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 21, 2017

The Sliding Scale of International Law

 

What is International Law? Well, that all depends on any number of varying particulars. The Geneva Conventions are considered by the average person as being universally applied International Law. That is not true. The Geneva Conventions only apply to the member nations. Any nation which has not signed onto the Geneva Conventions does not need abide by them. The Geneva Conventions are more of a gentleman’s agreement where thugs do not abide by them. We could call them the Marquis of Queensberry Rules for warfare. They apply to the nations who have agreed so as long as you are fighting another signatory it is as if you were fighting in the ring with rounds and a referee enforcing the rules. But if you are fighting a nation which has not signed the rules you are in an alley having a street fight where there are no rules. The problem is the nations who have signed the Geneva Conventions are required to fight by those rules no matter who the enemies are and whether they are signatories or not so the signatories fighting a war against another nation who is not a signatory is hamstrung while the other side can act however they please. This was evidenced in World War II as none of the Axis Powers (Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperialist Japan) were signatories and thus could treat prisoners of war as they desired including torture, summary executions, taking particular prisoners and treating them differently as the Nazis did with Polish and Russian prisoners and often with any British or American prisoners found to be Jews or considered troublesome such as those who had a habit of escaping and being recaptured. The movie The Great Escape was based on real events and mass escape during World War II where a large number of the men who were recaptured were simply machine gunned down in cold blood. The Japanese were equally brutal as the movie Bridge Over the River Kwai which was more loosely based on actual events and what was done to Alec Guinness’s character was just a simplified version of how the Japanese tortured prisoners but they were far more sadistic than any film could depict including beheadings and shooting squads as well as simple starvation and confinement in a metal box in the heat of the equatorial jungle. The United States and Britain were both signatories to the Geneva Conventions and as such had a code to follow in their treatment of prisoners. Many Japanese who knew how their side treated prisoners were told the Americans and British would be just as brutal which was part of why they refused to be taken and those who did fall prisoner were shocked when they were fed well and not subjected to torture. What are interesting are the claims by the Palestinians that they have rights under the Geneva Conventions as they are neither a nation nor a signatory thus the Geneva Conventions have absolutely no application nor grant them any rights whatsoever. That is just one modern example of attempting to use International Law for benefit under false pretenses.

 

Probably one of the most basic and often overlooked forms of International Law are treaties. Any treaties signed by two or more nations have the full weight of International Law. The missile and nuclear warhead treaties such as Salt and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty are forms of International Law and are enforceable with consequences for any violations, complete with rules for enforcement and other ramifications and schedules for execution. The treaties which ended the two great world wars are still applicable today though some of the treaties from World War II superseded those from World War I such as the border definitions for Germany and France and Germany and Poland. The treaties at the end of World War I has some of the deepest ramification of any set of treaties in history as it redefined the entirety of the Balkans and eastern Europe with the breakup of the Austria-Hungarian Empire and the delineating the borders of nations carved from all of the lands from the Ottoman Empire and also lands from the retreat of the Caliphate with the exception of the lands reclaimed by Spain, Portugal and, in a sense, France. The Allied Powers (France, Britain, Italy, Russia, Japan, Poland and the United States) met in a series of Conferences, Treaties and Mandates to setup new nations across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Many of these nations were setup with little consideration for stability, or directly to cause instability. This was called the Sykes-Picot Agreement after the two men, one the Foreign Secretary of Britain the other the Foreign Secretary of France. Another agreement came from the San Remo Conference which formalized the Balfour Declaration and set up the Mandate System and was further included in the Treaty of Sèvres as we have discussed numerous times here at BTC.

 

sykes-picot-map nation order

 

The United Nations through the Security Council can also make enforceable International Law through what are called Chapter Seven Resolutions. The serious nature of the consequences of such resolutions is partially why the five permanent members (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) have veto power as these would be the primary nations who would be required to enforce such a resolution. The United Nations Security Council also has Chapter Six Resolutions which carry slightly greater weight as any resolution out of the General Assembly but both are simply advisories. The major difference between these types of resolutions is if any single party to a General Assembly Resolution refuses to agree then all parties are released from the resolution and things continue as if that resolution had never been issued. These are different from resolutions which condemn a single nation which are largely statements of discontent or condemnation which in the General Assembly often are brought against Israel more than any other nation simply because the Arab and Muslim nations with their allied nations from the developing world, most belong to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) will pass any resolution brought before the General Assembly which targets Israel and similarly against the United States, an even somewhat rarer than those against Israel as too many nations receive largess from the United States and are intelligent enough not to push their luck while attacking Israel carries less risk.

 

That brings us back to the varying sliding scale of International Law and its application. When one looks into International Law and its applications in the past century there becomes one very clear problem, why is a nation the size of Israel been targeted with so many denunciations of being across the boundaries of International Law? Israel has been accused of genocide, collective punishment, targeting civilians intentionally, war crimes, crimes against humanity, occupation and just about anything you can think of, Israel has likely been accused of wrong-doing. What makes this all the more confusing is the guilt of some of the nations which have received exactly the opposite from Israel, aid in times of distress or natural catastrophe, yet virtually no censoring by the United Nations General Assembly for their transgressions. That list includes such nations as North Korea, Iran, Libya, Algeria, Cuba, China, Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan and even Syria. Then there are those nations which are seldom censored which are as expected such as Canada, Italy, Poland, and other nations which are seldom in the news. The true test of whether or not a nation actually receives sanctions, which are presumably applied worldwide, or if nations are brought before the international courts system such as the International Criminal Court or the International Court of Justice or any special courts setup to judge genocides or other special situations, as such measures are a sign that there has been a unforgivable transgression of International Law or against humanity.

 

This is where the case we are most concerned with here at BTC, in case one had not noticed, Israel becomes interesting. There have been exceedingly few cases compared to the number of accusations spewed before the world media, which is more than accommodating when it comes to denouncing Israel, that have been brought before the world courts. The one case we can think of off the top was about the so-called Apartheid Wall, the anti-terror wall which Israel put in place to end the Second Intifada and especially to end the waves of suicide bombings. Before the wall, which is largely a barrier made up of fences and only used walls where sniper fire was a potential problem such as in cities, there were multiple suicide bombings weekly, or so it seemed much of the time, and after the construction of the wall that number dropped to zero. Terrorism also dropped off and the barrier brought an end to the Second Intifada in conjunction with an IDF operation in Judea and Samaria to clear out much of the terrorist infrastructure and restore an IDF presence which served to provide intelligence and as a preventive influence against further terror. The General Assembly voted at the urging of the Palestinian Authority observer to request from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) a ruling on the legality of the wall with the hope of gaining a ruling which would lead to its dismantling such that the terrorist operations would not be hindered by the barrier. The barrier was cleared but that was just the initial good news for Israel. In addition to being cleared of any wrongdoing, there was an advisory opinion issued as a cautionary warning by Egyptian Judge, Justice El Araby, from the ICJ and who sat in judgement as part of the panel which heard the case from the United Nations General Assembly in 2003 on the legality of the security barrier erected by Israel. The Honorable Justice El Araby warned the UNGA and others that filing further ran some risks, as he stated,

 

“The international legal status of the Palestinian Territory (paras. 70-71 of the Advisory Opinion), in my view, merits more comprehensive treatment. A historical survey is relevant to the question posed by the General Assembly, for it serves as the background to understanding the legal status of the Palestinian Territory on the one hand and underlines the special and continuing responsibility of the General Assembly on the other. This may appear as academic, without relevance to the present events. The present is however determined by the accumulation of past events and no reasonable and fair concern for the future can possibly disregard a firm grasp of past events. In particular, when on more than one occasion, the rule of law was consistently side-stepped. The point of departure, or one can say in legal jargon, the critical date, is the League of Nations Mandate which was entrusted to Great Britain.”

 

This has been one of the reasons that the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Arab World, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and others such as the European Union and many individual European and other nations or even individuals have never challenged the claim to all the lands west of the Jordan River as being meant for anything other than Israel, the Homelands for the Jewish People, they know what the actual treaties, conferences and agreements all state clearly, the land belongs to Israel and by agreement and International Law only the Jewish People have full political rights while the others who reside in the area must be guaranteed civil rights, property rights, equality under the law, religious rights but not political rights. The agreements simply state that only the Jewish People and those they willingly extend such rights may exercise political rights. Everybody is to be granted civil rights, religious rights, property rights, and equal treatment under the law. That is the International Law as delineated by numerous treaties, conferences, agreements and is exactly what Justice El Araby, the Egyptian Judge on the ICJ, was warning the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab World about, Israel holds all the cards and other than receiving written and signed treaty with Israel, there is no legal means that the Arabs can claim even a single inch of the lands west of the Jordan River. Should they challenge such claiming anything under International Law as backing their claims, including, may we add, United Nations Security Council Chapter Sic Resolution 2334 which President Obama presented as his parting gift to the Palestinian Arabs and Mahmoud Abbas along with Iran all hoping that would cripple Israel, they will lose because Israel has every right to the lands and the best the Arabs can hope to gain, something they already have, is to live in peace under Israeli rule.

 

They would be granted all rights with one glaring exception, the right to political power or even to vote as all political power was vested for the Jews and only the Jews and those they decide to grant such rights. Israel, counter to the claims of too many ignorant and deceiving people, has granted full political rights to those Arabs who remained within the areas she was capable of holding after the Arab assault of intended genocide against the Jews in 1948-9 when half a dozen Arab armies and numerous militias and other units attacked Israel the morning of her inception. All the remaining Arabs, the Muslims, the Christians, the Baha’I, the Buddhists, everybody residing within Israel legally once the fighting ended were granted full citizenship and full civil, religious, legal, and political rights. Jordan extended similar to the Arabs in Judea and Samaria which they renamed West Bank as Judea and Samaria sounded too Jewish, and Egypt controlled Gaza but never annexed it or gave the residents there any rights leaving them under military occupation. There was no outcry for Palestinian rights or for the founding of any Arab Palestine while Egypt and Jordan held the lands, only after the Six Day War in June of 1967 and Israel liberating these lands did the world become obsessed. After the Six Day War Jordan reneged on her offer of citizenship and even stripped citizenship from the Jordanians which had been forced or given land and moved into Judea and Samaria making them people without a country and this was the birth of the Palestinian demands for their own nation. The claim that Israel had invaded and stolen Arab Palestinian lands was born three years earlier in 1964 with Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization except it was not Judea and Samaria that Israel had stolen but Israel herself was the lands claimed by Arafat. The PLO and their claims to Palestine was initially a direct challenge to Israel claiming that Israel was an illegitimate entity born atop of sacred Arab lands and that the Jews were to be exterminated if they refused to leave. After the Six Day War a readjustment was made and they now claimed all the lands west of the Jordan River, the twenty-two percent of the British Mandate which was not Jordan, this is what they claim must be given to them, not just Judea and Samaria and make no mistake. Their problem is simply, International Law actually backs the Jewish claim, it, for once, backs Israel. For once the rules actually are not stacked against Israel, though all the denunciations and referendums and resolutions and they amount to little more than noise because in the end there is only the written agreements of the nations of the world, and those all support Israel as the home for the Jewish People, just as an Egyptian Judge sitting on one of the highest courts in the world has admonished the Arabs to take note. Sometimes the noise is but an attempt to hide the truth, sometimes the truth wins out in the end. International Law, remarkable, isn’t it?

 

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

 

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.