Beyond the Cusp

September 27, 2019

Time to Impeach President Trump and Other Tall Tales

 

Apparently, the Democrat leadership has decided that the time has come to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. This intent was announced on Tuesday by Nancy Pelosi with the below announcement at a press conference.

“Today, I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I’m directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella.”
“For the past several months we have been investigating in our committees and litigating in the courts so the House can gather all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its full Article 1 power, including a constitutional power of the utmost gravity, approval of articles of impeachment.”
“Our republic endures because of the wisdom of our constitution enshrined in three coequal branches that act as checks and balances. The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.”

 

We noted that the wording of Ms. Pelosi’s announcement had a glaring omission, namely what the actual charges are for which an impeachment is necessary and the exact charges which will be passed on to the Senate for trial. Instead, we have the urging of their efforts to continue with investigating President Trump stating, “I’m directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella.” Her pronouncement continues stating, “For the past several months we have been investigating in our committees and litigating in the courts so the House can gather all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its full Article 1 power…” Then came the big finally to close her statement with an unarguable fact that, “The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.” Well, actually nobody is above the law, including the President, that is most definitely true. In her full statement, the video above, she states that the offense was the President instructing one of his appointees to keep a whistleblower’s complaint. This is the latest smoking gun, what a whistleblower claims without having even heard the claims, as they must mean that he colluded with a foreign power to act in a manner which would “make the President look better.”

 

This sounds so ominous except that any time a foreign leader meets with a United States President, any actions resulting from such a meeting which follow what the President desires are actions which will make them look good. Problematically, President Trump is overly concerned with appearing to act strongly and thus looking good in the eyes of his supporters and beyond if possible. Should the American people be concerned that the President used a phrase that doing what was in the service of the United States and its goals would “make him look good” is applying pressure on the foreign leader to attain a goal. This is, of course, presuming that one would desire having the President look good or if you would prefer for him to fail and fail so miserably that he would lose any and all support and especially the 2020 elections. We will allow our readers to decide which is preferable, a President seeking to appear powerful and competent or a President preferring to meekness and appeasing others even when such would not be to the advantage of the United States and the American people.

 

President Trump and Speaker Pelosi and Impeachment

President Trump and Speaker Pelosi and Impeachment

 

But the impeachment announcement was not the worst twisting of available facts as that award has to go to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. He used the known fact that Israel treats a host of people without asking their specifics and only judges their wounds and the best means for treatment. Israel has provided care and hospital stays, numerous ones also requiring surgical procedures, and after they are recovered, they are returned to Syria and no weapons are provided. From these Israeli actions he concludes that Israel is aiding the Islamic State through intentional actions. President Hassan Rouhani uses another claim that the Islamic State fighters/terrorists use some Israeli weapons. From the pictures and reports we have read; they use numerous countries weapons as they are able to gain these weapons. Probably their most frequently arming is with an AK-47. I guess this means that President Hassan Rouhani should also claim that Russia, China, Czechoslovakia or any of the plethora of other nations producing this widely utilized weapon are also actively arming Islamic State. Then there are the stores of equipment left in Iraq by the United States which fell into Islamic State forces means that the Americans are arming them. No, we all know that this finely crafted series of exaggerations were intended to harm Israel and, as this was during an interview with Fox News, to place doubts and suspicions within the American public about Israel and, by extension, Jews. His statements were just another of the long list of Iranian political attacks on Israel.

 

The problem is that Israel performs and provides aid to countries across the globe on a basis of need and receiving the permission of the receiving nation. Israel does such without any regard to politics. This becomes evident when one researches such activities and then looks at the United Nations General Assembly votes by these nations and the majority condemn Israel at every turn. The fact that Israel was one of the first to arrive and likely the last to leave after some natural or other disaster does not influence their voting at the world body. Did Israel assisting the Philippines after a major typhoon mean that they are assisting the rebel forces on Mindanao or possibly the Philippine forces engaging these rebels or are we allowed to choose whichever would be most damning to the audience which would mostly hear such claims? Israel came and treated the wounded in the Philippines after one of the most violent typhoons to hit land and they did not ask about the patient’s politics or other possible affiliations which might put Israel in a poor light. When people are injured by war, weather or other catastrophic accident and Israel can assist to save lives, then Israel will act to save lives, all lives. Israel has, as we have pointed out before, treated a Hamas leaders’ mother-in-law and daughter, yet Israel most definitely does not support Hamas. They were ill, Israel could treat them and was requested to do so and thus provided them with treatment as required. President Rouhani’s claim is tantamount to claiming an American hospital supports criminals because they treated a person injured while under arrest; in other worlds, simply ludicrous.

 

Of course, Israel has gotten too used to such claims and seldom gives them any more consideration than they are worth. Unfortunately, these claims from over the years have become so frequent and damning that some have begun to fall for this kind of propaganda. What is more worrying is with the rising anti-Semitism worldwide, more and more people will fall for this form of reason and some happily will spread such claims without any explanation. They would take the statements by President Rouhani and spread simply that Israel assists and arms the Islamic State. This is a blatant misuse of Israeli activities of treating those, largely civilians, injured from the ongoing civil war in Syria. Israel does not check identities before treating these victims and only is concerned with making them whole again or as close as is medically possible. But President Rouhani also claimed that Israel has conducted terrorist attacks on Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. If one defines striking weapons supply routes intended to provide Hezballah and IRGC forces which regularly target Israel as terrorism, then Israel would be guilty. But international law regards intercepting such arms shipments as a form of proactive defense and regards them as completely legal. But one should wonder how Iran is so familiar with these strikes and what they took out. That is an easy one to answer. These shipments originate in Iran and are Iranian weapons intended for their proxies to attack Israel. But in this topsy-turvy world in which we live, Israel intercepting heavy-weapons on their way to terrorist operatives such as Hezbollah is called Israeli aggression or terrorism by her Arab and Islamic detractors for a simple reason, they desire her destruction and will stop at nothing to accomplish same.

 

We wish we could say that things appear as if they will improve with time, but we fear that Israel may face the impossible within the next decade and a half. The reality is that with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister of Britain and potentially an anti-Israel President unhindered by Congress, and possibly supported by Congress, in the White House, Israel could be facing a United Nations Security Council without any veto protecting her from the worst intentions which may result. Perhaps Israel could work with Russia or China to find a new means for her protection, but just what Netanyahu would need is a Russian collusion investigation of his own. Fortunately, in the long run Israel will be vindicated and shall become a light unto the nations and the world will realize at long last that Israel is an asset for mankind, not an adversary.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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April 1, 2019

Israel Declares Peace While Hamas Screams War

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 2:01 AM
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Prime Minister and Defense Minister Bibi Netanyahu informed the media that through mediation efforts by Egypt and others, an agreement has been reached with Hams. According to these reports, Israel will broaden generally the permissible range for Gaza fisherman, will liberalize the crossing of the border for goods, services and importantly once more building supplies intended for the rebuilding of areas destroyed in the past three wars and other confrontations. We feel a need to relay what has been the past result of these loosening of security and other restriction on Gaza. The increased range for the fishing industry makes the Israeli Navy’s job of monitoring the exercise of this profession which sometimes is augmented with monetary rewards for smuggling in weapons, rocket motors and other provisions for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other nefarious interests within Gaza. Building supplies have often been most widely utilized for the building of tunnels and command fortifications for Hamas and Islamic Jihad improving their military capabilities whenever they push Israel to the breaking point and hostilities become unavoidable. These supplies have also been utilized for the construction of infiltrations tunnels under the border into Israel where raids would be launched in order to destroy crops, structures consisting of homes, schools and businesses. These tunnels are also utilized to kidnap Israelis, most often civilians. Much to Hamas’s and Islamic Jihad’s consternation, Israeli technology has produced a method and instruments which allow for the detection of these tunnels and Israel has been destroying them before they are put into use. Israel has also begun erecting a new border barrier which will be taller and, hopefully, a double fence above ground and below ground barrier which reaches hopefully deep enough to prevent further tunneling.

 

Still, Israeli officials are touting this great peace arrangement as the prevention of an unnecessary war. Let us hope that they are correct but they should stand knowing that once Hamas receives their next few hundred million or even few billion dollars from Qatar, don’t they have something better to do with their oil wealth than to finance terror against Israel, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the latter receiving their monies from Iran funneled through Qatar, will once more return to their violence and will disregard all promises made. Past performance in business is taken as an indicator for future performance providing the judgement of the market proves correct. The same can be stated for dealing with Gaza or the Palestinian Authority, how they have acted in similar situations probably is an accurate indicator of how they will act in the future. This is probably even more true here than it is in business where the market can change and buying habits revert to previous unexpected habits or may develop some new fixation unforeseen. In retail to the public one can see this change very easily as when Amazon first started, their future appeared rather shaky as the Internet had not reached its universal acceptance and use became more readily favorable to the average user. Within a decade, Amazon was among the largest consumer providers exceeded only by WalMart and a few other select businesses. Now even WalMart is the one facing a shaky future and Amazon is facing online competition which may in the future find a better means of serving the public and supplant Amazon as the top retailer. Back before the Internet became a household utility, everyone shopped at the mall and back in that day I had a comfortable living managing a chain outlet. Fortunately, I was blessed to return to school and find work in microelectronics repair with a specialty in medical and satellite communications electronics. After my stint in this field, I reached retirement and not a moment too soon. Now the production of medical devices and satellite communications subsystems has become so inexpensive that virtually every component system is simply discarded should it fail to meet specifications as it is far less expensive to produce additional subsystems than it is to hire a technician or engineer to repair the failed subsystems. By comparison, a subsystem test technician is paid possibly 20% above minimum wage while repair technicians could make, depending on the subsystems they were tasked with repairing, anywhere from three to ten times minimum wage. The lesson is that companies will use technological advances to replace or remove all need for those making the largest salaries whenever possible. This is why if the minimum wage were raised to fifteen dollars an hour, companies would invest all the funds required to produce an automated means of replacing minimum wage positions or would learn to do without the low end workers and reassign their duties to their other employees. This will make some technicians being tasked with an additional responsibility for cleaning the executive washrooms and emptying their trash whenever they have a few spare minutes.

 

Gazan Youth Launching Incendiary with his Sling

Gazan Youth Launching Incendiary with his Sling

 

So, perhaps we should take a look at what Hamas and Islamic Jihad are claiming while the Israeli leadership is touting this great peace being agreed upon and implemented over the coming week. First on our list is Deputy Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri who exclaimed, “This is not a peace agreement with Israel, and has no connection to diplomacy. We are interested in ceasing the fighting in exchange for [Israel] lifting the siege. We expect agreements to be signed within a few days. We expect that it will happen soon – there will be understandings of calm that will reduce the siege significantly.” This comment stands in some contrast to the barely veiled threats which were floated as the final preparations were presumably underway to bringing the violence to a close. But what is Hamas leader and top terror chief saying, as his work is what the rest will base their actions. Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in the Gaza, on Saturday praised the fact that 40,000 Gazans were violently rioting along the Gaza Israel border. He was quoted stating, “Our people (the 40,000 rioters) today stuck to the basic principles, the right of return and the breaking of the siege, and they support the resistance.” His further statement included, “Our people (Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists) say en masse that they want to live in dignity and want to live, and they say: ‘O (Al-Qassam Brigades), beloved ones, bomb Tel Aviv.’” Sinwar insists that issue of the terrorist prisoners in Israel release is his most necessary demand and what he plans to work tirelessly to bring about. He stressed that the so-called “March of the Return” processions would continue until the siege is broken, the “right of return” is realized and all of Palestine has been redeemed. Make no mistake, by this he means all of Israel cleansed of its Jews and others who refuse to bow to Allah. Yahya Sinwar formerly headed the military wing of Hamas and make no mistake, he is the real deal, terrorist through and through and is completely behind the destruction of Israel no matter how long that takes.

 

 

What are we expecting and advise people to observe as things move forward. Israel will follow the steps agreed upon which are presumed to bring calm at long last. This was presumed to be a long-term settlement agreement between Israel and Hamas and by inference Islamic Jihad. Israel has stated repeatedly that as the ruling group in Gaza, Hamas is responsible for all of their groups as well as those of Islamic Jihad and other smaller groups. Despite this, Hamas will often claim that they are unable to prevent Islamic Jihad or the other groups from launching rockets or taking to other forms of violence. Hamas has also used some inventive reasons for rockets in the last few weeks such as bad weather and it was an accident always expecting Israel to accept even the dumbest excuses. We expect that there will be a decrease to the numbers gathering along the clash points along the border but this will be those who basically sat at a comfortable distance from the border but those launching explosives over the border and rolling burning tires and explosives at the fence attempting to breach the border will continue in number largely. There will be coverage by the international and other news groups around the world will mention the smaller numbers of those who treated the border riots as a picnic with entertainment. There will be no coverage of the continued level of violence along the border. Well, that is until the border violence reaches a point where it demands a response from Israel. At the point that Israel responds, it will be the “Breaking News” with the red banners and the urgent voice announcer blaring the news of the Israeli strikes on Gaza listing even the smallest damage and repeating every Hamas report of injuries or fatalities and only towards the end of the newscast will there be any mention of the violence against Israel from out of Gaza. We realize this sounds as a harsh criticism of the news coverage, but thanks to recent events in the United States and it spreading elsewhere, more people have realized that the news they receive is infected by a strong political slant. We can aid you one further and explain that the news is tainted by the causes which qualify as falling within the bounds of “intersectionality” which does not include Israel but supports the Palestinian cause to such an extent that they do not consider Hamas, Islamic Jihad or the PLO as terrorist groups but as legitimate representatives of their beloved Palestinian Arabs. They only begrudgingly admit that Hezballah is a terrorist groups, and that is solely because they were against those backed by the United States in Syria in the fight against Islamic State. We expect that slowly but inexorably, Hamas and Islamic Jihad will ratchet up the violence returning to launching rockets again within a couple of months. There is another situation which would be extremely problematic for all sides. As these riots have been nearly continuous for a full year, they may have become the new normal for many of the population, especially the youth who are the front line and the ones launching most of the explosives and incendiaries. Should this be the case and Hamas has lost the ability to control or prevent the rioting as many now see this as their way to express their frustration and get their feeling calmed, then the border rioting would require strong intervention to bring them to an end. Hamas proved with the protests within Gaza City demanding better living conditions which they put down with violence and a heavy hand. They would probably not use similar to end the border violence and would throw their hands up and tell Israel that they are unable to prevent the people from expressing their rage at the Israeli acts against Gaza. They, of course, never redirect aid from the people to their terror war efforts, well, at least not more than taking over three-quarters of the building supplies and all the money.

 

There is one wildcard in all of this, and that is Iran. Were Iran to decide, as they did last week, that by launching rockets into Israel and there not being an overt Israeli military response, that they can make Bibi Netanyahu appear impotent costing him the elections, this would result in rockets being launched into Israel at a slow but steady rate through April 9 hoping not to invoke any strong Israeli retaliation. This was the excuse last week once the truth leaked out. At least this election cycle there are no teams of Democrat Party campaign specialists here attempting to elect fellow leftists. Maybe they have finally realized that Israelis do not respond well to outside interference. Perhaps, if we can survive through the election, there might just be a period of quiet before one of the borders erupts with rockets and violent rioting or even an actual attempt at an invasion from out of Syria as Iranian leaders continue to intimate. Let us close answering the perennial question, when will there be peace in the Middle East. The first sign that peace may be coming to the Middle East will be the Arab nations plus Iran actually not fighting one another either directly or in proxy wars such as the war in Yemen where Iran is attacking Saudi Arabia under the cover of the Houthis who are taking control of the country pushing the elected government into an ever shrinking area. Once they learn to live with one another, then maybe, just maybe, they will find some means of accepting that Israel is home to stay. Until they learn to live with each other, there will be no hope of their accepting the Jewish State.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 24, 2018

The Syria Connection

 

One hears rumors of deals and arrangements being touted which predicated the United States departure from Syria. One can only pray that these are valid statements but should plan as if those words were never heard. Does anybody in their right mind believe that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is really going to end his murdering of the Kurdish population in Syria? How many actually are able to convince themselves that once the United States has departed that Bashir al-Assad will not simply begin to slaughter not only the fighters who still oppose him in the eastern parts of the nation but will also choose a genocidal approach to the civilian populations in these regions slaughtering millions of innocents for the crime of being Sunni Muslims or Kurds. There was one promise already kept, but whether the promise was made to United States President Donald Trump or to Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is unclear. The good news is that Russian President Vladimir Putin did lean on Lebanon regarding the Hezballah tunnels dug under the border and into Israel plus warned them to take steps to assure the border with Israel remains quiet. This also serves Russian influences and interests that there does not open up warring between Lebanon based Hezballah and Israel as such a war is bound to spill into Syria even if just to prevent arms from reaching Hezballah from Iran through Damascus, the route usually taken, though of late Iran has begun using Beirut International Airport to transport guidance system upgrades to the massive Hezballah rocket inventory making them deadly accurate missiles instead of launch and pray rockets with marginal accuracy.

 

The problem is that either President Trump has not learned that in the Middle East falsehoods are a way of life and actually demanded of the followers of Islam if that lie furthers the goals of Islam. The American President is accustomed to making deals with people whose word is their bond and such does not exist throughout most of the Middle East, Israel being the exception. This has caused Israel many serious problems when dealing with the Palestinian Authority (PA) as they would often make a promise which they had no intention of ever honoring as that would be counter to their interests, and as they are Muslim, their interests when dealing with Jews is an imperative that they gain specifically when they lie. The PA has not kept virtually everything they have ever agreed upon with the greatest and most obvious lie being that they rewrote their charter removing calls to totally destroy Israel and kill all the Jews. To the credit of the PA, when Washington DC sent State Department monitors to determine if the PA was to alter their charter, they had a vote to form a committee to look into having a committee which would consider making the prescribed alterations. The State Department monitors returned to Washington DC reporting that the PA was indeed going to make the changes required, and that settled that argument. Of course, that committee saw no reason to form another committee to decide if the changes should be made, as obviously they never intended to alter one letter of their charter and nobody in the Western World can understand their charter as it is written in the apparently untranslatable Arabic. We can expect the same for any and all guarantees given to President Trump as conditions under which the United States military could leave the region-claiming job done in the defeating of the Islamic State.

 

That takes us to whether or not the Islamic State has indeed been defeated. That would depend on one’s definition of defeated. The Islamic State lost virtually all of the territory it once held, had its declared capital city taken and has been reduced to sparse groups scattered over many square miles of territory all of whom have melted back into the population, often in the very villages they left to fight with the Islamic State. Such a dispersed group would be next to impossible to hunt down and the effort would make such more and more difficult as time progressed as many of these people would be torn from their communities leading to resentment and making more terrorists. So, was the Islamic State defeated? Well, yes, as much as such can be the case as the remainder has vanished into the countryside and in small towns and villages. The remnants if they were to gather to attempt another power seizure, they would become a simple target which could be eliminated using aircraft from the fleet in the Arabian Gulf or Mediterranean Sea as soon as they were identified. Will the Islamic State ever return and become a new menace? Probably not, or at least not in the same form with the same leadership and it would only take the name Islamic State because there is a history to be found in the ruins of the Islamic State. President Trump was basically correct in reporting that the Islamic State had been defeated, but his move to pull the troops may prove to have been premature.

 

Reports have stated that this was a decision made by the President and only the President. Security Adviser John Bolton argued against pulling the troops out claiming it was premature. Secretary of Defense James Mattis was in so much agreement with Bolton that he tendered his resignation claiming that the President should have somebody supportive of his decision rather than himself who was vehemently opposed to this move. The leadership of the Democrat Party stated that what the President did with pulling the United States military troops from Syria was a form of deserting America’s post in the troubled region. Yes, you read that correctly, the Democrat Party is now in favor of a military campaign half way around the globe to eradicate every last person who ever had any cordial relations with the Islamic State. These are the same people who scream as if somebody murdered their pet puppy any time Israel is forced to act against Hamas, a terrorist group on the immediate border from Gaza yet bemoan the removal of United States military which was fighting terrorists extremely far removed from the American borders. That, our friends, is hypocrisy. But nobody ever honestly claimed that the United States had no double standards when it comes to Israel. Every nation, or virtually every country, holds contrary expectations of Israel which are far and away more restrictive and bordering on making it dangerous to the point of allowing Israel to face destruction while applauding any other nation taking steps for protection from terrorists even if the threat was thousands of miles distant; for example, the United States and Islamic State for whom the United States sent troops to the far side of the planet.

 

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis

 

The first and near immediate consequence of the United States pulling her troops from the region will produce will be Iran establishing a direct route across Iraq and into Syria and Lebanon with the equipment headed for Lebanon and will be utilized by Hezballah. The IRGC will become more active vis-à-vis the Israeli border with more regularly stray bullets just happening to strike somewhere along the Golan Heights and even rockets will stray into the Golan Heights all of which will make soldiering on this front more demanding. Bashir al-Assad will take the American troop withdrawal as a signal that he will be free to do as he pleases while he completes his retaking of Syria. The human rights abuses are simply going to become a major part of the coming Syrian despotic regime returning to power. Assad will definitively punish those peoples he feels were disloyal or critical of his rule. This will include the Kurds and the Sunni Arabs in large part as their Alawite Shiite leader purifies their nation. Once the perceived enemies of the Syrian despot have been cowed, then everything will return to an eerie form of normalcy. Such will take time as the people are going to have to rebuild their lives and their homes in all too many instances. Bashir al-Assad has proven to be at least as great a destroyer of worlds and has exceeded his father’s totals and Bashir is not yet near to the completion of his transformation of his nation and its population. Additionally, Turkey’s Erdoğan will be serving al-Assad by sweeping through and killing the Kurds in the north of Syria while disarming any he allows to remain. We may be on the verge of witnessing the murder systematically of millions of Kurds. In far too many cases, the military troops have been hand picked selected for their proven loyalty and their brutal oppression they are willing to inflict often on innocent persons. The anti-Kurd animosity is very apparent in both the sweeping away of described terror cells and the brutal treatment of all of those who are not them. The Kurds are also facing murderous troops in northern Iraq as the Iraqi militias, the Iraqi military and the IRGC from Iran are sweeping Kurdish territories seeking to kill anyone who ever had even the slightest connection to Kurdish Militias. This sweep may even include what is left of the Yazidis who escaped the Islamic State slaughterhouse by the skin of their teeth. Life outside of Israel in the Middle East can be horrific to the point one simply gets trampled by one despot after another. The United States departure from this region will have detrimental effects, but these will be nothing when compared to what will occur once the United States pulls their support for Israel and no longer provides cover in the Security Council. That is something which is already in the pipes and coming before you know it. Before that day arrives, Israel will require a new and kindly friend who has a permanent veto.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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