Beyond the Cusp

September 26, 2015

Islamic State, the Balance of Power, and the Imbalance of Refugees

 

Journalist, Jurgen Todenhofer, age 75, claims to have managed to be embedded within Islamic State in his newly released book “Inside IS – Ten Days in the Islamic State” and warns that the terror group, self-proclaimed as the new Caliphate and ruler of lands larger than the United Kingdom with borders across central Iraq and southern Syria is planning the most horrific religious cleansing in world history. The one thing which must be made clear is planning or even believing is a far cry from actually doing. As a child I dreamt about many unattainable goals including being the next King of Siam after watching Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr in the King and I (imagine my upset when I realized that Siam was no longer a country and had become Thailand). The attack Mr. Todenhofer writes about, as disclosed in an excerpt released from his book, entails “the terrorists plan on killing several hundred million people. The west is drastically underestimating the power of ISIS.” This would be accomplished by Islamic State acquiring numerous nuclear weapons in order to unleash a “nuclear tsunami preparing the largest religious cleansing in history.”

 

Speaking to his trepidations before spending time within the Islamic State Mr. Todenhofer relates that, “Of course I’d seen the terrible, brutal beheading videos and it was of course after seeing this in the last few months that caused me the greatest concern in my negotiations to ensure how I can avoid this. Anyway, I made my will before I left.” Further comments told of how he had held intense negotiations with “the leadership of the Caliphate, via Skype, over several months, hammering out the security details.” Mohammed Emwazi (Jihadi John of beheading fame) oversaw Mr. Todenhofer on his visit and likely acted as translator and facilitator as well. The most unnerving part of the article told that this self-proclaimed war correspondent’s claims that the Islamic State “are supported by an almost ecstatic enthusiasm the like of which I’ve never encountered before in a war zone. Every day hundreds of willing fighters from all over the world come.” He went further stating, “They are the most brutal and most dangerous enemy I have ever seen in my life. I don’t see anyone who has a real chance to stop them. Only Arabs can stop IS. I came back very pessimistic.”

 

If Mr. Todenhofer’s assessment that “Only Arabs can stop IS” is accurate then the world is in much worse shape than I had realized or even in my worst nightmares ever imagined. My bet is that Mr. Todenhofer is quite probably not a veteran of any armed services and has drastically underestimated the power and force a well-trained Marine or Army infantry company can apply on a battlefield and the horrific amounts of force they can project when backed by modern artillery, air support using helicopter gunships, A-10 Warthogs (I am likely dating myself but these are some ferocious and intimidating close air support and an infantryman’s most welcome sight against armor, even the stolen armor that IS currently uses) and other support features too numerous to name. Another contributing force multiplier is intelligence and battlefield awareness. Being able to see the entire battlefield using drones, satellites or even overflight with high altitude spy planes and knowing where the enemy is and in what numbers and with what resources is invaluable. Taking nothing away from Mr. Todenhofer assessments, a modern military attacking in force would dismantle the bulk of the Islamic State forces within six weeks if it even took that long and once that had been accomplished, the rest would disintegrate right along with their presentation of invulnerability.

 

What is more worrisome is the idea which appears to have infected much of the Islamic world that they have been chosen by Allah to rule over the world and to make all follow Islam or be subjugated as a second class human being or face the wrath of the Islamic sword, the beheading thing which Islamic State has shown such a great propensity to utilize as a weapon of fear. Equally depressing is the predisposition in the Western world that such an idea as world conquest had passed permanently into history and is no longer viewed as a viable goal. Where that is quite a valid assessment of the Western mindset, that is nowhere near universal truth and there are still many sources of thoughts for world conquest. We have seen numerous such thoughts ever since World War II starting with the Soviet Communists and followed by the Chinese Communists and also from Saddam Hussein, the Saudi Wahabbists, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Iranian Mullahs, Hezballah and now Islamic State and I am certain there are others. The one weakness the West suffers is their inability to view the world through the eyes of other peoples, places, religions, political ideologies, nationalities or any filter other than their own. Much of the Western world would have difficulty even seeing things through other Western national viewpoints. It is just such a weakness which makes the West vulnerable as they rule out any ability to see the potential ramifications of many of the threats they currently or may in the future face. We saw just such weakness with understanding what Hitler was planning and that he also believed he was destined to have his Reich rule the world and would have succeeded if not for some very fortuitous developments.

 

More precisely it will be necessary for Western powers, potentially partnering with such rivals as Russia and China, to develop the means and implementation of a monitoring of nuclear materials and especially those which can be utilized or have already been used to produce nuclear weapons, both atomic and thermonuclear weapons. There must be a network of detectors, be they space based or ground based, that will alert all parties involved whenever any such materials or weapons are moved from any point to another locations for any number of reasons. First and foremost it would reveal any potential intention to use such weapons either as a threat, or even worse, a first strike weapon. Such a system if deployed universally as a part of an international treaty similar or as an attachment to the NPT (Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty) where all nuclear armed states would be subjected to such monitoring equipment and those nations wishing to avail themselves of the protection of advanced warning of the movement of nuclear weapons or nuclear materials. Such would minimize the ability for rogue entities such as the Islamic State to achieve nuclear terrorism as they would be incapable of acquiring such weapons without their movement being detected. Further, any nations not a signatory to such a treaty would become suspect and with sufficient peer pressure be coerced into signing this treaty. It should be noted that this treaty would not be used as a method for spying and revealing the numbers or types of nuclear weapons any particular nation may possess and would only relate when such materials were moved without first informing the other signatories of such intents. Such would also be useful in tracking nuclear waste from power plants and the safety of any nuclear power fuel shipments thus making sure that such shipments were making their way as per their intended path for delivery.

 

In the meantime it would be worth noting the potential for the Islamic State to make good on their threats to use nuclear weapons or at the very least dirty bombs to lay waste to as many lives as they would have the capability must not be underestimated. The potential for the Islamic State to acquire the necessary weapons and managing to smuggle them into place must not be dismissed as impossible without detection as has been proven with every terror attack since the world received the massive and tragic wake-up call on 9/11 and the felling of the World Trade Center towers and striking the Pentagon and only by the brave actions of the passengers was a fourth far more serious calamity avoided as they sacrificed themselves rather than be used as a terror weapon. How many attacks, not just the main assaults such as London, Madrid, Mumbai or others but even the small “lone wolf” terror acts such as the much overlooked Trolley Square attacks in Utah reported in our article >a href=http://wp.me/pIou8-Z target=blank>Terror Attack at Trolley Square Mall, Utah. We could needlessly list other such attacks as well as the better known but it is already obvious that when it comes to preventing terror attacks the authorities have not been a full hundred percent successful. I would not dare to venture that they have not very probably done an herculean job of catching and preventing far more terror attacks than we will ever know about as such success is best guarded by keeping the unknowing, unknowing. Such efforts become all the more difficult when it becomes known how they attain their information thus we are not told when a terror attack was thwarted, or at least hopefully not every time as I am hopeful that there have been far more prevented than the paltry numbers we have been privileged to.

 

The real problem facing the Western world as its primary challenge and the rest of the world is simply due to the suffering and loss of life the current resurgence of Jihadi terror and militant actions of which the Islamic State and is the latest broad-frontal-threat the world is facing. The most tragic deaths and largest numbers slain by the Islamic State have been those of other Muslims and the minority who live in the immediate areas which have come under the Islamic States’ terror war victories. Mosul lost the entirety of their Christian population as they either fled or died within days of that city of over one and a half million people where the Christian population fled if fortunate and were otherwise converted or murdered or both while from surrounding areas of Mosul the Yazidis and Shabaks are kidnapped, converted, murdered or forced to flee with little more than the clothes on their backs while their cultural and holy sites faced destruction. Even were Islamic State to be utterly defeated and their will broke and forces killed or scattered, the ideas of Islamic supremacy and reforming the Caliphate to regain the glories of the seventh through fifteenth centuries would continue and be utilized by the next al-Baghdadi or Osama bin Laden in gathering a following and by winning a few high profile battles claiming to be the real deliverer to bring Islam back to the dominance it once knew would be in the making and potentially the next great threat. We need remember that al-Qaeda was presumably destroyed, the Taliban routed yet both have made comebacks though they are currently outshone by Islamic State and before al-Qaeda there was Hezballah, Hamas, the PLO, the Muslim Brotherhood, which was the progenitor of Hamas, al-Qaeda, PLO and others, and before any of these were the Ottoman Empire and the original Caliphate which burst out from the Arabian Peninsula and spread as far as western France at one end of Europe and eventually to the outskirts of Venice in the east leaving Europe all but overrun.

 

Expansion of Islam Across MENA and threaten Europe before Ottoman Rule

Expansion of Islam Across MENA and threaten Europe before Ottoman Rule

 

 

The same driving force behind that expansion of Islam is being reawakened today and the only thing that lies between a similar expansion today is the military power of the West, in particular the United States, though one would be hard pressed to prove that at this juncture. As far as what will it take for the United States to use its forces to put an end to the Islamic designs on world conflict, which is not something which can be brought to an end by sheer force of arms; force of arms can only push it back into remission. The world has been experiencing one extremely long hudna, what is by strict definition a ceasefire of ten years length during which the Islamic forces regroup, train and achieve military superiority and as soon as the forces of Islam believe they have sufficient means to defeat their enemy they may break the ceasefire and attack without warning of any kind. Needless to point out that the other side is not afforded such advantageous terms and must abide by the ceasefire even after the ten years has passed as they have been told that this was a treaty in that when the power opposing Islam claimed they were signing a treaty the Islamic leaders are obliged to inform them that they call it a hudna. The opposition replies, treaty, hudna, what’s the difference and the Islamic leaders reply, think as you will or some such non-comment. Such deceit is called Taqiyya as defined in the graphic below. This prolonged hudna was entered into by the Ottoman Empire after their defeat during World War I. There have been treaties, or so treated by the signatories, with Islamic forces since then with the treaties between Israel and Egypt and Jordan respectively being the most obvious. The fragility of these treaties became all the more evident during the one year in which the Muslim Brotherhood through President Morsi ruled Egypt and there were almost daily calls for them to end the peace with Israel and to reopen warfare and finally and once more trounce Israel in a race back across the Suez Canal, assuming the results mirrored their previous encounters. President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood advisors did not perceive any advantage and the peace held solely due to the uncertainty of doubt of their ability to defeat Israel, nothing more.

 

Taqiyya defined in plain and simple easy to understand terms

Taqiyya defined in plain and simple easy to understand terms

 

 

There is yet another front where the religious war of Islam against everybody else is being played out and that is the infiltration and undermining of European governance and the slow Islamization of large neighborhoods in many of the European capitals and major cities where the Muslim areas are run under some form of Sharia and the police of the city or nation dare not tread. Even fire and ambulance service is often problematic at best with the fire department being either unable to respond to fires started during rioting or needing armed escort to extinguish the fires. Even under normal conditions there are doubts as to the safety of firefighters should they response to an alarm in one of these areas. Even people riding busses, trolleys or subways which pass through these neighborhoods often find themselves molested or otherwise terrorized. Women are particularly vulnerable to harassment and sexual intimidations and molestations or worse depending on the time of day or night. The current refugee situation and the floods of refugees from the east originating in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and other areas of the Middle East plus the inundation of the beaches along the Mediterranean from origins such as Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Mali, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Egypt, Cameroon, Morocco and other North African nations threaten to overrun Europe. These Muslim refugees very easily could produce a long term problem far more dangerous than the financial burden these refugees, many unskilled, not fluent in any European languages and traumatized by the situations which sent them fleeing seeking a better chance at life. If not already radicalized, the next generation or the one after could be easy targets for radicalization being sold the ideas that the Europeans are racist and have stolen their future and taken from their communities all the wealth and left them without hope or any possible way out other than to take back that which has been denied them. Once any riots start they will begin a cycle where the charges become self-fulfilling as security forces attempt to restore order which will simply be met with cries demanding that the police be withdrawn as they are simply reinforcing the message and oppressing the Muslims, especially the out of work youths and young adults. As many will have attended madrassa instead of public schools, they will have an excellent memorization of the Quran and will be capable of siting the Hadiths as well as the Five Pillars of Islam (see below chart).

 

Five Pillars of Islam

 

 

With an idea coming to the fore and gaining adherents partially due to the flow of information proving to many that the world has a very slanted wealth curve and except for a small percentage, that wealth curve has been unfavorable to the Islamic world. Further, it has also been proven that grievance mongering and terrorism pay and pay very well. Further, as a leader of terror and being the mouthpiece extolling the masses about their having been cheated out of their share of the wealth which was gained often at the cost of the natural resources of the Muslim world, one never need actually do anything about the inequality beyond assuring their own place at the receiving end of the cash flow. Further, should one choose their targets selectively, they can rail against the inequality without any real fear of retribution; something which would come violently and swiftly should they attack the Western world instead of pointing the finger at those wealthy oil sheiks or the corrupt leaders who have stolen from the poor far more than the average Westerner despite the Western citizens having vastly more wealth. Additionally, there is money to be made trafficking humans to the “promised lands where the streets are paved with gold.” These refugees are not offered a home in any of the wealthy Arab states who have far greater wealth and space to absorb them but that might cost the leaders a trip to Monte Carlo and that would be a travesty greater than the plight of their brothers and sisters. The Europeans should demand that at the very least two-thirds of these refugees be accepted and cared for by their wealthy cousins in the oil rich regions of the Arabian Peninsula. Instead the leaders of the Islamic and Arab worlds are viewing this situation as their best hope for conquering Europe without firing a shot or having to spend any of their own monies. All they need do is point the refugees northwestward and then wait for the demographic change which will overtake Europe within three or four generations. Then the Islamic world will look more like the map below.

 

Arab and Muslim World After the Islamization of Europe except for Switzerland and Israel in Red Both Standing Against any Islamic Assault or Tide

 

 

The choice facing European leaders at this juncture is whether they will leave a legacy that will bring an end to Christian Europe and all the advances of the Enlightenment or to find an alternative to permanently settling the refugees now streaming into Europe by any and all means at their disposal. What alternative you ask? One might be to set up camps at the entry points and through the European Union use funds to pay for the camps with the understanding that the refugees housed in these camps will be returned to their homelands as soon as conditions there improve. This means for some that end would be immediate as there is no war zone in Pakistan, Afghanistan or much of North Africa outside of Libya and in the Middle East the same applies except for Iraq and Syria. Another step the Europeans might want to look at is assisting in ending the Syrian civil war and end the bloodshed while also combating the Islamic State otherwise the fighting is not going to end. None of these options are pretty nor are any of them desirable. What the Europeans are facing is an unenviable choice of which evil is the least damaging and which side should face the damage. Asking for Europe to absorb the hundreds of thousands if not millions of refugees which could be aimed at them is asking for Europe to commit suicide. It is not financially responsible for the Europeans to attempt to care for, house, feed, educate and provide health care for any of these refugees which neither are not exactly their problem nor is the problem one caused by Europe for the most part. Europe has sufficient problems with their own poor and wretched underclasses which have stretched the majority of European national budgets near the breaking point. Adding even more on top would be more than most European nations could absorb, let alone pay for. Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the eastern European nations are facing slow growth or no growth economic indicators and are at risk of defaulting if they have not already done so. The only nations currently having healthy, relatively healthy, economic outlooks are Britain, France and Germany, not necessarily in that order. Even the best of these three could easily be subsumed economically and dragged into the same quagmire facing Greece as an example. None of the European nations can absorb over a million unemployed and destitute refugees and expecting them to do so is next to lunacy, which is exactly why that is exactly what is going to happen. The real problem is what will become of such a situation where refugees take funds beyond their contribution to repay in the next half millennia the Europeans will themselves seek a solution in traditional European fashion and that will not be a pretty sight. Such may lead to the next great conflagrations as it spills over into the Middle East and perhaps beyond. This will not end well no matter how it initially shakes out and gets past the lockout and closed borders currently facing the refugees.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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September 19, 2014

Hamas Sticking to Single ‘Must Have’ Demand or Else

 

More often than not when the time nears that any ceasefire approaches its end date, Hamas will emphasize a single ‘must have’ issue and wait until actual talks to try to pry additional concessions before reaching some agreement. Every agreement with Hamas is never actually a truce as we in the Western nations understand; it is always referred to by Hamas in its Islamic term, a Hudna. The difference between a truce, accord or peace agreement and a Hudna is easily defined but almost always ignored by those making such deals with Islamic elements. A Hudna is a temporary halt to the actual fighting while the hostilities continue as does the preparations to continue the violent struggle. Whenever the Muslims who entered into a Hudna agreement feel they are sufficiently stronger or prepared for continuing their war and feel they will be able to win outright or, if not attaining victory vanquishing their enemy, then they at least will make some gains even if it is just additional concessions. No Hudna may last longer than a decade as after ten years the Muslim forces are obliged to resume their struggle. The interesting item this time is Hamas is not calling for a sizeable prisoner release as is their usual demand. This time Hamas is demanding something which would be a permanent game changer and guarantee the next resumption of hostilities would be on a whole new level and demand a different result which would be far more severe no matter which side proved victorious, and that might be an item in question to be resolved by the resumed conflict.

 

The demand which Hamas is placing the entirety of their promise for a Hudna, a temporary, and in this case very temporary, cessation of hostilities, is the lifting of the blockade and their being permitted an international airport and sea ports. Their given reasoning is that the blockade does not permit them the ability to import building materials and to export their goods and farm produce. Their complaint that the farm produce is encountering difficulties accessing an international market has always bemused me when combined with their explanations as to why they must fire their rockets and munitions from within urban and built-up areas, often residential in nature or by schools and such because Gaza is border to border urban areas making it the most densely populated area on the planet. With such a problem with buildings border to border one must question from where the farm produce originates. This and other items were covered in an article titled, <a herf=http://wp.me/pIou8-1zI target-blank>Gaza, Hamas, Corrected Falsehoods, Frightening Realities</a>. Their claim that they have difficulty importing building materials and exporting their produce because of the Israeli arms and dual use items embargo along with the Egyptian total embargo on their Gaza Sinai border is an untruth. Israel permits relatively unfettered access for any export items including farm produce providing Hamas permits it to reach the designated crossing points into Israel. Once it crosses into Israel it is usually intended and is sent to the Palestinian areas in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) or to Jordan across the Allenby Bridge. If there were to be items intended for Europe or Asia there would likely be arrangements for it to be flown or shipped from Israel to its destination with the possible exception of those countries which do not permit direct import for items leaving from Israel. In such cases some other arrangements would need to be made and this might be best accomplished by having limited passage for export or import through Egypt which places such beyond Israeli control. The building provisions are limited because of the slight propensity for Hamas to confiscate hundreds of millions of Shekels worth of such provisions in order to construct extensive tunnels and underground bunkers and command centers sufficient to hold not only the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups’ numbers but potentially could hold almost the entire population of Gaza. Granted doing so would make easy access for the terrorist fighters to get from one rocket launching platform to another somewhat difficult, but the people would be safer than having Hamas and friends herd them into schools and other civilian structures around rocket launching position in order to produce maximum civilian casualties in Gaza for the reporters to photograph and release to the world claiming to show how heartless the Israelis are in their conducting of warfare.

 

So, if it is not for the reasons of import and export and unfettered access to building provisions such as concrete and aluminum, then why is Hamas so intent on gaining a sea port and airport? In order to place what the urgency is in gaining this access one needs to look beyond the shores of Gaza and even beyond the borders of Israel and Egypt. One need go further than Hezballah in Lebanon or Bashir al-Assad in Syria. One needs to go all the way to Qatar which already provides Hamas with funding. One need understand that Qatar does not have a significant military force and that the military they have has been rather well armed for their immediate needs and threats. Qatar could arm every citizen and they would still be unable to resist an invasion by Saudi Arabia, the closest potential threat to Qatar as the Qataris have developed close relations with Iran and this has not exactly pleased the Saudis. Still, the odds of a Saudi attack on Qatar are remote to nonexistent. This becomes more so when one realized that Qatar is also a major base for the United States and one of the home bases for the United States fleet when it is in the Persian Gulf, something that has been quite regular of late. So, since the Qatari military was already sufficiently armed one must question why Qatar would purchase eleven-billion dollars of top of the line equipment including MANPAD anti-aircraft weapons, Apache Longbow Attack Helicopters, Patriot Missile Batteries, Javelin Anti-Armor Systems, Air Refueling Tankers and associated weaponry. Qatar has also been seeking to purchase jet fighters and has been shopping with Airbus and Boeing. When one figures that Qatar has a population of 1.7 million; this produces figures that they just purchased almost six-and-a-half-billion dollars of weaponry per person. Add to this that Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani made the first official visit to Hamas-controlled Gaza by a head of state and during the visit promised four-hundred-million dollars in aid to Hamas and there comes the problem. Obviously these weapons were not purchased for Qatari defense purposes and were instead intended for Hamas to use against Israel. The only thing missing is a sea port or an airport to deliver the goods. This does not take a rocket scientist to figure out; yet, just wait and watch the world demand that Israel lift their arms embargo and threaten to embargo Israel should Israel not comply. Welcome to a world that seems to be more appropriate for items from Mad Magazine than from our news outlets which are reporting these items as real facts on the ground.    Unbelievable!

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 1, 2014

The Imagined Figment of Moderate Arab Support for Israel

There is a misconception which has been growing even amongst many Israeli politicians and left leaning citizens as well as growing exponentially throughout Europe and the United States, especially amongst their Jewish populations. This misconception is represented to perfection by Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and her fanatical opposition to the settlements or any Israeli claims which extend beyond the Green Line, the 1949 Armistice Lines which were Israel’s demarcation lines which were the closest thing they had for borders pre-Six Day War. Minister Livni’s latest psychotic rantings came regarding the Israeli government’s decision to declare 4,000 dunams (about 1,000 acres) in the Etzion Bloc as state land as she said such moves as this drive wedges which drive away the moderate actors in the region from coming on board with Israel in forming a lasting and secure peace. This preoccupation of Minister Livni has become her near religious lamentation foreboding doom should Israel lose the support of moderates such as Mahmoud Abbas and many of the other members of the Palestinian Authority. The spread of this same unbalanced view of the direction Israel must take in order to avoid even larger and more violent confrontations such as Israel just experienced with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza is also the source of those from Europe, the United States and United Nations who claim that placing Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority in control of Gaza as the solution and sole path to peace. The Western nations claim that the same ability of the Palestinian Authority to control and prevent terrorism and similar threats such as have exploded repeatedly in Gaza where Hamas has initiated three wars in the past decade while no such explosions have occurred in Judea and Samaria (West Bank). Where Mahmoud Abbas has often made statements and voiced positions in English which have given many great hopes perceiving Abbas as the hope for peace but then those who listen to his comments almost immediately after such comments spoken on Palestinian media in Arabic reveal the ephemeral qualities of his promising lies. But there is more which is wrongheaded about Minister Livni and her fellow travelers’ claims there exists moderates within the Palestinian Authority who offer great promise for the future.

 

The first great misperception is that the lack of terrorist acts in the Palestinian areas is due to efforts by Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority Security Forces. This belief ignores the fact that there are numerous numbers of rock attacks and numerous other forms of attempted terrorism including stabbings, assaults, vandalism, pipe bombings and verbal assaults often leading to or accompanied by rioting. Another important fact ignored by those making these claims is that much of the prevention of more overt terrorist acts emanating from the Palestinian Authority areas is the efforts of the IDF and Shin Bet which operate within Areas B and C and if they have sufficient evidence they have even entered Area A in order to prevent serious terrorist acts which would endanger the Israeli public. Another truth is that despite the many agreements between Israel and Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority which requires extradition of terror suspects from Palestinian controlled areas to Israeli authorities, virtually every request for the extradition of a terror suspect has been refused by the Palestinian authority. Should the Israelis push the demand the Palestinian Authority will often hold a very public trial of the terrorist in question who will be given a long sentence of which they will serve days, or if really unfortunate, weeks before being released and then often granted a job as a member of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces. If one were to take time to conduct a critical investigation into the efforts of the Palestinian Authority to prevent terrorism they would find minimal cooperation and that the Palestinian Authority Security Force members were actually more likely to facilitate terrorist acts or actually commit a terrorist act than the average Palestinian resident. The main reason that Minister Livni and her fellow travelers appear to be so reasonable is a result of the fact of the regularity and consistency with which terrorist acts such as assaults, stabbings, and the other countless other forms take place in the West Bank. Because these acts happen daily and in cases such as rock attacks, assaults, verbal taunting and insults and even attempted stabbings at checkpoints often occur numerous times every day, the media no longer reports about them unless somebody is killed. Even if these acts result in injuries which are non-life-threatening they are often ignored by much of the media and especially by Haaretz, the leading English language new source from Israel. As everyone is aware, if the news does not cover something, then it never happened and that is why it is accepted that there is little or no terrorism emanating from the Palestinian Authority areas. A perfect example would be the terrorist act in which a Palestinian took control of a large frontend loader and attacked a Jerusalem bus overturning it killing one Israeli a couple of weeks ago yet it received minimal coverage despite the fatality. If you are scratching your head attempting to remember if you read or heard of this attack, then you likely missed it.

 

Another source of the situation is due to different perceptions and societal norms. Many Western politicians and citizens use their own societal behaviors, expectations, morals and motivations when judging their expectations of how the Palestinian will act in situations. There are some glaring inconsistencies and differences that exist due to foundational differences between Western society and Palestinian society, especially their leadership. Islam has a number of precepts which are completely foreign to the average Westerner and are beyond their ability to incorporate even if others have attempted to explain these concepts because they are so beyond normal accepted behavior in their minds. Taqiyya is one such concept which not only permits a Muslim to lie and deceive in order to promote or further Islamic control over people or land or to gain advantage but requires that they do so in such situations. This means that Mahmoud Abbas is required to say those things which he knows will be taken by Western leaders and people as proof that he is willing and anxious to work with them and Israel in forming a peaceful and secure coexistence between the Palestinians and the Israelis while turning right around and in Arabic making speeches which call for the slaughter of the Jews all in the same afternoon. This also explains how the Palestinians can say anything they need to and guarantee cooperation or willingness to concede lands to the Israelis or make agreements with the Israelis and then when the time comes to sign the aforementioned agreement they refuse and state that they had never agreed to these stipulations and that such a suggestion is an insult to their honor and they then leave often is haste and seemingly feeling great insult and anger. This was exemplified when Yasser Arafat stormed out of negotiations being overseen by United States President Clinton. This made news coverage but not for Arafat and his storming out but because of the spectacle United States Secretary of State Madeline Albright made of herself as she ran after Yasser Arafat screaming and pleading that he return and resume the negotiations. Arafat ignored her pleadings. From commentary made later after President Clinton was out of office he reputed that Arafat became enraged when President Clinton insisted that Arafat deliver on the very items he had agreed upon during the earlier session of the negotiations and Arafat insisted he had never agreed to such agreements and Clinton called him on it as being dishonest at which point Arafat stormed out acting insulted.

 

Another difference comes from having diametrically opposite definitions for terms and concepts. The easiest to present is how the Western world defines peace and how Islam defines peace. Western definition of peace is the lack of hostilities and usually implies an end to any conflict. Islam defines peace as the lack of opposition, the surrender of their opposition. Peace does not mean a finding of a middle ground where both sides give some and receive some in an exchange seeking to end disagreements and restore healthy relations in Islam. Their concept of peace is they get everything they demand and you simply fold and take a subservient position. Peace means the defeat of their enemy by means other than open conflict though the threat of open conflict can be a part of the exchange which brings the Muslim forces unrestricted superiority granting them superiority over their adversary. In Islam there is no term for a ceasefire or peace treaty, they have the concept of a hudna which is defined according to some agreements made by Muhammad with the enemies he fought. The best known example was the hudna he reached with the rulers of Mecca when Muhammad led his forces from Medina to take his city of birth and claim it for Islam. Initially the forces in Mecca were sufficiently armed and capable that Muhammad’s army was equally matched or facing a possible loss. This led to the hudna which was defined as a peace treaty which would last for a decade. Within two years Muhammad had augmented his forces giving him a definitive advantage so he broke the hudna and mercilessly attacked and destroyed the forces in Mecca. This became the model for Muslim armies from that date forward. This was one of the reasons that Hamas broke nearly every ceasefire they presumably agreed upon with the Israelis during the Cairo negotiations. The current ceasefire between Israel and the forces of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the others terror forces in Gaza will probably not last into the presumed open ended time frame as many in the west have predicted. My estimate is if it survives to its first birthday I will be very pleasantly surprised and figure six to nine months at best.

 

Perhaps you have heard or read about the great solution proposed by the United States, Egypt (reluctantly), the European Union and many member governments, numerous Western NGOs (many with the required word ‘peace’ in their names) and leftist within Israel who never seem to miss an opportunity to become surprised when their plans go awry. This ultimate and ingenious plan centers around placing the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas in charge in Gaza and having them inspect all incoming shipments for arms and assuring that all building supplies are utilized for rebuilding the Gazan infrastructure, residential buildings, schools, hospitals, clinics, mosques and other civilian buildings and not put into reconstructing the Hamas infiltrations and smuggling tunnels. This will definitely work this time around and there is absolutely no possibility that it will end in another coup in which hundreds of Palestinian Authority Security Forces being murdered followed by a purging of Palestinian Authority and Fatah employees and members by throwing them from the roofs of the taller buildings in Gaza as happened in 2007. We know that such a result is beyond the expectations of any reasonable person as Hamas has been weakened and joined the unity government with Fatah because it was a virtual surrender. It could not be because Hamas planned to take over control of the unity government and bring their rocket attacks and other terrorism to Judea and Samaria and be capable of really forcing the closure of Ben Gurion International Airport and destroy much of Israeli infrastructure and threaten three-quarters of Israeli population from the high ground overlooking central Israel called the Judean Hills. Of course those who believe that Hamas is facing collapse and is so spent that they must play nice and surrender all control to Mahmoud Abbas suffer from the blindness of wishful thinking. These true believers in the rosy future scenario are ignoring the coup attempt by Hamas just last week which was prevented when Israel’s Shin Bet with the assistance of the IDF arrested ninety-three Hamas members in the West Bank and also captured caches of arms, explosives and other tools of the trade preventing the coup which would have provided Hamas control of the entirety of the Palestinian Authority and be able to expand their rockets and other terrorist activities to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) to augment their forces in Gaza. The end game planned by Hamas is a unity government named Hamas and with the financial support from Qatar and arms from Iran is something not to be refuted as having no possibility of becoming reality; it is definitely possible and probably inevitable if Abbas remains in a unity government.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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