Beyond the Cusp

September 19, 2019

Trump, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel

 

Mark Langfan wrote a very insightful article reflecting on what the lasting effects of President Trump’s firing of John Bolton and how this could lead to Trump not being reelected. Of course, the final repercussions from letting John Bolton go will play out in ways that none of us will likely get completely correct. As Mr. Langfan points out, with Bolton out of the administration, the voice for stronger actions even unto direct attacks on Iran has been silenced. This is not to infer that there are no other voices purporting for stronger reactions to Iranian belligerent actions. We had pointed out that there was an uneasy relationship between President Trump and his advisor John Bolton as Trump prefers to find economic solutions rather than resorting to using the military and Bolton was far more militaristic having no qualms about resorting to force. We had mentioned reports of heated arguments between the two men as their views were about as far apart and different as possible. But Mr. Langfan was correct in stating that John Bolton served a potentially precious purpose, he was the stick always in the ready countering the carrot dangling Trump making any implied Trump threats of using force more credible. Whether Mr. Langfan’s conclusion that the Iranian attack on the Saudi oil fields and that we can expect more Iranian perfidy and violent attacks on Saudi Arabia may or may not come to fruition depending on numerous factors which we will try and explore.

 

There are credible rumors that after the elections in Israel, and assuming that a government is formed led by incumbent Bibi Netanyahu, President Trump will propose a mutual defense pact between Israel and the United States. The problem is that should Prime Minister Netanyahu be able to form the next Israeli government, he would be predisposed towards accepting such an agreement. Anyone reading our last article would likely see some of the plethora of reasons for Israel to refuse such an offer. We understand that such a position would be difficult to defend by most standards, but here goes. We have one reason and only require this one reason. We have no problem forging agreements with supportive nations for the supply of military hardware, weapons, aircraft, armor, ammunition and other munitions and bombs but we would draw the line on allowing a single soldier from any other nation coming to fight alongside our IDF. The reason is relatively obvious to anyone who has felt the sting of Judeophobia (anti-Semitism). We hold a fear that should American young people come and fight to aid Israel should a war, or should we say when a war breaks out, when any of these young soldiers should be killed, it would be the quickest way of turning great numbers of current Israeli supporters into rabid Israel haters and possibly having them become Judeophobic. The idea of sacrificing good Christian young men and women in a war to save the Jewish State, which would be seen as Christians being sacrificed for the Jews, would turn many average Americans against Israel, against the Jewish State. This is true for the United States and would stand true for any nation sacrificing their young military men and women for Israel or in any other foreign war. Citizens of most nations fully understand using their military youth in a necessary conflict to protect their nation and people but such understanding wanes rapidly when those sacrifices are being made for other people and nations. Add in that in this case the nation would be the Jewish State and the waning would become an abatement leaving a mere trickle of support for aiding Israel. Israel must be prepared to defend herself by herself with as little reliance on outside forces, specifically troops, coming to their aid. Materials are one thing and people, especially young people who make up the fighting forces, facing possible death and some actually being killed in such a war would increase anti-Israel and Judeophobic reactions swaying the majority of the people to decry such activities. This is a situation which Israel would be advised to take every possible measure for self-dependence and never allow non-Israelis from ever fighting in an Israeli war and especially being injured, or worse killed. For this reason, amongst others, Bibi Netanyahu or any other Israeli Prime Minister should refuse to agree to any mutual defense agreement no matter which nation might be offering such.

 

Another reason not to enter such an agreement is even more obvious, Israel also needs to avoid ever being dragged into a conflict, especially one in the Middle East or Northern Africa, the Arab and Islamic world, through any treaty as the IDF is not as large an army as those of other nations around the world. According to Global Fire Power, the IDF ranks as the seventeenth most powerful military, a ranking largely due to the advanced weaponry, especially defensive weaponry such as the Iron Dome and other anti-missile systems and not their number of troops. This ranking rates Turkey, Egypt, Iran and Pakistan all ranked as more powerful militaries. When it comes to active duty personnel, Israel does not even rank in the top twenty-five coming in at around twenty-eighth in the world with numerous Arab and Islamic nations with far larger numbers of active duty personnel. Israel would become excessively vulnerable were she required to station numbers of her active duty troops outside the country. That is an easily observed part of the reality in which Israel lives.

 

Should Iran actually be emboldened by the departure of John Bolton, this would initially likely take the form, as Mr. Langfan predicted, of attacks on Saudi Arabian assets such as the recent attack with drones on their oil fields relatively close to Iran. Targets within Saudi Arabia have the advantage of allowing Iran to offer disclaimers of their involvement pressing other potential entities to be responsible. Some of these would include but not be limited to claiming the attacks were the work of the Houthis in Yemen, allied forces from Iraq where Iran can pretend they were acting independently as well as blaming non-state actors such as Hezballah, the IRGC, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Iranian operative groups. Mr. Langfan left out other potential targets which Iran might attack via their proxies such as Egypt or Israel amongst others. Currently, there are some low-level altercation and skirmishes along both the northern and southern borders of Israel. These are utilizing Hezballah in the north supported by IRGC forces and Iranian provided rockets and missiles, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the south out of Gaza using rockets and incendiary and high explosive balloons, kites and drones being used to turn much of southern Israel into a smoldering wasteland. There will also be the potential for increased terrorism anywhere around the world driven by Iran through their proxies some of which train and operate out of the tri-border region in South America. Iran might even decide to be so bold as to attack the United States indirectly through their international terror network. The only question is how far will Iran go in taking risks of having the United States retaliate. Even were the United States able to discover Iranian involvement in such attacks, their response would be measured and relatively proportional. This is one position which President Trump has mentioned, the concept that military actions need to be measured and proportional to the acts which precipitated such a response. This is a modern concept which has infected the developed world paralleling their belief that the natural state of the world is to be at peace in order to develop the economies and all interactions between nations would be related to trade. Apparently, they have a very warped view of history which is not realistic and may be a potential disaster waiting to happen. Should Iran start to wage a low-grade terror and indirect attack methodologies, the United States would eventually reach a point where such could no longer be ignored, especially as the media would be taunting President Trump for his inaction and timidity in the face of what they would call an obvious war. Further, should the United States be dragged into a war in the Middle East, the last thing Israel needs is to have a mutual defense treaty potentially dragging them into the conflict. But Israel also will have their potential difficulties with an emboldened Iran.

 

Hezballah Rocket Arsenal

 

Israel has Iranian proxies in Gaza with Hamas and Islamic Jihad and in Lebanon and southeastern Syria with Hezballah, the IRGC and even Iranian military forces. Of the two threats, Hezballah is probably the greater one with potentially over one-hundred-fifty-thousand rockets and missiles of various sizes and warheads including numerous which are capable of striking anywhere in Israel and even beyond (see table above). Further, both Hezballah and Islamic Jihad, which will drag Hamas along with them, have promised to provide the other a second front against Israel should hostilities break out. This would include coordinated attacks potentially coming from Lebanon, out of Gaza in the south and along the Golan Heights attacking from Syria as Iran has Israel within their or their proxies’ sights almost circling the tiny Jewish State. Then there is always the final threat Israel could likely face, and that is Iran itself. Iran has numerous rockets and missiles which can reach Israel launched from Iran or Iraq as shorter-range weapons could be launched from Iraq which is much closer to Israel not to mention Iran could launch from within Syria as they have done on several occasions in the recent past. Currently, Hezballah has things remaining at a low boil, but this could change without notice should Iran so choose. Israel would be pressed too close to her limit were Iran to actively enter into hostilities. The fear then would be whether Iran would be launching weapons of mass destruction such as nerve agents, biological agents or possibly nuclear warheads, the greatest of their potential threats whether they are atomic bombs of thermonuclear weapons with the difference being scale. Any Iranian attack on Israel which would be directly traceable to them would require Israel to respond well outside of President Trump’s concept of proportionality. This would be one time when that charge could be leveled against Israel and we would probably simply plead guilty and continue as we are talking the survival of the nation and nothing less.

 

In summation, Israel has sufficient troubles without signing onto a mutual defense pact with the United States. We are unsure that the United States would respond honoring such a treaty made while President Trump is in office after he leaves office and even more so should the Democrats take the White House. Further, President Trump may have emboldened Iran which may have been demonstrated by the recent attack on the Saudi oil fields. This could lead quickly to escalations throughout the Middle East and potentially the world of both terrorism and further potential wars. For those who did not yet read the article by Mark Langfan linked to at the top of the article, we can only advise giving it a perusal. And please allow us to end with one last new thought, Iranian leadership believes that they are the ones who are chosen to rule the world and spread their version of Shia Islam until they have converted the entire population of the planet while beheading those who refuse to convert. This includes bringing the world to the verge of extinction setting much of it in the flames of destruction, nuclear if necessary being broadly used, so as to force the arrival of their chosen messiah. Does this sound eerily familiar? This has been the driving force of the worst conflagrations in our history and this promises to make them all seem like small skirmishes by the time they are done.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 8, 2018

John Bolton and His Possible First Assignment

 

Numbers of friends asked when John Bolton was chosen to be National Security Adviser to President Trump why was he chosen for this position. The first thing I informed them was that President Trump desired to have Bolton onboard to take care of specific situations and problems but knew there would be heavy push back if he required being confirmed by the Senate. If you believe that the Kavanaugh situation turned ugly, had John Bolton required confirmation, the Senate obstructionists and opposition to President Trump would have had a field day and do not even ask about the games the media would have played. For an introduction, read about his being appointed by President George W. Bush as Ambassador to the United Nations for a taste of the pushback. This was why he had to be appointed as the National Security Adviser simply because the position does not require Senate advise and consent hearings, or should we call them quarrelsome brouhaha. They found this informative but re-asked their question and added a, ‘why him’ to their query. Well, that I can answer with a single word, Israel. The Arab Israel Conflict resolution has become more than President Trump had bargained for and he decided it was time to call in a weapon of mass destruction, John Bolton. John Bolton has been added to the teams attempting to pry some agreement out of the Middle East which has hit snag after snag and apparently stymied the current members of the conflict resolution team. So, introducing John Bolton, a bombastic and extremely determined individual who is willing to bulldoze through all obstructions, blowing them from his path, and who has no problem imposing his will on even the most recalcitrant of individuals. John Bolton has been assigned to find the people willing to make an agreement, find some way of tying such an agreement together, implementing this agreement and then making it stick against all adversarial efforts which will assuredly be forthcoming, potentially in groups or potentially swarms. This is the job for which John Bolton has been hired.

 

National Security Adviser to President Trump John Bolton

National Security Adviser to President Trump John Bolton

 

Where is our proof that John Bolton was chosen as National Security Adviser simply to address the entire Arab Israeli conflict? Well, there was this report about the Trump-North Korea Summit which stated, “President Donald Trump’s Singapore summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was full of showmanship, featuring photo-ops, a long press conference, and one very unusual promotional video. But one player in the scene was surprisingly quiet: John Bolton, Trump’s national-security adviser.” Then additionally there have been his remarks of late. John Bolton attacked Iran calling them “the world’s central banker of international terrorism since 1979.” Addressing ramification of the threats by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to possibly incur the International Court of Justice in settling diplomatic disputes, he stated, “the so-called state of Palestine” challenging the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem at the international court, stating bluntly that “Palestine” is not a state. There was his commentary on Russia’s decision to provide Syria with advanced S-300 air defense systems is a “major mistake.” Have you noticed any common denominator in his commentary? All his remarks one could claim were made by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu instead of the United States National Security Adviser. The question is how it is thought that John Bolton, the one man with a distinctively favorable track record concerning Israel, will in any way find a better way for solving the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Would not the presence of John Bolton polarize and harden the Arabs in their positions?

 

Well, that brings on a simple answer. Could he actually make anything worse than the Khartoum Resolution and the Three No’s, “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel.” Somehow, the Three No’s is a definitive statement which rules out any possible solution which would involve any of the members of the Arab League. Meanwhile, as we have reported on numerous occasions, Mahmoud Abbas, just as had Yasser Arafat before him, has a simple answer to any offer which meets every single of his demands, he walks away without any counteroffer and then refuses to negotiate and launches a terrorist offensive within the following three to four months claiming they are grassroots uprisings to protest the Israeli rejectionism at the previous negotiations. This is always picked up exactly as described by Abbas in the European media and the leftist media in the United States, Canada and the remainder of the Western World. Always, the reason given for ending any negotiations has been laid at the feet of Israel despite any reality proving otherwise. Yasser Arafat walked out in Paris, Mahmoud Abbas has simply refused to meet at all and explanations invariable blame Israel claiming Israel has not sacrificed or granted sufficient demands from the PA to make further negotiations even remotely advantageous. We would only be able to wonder and dream in order to find a single concession which the PA has ever granted Israel. If we could simply just be presented with a provable concession which has been made and followed through upon and not simply retracted as soon as they walked away from the negotiations, then there could be progress. We have been unable to find any such event.

 

We do remember the recounting by President William Jefferson Clinton of how after pressuring Yasser Arafat in Paris during the Camp David Accords negotiations and getting an exact description of his minimal acceptable agreement if only the Israelis truly desire peace. President Clinton tells that he then expected he would be required to exhort, cajole, urged and finally insist with it all in the hopes to have Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak meet Arafat’s demands. Well, Prime Minister Barak was said to have thought and with the slightest coaxing, he agreed to the demands for the minimum Arafat required for him to sign a peace agreement. The next morning, Yasser Arafat simply stalked across the room striding purposefully straight out the front door with Secretary of State Madeline Albright chasing after him unable to catch Arafat before he reached his waiting vehicle and headed to the airport and flew back to Jordan. That was the closest anybody may have come to finding the unfindable agreement. The simple truth is that there is but one thing the Arabs will accept, the complete destruction of Israel or turning it over to them to rule, either way, placing the Jews under the care, protection and wills of their Islamic betters. They state that as Dhimmis, the Jews will be treated with the extents of the Quran which makes Dhimmis a protected people as long as they pay a tax called the Jiyza. What is left out is that the Jiyza can rise to any level, even to a point of demanding the turning over of all property and wealth. Then the next time the tax comes due, there will be no means left to pay any expected amount at which time the protections can disappear. That is the least of the restrictions which are troublesome from the Quran’s treatment of Dhimmis such that they have no legal recourse in the courts and there is no protection against forced conversions or forced marriage of your children and even convert or death choice.

 

So, with the reality that Mahmoud Abbas, Jordanian King Abdallah and Egyptian President Sisi will all refuse any agreement with Israel where the Jews are permitted to have rights to govern themselves, then how can John Bolton possibly make any progress where none has ever existed? Well, there is the fact that his reputation as a rather blunt and forceful individual who is extremely opinionated who is difficult to deal with, but why should that change anything? Well, another thing about John Bolton is that since he is not the President nor an actual Cabinet Secretary and merely an adviser, he will have the latitude to do offers which are beyond things that say the Secretary of State could broach without actually obligating the United States or the President. This may permit Mr. Bolton to inspect other alternatives which a President, Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense would cause far too much talk and media reporting making actually working such a deal to its conclusion. Such a deal might be done by going around King Abdullah and instead backing the Jordanian Opposition Council led by Mudar Zahran, somebody who could meet with John Bolton outside some international event away from the media and avoiding any undesired attention. The Jordanian Opposition Council is led by Mudar Zahran and desires to make peace with Israel and turn the rule of Jordan to the Palestinians who represent a sizable majority of the Jordanian population. There have been suggestions where the King of Jordan will still rule over Jordan which will be minimized into the areas where the Bedouin and other non-Palestinian tribes in the eastern sector while the Palestinians will be given rule of the remainder of Jordan renamed Palestine.

 

The Arabs from the Shomron would be enticed to move into this new nation and those remaining in PA regions would be granted Palestinian citizenship and Israel would be returned the entirety of the Shomron. This would require some extreme assistance from the United States as certain powers from the Jordanian areas remade into Palestine would need to be removed before they could overthrow whatever governance is put in place. Assuming that Mudar Zahran and his Jordanian Opposition Council are backed and placed into Palestine with King Abdullah simply instructed that should he attempt to retake the remainder of what had been his nation that he would face very stiff and possibly deadly resistance as the United States is backing new governance. The Muslim Brotherhood would be the first group to be removed from the new nation. Any other known terrorist operatives would require neutralizing. Finally, once Palestine has been pacified, much as Germany was de-Nazified after World War II, then new elections, which should be carefully operated by the United States and overseen by respected and trusted international observers, need to be held to elect new and representative governance. The peace which would be reached between Israel and this new Palestine would also require being overseen and enforced by international interests, defined as the United States as most others would be considered as being compromised. The unfortunate and most shaky part of this arrangement is that for it to actually be capable of lasting, it will require the United States to make an investment militarily, socially, economically and in other capabilities which may not be evident initially as the situation would most definitely require nurturing. The difficulty with this idea is whether Mudar Zahran and his Jordanian Opposition Council are actually seeking peace or simply attempting to use peace with Israel as a lever to gain power followed by their never releasing power forming a dictatorship which could then turn against Israel. This potential eventuality is why the conversion process from potential terror state to modern economic state will require being walked through the transformation and protected from backtracking. This could be the small crack in the Islamic World through which a different passage can be opened leading to progress in bringing the Arab world forward to modern economic success. The incoming King of Saudi Arabia has made indication he would like to open such a path for his nation. Adding Jordan to the north along with Saudi Arabia passing into the modern economic world could complete the apparent path the world appears to be rolling along. Such a change in direction for the Arab and Islamic world would, if accomplished, be the greatest product of President Trump. The only problem is what would happen with following administrations, would they continue to support such an effort or simply destroy all this progress just to spite the memory of the time President Trump held the White House. The destruction and shutting down of the operations required in the name of erasing Trump’s legacy while saving funds could result in the end of modernizing the lives of the many Arabs currently living in an age removed from the developed world, a world where their own leadership currently reside. There is hope that progress could come and lift many in the Arab world from tribalism and poverty into the modern world with all the benefits and progress. This hope might just be the reason for John Bolton as his actions are often reported as being illogical, unhelpful and anything but to what people should pay any attention. Thus, his visiting some obscure individuals in London or outside the Davos meetings would be minimalized by the media, something simply perfect for Bolton to actually operate below the radar and by the time he is found out, it might just be too late to change what will result.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 25, 2018

Reflections on National Security Advisor John Bolton

 

Let’s make one thing clear right up front; the National Security Advisor is appointed by the President and does not require confirmation by the Senate. Simply put, the United States National Security Advisor is John Bolton and those reacting as if the world will end tomorrow cannot even hope the Senate will deny Mr. Bolton the position as they did to his appointment as ambassador to the United Nations. The treatment he got during that attempt to be promoted as the permanent Ambassador to the United Nations we would not wish upon our most leftist appointee of any Democrat appointee. He was treated with such vile and hate beyond what was even required to show disapproval and refuse to confirm John Bolton when he was nominated. Some of those on the left and even some conservatives, bordered on reveling in torturing and taking cheap shots at Mr. Bolton ridiculing his honest answers treating him as one of the most despicable of people and not as an honest man who was giving forthright responses treating the Senators with respect. His appointment had been strongly opposed by many Democrats, who cited allegations that Mr. Bolton was a “serial bully” who intimidated junior members of staff. To translate that from political partisan jargon to regular language, they were upset that he had strong convictions with which they did not agree and thus felt threatened by his certainty in his views which challenged their certainty in their certainty. Finally John Bolton has been placed into a position where he will not be stymied by Senate partisanship or the fears of weak and insecure individuals and allowed to serve the country he loves. There can be no doubt of that love as he has shown it with sincerity and honesty in answering freely any and all question on the political, national and international landscapes without hesitation and in the most simple and understandable language.

 

Now he will need to be more guarded as his advice just became the property of the President. He has been given the vitally important job of advising President Trump including giving him alternatives and even more important, all the information, applicable histories and every angle for potential consideration. What many may not fully understand is that John Bolton will not be making the decisions unless President Trump allows such. John Bolton will only be providing the background and different choices allowing President Trump to make the most informed decisions with all of the foreseeable consequences laid out before he actually makes the actual choice. Of course we are at the leading edge of what will be a tsunami of frightening predictions of the United States solving problems with bombs, rockets, troops, military interference and leaving negotiations for the other people and how Bolton will be bringing the world to an end in a nuclear conflagration likely started by John Bolton. At least there may be some who will now believe that President Trump is the more rational when compared to John Bolton though do not hold your breath waiting for this. Imagine that, President Trump may have found somebody whose ideas and decision-making ability might be more questionable for the far left with John Bolton.

 

Donald Trump and John Bolton

Donald Trump and John Bolton

 

We can guarantee that there will be fireworks and we can hardly wait for the initial reaction to Mr. Bolton’s nomination from the administration’s and President Trump’s number one impeachment fan, Maxine Waters. We should be able to construct a range of reactions from our leftist friends from quiet acceptance to reasoned criticism to lose the mind crazy to Maxine Waters at the top of the crazy department. The other scorecard people might want to keep is how many times particular phrases are used by those in sheer panic over the choice of John Bolton as National Security Advisor. We will suggest a few choice terms for your counting pleasure. There will be World War III, nuclear holocaust, warmonger, right wing extremist, war hawk, fascist and of course Nazi. Eventually there comes the commentary which will include secondary terms which will include Islamophobe, racist, anti-Palestinian, pro-Israel, anti-Russia, anti-China and uncompromising extremist. The eruption over Bolton’s appointment should take about three weeks to settle down to a mere roiling boil on social media as Bolton will be just as criticized as President Trump is criticized. There will be second-guessing as to whether unpopular policy choices, especially in foreign policy, are the result of Trump being Trump or Trump being controlled by Bolton and the real fun will be when those accusations split evenly between commentators.

 

This may prove to be a very good choice by President Trump because John Bolton will give advice which will be free of any taint and will be lacking hesitation as John Bolton is one of those who is very well versed in the security situation and will digest the additional information which he will have the privilege of perusing over the next few weeks as he settles in. The President has chosen an advisor in Bolton who is not swayed by any passing breezes and can resist the entanglements which Washington D.C. presents. John Bolton will not be worried about his reputation or whether he is liked or even appreciated as long as the President is satisfies with his decisions and advice. This will very probably be an enjoyable relationship between President Trump and John Bolton as Bolton has the traits President Trump desires in his advisors, straight and honest advice backed with reasoned facts and alternatives ready and handy should the President demand such when not completely satisfied with the first information or simply checking out his options. Bolton is intelligent and straight talking people of integrity though do not expect such praise to come from most of the mainstream media who will be seeking anything they can use to bring Bolton down low. The only advice we might have for John Bolton is to staff his office with people who are much like himself and people whose integrity he can vouch for personally as he will only be as good as his own advisors and researchers. All we can say now is let the histrionics begin.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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