Beyond the Cusp

April 13, 2017

Frightening Challenges Facing All in the World

 

Syria is a problem from which there may be no good solution as there is much confusion and has as many facets as a rare gem, each reflecting hostilities on all the others. Every side of this entanglement fights for their own glorification seeking supremacy. Bashir al-Assad is attempting to prove that he is as worthy to carry the torch of leadership as was his father and to the grand level his deceased brother was expected to bestow on the nation as its President. He is attempting to overcome having been always the lesser son whose superior brother died tragically leaving him as the nation’s second choice. His attempts at overachievement could be diagnosed as some twisted form of Napoleonic Syndrome despite his height but due to his being measured by his father as always coming up short of what a leader should be. Add to the mix there is the Islamic State whose leadership fully believe that they are serving a greater purpose and are the proper leadership of all Islam and that they are defining the religion for every Muslim in the world. Their initial military successes have come to a crashing halt and are starting to find their opposition making valid and strong challenges and taking back territories which the Islamic State had initially conquered. Then there are al-Qaeda and other terror groups fighting representing the Sunni opposition to Alawite rule as it is a form of Shia Islam which they oppose and believe are apostates. There are also the Kurdish militias which are mostly concerned with defending their people and are having the greatest challenge coming from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, who has claimed to be fighting the Islamic State and other terrorist groups but has used the majority of his troops to attack the Kurdish populations. Additionally there are the Iranian forces which mostly consist of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who Iran is backing further with Hezballah terror militias from Lebanon. From time to time these two groups attempt to draw Israel into the war by launching artillery or rockets into the Golan Heights. Israel will return fire when they have a solid set of coordinates on which to return fire and which also do not endanger civilians but, other than these, Israel refuses to be drawn into the fighting. Finally there is Russia who is most interested in retaining their two naval ports which are within the Alawite region of Syria which places them in the position of supporting Bashir al-Assad. The recent presumed bombing of targets with chemical weapons such as Sarin Gas which murdered civilians received a strong attack from the United States on the originating airfield with over fifty Tomahawk Cruise Missiles. This drew a strong rebuke by both al-Assad and Russian President Putin.

 

By comparison, the remainder of the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) is only slightly less violent and confused. Yemen is also in the midst of a civil war with the Houthis being backed by Iran while Saudi Arabia is supporting the government forces of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Egypt had supported the Saudi Arabian side providing mostly air support but lost faith in the situation and no longer supports anyone in the Yemen civil war. Libya is a complete disaster with tribal forces warring for preeminence while terrorist forces use some contested areas for training recruits readying them for fighting usually elsewhere. At one point al-Qaeda and Islamic State had cleared out territories they used for training but when they came under attack by tribal forces decided to simply leave as they had no reason to take part in the wars in Libya. The Sudan and South Sudan, which declared independence on July 9, 2011, have remained in a state of conflict with the Sudan sending militias forces raiding their southern neighbor as the Sudan has not fully recognized their independence and still believe that most of the people of South Sudan to be infidel or inferiors and see their military actions as a cleansing the territory of enemies of Islam. Somalia continues to be basically without true governance and has become a destabilizing force for its neighboring nations most notably Eretria as well as Kenya and Ethiopia. There are further threats centered on Nigeria with Boko Haram attacking Christian villages and other sites as well as Islamic villages where they kidnap “volunteers” to fight in their Islamic Army. Boko Haram had pledged their allegiance to Islamic State but whether that remains intact is questionable. All of these Islamic disruptions are largely traceable to what was often referred to as the Arab Spring which largely destabilized the entire area of MENA with the exception of places where there existed strong dictatorial governance such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and Egypt which survived due to the military taking back the control they had lost to the Muslim Brotherhood after President Mubarak was forced from office under direct pressure from United States President Barack Hussein Obama. Iraq is still in a state of unrest with the Sunni and Shia segments of the population still facing difficulties resulting from a premature removal of United States forces by President Obama who was fulfilling a campaign promise sparking a low level of conflict. Meanwhile the Kurds are continuing to provide their own defense and act as if under semi-autonomous rule. Then there is a problem where the developed world has been inundated by refugees from these many conflicts plus increasing unrest and instability in Afghanistan leading to the new United States President, Donald Trump, to impose a temporary ban on immigration from seven nations where vetting to identify terrorist entities has proven difficult. This ban has fallen into court challenge and is still to be resolved but odds are the ban will stay in place for the ninety days while new vetting procedures are finalized.

 

Allied loosely with Syria and Iran is another problematic location, North Korea. The erratic leadership by Kim Jong Un who has ordered executions of senior officials including his uncle and also ordered the assassination of his half-brother all in the name of national security but actually to secure his position from any challenges. Kim Jong Un has also been petulant and often challenges the United States claiming that he is prepared to reply to any and every provocation by the erratic leadership of who he calls the nation’s greatest enemy. With the recent attack on the Syrian airfield both Kim Jong Un and Bashir al-Assad have denounced the United States as being imperialistic, colonial and using false excuses to try and extend the autocratic rule of the United States over more of the world through many varied and devious means. Both leaders have recently threatened to attack the United States or its forces and allies wherever and whenever possible and as necessitated by the warlike actions of the United States. The most violent of threats have come from North Korea and have been taken seriously as by many measures, Kim Jong Un is considered to be irrational and possibly not entirely rational and sane. The latest episode is currently playing out as the United States has diverted an aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and her strike group from harboring in Australia and is having them head towards the Korean Peninsula passing through the western Pacific. Kim Jong Un has raised the specter of a nuclear strike against the aggressor United States if a posture of war should continue and claims to be watching closely any aggressive behavior by the United States and its allies.

 

A World All Upside Down

A World All Upside Down

 

Add to this the threats by Syria and the displeasure shown by Russian President Putin and there are quite a number of signals which could be interpreted seriously wrong and any one could have devastating consequences. Needless to say, such unrest around the world, nerves frayed and on edge and troops moving and shots being taken on two separate fronts, one in the western Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan, East China Sea, Yellow Sea and possibly the Bay of Korea while the other is in the Mediterranean Sea, the world is balanced on a razor’s edge unlike anything since the end of the Cold War. We are a far cry from Cuban Missile Crisis stage but the world need take a deep breath and calm itself before somebody somewhere misreads intents and starts something which could quickly fly out of control and lead to serious sets of actions, reactions and counter reactions ending who knows where. Add in the increased amount of terrorism and rising crime rate in much of Europe and that simply adds another tinderbox to the sparks and electrical arcing from friction and frayed wires on too many fronts. You know things are tense when Israel is seemingly a singular place where the level of unrest could be considered calm, at least this far into the year. Being nervous is seemingly in fashion for world leaders currently and that is never a good sign. We need to remember that it was the assassination of a little known Austrian Archduke named Fred, well, you’re right, Ferdinand, but I bet his friends called him not Fred but Archduke Fred, which started the War to End All Wars. That War later was renamed World War I as it led kind of directly to World War II and if there ever should be a World War III and the human race survives, it will be traced in some means to World War II and thus World War I. If we were honest, we would realize that one could trace all warfare back to Cain’s Murder of Abel if we really tried, so don’t be too complacent, the world leadership sure has not been of late. We have too many people thinking they should rule the world or they already rule the world and all of them are mistaken, or at least we had best hope they all realize such. They won’t and we will all be the worse off for it.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 24, 2017

London Terror and the Message it Sends

 

Imagine the horror felt by the people stuck in the gondolas of the London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, the supersized Ferris wheel along the Thames River near Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Palace of Westminster, Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament as well as overlooking the entirety of the terror attack (see map below). Basically held captive while a 4X4 Enterprise rental vehicle plowed through pedestrians below on the Westminster Bridge as well as the shooting attacks which followed after the attack vehicle had slammed into the iron fence protecting the House of Commons, their ordeal had just started. After the area had been secured, authorities slowly disembarked those civilians from the gondolas one by one taking statements and debriefing each person before moving on to the next gondola. We were unable to ascertain how much time this procedure required before the final groups of people were free to leave. These poor people had paid to take a leisurely ride on the famed London Eye and instead of a fun frolic they were live, front row witnesses to a mass terror attack followed by a torturously slow and measured taking of their statements which for some the ride lasted it must have been hours of tedium. Hopefully some at least made new friends as they certainly had time for conversing while waiting to have their one on one with the police. As of this writing it has been reported that eight people arrested at six addresses, including in Birmingham and London, the death count revised to four, with at least 40 injured, seven critically, and it was released that the murdered police officer was named as PC Keith Palmer.

 

Map of London with Terror Attack Locations

Map of London with Terror Attack Locations

 

London Mayor Sadiq Aman Khan is a Muslim which simply shows that the terrorists are not as concerned with whether a nation or city has accepted members of the Islamic faith as equals or even elected them as the mayor of the city; their aim is high visibility attacks which immortalize those who plan and commit these atrocities. They cannot be appeased or accommodated, only hunted down and removed from being capable of inflicting harm on people, any people. It has been noted that the Islamic State in its various forms since its inception has murdered more Muslims than any other religion. One could make an argument that their first and foremost desire is to purify Islam allowing only those who accept their leadership and views on the teachings of their faith. This leads to a problem as there are other groups with similar goals but diametrically different views. It could easily be stated as truth that Hezballah has opposing views to the Islamic State as Islamic State is Sunni while Hezballah is Shiite, two incompatible views if one is being excessively strict as these two terror groups have proven. Hezballah has also murdered more members of the faith of Islam than other religions despite some intense efforts against Israel. One would not be far off than to expect that should Islamic State take control over an area where Hezballah has already purified the city to Shia Islam that when Islamic State left there would be no one left alive as they would purify the city in the name of Sunni Islam. An identical result could be expected should the order of occupation and pacification be reversed. Islamic State has also been at war with numerous other groups which also claim to believe in Sunni Islam which begs the question of where these groups are found deficient in their faith by the Islamic State and why these other Sunni groups fight against the Islamic State. Sometimes trying to wrap our heads around these realities makes our heads hurt badly.

 

Sometimes the problem appears to be not so much the form of Islam but the historic tribe or groups one’s origins are derived. This is made excessively evident when it comes to the Kurds. They are apparently hated by Sunni and Shiites alike and seem to have no friends with which to ally. Their manner of observing Islam is apparently different than most of the others as they took great risks in rescuing the Yazidi as best as they were able when the Islamic State stood poised to slaughter the entirety of these people. While the rest of the world stood paralyzed unable to formulate any plan for saving these people, the Kurds simply went to where the Yazidi were holed up on Mount Sinjar and rescued as many as they were able and provided them with protection. The Yazidi practice a religion which is based purely on their Oral traditions which include a blending, a syncretic religion, influenced by pre-Islamic Assyrian traditions, Sufi and Shiite Islam, Nestorian Christianity, and Zoroastrianism. This blending of religions has left the Yazidi basically with no allies as almost all look upon them as those things which make them different and not the fact that they have anything in common with their neighbors, which is why they remained together as a tight tribal groups heavily dependent on each other for protection. Against the Islamic State the Yazidi had neither the manpower nor the weapons to defend themselves. Their one link is that they are a Kurdish speaking minority which is probably the familial identity they shared with their rescuers.

 

This brings us back to the London terror attack which Islamic State, or ISIS, claimed responsibility and took great pride in their destruction. The attacker who they claim was one of their “soldiers” and he was, according to Prime Minister May, “What I can confirm is that the man was British-born and that some years ago he was once investigated by MI5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism. He was a peripheral figure. The case is historic. He was not part of the current intelligence picture. There was no prior intelligence of his intent or of the plot.” Another victim of this horror was Spanish teacher and department head Aysha Frade, 43, worked at DLD College, London and was married with two daughters. She was believed to have been crossing Westminster Bridge to pick up her children aged eight and 11 from school when she lost her life in the attack. One of the more moving of the stories of the tragic events was that of Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood who was among those who rushed to help PC Keith Palmer. Mr. Ellwood, who lost his brother in the Bali bombing, was seen pumping the officer’s chest then standing above him, his hands and face smeared with blood as was reported live from the scene by numerous reports. His bravery and efforts as well as those of all involved, police, emergency medical teams, ambulance crews and those other civilians who lent a hand in assisting the many wounded and giving comfort to those around them most in need from the shocking scenes all witnessed and the order which was kept and especially to those people who waited patiently, or not so patiently, in the gondolas and then gave full accountings to the authorities after, what for some must have been insufferable, long waits to finally disembark and end their ordeal. The fact that most remained and assisted as best they were able is a testament to British comradery and pulling together and showing their best in a difficult and horrific situation.

 

Terror Victims PC Keith Palmer and Aysha Frade

Terror Victims PC Keith Palmer and Aysha Frade

 

We can hope that this will be the final time we need to review the heroism, bravery and other stand-out performances by regular people, law enforcement and emergency crews, people from all walks and from diffuse backgrounds all assisting people they likely never met before but giving them somebody to lean on for support, working to save a life, preventing further harm, stopping an attacker or other general acts of bravery or relief in the immediate and tumultuous aftermath of a terror attack like those we have seen far too many times. Paris, London, New York, Jerusalem, Istanbul and Cairo are all amongst cities struck by these horrors while there is apparently nowhere on Earth perhaps other than Antarctica is safe from such violence. The world sometimes appears to be awakening to the threats yet all too often after attacks such as what we saw in London we all jerk ourselves and scream in our minds that this must be fought with more than words and within a few days, hours for some and moments for others, we fall back into our nominal state of dealing with those daily tasks and requirements of our jobs, families, friends and getting the car repaired, paying bills, food shopping, kids science project, you name the distraction, it takes our minds back to the everyday. That complacency needs to be shaken up and dispelled such that we take the needful steps to end these attacks by whatever means are required. We owe it to those whose lives we have already lost, their families and friends, their coworkers and people they simply may have once given a smile making their day and we owe it to those who have not yet been the tragic target and their friends, families, coworkers, people they attend religious services with or those who will not get that needed smile because we did not take the steps immediately such that they never face the horror of being caught in such a nightmare. These are the prices we have paid and we need to prevent those costs from rising any further than unavoidable and that will take remembering those we lost and taking the needful steps to demand that those who are in our governments and have the responsibility to prevent these events do so. That is what we need demand and stop with the petty day-to-day bickering between parties and unite and do what is right finally and for a change, please.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 11, 2017

Time for Nations Saved by Israel to Demand United Nations Halt

 

The United Nations Envoy for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui has introduced adding to the names on the Watchlist on Children in Armed Conflict which already lists Islamic State, the Taliban, al Qaeda and more and they are calling to add Boko Haram and countries such as the Congo and the Central African Republic, both nations known for using child soldiers. A year ago, then Secretary General Ban Ki-moon removed Israel and in an act of fairness since this required ignoring the deaths from the 2014 conflict, Hamas too was removed. Now United Nations Envoy for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui is demanding that the Israeli Defense Forced (IDF) be rejoined on the list but with no mention of Hamas as Hamas, though targeting hospitals, schools and kindergartens, was unable to murder sufficient Israeli children but Israel should be held responsible for the children Hamas often chained to rocket launching areas where they used multiple launchers so that any Israeli return fire, which was necessitated by the potential for harm to Israeli citizens these platforms posed, would also render collateral damages including these children which they would then spread pictures of over Facebook, Twitter and filed with the United Nations and European Union all in their media effort to paint Israel as the monster and the Gaza terrorists as the poor and innocent victims. So, we are going to put out the call to every nation whose children have benefited from the IDF units such as their medical emergency hospitals, the emergency clinics, their search and rescue men, women and trained K-9’s (dogs) or the SACA Save a Child’s Heart program which provides free heart surgeries and care for children the world over as well as giving the necessary equipment, training and surgical training to doctors in facilities throughout the developing and third world or wherever the children would gain from having such help in their own country. We could devote an entire article to these people and to the IDF emergency response teams with their medical field hospital which was the first operating full care field hospital in Haiti after the devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010, as the Israelis were there and set up and running within forty-eight hours. In Haiti you can actually ask one individual and after he demonstrates what Israel gave back to him simply because Israel is about life and restoring every life to the fullest and dancer George Exantus can be our star witness (see video below). But we are not just calling on the Haitians as we also have assisted in the Philippines after Super-Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, with a field hospital and clinics even in the farthest rural areas to include one village which told the IDF personnel they had never seen a government employee from any nation including their own. How many Philippine babies were saved or made possible by the IDF intervention sending healthcare supplies, equipment and personnel along with search and rescue teams including little Israel, the first child, a boy, delivered at the Maternity Ward of the Field Hospital (see image below). There was the IDF effort which was largely search and rescue but included a hospital in Nepal after the earthquake in April 2015. There have been IDF Field Hospitals set up at disasters all over the world even including in the United States for Hurricane Katrina. Below we have included a world map with the locations of IDF Field Hospitals throughout the world up through the first half of 2015. These hospitals have been of such a high professional level that the World Health Organization recognized their contribution to health in disaster regions worldwide.

 

 

The first baby born at the Israeli Defense Forces field hospital in the Philippines was delivered safely on Friday. The mother named the boy Israel.

The first baby born at the Israeli Defense Forces
field hospital in the Philippines was delivered safely on Friday.
The mother named the boy Israel.

 

Locations of IDF Field Hospitals throughout the world up through the first half of 2015

Locations of IDF Field Hospitals throughout the world up through the first half of 2015

 

The reason given by United Nations Envoy for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui for reinstituting the listing of the IDF as a threat to children is due to the numbers of children who were injured or killed during Operation Protective Edge between Israel and the terrorist groups under Hamas rule during Summer of 2014. These terror groups include Hamas, of course, as well as Islamic Jihad and teams from al-Qaeda, Islamic State, Hezballah, IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) and some other terror as well as criminal families and groups operating under the radar. The evidence and known use of children as human shields as well as the placing of children, sometimes even restrained, around groups of rocket launchers which Israel has no choice other than to eliminate as their use for mass firing at singular locations make the probability of Israeli casualties far too high and the Iron Dome would be overly challenged to prevent such an attack. Hamas knew swarms of rockets was the only means they could use against Iron Dome defenses and thus they used this manner which Israel would immediately use computerized reverse targeting after these groups launched in order to prevent their being adjusted for more accurate targeting as often the targets were hospitals, schools and residential locations placing Israelis, including children, in danger. Hamas would very likely place children near or in the center of such placements as either this would prevent the Israelis bombing them or if the Israelis relied on computer fired artillery to eliminate the target and not being able to detect the children placed there, then Hamas would have a photo opportunity with which to paint Israel as monstrous child killers. Swedish photographer Paul Hansen won the World Press Photo Award with the picture of a funeral of two Palestinian children. During the war in Gaza during the summer of 2014, the Independent and many other media outlets, especially those from Europe, leftist papers in the United States and across the Arab world, portrayed Israel as Palestinian child killers. These photo journalists were all operating within Gaza and were under Hamas supervision which means that much of their information was provided by Hamas operatives and Arab stringers who work hand in hand with Hamas and Islamic Jihad to stage pictures or take the most damning pictures often taking killed terrorist fighters and stripping them of weapons and all other indications they were fighters and then passing picture of them as part of the civilian death toll. There have been reports that after Israel sent SMS and dropped leaflets and transmitted radio warnings that certain areas would be bombed due to terror fortifications, rocket launchers or underground bunkers where Hamas either told the people that the location Israel informed them would be safe was the real target and they would be safe to remain in the target area.

 

The lengths that the IDF uses to try and minimize collateral casualties have been documented as some of, if not the, best the world over. Below is a pair of videos featuring retired British Colonel Richard Kemp reviewing the IDF efforts from the Gaza War of the summer of 2014. The first he produced for Prager University, and for those who will claim that Prager is not a neutral observer and is controlled by Israel, another totally bogus claim and slur of both Dennis Prager’s honor and Israel of a false charge of interference, the second is of the Colonel as he gave testimony to the United Nations General Assembly, not exactly a great fan of Israel. That is the full United Nations testimony to the Gaza inquiry by Colonel Richard Kemp, British Army retired, to the Human Rights Council. He mentions the statements by United States then Commander of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff that Israel went beyond normal means to prevent civilian casualties. There have been officers from numerous western militaries who have complained that the standards set by the Israelis could lead to difficulties for their efforts as they might be expected to attempt to meet such levels of precautions to protect civilians and noncombatants from becoming collateral casualties and preventing collateral damage in general. These efforts are likely doubled when children’s lives are in question. But there will be those who will continue to spread lies such as the staged supposed murder of Mohammed al Dura which has been proven to have been a staged attack where nobody was even injured, let alone killed as proven by a French media investigation which even survived court challenges. For more on staged incidents which are common from the same intersection where the al-Dura hoax was shot simply search “Pallywood” and view the numerous videos. Some of the stories you might even remember the initial releases which caused international condemnations of the Israelis and when they were proven to be false there were still many who use them as if they were fact to slur Israel. When it comes to denouncing Israel there is no such thing as going too far or falsifying reports. We covered another infamous instigator who uses his children as props in instigations and films them with assistance from European leftists simple praying that an IDF soldier will finally have taken enough abuse and lose their cool, or even appear to have gone too far as when you leave out the five, ten, fifteen, thirty or who knows how long of instigating and kicking, cursing, spiting or otherwise striking IDF soldiers in our article Neutered IDF Lost Control of Soldier to Leftist Instigated Clash.

 

 

 

These numerous staged items on top of the rare but actual incidents are much of the reason that human rights groups can believe that the IDF is far more guilty of poor judgement than is the actually truth. Add to that the propaganda which comes from invested interests such as the Arab world, anti-Semitic leftists, anti-Semitic extreme right wingnuts, government produced propagandas (Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Dreyfus Conviction both of which have been used in the Arab world as proof of the Jews perfidy), and other anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist and just plain anti-Israel people and groups. There have been instances where groups (NGOs) financed by European government and also the European Union whose basic raison d’être is to vilify Israel using any methods, lies, propaganda or whatever it takes. This has actually become a lucrative business as the number of sources willing to pay for any anti-Israel information and they give a wink and a nod when insisting that whatever anti-Israel information, and double if it demonizes the IDF, you bring them. Of course they insist that they only accepted information which had multiple sources while leaking each group’s findings to others such that they could also use these “discoveries” thus these groups are basically self-validating as they are all working in tandem. What is unnerving is how much of this anti-Israel information is actively believed by the majority of populations across Europe and is simply more proof that traditional European anti-Semitism is alive and well. Add to this the Arab world and the anti-Semitism in the developing world and it is no surprise that the United Nations General Assembly is probably the most anti-Israeli body on Earth. For the latest report on anti-Semitism, something closely aligned with hatred of Israel, visit the results of the Anti- Defamation League Global 100: an index of anti-Semitism. The results will likely shock you to your core, it did us and we expected it to be bad, but not that bad.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.