Beyond the Cusp

November 17, 2017

Saudis Could Push Abbas into Iranian Hands

 

The smell of the United States is all over the recent Saudi Arabian initiatives being executed by Riyadh in the Middle East. Just last week Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was called to Riyadh by the Saudi Royal Family for some emergency talks. While there he resigned his post giving a television interview soon after. In the broadcast, Hariri was attacking Iran and its Hezbollah proxy, and claiming that he would return to Lebanon in the coming days to formally submit his resignation to Lebanese President Michel Aoun. This was not completely outside his honest feelings but was not a normal act. Should Hariri remain in Lebanon for any extended period of time and remain at all active politically, he can expect to face the same end as his father, assassinated.

 

Now we hear that Mahmoud Abbas has been demanded by the Saudi Royal Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to accept the upcoming Trump peace proposal or resign. He was further instructed, or warned depending on your interpretation, to not seek the assistance or relations with Iran or any Iranian proxies. The Saudis expressed to Abbas, according to reports, their distrust, disfavor and distress over Saleh al-Arouri visiting Tehran in October. Arouri, a Hamas terror chief, was the Hamas signatory on a reconciliation deal with Abbas’s Fatah group signed in Cairo last month. The Saudis making him into an Iranian agent is an attempt to drive a wedge between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas using Iran as the issue. They are also giving Abbas a direct challenge, either you are with us, the Saudis and implied the United States, or you are with them, Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and implied the Russians. This is hardball tactics and is being implemented ham-handedly. With Iran having already tendered generous offers of weapons, training and possibly manpower including volunteers to carry our suicide bombings inside Jerusalem and potentially Tel Aviv and other sensitive prime targets within Israel, Abbas being pressed now by the Saudis simply to choose, as the Saudis are not offering anything additional to what they already provide, implied here American support, and Abbas requiring what the Iranians are proffering will very likely choose Iran. Abbas is more likely to challenge the Saudi Royals and test President Trump and may very well bet that he is safer and better supported by the Iranians and prefer IRGC and al-Quds Brigade support to Saudi cash and as he knows the United States must talk with him to make any peace, and be willing to push President Trump to choose.

 

Saudis Tell Abbas to Accept Trump Peace Plan or Resign

Saudis Tell Abbas to Accept Trump Peace Plan or Resign

 

If, as we suspect, President Trump is behind this Saudi push to force choices to be made concerning Iran or Saudi support, he has miscalculated badly. This will only serve to push more influence to Iran and take it from the Saudi Royals. Saudi Arabia, despite its oil revenues, is currently somewhat cash strapped and not able to both buy arms and pay the bills of their member states who depend on their support for their existence such as Egypt, Lebanon and others while Iran, thanks to President Obama’s generous gifts in his attempt to make Iran the hegemonic Middle East Islamic power, had hundreds of millions of dollars which they plan on using to their greatest benefit and in attempts to surround Israel. They already own the southern half of Iraq including Mosul, thanks to Western imperial stupidity led by the British in their efforts to prevent the Kurdish People from realizing self-determination and their own nation state, as well as Syria and its Golan Heights border with Israel. Iran through Hezbollah pretty much control Lebanon and, with the Hariri resignation, will soon control the government squeezing out the moderates, Christians, non-Shia Muslims and other minorities. The pressure placed on Hariri, if that was what was the impetus for his resignation, has lost any hope for Lebanon to break free from Iraq and now has given the opportunity for IRGC forces to set up the planned Iranian base in southern Lebanon near the Israel border. The next targets in the Iranian plot to surround Israel, Jordan and the PA. With the Saudi Royals placing a choose now with no middle ground options to Abbas, he is very likely to call the Saudi’s bluff and see if the United States will abandon all hope of an Arab-Israeli peace.

 

Abbas knows that President Trump has salivated over the opportunity to manage to end the Arab-Israeli conflict, or at least the Palestinian side of this conflict, as he has already laid down the gauntlet and taken on that quest. President Trump sees himself as the ultimate deal-maker and just the person to hammer out an agreement; after all, as he puts it, he has made billion dollar deals in New York City and, to quote a show tune, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere. It’s up to you, New York, New York.” Unfortunately, if what has leaked is true and President Trump is designing a peace offering around the “Two-State Solution of two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security,” we have all been there, rejected that by Abbas and as long as President Trump insists that the Jews rule their own state, the deal is dead on arrival. That is a fact which Abbas has made very clear on numerous occasions. But as long as President Trump is going to attempt to make a peace proposal, then he is going to have to meet with Abbas or the problems will remain and the violence continue which would make for a horrific resulting peace. That means that Abbas and not the Saudi Royals is sitting in the driver’s seat and controlling the vehicle and if the Saudis demand Abbas choose his preferable passengers, his preferred partners, they had best sweeten their deal and stop making threats as the Iranians are out bribing people to buy their friendship. In the Middle East, you are my friend as long as you can and are empowering me and right now, the Iranians are offering to empower Abbas while the Saudis are threatening to cut him off. Which way would you choose? Here is the lands of crazy friends where Sunni and Shiite are considered impossible bedfellows you have Sunni Hamas in bed with Shiite Iran and Turkey playing all sides against the middle, that will not end well for Erdogan at some point, and Iraq dancing completely to the Iranian tune yet the only force to oppose them are the Kurdish militias which would be far stronger together defending their own lands yet the Sunnis are opposing their efforts simply because they are not true Arabs, actually not Arab at all.

 

The Middle East is currently in flux and everything and everyone is ready to jump ship and seek a more affluent and generous benefactor. Turkey is seeking some route whereby they become the renewed Ottoman Caliphate with much of Syria and Iraq as their territory, which are also the lands where the Kurdish People are found which explain why Erdogan has the Turkish forces engaged in Syria fighting the Kurds and calling them Islamic State. Egypt is seeking to be left alone except for their need for funds as their economy is stuck in the mire and going nowhere and even doing that slowly. The other two powers are Iraq and Saudi Arabia who are fighting one another in Yemen. The Saudis are presumably aligned with the United States and with Rex Tillerson holding the office of Secretary of State; this gives the Saudis a friend advising the White House. The Iranians no longer have an ally in Washington, are content with having Russia as their friend of the moment, and are seeking more than simply control of the Middle East and an end to Israel. While the Saudis are attempting to hold on to the status quo and are not acting proactively, they very well may find themselves out of the picture perceived as being weak. On the other hand, the Iranians appear strong and willing to do whatever must be done to empower the people of the Middle East and this fact may allow them to gain the support of the Arab Middle East despite their being Persians and not actual Arabs.

 

If the United States plans to prevent Iran from spreading their tentacles into Europe, the time to act is immediately. Iran has made great strides in their trade relations and contracts with European countries, France and Germany in particular. Should Iran manage to gain the upper hand with most of the Islamic communities in Europe, we could see them start to take control over governments in Europe starting with France and Germany. What everybody need understand and understand now is that Iran intends to rule the world and will take as long as required in order to do so. They played President Obama like a Fender Stratocaster guitar. They realized his time was limited and he was desperate to make a deal and willing to buy their cooperation. That is why the Iran nuclear deal gives Iran an all but immediate route to nuclear weapons, gave Iran boatloads (actually plane loads) of cash and provided them with a secret deal on the side, which has been kept a deep dark secret. Iran is poised to make a start at control of much of the Middle East, placing a foothold in the Horn of Africa, making inroads in Europe and generally extending their control to a point where they are on the threshold of a breakout from which only three nations in the Western hemisphere would be standing in their way, Russia, the United States and, of course, Israel. Of the three, the only one recognizing this threat and calling it out to the world are the Israelis. The question now is will anybody even listen to the Israeli warnings and even should they hear it, would they heed it and take any actions. We fear the answer to all those queries is the same resounding “No.” The world is following a familiar path where empires fall and evils run amuck.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 5, 2014

Growing Potential Threats of Armageddon from Lebanon

Five short range unguided rockets were launched out of southern Lebanon targeting Israel. Only one rocket struck within Israel and fortunately exploded in an open field near the city of Kiryat Shmona, close to the Lebanese border. There were no casualties or damage and Israeli artillery responded striking the launch site to assure no further attacks. This follows other serious breaches of the peace which include two shooting incidents across the border by Lebanese military uniformed troops with one incident resulting in the death of an IDF soldier driving along the border area. These instigations come as reports have also claimed Hezballah has been transferring longer range rockets including Scud versions C and D, medium-range Fateh rockets produced in Iran, along with Fajr rockets and antiaircraft weapons. American intelligence has reported the smuggling of Russian anti-ship missile systems over from Syria, piece by piece, in order to avoid more Israeli airstrikes. This includes supersonic Yakhont rockets which are capable of striking both land and sea targets. There are apparently missing vital parts which according to a senior defense official, “To make it lethal, a system needs to be complete.” These reports come in addition to the estimated one thousand plus shorter range rockets Hezballah has imported from Iran since the Second Lebanon War despite United Nations assurances that such resupply would be prevented by a reinforced UNIFIL patrolling southern Lebanon and the Lebanon-Syrian border.

 

At the opening of this week’s meeting of his Cabinet, Prime Minister Netanyahu made the following statement, “We hold the Lebanese government responsible for firing that is carried out from within its territory. What is happening in Lebanon is that Hezbollah is stationing thousands of missiles and rockets in apartments, in the heart of the civilian population, and is thus perpetrating two war crimes simultaneously. It is organizing the firing at civilians, just as it did today, and it is hiding behind civilians as human shields.” He added, “This is a double war crime that is being perpetrated under the aegis of the Lebanese government and army which are not lifting a finger to prevent this arming and these crimes. We hold the Lebanese government responsible for this development.”

 

What the Prime Minister politely omitted is that the Lebanese government and its military are both largely controlled by Hezballah through their political arm. When one speaks of official Lebanese policies they are basically referring to those things the Lebanese government has been instructed to carry out in the service of Hezballah. Of course it is impolite to mention such things and people from polite political circles refrain from such accusation. Sometimes it is an advantage not having to hold to polite speaking guidelines. What is of concern is whether this apparent movement of Hezballah’s heavier weapons systems out of Syria is due to the danger posed by the Syrian civil war or because of instructions from Iran to prepare for attacks upon Israel. Such attacks might be ordered by Iran should they decide to disregard parts or all of the nuclear agreement recently hammered out and presumably to go into effect on or around January 20, 2014. Iran has often stated that they would attack Israel first should any military attack be made against them. Iranian spokespeople have stated outright that their intent was to attack Israel, if Israel struck Iran or if the United States struck Iran or if anybody struck Iran. They went on to claim that Israel would not know from where such attacks would come, be it from Iran, from Hezballah or from other Iranian assets which remained unnamed. Thus far such accusatory language which could be interpreted as a belligerent act has been rejected as bluster and for the benefit of the regime and not taken as a threat of immediate actions. Of course if the Iranian leadership continues to threaten acts of war they may find that there is a limit after which their threats will be taken as a serious call to arms.

 

The other tactical problem which has been recognized is that Hezballah has placed their longer range rockets in various and separate locations which would require an extensive and particularly destructive air campaign to render them inoperable. Additionally, as pointed out be Prime Minister Netanyahu, Hezballah has distributed their shorter range rockets to occupy most of southern Lebanon placing them within apartment buildings, homes, schools and other buildings which are considered safeguarded by military convention thus posing as a criminal act. This is not a concern which Hezballah will be troubled over as their plan is to be able to accuse Israel of attacking civilian targets and buildings which are supposedly protected under the conventions of war. They will ignore the fact that by placing military positions such as rocket stores and launching facilities in these areas they have rendered their protections void placing the civilians in harm’s way.

 

An unfortunate reality is that much of the world media is very likely to repeat these accusations that Israel intentionally attacks civilian targets such as apartments, hospitals, schools and private residences with at most a singular reference to the fact that they were in reality concealed military targets being used to launch attacks upon Israel targeting mostly Israeli civilians as well as military. And then there will be the obligatory condemnation from the United Nations General Assembly and numerous human rights and other agencies empowered by the United Nations which will also be reported for months after the initial reports as these hearings when it concerns Israel become a regular part scheduled into every meeting. The United Nations Human Rights Council has it in their bylaws that each meeting is to first, before discussing the actual reason behind the meeting, there must be a report and condemnation of Israel for human rights offensives whether there has been any reported simply as a part of their doing their business. I am sure there are numerous NGOs which have a similar agenda. About all that can be added after that is let us hope that there never comes the day that the Iranian threats become fact and the conflagration which will ensue begins. That will be a very sad day and may be the beginning of a conflict which might easily mushroom beyond imagination, especially if the promises from the P5+1 that they have corralled the Iranian nuclear program such that it is impossible for them to produce nuclear weapons turns out to be an empty promise full of sound and fury but lacking validity or force of intents. Imagining the potential results of Iran arming Hezballah with even one nuclear weapon is the source of horrid nightmares. May that day never arise.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 25, 2012

Iran Continues Sailing Forward Unhindered

Iran and their quest for nuclear weapons capability has had more smooth sailing with little bother from the world at large. Sure there has been escalating economic sanctions which, with the able and quiet assistance of a select group including Iraq, Syria, China, India and likely a few other friends; Iran has managed to continue selling much of its oil and finding the necessary items for their research. Much of the sanctions, as they usually end up doing, have mostly been passed onto the people and are simply an inconvenience for the people they are presumed to be affecting. Once again the IAEA, which may as well stand for Idiots Attempting Every Angle instead of United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, once again spend Friday being insulted and refused cooperation by their Iranian hosts as they have any number of times previously. The United States and Israel continued their argument on the extent of urgency which should be shown concerning the Iranian nuclear program, as it is euphemistically called. The Israelis hyperventilate while the American tells them to take a few pills and calm themselves before they hurt themselves. Most of the rest of the world would likely need some explanation as to what you were on should you mention the existence of serious concerns referencing Iran.

Even the new satellite data from the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) showing new actions concealing some of the buildings of interest at the Iranian Military Base at Parchin where it is suspected research into a nuclear trigger brought little if any reaction outside of the Israeli press. Reports from diplomatic sources were also troubling reporting that Iran had sped up their instillation of centrifuges at the Fordo uranium enrichment facility outside Qom and had installed hundreds of a new series centrifuges. This is the site which Israel has claimed consistently cannot be allowed to begin full scale operations due to its location. The fact that the Fordo site was built deeply into the side of a mountain is considered difficult to destroy or even damage using conventional missiles or bombing. Some military planners have claimed that it would take a ground assault in order to deliver sufficient damage to destroy the installation without using deep-penetrating non-conventional weaponry. This should quicken the pace of the music for the dance between the Israelis and the Americans.

What will be the end result of all the conflicted confusion concerning Iran? Well, that may depend on the American elections this November. Should everything remain the same, it looks very likely that Iran will attain nuclear weapons capability and will likely even be able to produce two or three nuclear devices should they desire by middle of next year. Where these would be nuclear devices, it is very likely they will not be deliverable devices which will likely take an additional year, or so many people are hoping is the case. Without a serious change in the attitude of much of the world, Iran will eventually achieve full nuclear weapons capability and even build a small core nuclear weapons cache. What they will use them for has as many options as there are people who have been asked to assess the future. At the very least, the Iranians will be more capable of spreading terror over a wider range without having to worry about the ramifications. A nuclear Iran will simply be a license for increased terror around the whole globe, not just the Middle East. Iran and Hezballah have already committed acts of terror in Buenos Aires, Argentina and have established a permanent base in the tri-state area in South America. There have been rumors of Hezballah forming a coalition with drug cartels in Mexico. How much bolder and further will they decide to go when nuclear weapons make them even bolder and less inhibited? I, for one, am not too anxious to find out.

Beyond the Cusp

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