Beyond the Cusp

September 10, 2019

Why Am I not All That Worried?

 

Everyday I hear a similar question in several parts. Perhaps writing articles here at Beyond the Cusp makes them believe I actually know and understands what is going on in the world and especially in Israel. It might also be my record of making predictions which have a great amount of veracity and often coming true almost exactly. Whatever the reason, I realize these questions are posed hoping I can ease their minds or accurately warn them when to start to worry and make plans accordingly. The first part of the question is worded something like, is a war coming in the near term? This is usually followed by asking for clarification as to where. This is when I have had to provide some not so great news. The reason is that Hamas in Gaza in the south has stated that they will join in any war should Israel engage with Hezballah in Lebanon to the north while Hezballah has promised to join any war Israel might engage with Hamas. The answer is it matters little where the next conflict starts, it probably, thanks to orders from Iran, will encompass a two-front war against both Hamas (with Islamic Jihad) in the south and Hezballah in the north. This, fortunately, may not matter for the remainder of this year as my feelings are that there will not be any all-encompassing conflict, or this is my wishful thinking.

 

There have been a slowly increasing escalation from out of Lebanon and Syria where Hezballah and the IRGC are aiding Syrian forces loyal to Bashir al-Assad along with Russian air and defensive support. The escalations by these forces have gone from single or twin drones to a drone swarm and single rockets to multiple rocket launches and the use of guided anti-aircraft missiles against ground vehicles. Hamas in Gaza use rocket launchers, anywhere from two or three to as many as a dozen or two. On both fronts, the Iron Dome has intercepted the majority of these projectiles projected to strike populated regions at an unreal excellence and proficiency. There have been threats made after every exchange with Hezballah always making the claim that Israel started everything and thus they will respond to the Israeli belligerence. The only problem with their claims is that the exchanges are almost if not always initiated by Hezballah or Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Hamas also has their weekly, of more accurately daily, rioting along the border replete with launching of kites, balloons and the occasional drone with explosives and incendiary packages aimed for the destruction of Israel. They love the land so much they are willing to completely destroy everything such that nobody can use the region. These are the situations which many in our circles are concerned about, even to the point where it dominates conversation more than the coming election, but not more than the general banter which makes leaving the house worthwhile.

 

To the best of my discernment, many in our circles are displaying a level of tenseness and apprehension noticeably higher than usual. They claim that my lack of uneasiness with what I write and apparently obsession with the news cycle is unexplainable, even considering that I do not believe a war is inevitable this summer or until late next spring. Tomorrow morning, I fully expect to have this conversation within fifteen minutes of meeting the first of my regular circle leading to the same reaction of head shaking and pressing their feelings of ill-at-ease adding an, are you sure, to the conversation. If I am fortunate, others will not overhear our conversing as that almost inevitably brings others echoing the same questions and disbelief and even some expressing concern for my levels of sanity. I always assure them that I am still as unbalanced as ever. The upside of this tense situation surrounding us guarantees that people will want to converse so they can ask and be reassured that there is nothing coming in the immediate time-frame as none of the enemies of Israel desire having everything they own broken and having to wait for Iran to smuggle in a resupply of the necessary components for their rockets and drones. Outside events often supercharge the conversation and the number of scenarios discussed and presented as reasons why I am confused and unfounded in holding such an optimistic, almost Pollyannaish, attitude regarding the danger level around the threats which are thrown around weekly if not daily some weeks. Between Nasrallah boasting of the competence and preparedness of the Hezballah military units being capable of returning the Galilee to Lebanese control, read as Arab control, from the occupation by the Zionist Entity and Yahya Sinwar who leads Hamas insisting that the Friday (and often other days just peeking on Fridays) rioting will continue until the occupation by the Zionist Entity has been destroyed, we are pretty much guaranteed two to five threats each week depending on the need to distract the people from their poor governance. When one includes spokespersons from Islamic Jihad, commanders of the IRGC, Iran itself and Mahmoud Abbas and the rest of the Palestinian Authority (read PLO) circus all coming at the same demands, that the Jews take their rightful subjugation by their Islamic superiors, we seldom go two days without some threat raising concerns.

 

Hezballah is a terror army with all the abilities of the Lebanese Army in addition to their own forces as two-thirds of the Lebanese Army are members of Hezballah or sympathizers and thus do pose a credible threat. The IRGC is a second military fielded by Iran and are Islamic hardliners with radical beliefs. They are well trained and receive the same if not better equipment than the Iranian Army. This provides them with all the same capabilities as the Iranian Army with the possible restriction of less air support. Add in the Iranian Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei with his and the Iranian fanatics chants each Friday after religious services screaming, “Death to America, Death to Israel,” there is an additional guarantee for my conversation. The way I figure things, if there really was a threat of a war coming in the near period, they would have displayed a far higher rate of increase in the attacks and terrorism. There was the latest attack by Hezballah where they fired anti-aircraft guidable missiles at an IDF base targeting the vehicles and striking a field ambulance which could be claimed was an attempted escalation, almost, as they struck a converted Merkava I battle tank, which are obsolete as a main battle tank but make for a far safer ambulance for the rescue of injured soldiers in an active battle scenario, and claimed they had injured numerous IDF soldiers and claimed possible fatalities. The entire scene at this base was set up with mannequins which were evacuated as if being actual injuries. After Hezballah made their bombastic claims, IDF spokespeople revealed the reality that no Israeli was injured or killed and that the entire exchange was a trap which Hezballah took the bait, hook, line and sinker.

 

Still, the situation which Israel faces on a daily basis is serious and threatening. In the Middle East, threatening is the natural condition, and not just between Israel and her neighbors. Syria is in the midst of a long-running civil war, Iraq is fighting its own Kurdish citizens in the north securing the northern routs for Iran to provide supplies, forces and weaponry for the IRGC, Hezballah and forces fighting supporting Bashir al-Assad, Yemen is in a civil war with the Houthis attempting to overthrow the elected government with Iranian support provided by both the IRGC and Hezballah forces, the Jordanian King is facing the threat of massive unrest from the Arab Palestinians plus all the other conflicts surrounding the MENA nations and the remainder of the world. This is also another reason why I doubt that there will be any conflict this year. Iran is behind almost half of the conflicts in the Middle East. The other violence is mostly Islamic forces attacking those of Animist, Christian or other non-Islamic faith across central Africa in the Transition Zone (see map below). There are also conflicts between India and Pakistan as well as the civil unrest on Mindanao in the Philippines among other regions of strife. With most of the Arab and Islamic world facing internal as well as external conflicts, Israel has become less of an issue throughout their world.

 

African Transition Zone

African Transition Zone

 

This lowering of the level of concern and hatred against Israel as there exists an even more menacing threat, Iran. This has sent Saudi Arabia and many Gulf States to form an almost speaking relationship with Israel. There is far less mention of the Zionist Entity and threats with an exception for the Imams whose entire repertoire consists of hating Israel and Jews. This has caused the uninitiated to express their prediction that Israel will ally with Egypt and Saudi Arabia in order to counter the Iranian threat. Put absolutely no credence in this theme as everything will revert back to hate for the Zionist Entity as soon as Iran ceases to threaten the Sunni Islamic world. Simply put, take Iran out of the equation and the Sunni world will return to their emphasizing the destruction of the Zionist Entity and the return of the region to Arab Islamic rule, their defined norm for not only Israel but to the remainder of the world. Islam has a very simple definition for the world. They divide the world into two camps, Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb; being defined as the world of Islam and the world of war respectively. Making this slightly more complicated, the Sunni Muslims and the Shia Muslims each consider the other to be heretics and thus part of Dar al-Harb. This also explains the high level of animosity between the Sunni Arab states and Shiite Iran. With Iran actively holding heavy sway over Iraq and their total control of Lebanon through Hezballah and Syria where they are assisting al-Assad defeat his opposition for control of Syria; this forms what many refer to as the Shiite Crescent and has all but encircled Saudi Arabia potentially explaining their sudden affections for Israel, the sole military which is capable of restraining Iran from doing whatever they please.

 

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

 

There is one other reason that we doubt that there will be a war this year, and this includes elections. We can gladly say that the Israeli elections are not the main criteria but the 2020 American elections. Iran is aware that should they be caught pressing for a war anywhere in the Middle East, even Israel, then President Trump would have a free ticket to pose a massive assault on Iran destroying their nuclear program and military ability. As long as after hitting Iran and dealing them a definitive and debilitating strike President Trump departs Iran, then this would leave the rebuilding and possible selecting new governance for the people to do as they see fits them best. Should Iran return to being ruled by a governance nearly identical to their current theocracy, then they would face the same policies from the Trump administration. If the Iranians built a representative governance and called for recognition and relations with the rest of the world, this might be accomplished once their new governance was solidly in place, a constitution or similar document designed and order restored allowing for free and open elections, then perhaps Iran might join the rest of the world. This would require their disbanding the IRGC, ending all support for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezballah and all other terrorist organizations, ceasing their support and control over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen and liberalizing their civil laws allowing for greater human rights and other freedoms. Then the Middle East could return to their natural positions of complete and total rejection of Israel. This would work to relieve some of the terrorist threats on Israel, but all of them would remain and simply be seeking new backers such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabian entities and other support even to include the European Union, United Nations with accompanying agencies, European nations and others around the world. Things would take a while to settle into whatever the new conditions would become, and things would become more unstable as the terrorist groups would start to compete with one another while seeking funding and support. This would make things unsettled and far more dangerous and quite possibly could press a war with Israel to prove they are the real and true threat to the Jewish State. That is the Middle East, “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” the description Winston Churchill gave in a radio broadcast in October 1939 talking about the actions the Russians might take in World War II.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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January 14, 2019

Latest Israeli Aggression Scandal

 

There have been reports and the follow-up denunciations over Israeli airstrikes against positions within Syria. Why this should bother people is beyond understanding. Even the fact that there was a ceasefire reached between Syria and Israel quite some time ago, the recent and numerous attacks upon Israeli sovereign soil ended any such agreement. We understand that after every rocket launched, artillery fire, sniper shootings and other aggressions by forces in Syria there has been the spurious apologies claiming they were all accidental. This included a number of drones which have crossed and flown over Israeli communities in the Galilee with armaments on many of these drones which were fortunately intercepted before they claimed lives or destroyed whatever was their intended target. All of these incidents would be considered acts of war were they perpetrated against any nation other than Israel. Because these blatant attacks were merely against Israel, the standing opinion is that Israelis need to just suck it up and absorb such assaults from time to time simply because the world demands so. Well, let us tell you a little truth, Israel is an equal with any other nation and if your leaders believe that such attacks upon Israel sovereign soil is nothing to get upset about, perhaps you would feel more understanding if you lived in our neighborhood and were suffering such intrusions. So, yes, Israel has attacked positions in Syria with the majority of them not even Syrian positions but those of Iran. Let us talk a little about these Iranian outposts.

 

The first thing one need know is that the Iranian leadership has declared that they are at war with Israel. They have blatantly insisted that they will wipe Israel off the map, that Israel is a cancerous tumor which must be excised, that Israel is an offense to Islam and numerous other claims of hostility. Then there are the weekly few hours of hate, they had to go one better than the mere two minutes of hate in the book 1984 by George Orwell, where throngs of Iranians gather in Tehran and other cities after Friday services and chant, “Death to Israel,” and sometimes, “Death to America,” and they do these chants with great fervor and true intent to carry out their claims some day. Well, that day may be approaching should Iran succeed in taking control of Syria and Bashir al-Assad pushing Russia from Syria all together. Iran has set up some IRGC command centers and barracks for their forces which are supporting al-Assad in the slaughter of his own people as he attempts to retake what is left of his former country. The fact that the United States, on orders from President Donald Trump, is on their way out of Syria, that leaves the only true powers in Syria to be Russia and Iran. Allow us to disabuse you if you thought that Russia and Syria were working in conjunction to assist Bashir al-Assad, they are competing for the role of the power behind the throne in Syria and there can be only one. Iran is not about to share Syria with anyone and especially the sea coast and port facilities, the areas which Russia desires most and is willing to go to the mat to retain them. That leaves a question of where does Israel fit into all of this. Well, that is easy as President Trump advised Russian President Putin that he should look to Israel if he ever might need a friend once the United States has departed. This will make for some interesting dialogue and interplay to say the least.

 

This is all part of the future in what is rapidly becoming the new Middle East. We have the United States advising the Russians that for any assistance they may need in Syria to turn to Israel. Meanwhile, there has been a thawing to the point of secretive negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Israel as well as a whole new attitude by a number of the Gulf States concerning Israel with some potentially making overtures of allowing for diplomatic relations and an exchange of embassies. All of this simply because the Arab Sunni Islamic nations are in fear for their lives from their Persian neighbors and Shiite Islam arising bearing threats against them. Impending upheavals make for very strange bedfellows, don’t they? With the United States on their way out of the entire Middle East, that leaves the two main powers to be Iran (Persia) and Israel. Historically, it was the Persians under Cyrus the Great who liberated the Jews from their Babylonian exile allowing them to return home and build the Second Temple. Further, previous to 1979 and President Jimmy Carter assisting the overthrow of the Shah Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi allowing for Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to assume leadership claiming that the Ayatollah, as a religious cleric, had to be a man of peace and tranquility, Iran and Israel had been close friends. Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was the initiator of the hatred and vile spouted by Iranian leaders since his return against Israel and the United States. The embassy crisis followed where student revolutionaries who adhered to the Ayatollah’s teachings seized sixty-six hostages, mostly diplomats and embassy employees. After a short period of time, thirteen of these hostages were released, these were women, African-Americans and not American citizens thus, Khomeini argued that they were subjects of American oppressions. The remainders were held for four-hundred-forty-four days, up until the hour that Ronald Reagan was sworn into office as President of the United States. Thus, President Barack Obama was not the first President to befriend the Iranian Ayatollahs.

 

The main problem for Iran when it comes to making good on their numerous promises of destroying Israel, the Zionist Entity as they often refer to Israel, is that Iran does not share a border with Israel from which to mount an attack. There is a fair distance and a couple of other countries which are in the way (see map below). Iran has already taken care of one of those countries by basically becoming the new rulers, by proxies, of Iraq and they almost completely control Lebanon through Hezballah. The Iranian problem is who takes control of Syria, in particular southern Syria including Damascus and the border along the Golan Heights. This threat makes the fact that Israel has refused to return the Golan Heights to Syria even in exchange of a treaty as history showed that the sniper training was carried out on the Golan Heights with Israeli farmers as their targets. If Israel had returned the Golan Heights, one could safely bet that there would be IRGC troops atop them today shooting into the fertile valleys where most of Israeli farms are located. The threat of Iranian troops amassed along the Lebanese and Syrian borders is the main reason that Israel and Russia have a common problem, Iran. This is where we get to why Israel has been making airstrikes into Syria.

 

Distance Between Israel and Iran Plus Nuclear Sites and Size Comparison

Distance Between Israel and Iran Plus Nuclear Sites and Size Comparison

 

The problem has been that Iran has all but completed their Shiite Crescent across from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea (see map below) and taken control of almost all trade routes and the flow of oil from the Middle East. Their efforts in Yemen and Syria are the only areas which are still being contentious. The Kurds in northern Iraq are not a great concern to Iran as their main reason for desiring Iraq is as a land bridge to the Mediterranean Sea and for supplying their forces in Syria and Lebanon via that land bridge. Their interest in Yemen is in order to pose a threat to Saudi Arabia from the south as well as the north. The two regions within Saudi Arabia which are desired by Iran, as they do not want the large region of sand and rocks in the central region, are the oil fields largely in the northeast and control of Mecca and Medina (where the star is on the map) which are the two holy cities and the claim under which the Saudi Royal family has claimed their right to rule, and the second is the Bab-el-Mandeb Straight, which controls the southern exit from the Red Sea which also gives them control over the Suez Canal, the main source of revenue for Egypt other than tourism. Iran has within their own territory the ability to threaten ships passing through the Straights of Hormuz through which almost all of Middle East oil, that of the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Kuwait, pass through which they have previously blockaded only to have the United States Fifth Fleet reopen the waters by escorting every oil tanker and ship passing through that choke-point. The Iranian aim is to control the entirety of the Middle East through holding every vital seaway and thus holding every Middle East nation hostage with their economies at risk. They have come very close to these goals with only Saudi Arabia preventing their final takeover of Yemen using the Houthis as their proxies while providing them with Hezballah forces as well as IRGC assistance. In Syria Iran has gone further while using Hezballah and IRGC, they have also committed some of the regular Iranian military who are largely assisting with logistics and been responsible for the attempted drone attacks upon Israel.

 

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

 

So, why has Israel attacked Syria? To be technical, Israel has not attacked Syria as much as they have been preventing the Iranians from setting up home bases in Syria, prevented as much as possible the arming of Hezballah with long range missiles and rockets and other armaments and heavy weapons, and struck at IRGC targets and struck weapons caches which belonged to either Hezballah or the IRGC. Israel has, for the most part, cleared these strikes with Russian commanders such that they not have their forces in the target region. Despite the fact that this could tip off the Iranian forces allowing them time to relocate the particular items which Israel hopes to destroy, Israel still will strike trying not to start a war with Russia, just with Iran and Syria. That would not work well as missile carriers are quite recognizable and easily located. Thus transporting missiles to prevent Israeli airstrikes from destroying them may just be making that easier as they would be in the open. Israel is actually still in a state of war with Syria which makes all of these strikes that much more Kosher. With the exit of the United States, the only things standing between Iran and an open route from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea are Russia and Israel. Further, if we were Jordan, we would be very nervous having the voracious appetite for controlling the Middle Eat and maximizing borders with Saudi Arabia and Israel sitting on their northern and eastern borders. Perhaps it would be advantageous for the King of Jordan to be making nice with Israel and stop picking needless fights just to appease violent Islamists protesting demanding the destruction of Israel. We suspect (though have no proof yet) that these protesters in Jordan are backed by Iran and possibly being trained by IRGC terror experts in an attempt to foment the overthrow of King Abdullah II replacing him with, what else, a Shiite theocracy run by Iran. In order to try to prevent many of these things and beyond what we mentioned here, such as eventually taking Egypt, Turkey and then driving across Europe and who knows after that, Iranian ambitions as stated by the Ayatollah is to rule the world imposing Shia Islam as the sole religion. Iran through Hezballah already has a training region in South America in what is called the Tri-Border Area. How big a potential threat is Iran, well President Trump thinks they are a real big threat and we agreed, discussing the entirety of the threats with this article. Their potential for creating threats reaches to every corner of the earth and hopefully not beyond, at least not yet. Part, a small part, of stopping Iran is the vital link they require in Syria, thus Israel will continue to do what is required to prevent this calamity from occurring to Israel and potentially Europe and beyond.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 8, 2019

The Opposing Powers Regarding Syria and Israel

 

There is going to be one of the strangest alignments when Syria becomes an even greater blood-bath. The problems will spill over into Iraq, mostly in the northern regions, and Russia is going to be dependent and thus in a strange alignment with Israel in order to slow and eventually repulse the Iranian attempts at hegemony. The other force which will be adding in no small manner will be Turkey as they attempt to sweep the Kurds off the map in northern Syria and may make a fatal mistake and take their fight with the Kurds into Iraq. The Kurdish forces in Iraq are the same forces that largely were responsible for the defeat of the Islamic State. Their major mistake was not declaring their independence immediately after the highly favorable call for the establishment of Kurdistan back with the September of 2017 referendum. The main problem the Kurds will face is their lack of adequate air forces, but on the ground they proved to be formidable fighters. Yes, we know that Turkish President Erdogan promised President Trump he would only fight the Islamic State and related terrorists. The problem is Erdogan defines all Kurds, even the infants, as dangerous terrorist forces. President Trump is fully aware that despite Turkey presumably being a NATO ally, they are no friend of the United States and that Erdogan sees himself as the great new leader who will be the initiator of the new Ottoman Empire and has designs on Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq. Hopefully Erdogan realizes that for him to take Mosul he will first be required to fight through the Kurdish forces in the North and then be required to take Mosul from Iraqi forces who are backed by Iranian forced from the IRGC. These are some of the elite forces from the IRGC which are holding Mosul.

 

Meanwhile, the Iranian regime is facing some turbulence on the home front as a plurality of the people desire returning to Western styled Democratic governance. The Iranian economy was not as sturdy and thriving as the Europeans and others claimed it was and the American sanctions are doing their intended effect and doing so well. The slacking wages, rising unemployment, farmers facing under-valued crop prices, and retirees joining the farmers in massive demonstrations in Tehran and Mashhad (Iran’s second largest city) have shaken many a Middle East expert. There is a pair of videos plus many pictures of the demonstrations, the noisy demonstrations. These are simply the latest round of demonstrations. They are following a general worker strike, at least two of them one of which even the taxi drivers joined bringing the capital city and others to a virtual standstill. Before that was a student’s demonstration, it drew support from many workers, including salesmen and many middle-aged men who were witnessed in this set of protests. Basically, the Iranian people want to end the Islamic revolution and instead have an economic revolution which empowers them to improve their lives.

 

Meanwhile, Iran is still making attempts, largely successful, to be the proxy rulers in Iraq and in Lebanon. In Iraq they are simply using the mostly, if not totally, Shiite government as their sock-puppet having it execute their desires which was largely behind the attacks on the Kurds which were carried out largely by militias and IRGC forces. In Lebanon, the Iranian control is far more basic. Nasrallah runs Hezballah, Hezballah basically is the Lebanese government and largely controls its military and Nasrallah takes his orders from the Mullahs of Iran. Iran also holds sway over Gaza with Islamic Jihad, their original agents in Gaza, and Hamas recently coming on-board and receiving additional rocket motors and the plans for machining additional motors providing them with enhanced range which they now threaten Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv plus all the places inbetween. The latest threats have come from the mouth of Islamic Jihad leader Ziyad Nakhalah who has been threatening that a new war is coming against Israel and this war will be unlike the failures of the past as this time Israel is going to be attacked from the north and south at the same time. One might even conclude by the way he spoke that he was including the Quds Force, a special group from the IRGC specifically trained to take Jerusalem and fight against Israel, attacking over the Golan Heights. One can be assured that during his visit to Tehran and meeting the leadership of the Iranian tyranny, he received guarantees that they would instruct Hezballah to support whatever may be coming from Gaza. He made references to the existence of numerous infiltration tunnels which Israel has yet to find and how the attackers from the North (Lebanon) would swamp the Israeli forces in the north by coming out behind them, between them and possibly within their formations and surprising the IDF and defeating them handily while taking numerous Israeli cities at the same time. Perhaps we should thank him for the warnings.

 

This is all on top of our article from January 6, 2019, titled Iran on the Offensive, in which we discussed the intent by Iran to send warships into the North Atlantic Ocean, very likely close to the United States’ eastern seaboard. What is their intent? Well, it could be to attack the United States at the same time as they unleash their terror forces against Israel and who knows what other surprises the Iranians might have in store for the world. We know that they have worked on making EMP devices which are not nuclear in nature with a fair degree of success. We have always concluded that they must have numerous nuclear weapons by this point in time as they have been working on this since the 1990’s and this would provide Iran with an EMP device capable of potentially threatening much of the North American electrical grid. The problem is attempting to predict what a group of aged Mullahs with grandiose dreams that their forces are invincible and that Allah will double the effect of their efforts and that they are the ones who will rule the world. But there are any numbers of items which make the rulers of the Iranian theocracy even more dangerous at these times.

 

First and foremost is the unrest at home, knowing that they no longer have the protection of an American President who believes much the same as do they. They are completely aware that President Trump would love nothing more than to assist their overthrow by their own people with minimal if any American assistance beyond providing the weapons required to the right people. Should the people take to the streets en-mass as happened in 2009, President Trump will be siding with the people of Iran, and not its leadership and the enforcement terror system upon which they rely to be a constant check threatening the people. Further, they know that President Trump has turned the inhibiting of Iran curbing their meddling beyond their borders to those in the Arab world along with Russia who have the most to lose should Iran complete their Shiite Crescent and all but engulf Saudi Arabia and gain control of the Straight of Hormuz where much of the Arab oil passes and the Bab al-Mandab (see map below) choking off the Red Sea making the Suez Canal useless and destroying a large part of the Egyptian economy. Using these two choke points, Iran can cut off virtually all oil shipments from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to the rest of the world, mostly Europe, and with the straight at the southern exit for the Red Sea, they prevent 90% of the shipping between Europe and Asia with the sole other route using the Black Sea and then overland. Of course, neither of these causes too much consternation for the United States, as she is virtually energy independent and can ship to Europe from the East Coast and Asia from their west coast and still have the Panama Canal to go between the two great oceans. Still, closing such strategic waterways would be the quickest means of provoking a war which Iran would likely lose.

 

Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

 

They are aware that their best chance is a knockout first strike decapitating the United States and then economically crippling her. The first is accomplished with a number of nuclear tipped missiles targeting both Washington D.C. as well as New York and then launching a few long-range rockets set to detonate nuclear warheads designed for low yield and a massive EMP Pulse approximately three-hundred miles above Kansas City and allow the destruction of much of the electronics across North America and the short-circuiting of the majority of the large power transformers destroying the electronic grid to such an extent that it may take as long as fifty years to fully repair and in the meantime at least three-quarters of the United States and rest of the effected regions populations will die. Before these people suffer death by any of any various means, they can be satisfied knowing that absolutely nothing of Tehran will remain and those who sent these terrible horrors onto their shores will have been hunted down and killed, possibly too quickly for many, but dead just the same. The United States Navy and other military assets around the world are more than sufficient to end this war with an American victory over Iran. The horrors come from the suffering these conflicts will bring on to so many lives. Still, there is some dark recess in the minds of the ruling Mullahs in Iran who honestly believe that by bringing such horrors unto the world that they are simply preparing the way for the Mahdi and their promised Caliphate where they will rule the world or end up with their perpetual virgins in whatever afterlife they dream over. For so many of us in the developed world the concept of conquering the world died off quite a while back and was completely destroyed by World Wars I and II. What we find incomprehensible is that there are people on the Earth today who still see themselves or those who follow them ruling the world imposing their singular religion upon every person living on the planet and if they refuse putting them to the sword, a nice way of saying kill them, even if it means sawing their heads off with a small knife and taking five to ten minutes to complete the task. The religion which the majority of those with these delusions is Islam; either Sunni or Shiite, but Islam. And, yes, there are those such as the Iranian Mullahs, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Saudi Royals as well as the leaders of Wahhabi Islam, numerous different schools of Sunni and Shiite Islam and a number of dictatorial powers many of which see themselves as ruling over the final result of Communism which will prove triumphant in the end, or so they believe. There are probably a collection of other crazies who actually see themselves ruling the world, as for us, we would be glad for a small patch of the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea ruled by Israel.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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