally the Supreme Leader himself, where, “Death to America,” “Death to Israel” and “Death to the Jews,” are chanted often rhythmically almost as if there were a conductor leading the chant. Even sports stadium chants which are often put to music are less synchronized. Such demonstrations from Iran are almost professionally conducted where a core leads a large gathering of extras in that evening’s routine. What is interesting is that there are protests still ongoing throughout much of Iran despite the camera crews ignoring them and the reporters seemingly having gone home. One has to wonder why these protests are not being covered. They have their own, “Death to (the person of their choice),” being chanted so we have to assume that these protests are not news worthy because they are not targeting the correct people to support the media happy story that Trump is a tyrant who won through Russian collusion and actually Hillary should be in the White House theme. That leaves one to wonder exactly are what the Iranians are protesting, why are they protesting, and what if anything should be done about these protests.

 

Below we have included an insider’s video placed on YouTube showing the demonstrations unedited and commentary free. For those desiring commentary beyond here, below the first video we include CNN coverage followed by Al-Jazeera English. After that we will give our hopes for Iran and the world, particularly the Middle East as Iran was placed into a beneficial position with numerous options other than placing everything into military conquest across the Middle East and could have assisted the people and made life more comfortable and, in too many cases, made basic survival and life easier for the working classes.

 

And

And

 

The Iranian people rose up against the government and the stolen election in 2009 in the Green Revolution, probably with hopes that United States President Obama, who had shown some interest in assisting Iran, would take their side allowing for a reformation of power structures and the people given their freedom and the nations permitted to engage in economic reform. When the Iranian Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad and the others in power decided that the protests had to end, they called out their special forces known as the Basij. These Basij are a volunteer paramilitary force who operates under the command of the IRGC* and are often dressed as civilians without any identifiable uniforms. The Basij are an internal security, law enforcement and special religious or political force and morals policing which use shaming and often severe physical violence and torture as they are given great amounts of latitude with minimal oversight. This was greatly evident when they were turned loose on the 2009 Green Revolution protesters. President Obama took a strong stand on the Green Revolution, unfortunately backing the government crushing of the protests with heavy tactics resulting in the deaths of numerous protesters. The Basij came riding motorcycles initially using clubs and eventually using rifles. The visual which portrayed the violence with the most emotion grabbing heartbreak was the needless shooting death of Neda Agha-Soltan who became the image of that failed reaching of hope. We are approaching a point where we may suffer 2009 Green Revolution redux. That will be the point where the world will need to answer the same questions again, intervene and support the demonstrators or simply sit back and cry over the violence and deaths.

 

Neda Agha-Soltan Shot by Basij Militias in 2009 Green Revolution in Iran

Neda Agha-Soltan Shot by Basij Militias in 2009 Green Revolution in Iran

 

The coming days and weeks may be the first true test of President Trump and his foreign policies. Thusfar President Trump has been a mixed bag on foreign policy sometimes appearing to simply repeat the last item any of his advisors had whispered in his ear. That leaves for a mixture of views so disjointed that finding a common strand becomes challenging. His most steady positions have been his support of Israel and meeting his promise to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, demanding that the Europeans actually carry their weight and meet their obligations to NATO and other treaties, and that the United Nations actually commit to the functions it was intended to attend and perform functions beyond, or preferably instead, sanctioning Israel as if they were the world’s sole problem. President Trump has shown Tweet-support for the Iranian demonstrators. We have included his #IranProtests Tweet (see image below). Of course, pressing the little bird on your phone posting #IranProtests is great but is not actual foreign policy. Fortunately, the State Department has also come out in support of the Iranian protesters. That is also a huge turnaround from their 2009 position when they were in lockstep with President Obama and selling out the farm to please the Iranian Mullahs. The problem comes when we look at what the Iranian power structure will most likely do when they grow tired and have had enough of these demonstrations. Their track record makes guessing their next move unfortunately all too easy.

 

President Trump’s #IranProtests Tweets

President Trump’s #IranProtests Tweets

 

If only the world were so easy that a simple tweet including any # with name of problem would solve things. The news panned President Trump’s #IranProtests tweet as minimal and next to useless, a long call different than they reacted over an earlier White House Tweet. Anyone remember the drooling over the sentiment and great power of a tweet back a few years. You remember the Tweet of the century, or so one would have thought. We will include a picture to help you below. That’s right, we are talking about the picture of Michelle Obama with the seriously forlorn look holding her #BringBackOurGirls little sign when Boko Haram kidnapped an entire school of young Nigerian girls. That tweet sign was supposed to force the return of the girls because how could the terrorists resist such pressure. We claimed that tweet was worthless and we feel that President Trump’s #IranProtests might be a nice soft way of stating where he stands, but Tweets are not solutions, not when Michelle Obama did one and not now with Trump doing one. Perhaps a short, prime time speech on the Iran protests and the United States support of people seeking freedom and a governance which addresses their needs first rather than waging wars across the Middle East from Syria to Yemen.

 

Michelle Obama holds a sign with the #BringBackOurGirls hash tag

 

The Iranian regime will, at some point in the not too distant future, turn on the protesters with ever-increasing violence. When this begins, President Trump will need to take a stand and do so with something a whole lot of a bit stronger than another #IranProtests sent from the Presidential I-phone. That is when Donald Trump will need to call up that Presidential Donald he boasted we would see once he was in the White House. He has made some impressive and very poignant speeches when abroad but this time he is going to need to make one of those style speeches from the White House quite possibly with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Norman Mattis (former four-star Marine General), Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff Joseph Dunford (an active four-star Marine General) and the White House Chief of Staff John Francis Kelly (former four-star Marine General) with the retired Generals wearing their dress uniforms just for effect and to make the statement in a manner which the Mullahs, even Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Khamenei will understand. The Middle East is where the strong horse is respected and all others eat sand, some literally. Many Americans will protest making such a gaudy show of the President surrounded by so many men of military bearing, but sometimes one must speak in the language your target audience, in this case, the Iranian leadership all religious, political and military will fully understand. Targeting the speech and framing the message, as seriously as intended is what matters. Would it help the President if the media were to take him seriously and not instead find every nit-picky thing to berate and weaken the speech and its effect as they have done in the past would be working against the demonstrators and their hopes as well as the President. We would hope that the media would take the speech and its intent and enhance its seriousness and weight as backing for the Iranian people, but perhaps we hope for too much.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

* IRGC = Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

 

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