Beyond the Cusp

June 13, 2015

A Chance America Riding Off Into the Sunset

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There has been speculation about what role the United States will play on the world’s stage as threats abound of various severities and natures almost everywhere one looks and still we hear from United States President Obama that he awaits final strategy and complete plans laid out before him from the Pentagon before he can act. This excuse from President Obama for not committing to some plan of action sounds unrealistic, especially as it is well known even personally after having served in the United States Army, the Pentagon has plans, War Scenarios, for near any contingency which might arise. This makes President Obama’s excuse of not having any plans before him sound quite lame. Even had the Pentagon not had an exact battle plan in place when ISIS first reared their ugly heads and started chopping heads, especially since some belonged to the United States, you can bet the Pentagon went to their files and had cobbled together six ways come Sunday for dealing with ISIS which probably had added contingencies for removing Bashir al-Assad from power and potentially addressing the Iranian nuclear issue as well. The one thing is, they were not short of was plans. The only thing necessary would be for the President to choose one and they would be implementing within forty-eight hours. Each set of plans would have in the full layout exactly which units were trained for that exact mission and which of those units was at full strength and had a ready status. They would have decided whether or not to use the ready actions units of which at least two brigades of Army would be on immediate deployment status and I can assume the Marines, Navy and Air Force have similar plans for immediate response to any call up.

 

We can trust the Pentagon has plans and that all the President need do is pick up that phone he claims he could use to call for action if Congress did not pass his legislation in a timely manner and instead call the Pentagon and request their actions and plans be presented. Then he could pick up that pen with which he threatened Congress to use to write Executive Orders and use it to sign off on a plan of action and then write an Executive Memo to the leaders in Congress informing them of the impending actions and the Pentagon would take care of the rest. There is one contingency for which the Pentagon likely has plans but would be unable to implement them until the President ordered them to follow and support somebody else’s initiation of actions. That is President Obama’s famous plan of leading from behind, better known as following which often is the action of those too cowardly to commit to actions and stick their neck out, something which would be risky against ISIS but the President can go ahead and stick his neck out, the military would be out in front and would do or die even knowing that in the end the President would claim the glory, after all he took out Osama bin Laden haven’t you heard. Leading from behind is not an option on this crisis but President Obama is not one to make definitive decisions which might have him owning his actions. President Obama would rather simply follow and take only that action was dictated by somebody else, the United Nations, the European Union, NATO led by another member, actually President Obama would follow anybody, well, anybody but Israel. Were Israel to engage ISIS, it would not be a complete surprise if President Obama gave weapons to ISIS through some obscure middleman leader of another nation who might be supportive of ISIS though doing so would be risky. But until somebody else takes the lead we can expect more excuses over action from the White House.

 

One wonders if President Obama has even requested the Pentagon produce their plans for dealing with ISIS and said plans actually called for the United States to sit this round out. We can figure that the United States is loath to send troops back into Iraq after being pulled out by President Obama in a manner that military planners had informed the President was a premature action which would cause more problems than it could solve. The one problem leaving a residual force would not have addressed was President Obama winning reelection on his promise to bring our boys home come something (keeping it family friendly) or high water. The Pentagon may have been requested to provide plans which would include supporting UN or EU or NATO action taken to facilitate leading from behind at which time the Pentagon action would most likely be exactly what we are seeing, doing nothing waiting for somebody else to take the initiative so they could follow thus leading from behind again allowing President Obama to risk nothing which actually making a choice and lead would mean. But this begs a question; what happens if the United States is about to return to her historic role of isolationism where the United States trades with her friends and with her enemies but on a lesser scale and dares not interfere in worldly matters allowing them to work themselves out without United States interventions. United States entering an isolationist perspective would only allow her deployment of troops to be limited and almost always to support trade more than worrying about such trivialities as world balance and defeating evil, that’s better left to the knights of Europe who have always done this before. Of course this before was before the United States encouraged Europe to stop their militarism and that the United States would spread her umbrella and cover them so they could turn to less harmful pursuits such as taking on debt and squabbling amongst each other, just this time no world wars starting in Europe, that was the deal the United States imposed on Europe. But now it appears the United States may be folding up that umbrella and claiming not to see the storm clouds rising out of the Middle East, a denial which is difficult to swallow.

 

The going theory is that the United States will return to the role of the world’s police and enforce the good behavior between the nations extending force projection where needed. That is not the historic tendency of the United States after any major conflicts; her historic stance has been a laissez-faire attitude of simple sitting back keeping her hands politely to herself, which is the norm from the United States. The average American knows little about world affairs and cares even less. The average American was defined by President Clinton in his initial campaign for the Presidency with his slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid.” The stupid in this case was George Herbert Walker Bush (the elder and first Pres Bush) and the elections proved it as President Bush did not gain reelection largely due to his having broken his promise of, “Read my lips; no new taxes,” and then was forced to raise taxes by a Democrat Congress in order to get his budget passed with the military spending not slashed by the Congress. The election of President Clinton over reelecting President Bush was all about domestic policies over foreign policies.

 

You start to talk about foreign policy with the average American and their eyes gloss over and they drift into some zombie like state all catatonic and in shock after the first two or three sentences. Talk about immigration, taxes, domestic hot-button issues, government spending of which all is unnecessary except those they are or will receive, and the economy then you will engage in a sometimes heated debate. Talk about money and they will listen, talk about something happening in the Mille East or Asia and they will repeat what the media stated, that is bad, that is good and those people sure have as rough time, but then they will turn it back to how the government needs to take care of things at home first. The average American has all the sympathy you could ever ask for and they will donate more to charities than any other peoples on earth but when it comes to sending their young men off to fight in what they mostly see as somebody else’s war, then they need a ton of convincing and President Obama surfs waves, seldom makes waves when it comes to world politics. The President came from a past as a community organizer, read rabble rouser causing trouble to force government actions usually spending more money of which they get the lion’s share, and knows little outside of Chicago, let alone outside of the United States. He treats foreign policy as if it was a plague and to his outlook, as well as many Americans outlooks, simply does not go past the horizon and possibly not past the water’s edge.

 

We can bet that should the Democrat candidate become the next President, they too will do little as they can in foreign policy. We need remember that the Democrat candidate will not likely be Hillary Clinton but more likely somebody not even announced as of yet. Ms. Clinton’s campaign van has the wheels flying off and the engine is about to quit. The van is driving down the road to oblivion. But what if it is the Republican candidate, you inquire. There we need to find out who will take the lead and which ones do not survive the first three or four actual primary votes. We can make some specific and general observations. Rand Paul is an isolationist libertarian who believes if the United States hurts nobody then nobody would target the United States. Of all the governors and ex-governors running, only Jeb Bush might be a President inclined to use military force and actually have an active foreign policy. Others have claimed that they will repair the United States relations with Israel as well as Egypt and Saudi Arabia largely undoing some of the changes made under President Obama. Still, such actions do not necessarily mean a return into Iraq to defeat ISIS unless it becomes a dire threat to the stability of the Middle East. Only Senator Marco Rubio has direct experience with foreign policies as he in on the Senate Intelligence Committee which gives him access beyond the average Senator under the need to know doctrines. Almost any Republican candidate becoming President would easily take four months to a year to become fully briefed on every hot-spot that the Pentagon had plans and counter plans and different options under each plan and time granted each. Such amounts of information is why the President has a Secretary of Defense whose staff is divided so they can divide their work and attend to each contingencies. Still, the final decisions and person who must form the overall foreign police and who has to call in the troops for action when deemed to be necessary lies with the President and the President alone. That is one of the reason it is said that it is lonely at the top. We still have no real available input that any of the Republican candidates would press for an interventionist approach to foreign policies.

 

Likely the most pressing foreign policy might already have their hands tied should President Obama make any Iran nuclear deal somehow into a treaty without gaining Congressional affirmation. Such a decade long deal would actually prevent the next administration from taking any actions without smoking gun style proof that Iran had broken the agreement but as the agreement includes steps all the way through twelve years with little margin for change in the terms or even the terminology during that time period with the Iranians presumably free to complete their desired goal of deliverable nuclear warheads and the ICBMs on which to place them after ten years according to President Obama’s own admission which would leave them at a minimum two years to produce as many weapons systems as they are able starting with an unknown amount of LEU (low enrichment Uranium) with which to work and all of that Uranium a simple two day’s processing to be made weapons grade HEU (highly enriched Uranium over 90% purity) and then they would be capable of molding the cores and producing actual weapons. All of this is a guess of what the eventual agreement will appear to say and Iranian compliance to the terms and inspection protocols as well as their answering numerous questions about previous work performed largely by the military which Iran insists is an unprecedented and unnecessary invasion of their privileges and privacies. So, when it comes to the Iranian nuclear program the next President may be acting with his hands tied and possibly looking at a negative response from a nuclear armed Iran claiming their dominion over Iraq and dismissing the need for United States interference in their area of control which they will claim includes Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and who knows where else by January 21, 2017 when the next President takes office. After Iran there will be other situations such as Russia and their low-grade war with the Ukraine and its possibilities, China and their expansion Islands being built and potentially taking territorial control semi-legally over the entire South China Sea giving them control over one of the most active shipping lanes in the world. Speaking of choke points for shipping, Iran already has menacing control over the Straits of Hormuz where almost one third of the world’s oil is shipped by tankers and may through their proxies in Yemen, Houthis can also threaten to control the Bab-el-Mandeb which would cut off the southern exit of the Red Sea making the Suez Canal unusable and the Israeli southern port to the orient and Africa blockaded, a casus belli which could lead to a state of declared war by Iran on Israel and Egypt as both would have their shipping access to the world impeded illegally as Iran would have no other excuse other than they could close all shipping. These are just the top three and none of these includes the ISIS threat which may grow to the point where Iran and ISIS meet on equal footing with ISIS having gained an Air Force even if of a limited nature, and tactics which are prone to working, at least working well against the Iraqi army. ISIS has had far less success against the Kurdish Militias such as the Peshmerga (literally “one who confronts death”) and the People’s Protection Units (known as the YPG). These have held the northeast parts of Syria having an astonishing turning point in the city of Kobanê as well as the northern third or so of Iraq where the Kurdish forces saved thousands of Yazidi and whose Yazidi Militias have joined ranks with the Kurdish Militias. We could continue to the other continents and their probabilities for causing distress but that would leave Antarctica as probably the only safe haven if you desired no strife, or at least not yet.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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January 31, 2015

An Article Reflecting on Anti-Semitism and Isolationism

 

This past week much of the world memorialized the Shoah, the Holocaust, by recognizing the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the dual slavish labor camp and industrial scale murder camp which combined murdered approximately ten percent of the estimated twelve to fourteen million souls exterminated in all of the Concentration Camps. People often hear only about the Jewish lives lost in the Concentration Camps and the others are often glossed over, an unfortunate side-effect of the Jews having great cause as two-thirds of European Jewry and approaching half of the world’s Jews (many set the number around forty percent) perished in the Concentration Camps thus giving the Jews a heavier burden through affect and such they have been the guarantors of preventing such from happening again; thus their cry of ‘Never Again!’ Also targeted for extermination by the Nazi death machines, the Nazi Concentration Camps, were the Roma (Gypsies), homosexuals, mentally challenged, the insane, people with other birth defect, the unemployed, physically handicapped, Serbians in the Balkan regions, Polish leadership, Christian leadership who opposed their plans, many of the Russian prisoners of war and anyone considered a threat or problem to Nazi rule. Another reason the Jewish deaths matter in the present is the rising once again of anti-Semitism throughout Europe partially due to Islamic immigrations and partially due to economic and fiscal difficulties which have caused some to demand austerity which has even further angered many Europeans who turned again to their oldest target for all that ails their society, anti-Semitism. There has also been Islamic anti-Semitism which many contend comes with the following of the teachings and sermons of radical leaders who use quotations from the Quran mixed with plain old anti-Semitism. Still there are those who will assure the Jews that another Holocaust will happen where they are rounded up and murdered systematically with industrialized efficiency.

 

The blight which is anti-Semitism returning to Europe has many familiar scents and attributes with one major difference, the Jews have an escape valve, if they choose to utilize it, named Israel waiting anxiously for their return, for the Jews in the West to return home. The Jewish state is also the target of much of this new virulent anti-Semitism which allows for those anti-Semites who desire to hide behind something in order to be capable of claiming that they are not anti-Semites, they just hate the policies, the overt force, the disproportional force, the collateral damage, the denial of statehood and/or the aggression by Israel against the Palestinians. Where their denials about their being anti-Semitic falls apart is in their accusations which if followed to their conclusive ends would deny Israel existing as the Jewish homeland. By denying Israel her right for existing, those who make claims that Israel should never have been formed and must now be dissolved are also making the case that the Jews amongst the peoples are to be denied keeping the state formed and subsequently founded by a number of international treaties and instituted under international law should now be denied them and instead gifted to their enemies simply because the world has decided that the Jews are unworthy of their own state. The most popular myth is that the peoples claiming to be Jews did not originate in the lands of Israel but instead the Ashkenazi or Eastern European Jews are the descendants of Khazars. A large percentage of Jews who settled in Israel came to the promised lands as the result of pogroms, oppressions and ethnic cleansing in their home nations which were intentionally attempting to force them from amongst them once and for all. These Jewish families were forced from their homes, many stripped of their possessions, robbed of their bank accounts, their homes and businesses simply taken from them without any reparations, their vehicles taken by their neighbors, often nations permitted these Jews one or two suitcases per person, all of this taking place in broad daylight during the middle of the Twentieth Century, largely between 1948 and 1960, and these Jews came to Israel to restart their lives and now their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are living in Israel and make up half the nation’s population. These Jews were not victims of the Holocaust and had not left their homes and businesses in Europe but came from the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) and are Sephardic Jews. Further, many of the Ashkenazi Jews have had their genomes researched by researchers and independently and in the vast majority of cases these people had so many identifiers which are also found in Sephardim. The facts that these Jews were banished from what had been their families’ homes and businesses for the last two centuries for both the European Jews and those living in North Africa and throughout the Middle East and all came to Israel because Israel meant their salvation and their return to their ancestral home.

 

After the world had spit out their Jews sending them to their ancestral homeland, much of the world sighed in relief as they had solved their Jewish problem. One might think that this would suffice, banning of Jews across much of MENA and many Jews repulsed from their homes when they returned from the death camps only to find their properties stolen and no future for them, only further hostilities. Now, after sixty-seven years living in their homeland the peoples of the world appear to be bent on the destruction of that nation and the slaughter of its people. The initial attempt to annihilate the nascent State of Israel came early on at the founding when over six armies collapsed on the newly founded state of Israel the morning of her founding rallying to the cry of drowning the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea. This genocidal assault failed as did the subsequent attempt in 1967 where Israel captured the Sinai Dessert and liberated Gaza, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. Then there was the nearly successful attempt to take back the lost lands and potentially drive the Jews into the Sea but this assault was eventually halted and the gains reversed. After these attempts proved futile, their tactics altered and the terror warfare became the sole pry-bar. This led to the use of the word Palestinian Arab to describe an imaginary people fabricated with the aid of the KGB and organized around Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas as it top leaders. They formed the Palestinian Authority when they gained the backing from some early European journalists and editorialists. NGOs were formed and the lobbying began in parallel to the terrorism and the subverting Western Universities largely by purchasing their Middle Eastern Studies Departments simply by purchasing them through erecting an impressive building to house the staff, parts of which were provided by the foreign Arab nations using CAIR, MAS or other Muslim NGO. This led to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS) which would malign Israel and the Jews which led to many college students coming from universities and hating the Israeli Jews but presumably not the Jews in general, or at least the Israelis.

 

These purchasing of inroads through academics gained many friends and turned more than a few other departments within many universities against Israel. Each year it becomes necessary to increase the list of universities and colleges which hold Israel Apartheid Week where Israel is vilified and often there are mock-ups of checkpoints which Israel is forced to utilize in order to guarantee the safety of her citizens but are cast as evil encroachments onto Arab lands. There are numerous terrorist groups which specialize in Israel and are thus granted protection within the university systems. Jewish students are often not safe on campus when these events are taking place as they are accosted and assaulted often injuring them requiring hospitalization. These demonstrations often broaden their targets from just Israel to all Jews whether they have ties to Israel or not. These efforts have gotten to the point where wearing any items which may be interpreted as Jewish can and often will result in your person being assaulted and when such an assault is reported the university often claims it does not have the resources to investigate and capture the culprit. The problem with protecting Jews in some places while not in others is that the authorities thus begin to denote certain places as ‘no go zones’ which are beyond the law enforcement as police officers have become so unwelcome that they no longer enter these regions. That does not mean that such places are beyond law, it simply means that these places do not follow the laws of their host country, the law within these places is Sharia which makes the value of a woman’s testimony count considerably less than a man’s testimony and a non-Muslim (Kafir) is next to worthless. Some places and even nations in Europe have gone so far as to enforce Sharia and adopt some of the particular statutes and sentences. These accommodations are dangerous as they aid in not requiring these MENA immigrants to assimilate and thus become a true member of the society. Making the area where certain people live into a place which resembles the laws and society which they presumably left behind can make their ability to adjust, reside and become gainfully employed that much more difficult.

 

Allowing the hatreds and societal stigmas to be maintained in Western civilizations should simply be unacceptable as the inclusion, not exclusion, of immigrants should be the end goal for any society. If a number of Westerners immigrated to a Middle Eastern or North African nation they would be required to learn the language, customs, and obey the laws the same as any native. There would not be agencies and NGOs whose sole purpose would be to gain for the immigrants the power and ability to flaunt the laws of their new land. They would face the challenge of learning the language and adjusting to the diet. There would not be special areas set aside for immigrants from the Western nations where they could live their entire lives feeling as if they never left their homelands. No matter how much they might see their culture and rule of law to be superior, it would not be permitted to replace the laws of the land in which they now resided. This begs the question as to why do these immigrants refuse to adjust to the nation which they willingly chose to reside. What was their motivation to make a long and possibly arduous trip to reside in their new land? Certainly their goal was not to refuse to assimilate and to simply live the exact same life, speak the exact same language, reside under the same laws and be deprived of the opportunities which would now exist right outside their neighborhood. Granted there is comfort in having the same traditions and same societal laws and the same customs when one has moved but that would not provide the advances in the society of which each immigrant came seeking to take the advantage of the potentially upward mobility thus improve their life or at least grant such for their children. Sitting in a no go zone under sharia and forced to live apart from endless possibilities sitting just out of reach, this is the situation in Paris and other cities with much of their Muslim population stuck in their island amidst lands of endless opportunity just an arm’s length away if one could only break from their comfort and grasp the golden ring.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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