Beyond the Cusp

June 22, 2017

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Al-Jazeera and the Gulf States

 

One of the places where that fabric of the world is stretched the tightest is along the Persian Gulf with the Straights of Hormuz being at the near breaking-point. The fabric was ratcheted even tighter right before United States President Trump’s recent visit when Qatar backed out of the deal made which made the Trump visit possible. Following right behind Qatar were both Oman and Bahrain, who also backed out of the deal, leaving Saudi Arabia in a predicament which has its problems and its rewards. The problem is now Saudi Arabia must foot the entire approximately four-hundred-billion dollar deal over three years. The good side is Saudi Arabia will be arming themselves to parity if not exceeding the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The next problem is that Saudi Arabian Military is great at marching and wearing fancy dress and intimidating mostly unarmed protesters and putting down any aspirations for the Arab Spring within Saudi Arabia, which took almost five minutes after the Friday launch date when protesters were outnumbered by Saudi Troops in the streets. Then there was the Shiite Arab Spring uprising in Bahrain which was appearing as if they might overthrow their Sunni rulers until, you guessed it, Saudi Arabian armored columns used all six lanes of the connecting causeway sending troops to end the uprising (pictured below). The Arab Spring ended in Bahrain with just the show of force and not one person was killed. Overwhelming force has its place and advantages. So, the Saudis will be the eight-hundred-pound-gorilla with sufficient armaments for two such gorillas. In case these arms are required to defend Saudi Arabia, which includes Mecca and Medina being in Sunni hands, the excess armaments owned by the Saudis will be distributed to well-trained Egyptian troops. Believe it that if the Saudis are in danger from outside forces that Egypt will provide manpower and, if necessary, Pakistan is in agreement to provide the technology to produce along with, some claim, as many as a dozen nuclear weapons. Now we have the chess table set with only a few other necessities which will be revealed as we follow a possible story-line, a scarily possible story line.

 

King Fahd Causeway is the bridge between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

King Fahd Causeway is the bridge
between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

 

Currently, Saudi Arabia is less than thrilled with Qatar for their pulling from the deal. There are some who believe they did this as a means of financially testing or even injuring the Saudi Arabian Royal Family who are not as affluent with money overflowing coffers as many in the West believe. Of course, it goes without saying, that Iran was behind this idea for their friend and sometimes, more often than not, ally, Qatar. There are many, ourselves included, who believe that Iran not only asked forcefully that Qatar pull out right before President Trump arrived such that the Saudis would have no recourse but to take up any needs. Then it is thought that Bahrain and Oman were also requested under threat by Iran to also pull from the deal. This has set up a very tense situation in the area around Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and the length of the Persian Gulf with the Straits of Hormuz the shortest distance between the two rivals (see map below). Qatar is using their control over their news service, Al-Jazeera, which combines television, radio, cable, internet and print media. Much of their electronic media is transmitted via satellite making it next to impossible to block. Qatar has been using their visual media to almost constantly show the visit of President Trump and particularly his visiting sacred and sensitive Islamic areas with women not wearing hair cover or burkas. The women were modestly dressed but not to the strict demands of Islam. These pictures are being accompanied with charges that the Saudi Royal Family are not real Muslims and they have disgraced Islam with their reception of President Trump without forcing the women to be properly covered. These accusations and the near constant flow of the pictures are on order from Iran attempting to insult the Saudi Royals before the Islamic world. The divisions as they currently appear to be are as depicted below.

 

Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Gulf States and the Length of the Persian Gulf with the Straits of Hormuz

Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Gulf States and the
Length of the Persian Gulf with the Straits of Hormuz

 

The problem, and even possibly the intent, is the media assault on the Saudi Arabian rulers by Qatar can only end one of two ways. The first is that Iran orders an end to the constant attempts of insulting and defaming the Saudi Arabian Royal Family and Qatar along with Al-Jazeera move on returning to often broadcasting Iranian attacks on the United States and Israel with occasional mention of Saudi Arabia or Egypt, i.e. regular broadcasting. The other is the attacks on the Saudi Royals leads to their demand they stop or they will be considered as a declaration of war on Saudi Arabia and her allies. The stress of her allies is important. This could result in the Saudis sending troops into Qatar to close down Al-Jazeera and that could result in a reaction from Iran at the request of the rulers of Qatar. This has been the Qatari Ace in the Hole by which they are able to continue to attack their larger neighbor, Saudi Arabia, through their manipulation of their control of the media in the Arab world using Al-Jazeera. This has been their means of bludgeoning the Saudi leadership and governance in service of their Iranian sponsors. The problem is should there begin to be unrest and calls for the end of the rule of the Saudi Arabian Royal Family and things start to become close to a point where the Wahhabi clerics might believe they could take control directly through a popular revolt, the Saudi Royals would act before that point could come to be. This would force their hand and an assault on Qatar, and on the Al-Jazeera headquarters in particular, might become the most viable option.

 

Should things reach the point that Saudi Arabia uses their military superiority to squelch the media assault originating from within Qatar, this might be the flashpoint leading to a far larger military confrontation. Such an attack could result in an Iranian response attacking Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates and counter the Saudi Arabian assault in Qatar. This might not even be the worst result. Should Saudi Arabia respond to such an attack with strikes inside Iran, the response could become a general attack by Iran across the Middle East on the heart of Sunni Islam striking towards Mecca and Medina from both Yemen and western Iraq using Houthis as their shock troops out of Yemen while they strike across Oman to Yemen and possibly land amphibious troops in Yemen for a pincher movement striking Oman from both ends and using Hezballah as their shock troops striking down out of Iraq getting a running start from Syria southward. There might be one feel-good side-effect; the Iranians may find it easier to simply eradicate Islamic State in the process. Jordan may or may not be amongst the targets of an Iranian first strike against Saudi Arabia, but they will be a target if for no other reason as they would allow Iran to surround Israel and Jordan has tens of thousands of Palestinian Arabs who might just join Iran if they were given the right promises. This would be the definitive war between Sunni and Shiite Islam with the winner taking all of Islam or at least a huge step towards that goal if Iran wins and the end of Shia Islam if Saudi Arabia proved triumphant.

 

The truth be told, if Iran were to defeat Saudi Arabia, their number one rival and quite possibly the top of the Iranian bucket list ahead of the United States and even Israel, they would control the two most important cities in all Islam, Mecca and Medina, and gain a treasure trove of weaponry. With the good relations that Iran has with the Sudan and the natural enmity between the Sudan and Egypt, almost a sibling rivalry between the two former British colonies and still Arab colonies, truth be told, Iran would have a natural front with Egypt, the sole power between Iran and total domination of all Islam. This would place Iran a stone’s throw from establishing the Shia dream for the past thirteen-hundred plus years, the defeat of the accursed Sunnis who murdered their leaders and actual descendants of Mohammad and true leaders of Islam, or at least that is their story. Of course, the Sunni will tell a different story about renegade Muslims who are merely apostates.

 

This is one of those pressure points upon which the world may turn upside down, or right-side up, depending upon how you view the world’s current state. Where this is but one of the far too many breaking-points where the stretched fabric of the world is measurably thinner than average and which makes it a point where even the smallest disruption could punch a hole in the fabric from which a tear would soon start if the violence spread leading to a series of events insuring an ever larger ring of violence. Leading to World War I there was an assassination which led to a state of war that even before it was declared began tearing the world apart. Each side began calling in their promises of mutual support and before you knew it, most of the world was engaged in a struggle which after the lines settled simply stagnated with intermittent slaughters when one side or the other sent their troops into no-man’s-land rushing from their trenches attempting to reach the other side’s trenches. Both sides had this little invention, though under separate contracts and differing names, known as the Maxim machinegun (see image below). Maxim became wealthy and by the time the war ended and all the treaties were signed and borders established with the movement of populations, the resultant death toll exceeded fifteen-million.

 

Maxim Machinegun Trenches and No Man’s Land

Maxim Machinegun
Trenches and No Man’s Land

 

Making matters worse, the impositions, including and specifically monetary, placed on Germany were all but directly responsible for World War II and another approximately eighty-million deaths. All told, an assassination of an Archduke and his wife led to close to one-hundred-million deaths and the toll is still being counted as the Sykes-Picot Treaty is responsible for much of the trouble and dissolution of the Arab world, where things are sensitive and reaching a critical mass. Even if the current crises are calmed, the entire situation will simply rise to another similar point of overt pressure in the future unless a permanent solution which recognizes the individual tribes and allegiances. Even then, who knows, and who can even believe they can know. Until humankind learns to live one with the others despite their differences and when the concept of world conquest is forever laid to rest, we will simply live from one crisis to the next until one ultimate crisis ends the existence of humanity leaving so few humans that all knowledge is lost within two or three generations and humanity has to begin again from square one. Who knows how many times we have come to this precipice and fallen, once, twice, one hundred, how many? There has been evidence found of a former cataclysm and there are the ancient Indian texts telling of weapons with unprecedented destructive powers. The world once again has such power, the power to end all civilized life on the planet and cause an unprecedented extinction event exceeded only once or twice in all of Earth’s history. In the famous T. S. Eliot poem, “The Hollow Men” ends with the following two lines, “This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but with a whimper.” He was close as the last sound will be a whimper but all but immediately before that there will be a series of Earth-shattering bangs of near unprecedented destruction in all of human history combined as all the secondary nuclear powers release their destruction on all who are not fit to live by their definitions, which will be against the others and each other ending all, then the few who survive for a short period will finish with the whimper.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 8, 2017

The Christian Situation

 

There are a number of different peoples who have problems in the Islamic Middle East and North Africa (MENA). One of the most covered is Israel where over half the world’s Jews reside and are in mortal danger in one way or another every single day, especially with the missiles and weapons of mass destruction held by Iran. Another group which has gotten its fair share is the Kurds who despite being largely Muslim are not accepted well by their Arab coreligionists. But there is one group that unless there has been some heinous act of barbarity or one particular group is facing a special situation, they are mostly ignored. These groups are the many different types of Christians. We spend much of our time here at BTC on Israel and the United States as that is where much of the news coverage emanates from and where we do or have lived. Today we will go a little afield of this and try to give this particular message about the Christians some attention. The first thing people need to realize are who these disparate groups of Christians are. We will list those we know of and where they predominantly reside. There are the Coptic Christians who largely reside in Egypt, the Maronite Christians living mostly in Lebanon, the Chaldeans (also known as Kaldaye and Kaldanaye) who are a form of Catholics and reside largely in Iraq, the Assyrian Christians who obviously reside mostly in Syria but also into Iraq, the Yazidis Christians who are a derivative of the Kurdish peoples and like them reside mostly in Syria and Iraq, and then there are other smaller groups of Christians throughout the MENA area and also those Christians throughout the world who reside on the borders of Islam where there is often frictions and even terrorism and outright warfare placing all civilians in danger in the area. The sad news is that almost all Christian communities in the MENA regions in every nation are facing falling populations as they are facing the contempt and violence which before them was inflicted on the Jews. The Jews have all but left the MENA nations, which is why the Christians are now facing these harassments, as these nations purge their populations of the non-believers, those not following Islam. As this purge continues, these populations will reach a critical point where the Muslims will feel it easiest to force their conversions or simply murder them, the choice between Islam and death. When this point is reached, any remaining Jews will be grouped right along with the Christians and executed if they refuse to convert. Even conversion will not end the strife as once converted they will be scrutinized by their fellow Muslims for any breach in their observance or appearance of still keeping to their former religion. All of these supposed transgressions will be met with death as notice to the remainder to remain pure and diligent in their newly adopted faith of Islam.

 

Levels of Christian Persecution Within MENA

 

It should be noted that there is one nation where the Christian population is healthy and growing and that is Israel as there is true freedom of religion in Israel and all religions are recognized and accommodated including Islam (both Sunni and Shiite), Christianity (all the above mentioned and almost every other form of Christianity found on Earth), Baha’I, Hindu, Buddhist, Animist, Druze, Atheist and other less well known religions. Outside of Israel, the story is mostly not as kind. In Syria and the areas ruled by Islamic State, it is unsafe for people in general, and for non-Muslims, it gets even more treacherous, with the danger becoming critical in a moment, and with little warning. In Iraq, there is sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Islam yet they still find time to make being a Christian a dangerous religious choice. Some groups of Christians have made themselves useful to the ruling form of Islam in their area and are thus treated as protected, but this protection will only last for as long as these Christians are filling that niche needed by the Islamic believers. Often this takes the position of being able to cross certain otherwise uncrossable areas to take messages to those Muslims who are kin to the ones protecting these Christians, as they are able to cross the frontier between two warring sects of Muslims delivering their messages or other packages. This also permits getting messages into the prisons as Christians often have relatives imprisoned giving them reason to visit and then the system in place within the prison takes over and the message will get to the intended. Being a Christian in an Islamic world, specially now with Islam becoming resurgent and thus more aware of their Islamists becoming more brutal in their means of rulership with Sunnis warring with Shiites and vice-versa, their lives are more fragile than the finest china. The one item they both do agree upon is that non-Muslims, those not following their version of Islam, must be converted or eradicated. This has placed some of the smaller sects of Islam, such as the Kurds, the Kharijites or the Sufri and any other small Islamic sects in mortal danger. Eventually, if permitted to take its course, Islam would face a final battle for the good of Islam where either Sunni or Shiite will prevail proving them the beloved of Allah as Allah rewards strength and abhors weakness.

 

MENA Refugees Admitted United States by Year and Religious Breakdown

 

The recent strikes against Coptic Christians in Egypt being responded to by the Egyptian military air strikes on the training facilities for those terror groups identified who struck these Coptic Christian communities is a new and welcome face for Islam and is a good indicator that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has at least his nation heading in a proper direction. And there are other signs that a new era may be emerging in the world of Islam. This will be due in no small part to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as well as the recent visit by United States President Trump who read fifty national leaders about their responsibilities and taking a lead in transforming Islam for the modern era. One cannot know exactly what President Trump said to these fifty leaders behind closed doors, but if their actions against Qatar, which forced them to expel certain Hamas individuals who had been hiding in a safe house within their borders, are any indicator, that message was received and they are intending initially to comply. The pressure was placed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. This was an immediate response to President Trump’s strong message that there was a role which the Arab and Muslim world must take if they are hoping to distance themselves from radical Islamic terrorism and be a part of the solution, not the problem. This should also, with time, force them to be more accepting of others starting with other varieties of Islam and finally other religions and recognizing their right to exist.

 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi could be a chapter if this were a book. His actions place him as the leader of these changes which the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia will need to set their sites on meeting if not exceeding his actions and examples, which will be a test for them. Egyptian President el-Sisi has addressed Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the leading Sunni institution of higher education in the world, and both times demanded that they bring their curriculum into the modern age and teach tolerance and stay away from the imperative for Islam to rule the world but instead teach that Islam should become a major contributor to improving the world and gaining adherents through their good and beneficial actions rather than the old message of conquest and conversion by the sword. It appears that his pressures are paying dividends, as we mentioned yesterday, in that Al-Azhar University has hired their first non-Muslim professor who is going to teach in their medical school. Where this is but a small step, every journey into change and reaching into the future, or even the present as in this case, starts with that first step no matter how small or how timid, that first step is always the most difficult. We can feel certain that President el-Sisi will keep the pressure on for change and modernization. He has stated that modernization of Egypt is his eventual aim and towards that end he will be instituting a basic education package which all schools must teach which will include literacy in that all students can read and write with a degree of proficiency and that they also be taught basic math and sciences and that these prerogatives be accepted in the Madrasa and move from simply teaching the memorization of the Quran and enter into teaching a modern set of assignments such that the Egyptian people will be capable of working within an advanced society and perform factory work and higher level work and that Egypt transcend from their current 73% reaching 100% as their immediate goal.

 

Here is a list of illiteracy rates for the population over fifteen years of age in the MENA nations; Afghanistan 72%, Pakistan 50%, Mauritania 49%, Morocco 48%, Yemen 46%, Sudan 39%, Djibouti 32%, Algeria 30%, Iraq 26%, Tunisia 25.7%, Egypt 28%, Comoros 25%, Syria 19%, Oman 18%, Iran 17.6%, Saudi Arabia 17.1%, Libya 16%, Bahrain 13%, Turkey 12.6%, Lebanon 12%, U.A.E. 11.3%, Qatar 11%, Jordan 9%, Kuwait 7%, Israel 3%, Azerbaijan 1.2%, and Armenia 1%. As is noticeable, some of the nations have abhorrent and rampant illiteracy while more than one might initially expect have high literacy rates but overall they could all use improvement. These numbers show the results of efforts as over the past twenty-seven years the trend has been noted and significant with literacy rising from 59% in 1990 to 78% in 2010 on average across the MENA nations. Below is a graph depicting results in basic math skills in some Arab nations where testing has been conducted.

 

TIMSS 2011

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

In closing we are going to share a video titled “Christians At Risk in Iraq Urgently Need Your Help” from the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council. We will mention ahead of time that this is a request for funding but may still be of interest as information and of course, those wishing to assist in these efforts will find this useful, or at least this is our hope.

 

 

 

 

 

May 29, 2017

A Look at the World’s Potential Hotspots

 

There are a number of places in the world which are potential eruption points outside of what the American media would have you believe. President Trump does not even rate a mention in the top few hotspots with a potential for great harm. Some of the places are more of a danger to their own people than they are to the world and others should be center of the rest of the world’s concerns before they explode onto the world scene forcing a response twice has hard, as that is what will be required almost as punishment for allowing these threats to materialize. So, let us look around the world and we can even make some happy and begin with the White House.

 

President Donald Trump in a Moment of Grimace

President Donald Trump in a Moment of Grimace

 

President Trump’s largest threat is to self-injury often through Tweets. He could be the first President to be Tweeted from office though if that will be his fate it will be done via the 2020 elections. The main challenge that President Trump would face if things continue on their current path would be from the primary challengers which are all but certain to come fast and furious from the elite mainstays of the Republican studless elites. One leader of these milquetoast candidates is Arizona Senator John McCain who has been double-guessing President Trump at every turn and fighting against his every suggested legislative order. There will be others whose names will become well known between now and then and another likely candidate might be former Governor of Ohio John Kasich, also one of the last men standing against Trump in the last primaries. There will also be the perennial also-rans who will toss in their hats as one never knows, if Trump could win, why not everybody else? You know the names, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush (unless his shellacking he took has cowed him permanently) and Marco Rubio all claiming they wish to give the Republican Party a real candidate and save the party from ruin from another Trump candidacy. Yes, many in the Republican Party are just as unimpressed with Donald Trump and desire to have a more conventional candidate whom they can control. If the primaries and the few actual real and accurate polls are any indicator, the people are quite impressed with The Donald and despite his eccentricities, they love the fits he is giving the entirety of the political elites and their machinery which they use to drive their chosen agendas. The people are done with these agendas which are the same with the big difference being the speed with which the government is driving towards utter destruction. Donald Trump may be just the President the nation needs despite all the fuss and bother. Yes, a more controlled and sane person who was less out of their mind might be preferable but then it may be just what we are looking for, one eccentric loonie-toon who Tweets too much too often who knows none of the limits any normal person might understand and be withheld by, and who sees a new world where governments take a back seat to a people-business partnership.

 

From Washington D.C. we move south about one continent worth and slightly east to Caracas, Venezuela, where we find the end result of the experiment in what was called the socialist utopia where actors, athletes and other elitists and multi-millionaires or even billionaires habituating the leftmost fringes of the political spectrum went to celebrate the wonderful socialist world being presided over by President Hugo Rafael Chávez. President Chávez would make regular pilgrimages to Castro’s Cuba in deference to the father of socialist utopias. Democratic leaders who believed that Hugo Chávez was the miracle worker who had finally perfected socialism and established that dream they had all claimed had been waiting for just the person who would unwrap the socialist utopian society puzzle they had worked towards all their lives. Hugo Chávez had, according to the great minds from academia to sports to finance on to every field in imagination, established that dream and now if only the world would acknowledge and follow his example. Today Venezuela is one of the most dangerous places to live in the world. The government is gunning down peaceful protesters in the streets. Cuba, the ones who employed Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara at his favorite pastime, murdering innocents, has sent their current best troops of what could be called their Che Division to Venezuela to assist Hugo Chávez’s successor, current Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro, with keeping the public order. This includes the aforementioned shooting peaceful demonstrators who are clamoring for food, necessary medicine and numerous others of life’s necessities which they are unable to find in the store’s empty shelves. Large percentages of the population in Venezuela are left to seeking food in dumpsters and the black market for necessary medicines including such as insulin for diabetics, heart medication and other such basic medicines. Venezuela is the perfect example of where socialist governance will eventually result as proven by the Soviet Union, North Korea and now Venezuela. But this will not lead to any of the proponents of seeking the perfect utopian socialist governance and installing it in whatever nation they get the opportunity. Socialism seems as if it is an infection which once contracted can never be cured and leads its victim to seek the ruin of their society in the lusting for that socialist utopia which has failed every single time it has ever been tried, but they refuse to see previous failures as anything other than one more attempt that was not perfected this time and if only they are allowed to try, it will work, they promise.

 

Our next stop is almost halfway across the globe in Asia. We arrive in North Korea where dear leader Kim Jong Un rules absolutely. He lives a lavish lifestyle borderline in comparison to that of Marie Antoinette. The difference is in North Korea Kim Jong Un decides whose head was lopped off instead of Marie Antoinette whose head was sacrificed in the French Revolution. Kim Jong Un decided his uncle was a threat, so he was removed from the population. One of his generals also irked him, so he too was removed from the population. His half brother did nothing except be perceived as a threat to his position, so he also was removed, but from the world’s population. Who knows how many others within the dark nation from which little news escapes and even less is permitted entrance has disappeared. All we know is of late Kim Jong Un has been rattling sabers and acting far less sane than his father or grandfather. Each of his predecessors would act unstable when they desired aid, often food for their starving citizens. But Kim Jong Un acts as insane as either at their height of provocation as his normal daily routine. Kin Jong Un is as unstable as any leader throughout history, even further deranged than Nero or Caligula were during Roman times. Even those closest to him tread very lightly as close proximity to Kim Jong Un does not make one safe, it is more likely to be a threat to one’s life and would require extra caution and, to a degree, one to seek anonymity to avoid notice or to be chosen by Kim Jong Un for special attention and note. Making Kim Jong Un even more dangerous of a threat to the world are his nuclear weapons program and his advancing rocket capabilities. Kim Jong Un has ballistic missiles, come very close to launching an ICBM, and is even closer to a reliable continental ballistic missile. Add to this his nuclear weapons which many believe are designed not for explosive yield but for maximizing its EMP pulse strength which can be used to knock out the electricity to an entire continent as well as destroying virtually all electronic equipment within a sizeable range. North Korea under Kim Jong Un is considered a danger of starting a nuclear war by destroying the power grid in most of North America and bringing the United States to its knees with much of its infrastructure useless and the military paralyzed. But there is more as North Korea has an equally troubling ally in Iran.

 

Iran is a theocracy with a leader who has more titles than one can throw a stick at. He can be referred to as Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Absolute Guardianship and the Leadership of the Ummah, Supreme Leader of Iran and Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei. No matter who fills other positions such as President or the Parliament are actually relatively powerless in comparison of the religious ruling structure which includes the true power of the Assembly of Experts, a body of Imams. These are the people who choose the Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah, the only power with significance above even the Assembly of Experts once they have been chosen. Iran has consistently experimented and developed numerous varieties of ballistic missiles from middle range to continental ballistic missiles and they are working on the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Their development has mirrored that of North Korea which is understandable as the two often are found observing one another’s testing of missiles. The frightening reality has been the consistency with which Iranian technicians, nuclear scientists and explosive experts attending nuclear testing in North Korea. This has forced some to claim that some of the testing performed by North Korea of nuclear weapons has been performed for Iran and testing of Missiles in Iran were performed for North Korea. The two imperialist nations are cooperating and both have launched satellites which used polar orbits such that they passed over the United States from the south over Texas and the central United States, a route the USSR had investigated and found to be the soft point in the defenses of the United States. An unsettling truth is that the North Koreans have a satellite using that exact orbit which passes over the central United States on a regular basis and this satellite has no discernable utility and there are some who suspect it has a nuclear EMP device which could be detonated at any point in its orbit after ordering it to lower its orbit to three to five hundred miles where it would be within the optimum altitude for maximum destruction of the American electrical grid and military operational capability. Both North Korea and Iran place the United States as their greatest enemy and one of, if not their number one, target in all of the world. Iran also lists Israel as a nation they will destroy in a single hour or less some day in the not too distant future. Iran holds regular demonstrations every Friday where the people chant “Death to America,” and “Death to Israel.” These are their two propaganda ploys to fulfill the imaginations of the people and the targets Iran claims will prove their supreme power and their approval from Allah and as the sign that they are to lead the Islamic world to their final conquest of the world.

 

Iran and Russia are cooperating, if not cooperating directly, with another hotspot where warfare has been raging for more than five years. This is Syria where the majorities of the nation’s population is homeless and have been targeted by at least one of the numerous forces in the war including their own government. One of the main threats to many of the civilians is their own government where Bashir al-Assad, Syria’s President for life, has targeted those of his population he regards as not sufficiently supportive of his government which has included the Kurds, Palestinian Arabs in refugee camps, and many of the non-Alawite population of what was previously Syria. Assad had bombed virtually every area of Syria which is not part of his power structure with possibly one exception, the Druze whose mountain regions have been spared much of the tragic results in the rest of Syria. The Islamic State was started in Syria as a response to Assad, his Alawite supporters because of their Shiite aligned version of Islam, and their being allies with Iran, the leader of the Shiite Muslims. Syria is the final piece which the Iranians need in order to use their acquiring of southern Iraq which is also Shiite and the home of the government of Iraq. The Islamic State has taken some of their fighters from amongst both Syrian and Iraqi Sunni Muslims desiring to fight against the Shiite Iranians, Iraqis and Syrians who are attempting to complete a Shiite crescent from Iran on the Indian Ocean to Lebanon and Syria along the Mediterranean Sea. Another group fighting alongside the Iranian and Syrian Shiites has been Hezballah, the terrorist group which rules Lebanon through a proxy government and have become the Lebanese Army though they attempt to portray the two as separate. Hezballah is also the Iranian proxy force which they would use to be their initial strike upon Israel such that they could claim to be responding to a Lebanese request for assistance against Israeli aggression. This is one of the interesting themes which often permeate Islamic tacticians where they will attack an enemy and when the enemy responds to the attack, they immediately claim that they were attacked without any provocation and thus they then demand that their victim be punished for what was actually self-defense to the attack from the instigator. This has been the tactics of Hezballah with their previous two wars and numerous skirmishes with Israel as well as the next hotspot, Gaza and Hamas.

 

This is the desired and long sought Iranian Shiite Crescent across the Middle East reaching from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea after Islamic State Defeat and Iran Surge Retaking Syria for Bashir al-Assad with Hezballah retaining their iron-fist control over Lebanon and the Iraqi Shiites retaining their hold on the southern half of Iraq. This could very well be the starting positions for a final World War resulting in exchanges of nuclear weapons before the end is reached. This map also depicts the areas bordering the Iranian influence which could become the future red lines and the trip wire for a horrific conflagration, exactly what the Twelvers desire to bring back the Twelfth Imam and the Islamic Messiah who will lead them to finally realize their destiny of world conquest. Despite what many in the West view as an outdated and dead idea, the Iranian leadership dreams of world conquest and desire to that end.

This is the desired and long sought Iranian Shiite Crescent across the Middle East reaching from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea after Islamic State Defeat and Iran Surge Retaking Syria for Bashir al-Assad with Hezballah retaining their iron-fist control over Lebanon and the Iraqi Shiites retaining their hold on the southern half of Iraq. This could very well be the starting positions for a final World War resulting in exchanges of nuclear weapons before the end is reached. This map also depicts the areas bordering the Iranian influence which could become the future red lines and the trip wire for a horrific conflagration, exactly what the Twelvers desire to bring back the Twelfth Imam and the Islamic Messiah who will lead them to finally realize their destiny of world conquest. Despite what many in the West view as an outdated and dead idea, the Iranian leadership dreams of world conquest and desire to that end.

 

Hamas’s new leader, Yahya Sinwar, was a previous prisoner in Israel for his terrorist acts and was released in Shalit exchange. He was the founder of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas established so that the rest of Hamas, which is simply the support structure for the military wing, can claim to the world that they are simply a governing force in Gaza and have no connection with terrorism. Hamas has at times found Iran as an ally who have provided rocket and missile technologies as well as weapons and explosives often passing these shipments through the Sudan before passing into the Sinai Peninsula and then through the tunnels into Gaza. This has at times included IRGC commanders and experts to teach Hamas workers in the production of ever-larger rockets with greater ranges and payload capability. Then there is the normal Hamas alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood which is their natural ally as they are both Sunni while Iran is Shiite. The fact that Iran assists Hamas simply gives evidence to the hatred and absolute desire to threaten and destroy Israel drives the leadership in Iran. Hamas took control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in a coup during June 10-15, 2007, and since then have attacked Israel repeatedly with Israel having to enter Gaza in a major action three times, 2008, 2012 and 2014. Israel had pulled all Civilians and IDF forces from Gaza in August and September of 2005 which should have permitted the Arabs to build a functioning state in Gaza free of Israeli interference. Instead, once Hamas took control the Gaza has been used as a launching pad for rockets and infiltrations intending to murder Israelis and capture hostages to use to force Israel into releasing terrorists. This is a weakness which the terrorists will continue to exploit for as long as Israel continues to release ever more terrorist prisoners now even releasing terrorists with blood on their hands, the final red line they had promised never to cross. Hamas has been speaking up another war with Israel, as has Nasrallah of Hezballah in Lebanon. One might believe that Hezballah was too involved in Syria but they also figure that a short and limited war using mostly rockets with Israel would renew their standing amongst the Muslim population of Lebanon and if it can be coordinated with attacks by Hamas, perhaps they can have their brief conflict and take only minor damage as Israel could be more entangled with Hamas. Hamas’s new leader immediately talked of his plans to annihilate Israel, as the new Hamas forces would be vastly superior to their Israeli opponents. This type of boasting has been heard before and fortunately, these boasts have not always produced conflict. The Israelis welcome no conflict, as they desire peace with their neighbors, as they prefer not to have to fight and destroy lives and inflict casualties, especially civilians which Hamas and Hezballah both use as human shields to protect their rocket stores and launchers.

 

Russia and Turkey are both involved in Syria and the United States has taken to supporting the Kurdish forces in the northeastern Syrian regions where they mostly defend their areas from attack and are not moving to take new land but merely to push terror forces from their lands and reestablish their areas where their population resided. Turkey has been claiming to fight the Islamic State but mostly have been striking at the Kurds. President Trump mentioned the establishing Kurdistan though, like moving the embassy in Israel, that may be more talk than actual American position. Russia has one major interest in reality, their two naval ports in Syria and on the Mediterranean Sea. These are the Russian warm water ports with access to the Atlantic Ocean through the Gibraltar Straights. Turkey wants to eliminate the Kurds. Islamic State wants to conquer the world starting with Bashir al-Assad. The Syrian Free Army wants to disguise their real alliance with terrorist forces, receive American weaponry, also win against Assad, Islamic State, and then decide where to turn next as they desire as well to be the new Caliphate. Islamic State already declared themselves the new Caliphate. President Erdoğan has laid claim to being the new caliph, nobody saluted. Syria will not be producing any new Caliphate or the next Caliph, it will simply be where too many people have died and will continue to die and there will be young men who have little in their life rushing to join and make a great name so they can return home a hero. All too many will simply never return home. The real fear would be for Russia and the United States to run into a face-to-face conflict by accident or by design of one against the other trying to force a standoff to see who blinks first. There is also a small possibility that Israel could also run into a problem with Russia which there are rumors that the two do communicate normally in order to prevent just such a problem from developing but which could break down if the Russians are proved to be warning Bashir al-Assad or especially if they are warning Hezballah and their suppliers in Iran. At some point Russia is going to have to come to the realization that once Bashir al-Assad either wins back all of Syria or sufficient parts of Syria in the southeast connecting with Iraq and establishing the crescent across the Middle East and giving Iran the ability to mass troops on Israeli borders, then Iran will no longer need Russia and will desire those exact same ports the Russians desire. This could lead to Iran attempting to take the ports from Russia and forcing a confrontation between Russia and Iran.

 

The final front is all of Europe and the United States. The attackers are the terrorists and their so-called “lone wolf” attacks who have been “self-radicalized” which western leaders often just explain, “we have to learn to live with it.” Everything in quotes above is false and the reason we are losing. If these terrorists are all “lone wolves,” then why after each attack does the Islamic State claim responsibility for the attack? The reason is easy to think through, whether they had anything to do with the attack, it was still an attack for Islam and the Islamic State claims to be the leadership of all Islamic fighters, thus these “lone wolves” are all their fighters. The even bigger lie is the claim that they are “self-radicalized.” That is ridiculous as these so-called “self-radicalized” individuals received the information which turned them into a weapon of Islam, and that is what we need to call them, weapons for Islam, as that is what they claim they are, was placed in a video, a booklet, an Imam’s sermons, training in some Muslim country at a terror base protected by the government, or simply from reading the Quran, all come from other than the individual terrorist. In some means or source, they received the information and programming which turned them into a weapon of Islam and set them on their path to human carnage. Whether they are a suicide bomber, a remote detonating bomber who sits off and waits for the perfect time, of the timer placed bomber who simply hopes they chose the perfect time, they all were sent by some form of education and propaganda which they received from somewhere. There is a source and that is an Islamic source either from somewhere in the Middle East, North Africa or other Islamic nation or it is from a Mosque in the neighborhood where the Imam gave a sermon which started the future terrorist on the path and then there were the booklets from the Muslim owned book store with the free pamphlets, or the booklets and videos found on tables at the Islamic Center, or the future terrorist going to a terror base and there received the teachings of radical Islam. These terrorists will strike more and more often in shorter intervals and greater carnage as their techniques are improved. This will hit a point where the people will scream for protection and an end to this threat and their leadership will have to respond or face a very angry populace at the next elections. The people will get the leadership required to fight terrorism and take the steps required even if it takes more than one election. This will eventually lead to an alliance of leaders to end terrorism by whatever means required. This alliance will demand that the Islamic rulers either join the fight or face consequences. George W. Bush said the necessary words after 9/11/2001 and the Trade Center demolition when he said, “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” He said it and then went all wobbly after his Saudi friends apparently took the wind out of his sails. The question which some have to be asking is, “Where is our generation’s Churchill, and when will he appear?” Then in Israel, we are asking whether we need a Joshua, Ruth, Deborah, King David or Samson or will we need to wait for the Messiah. These are the questions which need answering so we will know now whether we are on our own and had better start taking care of ourselves and those dear to us and possibly our countries and civilization.

 

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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