Beyond the Cusp

August 26, 2016

The Potentially Unavoidable Apocalypse

 

There is a coming apocalyptic war which will spill throughout Europe into the Middle East and may result at some point to one side using nuclear weapons should that option become available and there is no reason to believe it would not as making a nuclear weapon in modern times is just a few steps higher than making a weapon with normal high explosives. Thermonuclear weapons might require a small cadre of dedicated physicists but a nuclear device such as the ones used against Japan are within the ability of many intelligent high school graduates as their construction is available on the internet for any enterprising individual to research. The difficulty, if there is one, is gathering the fissile materials; from there it is a simple matter of machining and choosing your designs. This is a horrible truth to place over the heads of millions of innocents who will pay dearly when the coming war enters its main and determinative battle phase. Imagine the war in Syria and spread it over the better part of three continents and potentially throughout the entirety of the globe with few exceptions. Add in a final set of battles using nuclear weapons, initially the fifteen to twenty-five kilotons and soon after breaking into megatons and thermonuclear weapons such as the type held by major nuclear powers and available to any nations willing to put the necessary effort into their production and there easily could be some non-State factions such as the Muslim Brotherhood or neo-Nazi supremacists who have sufficient resources, talent and safe areas of operations that they also could produce such weapons once they gain access to the necessary materials. Before such a calamity reaches the doorsteps of our lives we need to ask where this war could begin.

 

The sparking point could be simply anywhere in Europe and it will not begin with any nation as much as a civil war started by the populations themselves. The triggering point would be a massive multi-city coordinated terrorist event where the people in the stricken localities start a war with the claimed intent of vindicating those murdered in the terror attack. Such an event could start the spiral into a more general war with many people caught in the crossfire similarly to what happened in Syria except this would have spread across Europe city by city until it involved national armies breaking from their officers and stepping in to assist the people, or at least that was their intention. Once tanks start to roll on the streets the civil unrest would enter a completely different phase which would snowball until it became another war starting in Europe but this will range far outside of Europe. Many of the terror enterprises are loosely interwoven and could respond to the escalation taking over the military hardware and troops of sympathetic or easily toppled rulers in order to gain the use of military weapons. This could soon spread in such a manner as to include many European state actors pulled into a conflict which would be quickly getting completely beyond the control of normal safeguards as both societies begin to call for the saving of their way of life, their freedoms and the customs and other particulars they hold dear and are comfortably familiar with. Once it becomes nation against nation it will then call upon like-minded or treaty bound allies into the fray and from there it does not stop easily. People discount such events leading to such a conflagration but as they have not studied history they are not aware on what simple actions have dragged humanity into costly and often destabilizing conflicts. Take the second most costly war in history, World War I. This war began with the assassination of a royal family head, the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo by Achille Beltrame as the Archduke and his wife were shot while riding in their car after taking a wrong turn. The real attempt to assassinate Archduke Francis Ferdinand had been set along his scheduled route but a sympathizer saw him passing his location and took advantage of the opportunity believing he was serving his oppressed people and never expecting the horrors of World War I to come as a result of a few bullets into one world leader and his wife. The people called for revenge and soon thereafter it got beyond any local conflict and the entire globe even to include Japan were honoring treaties or simply choosing one side or the other. World War I was more about honoring treaties than revenge for an assassination and that is what is frightening about the world today.

 

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg top left: in Car Immediately Before Assassination, Top Right Lying in State bottom picture Pictured with their Children Official Portrait

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg
top left: in Car Immediately Before Assassination, Top Right Lying in State
bottom picture Pictured with their Children Official Portrait

 

Mutual defense treaties which require entire groups of nations to jump into a conflict once a member demands assistance exist and NATO is simply one such treaty. NATO, as an example, could be called to assist any member state who has become embroiled in a conflict which they feel they might require greater assistance. NATO had an interesting set of members of which Turkey is one of the longstanding members due to their strategic control of the Bosphorus Straights which control access from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and from there the Atlantic Ocean and the world. These narrow waterways were essential for Russia to deploy her ships and thus the NATO powers bribed and forced Turkey into NATO in case there became a time when the West would desire to blockade the Russian Black Sea fleet from gaining access to the Mediterranean Sea. It really is that simple and Turkey just sent tanks into Syria. The picture of how an intervention can be conducted under the idea, which is obvious when one looks at the bombings in Turkey, which violent attacks originate from the terror groups within Syria who are adversarial to Turkey and their government and President Erdogan in particular. What would be the ramifications should Turkey’s President Erdogan be assassinated or an attempt was made on his life but failed only grievously wounding him but leaving him to survive. By the time he came out of surgery which saved his life the war could have already been started and Turkish jets bombing targets in Syria, specifically the western holdout areas of the Alawites and Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad. It is also the base for the Russian fleet in Latakia, Syria. We may remember the near tipping point reached when a single Russian fighter jet was shot from the skies over Turkey, or at least seemingly over Turkey as it was attacking within Syria and these fast aircraft have large turning radii. Now imagine an airstrike which missed the Syria barracks in Latakia and instead struck the Russian docs sinking two Russian warships and killing fifty or a hundred Russian sailors. How long before Putin declares war on Turkey who then calls in their NATO marker and instant World War as Russia too has such agreements with the likes of China, Iran, some Arab League nations and other eastern Asian nations. The Arab League would necessarily side with Russia believing that Turkey would be incapable of standing against such forces and not figuring on Europe and the United States and Anglosphere nations backing Turkey. Doubtful such will happen, but there was a presumed coup in Turkey recently and that could have turned out much different if it had been a serious coup threatening the governance.

 

One item that bears keeping in mind, wars seldom start where or how we expect them to. They start with a relatively insignificant shot from one rifle or crossbow or a sword placed within some leader of a following religiously, politically, or even a cause. The Arab Spring, or Arab Winter as we had predicted, began with one vegetable hawker committing suicide in protest of unfair taxes and laws and self-immolating and Tunisia exploded followed by Egypt and down the row of dominoes giving us Syria and also Libya thanks to some overactive interventions from far away in Washington D.C. and someone leading from behind and an overanxious Secretary of State seeking another feather for a Presidential run seeing and grasping what appeared to be a golden opportunity for nation building. Somewhere in these plans things unraveled and we have a dysfunctional Libya with warring tribes and terrorist entities. It, like Syria, is an open hotbed and perfect location for a terrorist group such as the Islamic State to manufacture the bombs of their choosing. One has to figure that at some point the Islamic State has come into weapons such as nerve gas or even radiological materials of weapons grade uranium. One can only guess what their true capabilities might include. Once a nuclear device has been manufactured, it would easily be deliverable to anywhere in Europe including Great Britain. It could be built and concealed inside a cement truck and hidden under a load of dried cement resulting from a traffic holdup which allowed the load to set in the truck. Who would chip away at half a ton or more of cement to inspect the vehicle and once inside Turkey it could easily transverse the entirety of Europe taking it to any European capital city or large metropolitan area for a nuclear terror attack. What comes after such an attack? Yep, there is no telling but it would not be good, that much we can count upon.

 

Riots can spread and become to have a life of their own and who knows where such could lead. Terrorism can spark unrest which could easily get out of hand. Ultra-nationalist right wing parties are gaining strength throughout Europe and these parties preach an active approach to what they term is an invasion, and who knows for sure, they could be right. Can anyone tell me the results of passing a law to expunge a nation of all non-citizens referring to them as a risk and a threat which the country no longer believes they can allow? Should one incident get out of control with some troops opening fire on unarmed civilians which they are gathering for deportation under the auspices of the new citizens’ only laws, what would come next? Once one nation cleans their population of all foreign noncitizens and shipped them over the border to the next location? Where would this lead once the majority of a continent has cleansed themselves of everyone who is not just like their pure racial idea of their country and there are a few million dispossessed people, what happens to what is now an enraged army of people? Currently the Middle East and Northern Africa are roiling points and Europe is not that far from exploding into riots and other uncontrolled violence any one of which could result in some very undesirable turns of events leading to greater areas of violence stopping who knows where assuming they stop at all. The world at present is a powder keg and it would not take much to light the fuse, assuming it has not already been lit.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

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December 16, 2015

The Meeting of Futility in Paris

 

One might expect a meeting of about two-hundred nations in Paris, not that long following the horrific terror attacks in Paris, to at least give a moment of silence or other recognition of the deaths of innocents; but their subject was far too serious to waste time on terrorism. There is a planet almost in flames to save! They had to discuss how the developed world could cut their human induced emissions and save the world from disaster while assisting the developing world in the only way that the developed world is capable. They will not be helping them with technology for clean energy production, nor with scrubbing technology to use with any fossil fuel burning in their smokestacks cleaning exhaust smoke lowering their emissions, nor manufacturing systems which are more efficient in their use of electricity or other power; they instead are to produce funding to provide each developing nation with one-hundred-million-dollars per nation and in return the developing nations promise to spend that infusion of cash. One might expect that there would be some demand that this infusion of funds would be used for the development of clean energy, but you would be mistaken. One might expect that the funds would be used for the betterment of the lives of their people, but you would be mistaken. One might expect that the funds would be used for the increase of yields through irrigation or other agricultural technology, but you would be mistaken. One might expect that the funds would be used for the more efficient use of natural resources, but you would be mistaken. One might expect that the funds would be used for the relief of the abject poverty through modernization of manufacturing, but you would be mistaken. So what are the restrictions on this funding, only that the developed nations make sure they pony-up the funds as demanded and the recipients need not even account for the use of these funds.

 

 

world map relative descriptors by wealth and development

 

 

What was the one most interesting event of the entire Paris United Nations Conference on Climate Change was United States Secretary of State Kerry actually saying something, probably without thinking it through, which was as profound as it was honest and thus unexpected from Secretary Kerry when he commented, “…The fact is that even if every American citizen biked to work, carpooled to school, used only solar panels to power their homes, if we each planted a dozen trees, if we somehow eliminated all of our domestic greenhouse gas emissions, guess what, that still wouldn’t be enough to offset the carbon pollution coming from the rest of the world.” Secretary Kerry continued being both brilliant, straight shooting and painfully honest as he added, “If all the industrial nations went down to zero emissions, remember what I just said, all the industrial emissions went down to zero emissions, it wouldn’t be enough, not when more than 65 percent of the world’s carbon pollution comes from the developing world.” The United States may need to find a new Secretary of States as Secretary Kerry appears to have been stricken with an extended period of conscience making him insightful and incapable of making the necessary lies required by the position as proven by his comments until this past week of weakness and which Secretary of State Clinton made a requirement of the position as most of President Obama appointees have been required to perform at presenting lies with a straight face and an earnestness when telling lies that only a psychopath could match. Should Secretary Kerry utter another truth or even a truism, he may be seeking new employment by Sunday.

 

So, once again the results of a climate conference sponsored by the United Nations, also known as the pilfer from the wealthy top fifteen percenters and give to the eighty-five percent around the world, lived up to its name in spades. In numbers of actual nations there are approximately three to one developing nations against developed nations or one-hundred-fifty developing nations against fifty developed nations. This means that every developed nation will be held to pay somewhere around one-third (1/3) of a million dollars such that the remaining one-hundred and fifty developing nations will receive their one-hundred-million dollars each year with no requirements being placed on the levels of pollutants produced by these nations and no restrictions on how the funds are to be used which in too many of the developing nations these monies will simply be squandered by the elitist few closest to the dictator du jour. This is simply another Obama approved giveaway of United States treasury as it will prop up a few unsavory strong arming fascists, and other dictators and Presidents for life to which the United States would never desire or willingly send funding to without some ability for tracing the usage and placing restriction upon which future monies may be denied as there is no use throwing good money after bad as things are not likely to improve until the form of governance is far less corrupt. All that was accomplished at the Paris sponsored United Nations Conference on Climate Change was for the Obama groups and again managing for the one-hundred fifty nations to out vote the fifty developed nations demanding that they contribute to a large fund which will be paid out by the developed nations and paid out to the developing nations with no stated purpose as the developing nations balked at even the mention of placing any restriction of the monies they were to receive.

 

This is the reality of climate change, the advanced world will be forced to make payments to the developing nations and so that eventually these developing nations will bankrupt the developed world’s nations simply by taking that funding which could have provided so much and so many remedies for the people, benefits which would have boosted the economies of these nations getting them off the ground and potentially into space but instead most of these funds will be squandered needlessly and the people of these nations will continue to suffer. The reason their suffering will continue is as simple to see as to why once people were placed on Welfare and all the accompanying programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, and a host of other programs to care for their every need often better than many of those paying for their care received from their employers. When people towards the lower end of the tax scale heard from their neighbors the advantages to not producing and simply living off the government, they joined the ranks of the nonproductive. This, of course, eventually forced the producers to act as it was getting more difficult for them to support the unproductive. In this case there is one difference, once one is rated as a developed nation it is all but impossible to become an undeveloped nation and, as such, there is no going the opposite way, once a developed nation, always a developed nation. The undeveloped nations will actually become very protective of their status as it pays the leaders very well and as the unproductive nations also happen to hold majority status amongst the nations in the United Nations, they control these empowered organizations such as the climate control, industrial development funding and any other tag they can assign themselves which requires the developed world to give largess in funding to the undeveloped but developing world in order to assist them in becoming a developed nation. Of course no nation from the undeveloped world ever crosses the threshold and becomes a developed nation, and they see to it that not even Greece can become an undeveloped nation though they have given it a good go and are now being treated by the European Union as if they had succeeded. Once a nation goes on the dole from its more economically productive neighbors it will never manage to make its way to productive as it will no longer be paid for their lack of efforts. Success is guaranteed to never occur because then they would be tapped to pay their former friendly nations who turned on them as soon as they were capable of paying them which meant more for them and too bad for the unlucky nation which succeeded. Imagine this, welfare at the United Nations representing a perfect model for why larger and larger segments of the developed world’s populations end up on government support rolls each year and the number of workers supporting those payments shrinks and may soon fall below two workers per recipient which is probably when a revolt by the working will take place as for them it will become easier to be unproductive and soon you have the fifteen percent supporting the eighty-five percent just as it is with the nations at the United Nations. Once the unproductive can force the productive to support them and also make it impossible for a producer to become a nonproducer, then you have the slavery of the working class, or as the United Nations is calling it, support of the underprivileged world which just cannot seem, no matter how much funding they receive and they are constantly voting for more, more, more yet never showing any progress towards joining the developed world, imagine that if you will. The secret will be to watch the nations described as “in transition” to see how many, if any, make it into the classification of developed world and I am betting except for those in Europe, none of the rest will ever quite make that transition willingly.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 17, 2015

A World Without America Revealed Through President Obama

 

I hope all those people throughout the world who complained for years how the United States was behind all the strife and warfare in the world are happy and are enjoying a world more to their liking. They claimed that wherever there was war, wherever there was trouble, wherever the world was falling apart, there you would find America and that was because America was the cause of what was wrong with the world. For the last six year we have had a world where America did not answer the alarm, did not take the lead, did not come when trouble settled in and made life impossible and the world started to unravel. President Obama called it “Leading from behind.” What he meant was that America would not answer the call unless others took the lead role. Did you notice any difference? We have.

 

The first difference was that even with America holding back she was amongst the first to show up with supplies and manpower whenever the problem was so large that it could not be ignored. Such as the 2011 Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown or the 2010 Haiti earthquake where the United States was either the first or second nation to be there and set up health care and other hospital services as well as search and rescue and virtually anything else which was required to help. Fortunately for the world the United States was still there in the lead when natural disasters struck. But for what President Obama referred to as “Manmade disasters,” the United States held her hand and waited for somebody else to rush in and for a special invitation before doing anything. The United States was not going to rush all over the globe putting out fires and responding to every emergency leaving the world to face its own problems, especially when the world as a force of nature was not the cause, we the human beings were the cause. Look around and see if this is the kind of world you want, the kind of world you desire. Probably the best example of what a world without America will become is plainly evidenced by ISIS which has metastasized and like a cancer has spread well beyond merely infecting much of Syria and Iraq and now spreading across Northern Africa, especially in dysfunctional Libya and now having Boko Haram claiming fealty to ISIS has now started to spread its terrorist claws beyond Nigeria and into Cameroon, Chad and beyond. The Islamist terrorist who struck the Paris kosher deli Hyper Cacher claimed to have ties to ISIS and there have been signs that ISIS has begun to infiltrate Gaza, Judea and Samaria with plans on replacing Hamas and Fatah and taking over the terror war with Israel. The fight against ISIS has really displayed the problem of a world where the United States does not take the lead.

 

The United States was still the first responder but just not as active as in the past as she was only willing to supply some of the air cover and air strikes aimed at supporting the Kurds and Iraqi military and in gathering a coalition, something the United States demanded be done before she would even join in giving air support missions. What is missing is having the United States supply the lion’s share of the fighting forces. Now in facing off against the threat of ISIS we have the entire world, especially those in the crosshairs of ISIS such as Saudi Arabia all waiting for the United States to provide troops on the ground before they will even consider sending their forces to fight. Instead they stand poised to defend their land should ISIS come knocking at their border but are loathe to fight ISIS where they are instead of waiting for ISIS to threaten their lands and people. What is wrong with such a strategy? Well, first off that means you will wait until ISIS feels they have the forces to take you on, on your own soil. That means allowing ISIS to grow in strength, numbers, equipment and training all before you take a stand and even then you wait for their assault, never would you go and strike them where they live, just as long as they do not invade your home. The exception thus far being Jordan, who is responding to the brutal and inhumane execution of their pilot by burning him alive in a steel cage by ramping up their air attacks against ISIS and is considering placing forces in the field to fight ISIS and destroy them. The United States President has promised to weaken ISIS and degrade their abilities and eventually weaken them to the point that the forces against ISIS will have the upper hand and will vanquish them. The notable part is the lack of American forces on the ground for any part of this conflict; the world is on its own.

 

There is more to this new order in the world that should frighten the average citizen who lives anywhere in the world where the norm had been the United States taking the lead and doing that which needed to be done, that world may have passed on by forever going forward. The United States has her own difficulties of which supporting an army spread throughout the globe and fighting in every theater even those which do not make the daily news has passed. Facing a monumental debt which can no longer be ignored and must be trimmed down, even if at the cost of a military force capable of being the world’s policeman thus the United States may be facing become more like the European nations and guarding their closest interests and hoping the other problems remain far from her shores. There is no new sheriff and the old sheriff has handed in his badge and retired, or at least taken a long holiday. For at least the next two years the world is going to have to find its own way and hold off the bad guys all by themselves. And to make matters worse, the next President of the United States might have a similar view of riding to the aid of every last cry for help as too high a price or even not America’s problem. There are Republicans as well as Democrats who feel the world will just have to get along without the United States to lean upon for support every time an ill wind blows by. Rand Paul is a noninterventionist and we know very little about Hillary Clinton or Senator Elizabeth Warren when it comes to foreign policy though we know that Hillary Clinton is more proactive than President Obama has been, though that should not be taken as too much comfort and almost anything would be more proactive than lead from behind Obama. We very well may have seen the end of Pax Americana and be entering a new phase for the world, the world beyond American interventions, so how do you like that idea?

 

We foresee some real problems and difficulties as should the United States step down from the role of leader of the free world, then who does the free world turn to to take up the role? It might be possible that the most outspoken leader of a Western power might be Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada. But this role is not a normative role and Canada will be getting a new Prime Minister in the upcoming elections, or at least that is what the pundits have predicted. We probably should not look to Canada to become the new leading nation with troops spread all over the globe in a leading role of protecting the realm from all harms. Canada has paid an outstanding role as best ally and we will put our shoulders to the stone along with the rest of the world and even be one of the leaders to speak up, but act as the savior of the world, probably not. Then there’s Britannia which once ruled the waves, but perhaps her last stand was her holding out against the Nazi assaults long enough to provide the United States with a jumping off point in the war in Europe during the last world gone mad war known as World War II. Even in that war the British relied upon every ship, boat, raft and rubber dingy to retrieve her embattled troops from Dunkirk in what became known as the Mosquito Armada and which very likely saved the war for the British as they could have lost the better part of their military had they not been pulled off by an armada which included far more civilian craft than anything else. For those needing reference, May 27 through June 4, 1940, the “Mosquito Armada” had managed to evacuate 338,226 allied troops while leaving almost all of their equipment abandoned on the beaches at Dunkirk. For more reading this is a good reference on what was officially referred to as Operation Dynamo. I guess we might look to either the European Union (EU) or possibly the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) though the latter often was simply another term for the United States. We could look to the United Nations (UN) though I have my reservations about troops wearing baby-blue helmets operating in an actual war zone as they would more likely make grand targets more than anything else. Apparently there is no ready and capable replacement for the role the United States has played for approaching a century, some might say since she entered World War I breaking the standoff which had raged for years with horrific tolls on both sides, tolls which were exceeded in World War II which makes any prospect of a World War III one of the most frightening prospects of all times.

 

So where does the world go if the United States has retired from their role of Guardian of the Realm, so to speak. Obviously there is no other Guardian of the Realm ready to step forward and the major coordinated alliances such as NATO, EU, UN, SEATO or the Anglo Alliance (English Speaking Nations of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain, and United States) which is an unofficial alliance of convenience made by speaking a similar language, many have noted the subtle differences and as was said by Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, or George Bernard Shaw depending on your preferences, “The United States and Britain are two nations separated by a common language.” The one thing which can be noted is that only one of the above entities is presumed to be empowered to settle any world problems which are brought before it, the UN. The EU and Anglo Alliance are more referred to as trade alliances which set up favorable treatment between nations for trade and commerce. SEATO and NATO have remained but is a treaty reliant on the powers of the United States largely and might still have sufficient bite as the United States is bound by treaty to come to these nations’ aid when called upon and theoretically this come to the aid part also presumably works in the opposite direction should the United States need assistance and saving from an attack on her shores. That brings us back to the United Nations and all one need ask is does anybody out there honestly believe the United Nations can be counted on to save the day? Us neither.

 

That returns everything to square one. Obviously the United States filled some massively large shoes which no other nation or group of nations seem able to or even willing to give it a go. That obviously means that the world is going to have to find some new way of opposing the ills which plague it from time to time and pray the United States gets out of bed after her slumber and puts on those unimaginably huge shoes and returns to guarding the gates against the barbarians and miscreants. In the meantime, the rest of the world will, by necessity, need to gird their collective loins and go forth and slay the trolls and ogres which threaten the peace and security of the nations of the world just in case the world is going to need to hold its own for the time being. The United States actually may have exhausted herself by the overextending its forces between Iraq and Afghanistan and need time to recuperate and renew her military. There is a chance that renewal of the American military might not be possible and the United States be relegated to playing just a supportive role and not take the fore on every charge going forward. I realize that is a sobering thought but it is a thought we must face just in case it becomes the reality with which we all must live. We may be facing not just a world without America but a future without America and that is the scariest thought of them all. This all depends on the next Presidential election and of all the candidates who have been discussed, not a one has what is needed if the United States is to raise back to her former glory and fulfill the role of Guardian of the Realm. There is one person we can recommend but alas they are not actually a politician, something which might be a recommendation for the next person to be President of the United States. Perhaps we should say the name but prudence says to remain quiet and hope his conscience wakens him to the call to come and repair what needs repair so that the world can once again depend on the United States to rescue those in need of rescue in times of peril. Without that hope the perils will only grow exponentially. One thing we learned, Hope and Change was not exactly what most of us thought it was and now we simply hope for a change back to the United States we once knew and often criticized and detested publically for her overbearance and brazen chutzpah, but now we have had our eyes forced open wide and glimpsed a view of a world without America, and do we like what we see, we do not and believe the vast majority agree with that view. Should the sleeping giant reawaken and return to that ever so difficult role, we must remember these times without America and welcome her lead rather than detest her greatness as her greatness is the world’s hope and we do not want that to change.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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