Beyond the Cusp

June 25, 2018

Middle East Reality Strikes President Trump

 

President Trump has yet to figure out the single most important truth about the Middle East. If you are unsure what this truth is, do not feel bad as none of the Presidents since President Truman have figured it out either and even President Truman and those before him back to President Jefferson did not figure it out either. Truth be told, President Jefferson was the sole President to figure out the Middle East equation, an equation which has not altered a single iota since then. The other problem is most people in this era have little memory or ever had knowledge of history, even the history of their own nation. This is true of Americans and apparently all too true of far too many modern Jews despite the center of our faith being remembering our past and celebrating that past where such is called for and mourn those happenings which can only be commemorated while not appropriate for celebration. The claim that Jews spend an inordinate amount of time and energy commemorating the past is true and will continue to be true as it is our past, which sets us apart and our very beginnings, which define our faith and our existence today. That is a truth about Judaism and why Israel, this little slice of land which is less than one-fourth of one percent of the lands in the Muslim world usually defined as the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa), is of such paramount importance to the Jewish People even in this modern era. But this is about President Trump and the problem his “Deal of the Century” faces as it has just run headfirst into the difficulty of the Middle East.

 

Presidents Jefferson, Truman and Trump

Presidents Jefferson, Truman and Trump

 

President Trump has based his “Deal of the Century” on replacing the implacable PLO or Palestinian Authority with Jordan, Egypt or possibly even Saudi Arabia. The easiest one of these nations to rule out is Saudi Arabia. President Bush who was a great friend of the Saudi Royal Family approached them for assistance in finding a solution during his administration. Instead of coming rushing to his aid, they simply took some time and met with other leaders of the Arab League and other Arab nations and eventually produced the Saudi Plan. The plan is also called the Arab Plan and is not very much different from the previous demands. Like every other proposed plan, this one also demands the pre-June 1967 lines, also known as the Green Line, completely erasing the losses from the Six Day War and resetting the area back to the borders which the Arab world found so inviting for destroying Israel that they simply had to attack. This is the initial demand, basically demanding a do-over for the Six Day War. Then it demands that there be a satisfactory solution be found for the Palestinian refugee problem. This is another standard where it is demanded that Israel accept anywhere from five to eight million Arab refugees and grant them their rightful citizenship in Israel transforming Israel into another Muslim majority nation which after the next election will soon star to destroy the Jewish population if any Jews wait that long before fleeing for their lives. Their claim is that since Israel is a democratic nation which provides for religious freedom, what complaint can the Israelis have in accepting these refugees? The problem is we have seen what happens to a nation once the Muslims become the majority by looking north to what had been predominantly Christian Lebanon which is now ruled by Hezballah which is armed and threatening to destroy Israel. The promise to Israel was should they accept this deal the Muslim Arab nations would consider recognizing and normalizing relations with Israel. Many people love to claim they promised to accept and have normal relations with Israel which is untrue, they only promised to think about doing such. Our bet is they would wait until Israel became yet another Arab Muslim nation before changing anything. The entirety of the Saudi Plan would be unacceptable but oddly enough, it was rejected by Yasser Arafat before it was presented as a plan to Israel.

 

That was the grand deal from Saudi Arabia and we are willing to bet that even the new leader, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, would not bring that big of a change, especially this early in his rule. His immediate plans are apparently domestic though he is not about to completely ignore the outside world. Prince Mohammed bin Salman will definitely watch the Saudi Arabian nemesis, Iran, and watch them closely. Israel is a problem which he does not require and as much as he probably would love to befriend President Trump, there are some requests which would be one too far. Prince Mohammed bin Salman might be willing to place the agreement of Saudi Arabia to any plan which proves acceptable to the Arab League and the rest of the Arab World as well as the Palestinian Arab leadership. That is where the knot of the problem sits.

 

Looking to Egypt and a year ago, that might have been a possibility but President Sisi is not sitting in as strong a position and much of his efforts will be to assure that he remains President of Egypt even if elections have to be massaged. His is an easy problem to define, and it is defined Muslim Brotherhood. Yes, he outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, but being outlawed and being expunged from the Egyptian population are two very different things. Much of the rural and poor population in Egypt receives assistance from Muslim Brotherhood Imams and officials and with the food, you win their support. It is a political equation as old as politics and probably older. President Sisi has also been in a running struggle with the Imams at Al-Azhar University in his effort to modernize Islam and turn them from their absolutist beliefs and bring Islam back from the precipice which abrogation placed them. President Sisi is attempting to end the insistence of domination over all other religions and the inevitability for conquest of the world bringing all to worship only Allah and allow for Islam to become a modernist religion where it will find a path for accommodating a plurality of religion and for the existence of lands which are not ruled by Muslims. Sisi is fighting fourteen-hundred years of history coming from the initial Caliphate and continuing through the Ottoman Empire. Should he fail, then Islam will continue on its path of confrontation and attempts at conquest continuing from time to time until they finally either conquer the world and bring all to Islam or are eradicated by a world no longer willing to accept their consistent resorting to confrontations. So, Egypt is out.

 

This leaves Jordan. President Trump has first placed his hopes with Jordan. Just this past week Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu visited King Abdullah in Amman, Jordan. Probably the easiest and most informative means of taking measure of their meeting would be to quote their statements which they released after their talks. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response was given in an official Press Release stating, “Prime Minister Netanyahu and King Abdullah of Jordan met today in Amman. The King and the Prime Minister discussed regional developments, advancing the peace process and bilateral relations. Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s commitment to maintaining the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem.” You have to love the conciseness of his emotionless, flat statement completely devoid of emotion.

 

King Abdullah was far more expressive in his communique. His statement came as follows (We initially tried to go to the link but found it nonfunctional. The article we relied upon for the King’s response can be read here),

 

“His Majesty King Abdullah, at a meeting on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who departed Jordan after a short visit, stressed the need to make progress in efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution and in accordance with international law, relevant UN resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative.
“King Abdullah reaffirmed that the only way to achieve peace and stability in the region is by reaching a two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace and security.”
“The King affirmed that Jordan will continue upholding its historical role in safeguarding Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, in accordance with the Hashemite Custodianship.”

 

There are two items worth note, the first being the inclusion of safeguarding Christian holy sites with no reference to Jewish sites. The inclusion of Christian is taking additional right to having the right for control beyond the original agreed upon Islamic sites thus insisting on Jordan now having responsibility for all of the Temple Mount according to the King and further claiming that there is no holiness to Jews of the Temple Mount. This is a step towards preventing Jews from having access to the Temple Mount and a step backwards from recent events. The problem of the Temple Mount will likely now only start to escalate if Jordan decides to press the exclusion of Jews from the Temple Mount and, if the King follows the extremist views of the Palestinian Authority, denial of use of the plaza before the Western Wall, which Abbas has claimed is holy only to Islam. This path would lead to a direct confrontation testing relations between Israel and Jordan, a relationship which has grown colder on recent times.

 

The second issue is King Abdullah was simply restating the unresponsive position which Mahmoud Abbas and also Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Arab position since 1917 when the British declared their intent for a Jewish State with the Balfour Declaration and again throughout the following San Remo Conference, Treaty of Serves, the Mandate System, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 and finally the Declaration of the independence of the State of Israel in May of 1948. What he stated was that Jordan would demand that there be a Palestinian Arab state formed along the pre-Six Day War Green Line including eastern Jerusalem and the provisions of the Arab Initiative as described above includes the imposing of five to eight million Arab refugees into Israel making it another Arab Muslim nation as soon as elections would be held.

 

So, what is it that President Trump has run into? He has struck what we would refer to as the Islamic Brick Wall. President Jefferson figured it out as the Barbary Pirates demanded more and more protection payments and whenever the United States resisted returned to taking sailors from American ships until the payments were made. He also had heard it from the Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman in London representing the Dey of Algiers who controlled the Barbary Pirates. Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja had answered that Islam, “It was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

 

Islam is a religion of conquest founded on beliefs which coalesced in the first hundred and fifty to two hundred years where abrogation placed the parts of the Quran written in Medina which contradicted the Mecca verses as abrogating the earlier verses. Egypt President Sisi is one of the most public persons who have called for abrogation to be reversed and the Mecca Quran, the original writings of Muhammad, as having primacy. Until Islam, if ever they should, follows the desires of President Sisi and his fellow patrons for amending the precedence of the later verses allowing the multicultural and more open Mecca verses guide modern Islam, there cannot be surrender of any lands by Islamic nations. This means that Israel, as well as Spain (Andalusia), must be erased and the lands returned to Islamic rule. Further, Muslims are to be pledged to forging a world where only Allah is worshiped and Islam is the sole religion. This is why Islamic nations strive to eradicate all other religions within their borders. This is also why Israel is the only nation in the Middle East where the Christian population is increasing. Saudi Arabia has places where no non-Muslim is permitted to tread, and by places, we mean entire cities such as both Mecca and Medina. Further, it is illegal and punishable by death to be a follower of Judaism, Christianity or religion other than Islam in Saudi Arabia. The supremacy of Islam is so defined that it even reaches to the point that one must practice the correct form of Islam thus the enmity between the Sunni and Shiite Muslims and Saudi Arabia and Iran, each the preeminent nation of each form of Islam. Iran has already made it clear that their intent is world conquest starting with Saudi Arabia and then on to Israel and the United States. The Saudi Arabians are more passive as Sunni Islam includes at least 85% of all Muslims with almost the entirety of the rest being Shiites. Either way, Islam, both Sunni and Shiite with Shiite being the more active currently, live by the concept of the sword, thus it matters little to the world which one is dominant, they will both eventually attempt to dominate. What is possibly a saving grace is that many in Islam pledge to make their founding school of Islam the dominant form which is part of why there are as many Islam-Islam wars. Below is a map of the numerous separate founders of the various forms of Islam. One can notice that Iran, Iraq, Qatar and Bahrain are the most populated Shiite Islamic centers while most of the rest of Islam belongs to some form of Sunni Islam.

 

The main Islamic madh'habs (schools of law) of Muslim countries or distributions

The main Islamic madh’habs (schools of law) of Muslim countries or distributions

 

Both forms of Islam hold Mecca and Medina as their most holy cities and none outside those speaking about Israel believe, and not even those speaking of Israel, that Jerusalem is the third most holy city in Islam. In Shiite Islam after Mecca and Medina they are Najaf, Karbala, Kathemiya, Samara, Mash’had and Qom are the next most holy cities. In Sunni Islam Mecca and Medina, they are Istanbul, Cairo, Kufa and Karbala. Oddly enough, Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran as Muhammad removed any reference to Jerusalem after the Jews refused him as their prophet. This happened even before he presented the Quran to be written down by a scribe, as Muhammad did not read or write. The reason that Jerusalem is noted today as the third most holy city is because it is the city which Islam desires to conquer, or reconqer, next. The honor of being the third most holy city has also been shared by Damascus, Constantinople, Rome, Paris, London and New York amongst others. It is all part of the promise from Allah that in the Quran states that Islam will rule the world and all will bend to Allah and his people.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 22, 2018

Iranian Nuclear War with Israel or the World

 

After reading Professor Louis René Beres’s article “Looking Ahead: Longer Term Prospects for an Israel-Iran Nuclear War” we found some additional aspects which were either dismissed or ignored. We decided that perhaps we could add some information by looking more closely at the Iranian perspectives and what these should mean to Israeli planners. The one item with which we took the most critical concern was his statement, “In essence, there are no conceivable experts on fighting a nuclear war, not in Washington, not in Pyongyang, not in Jerusalem, not in Tehran.” He also postulated that, “Insofar as a nuclear war has never been fought, what will be needed is more broadly intellectual guidance than Israel should ever reasonably expect from even its most senior and accomplished military officers.” The reality is that senior officers often have educations equal to that of many professors and their minds are just as keen and capable of any academic. We will grant that officers exist who are nowhere near the expert of some academics, but mostly those are junior officers and by the time an officer makes Full Bird Colonel they have at the least a Bachelor’s degree and probably a Master’s degree and many a General will have a Doctorate in at least one field from Military History to Mathematics, Physics and possibly Nuclear Physics. They will all have taken courses in Military Tactics, as even Noncommissioned officers are required to take such courses. They will have been required to take a number of command courses and often have attended some very rigorous military training courses which is how they get those impressive patches such as Ranger, Airborne and even Special Forces or Seals in the United States. So, to be honest, there are likely very few professors or other experts who would be better trained, educated and able to make the decisions and make plans to handle any threat including, or even especially, a nuclear standoff or even an actual nuclear exchange.

 

Professor Beres also said that there had never been a nuclear war, but that is technically not entirely valid as the War with Japan at the end of World War II was ended by the use of nuclear weapons which kind of means that the War with Japan did turn into the first, and thus far, only nuclear war. That was a completely one sided nuclear exchange as Japan had no nuclear weapons with which to respond which is what made the American use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki so effective. Fortunately, the Japanese did not know that the United States had used every nuclear weapon at their disposal and did not posses a third weapon. Had Japan tested the resolve of President Truman, the American’s next move was to build fifty additional nuclear weapons in the ensuing year and strike Japan with most of them in simultaneous strikes including Tokyo and a number of nuclear weapons into Mount Fuji in the hopes of causing a massive eruption. This was not much of a lesson for a nuclear standoff between two nuclear-armed adversaries. Such a standoff has limited lessons to teach us with only two which come to mind. The minor one has been the battle of the boasting idiots between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. Deciding which one is the larger idiot would be a difficult call but we would have to side with Kim Jong-un if he honestly believes he is a man-god and that his nation is as happy and well off as any other on the face of the planet. All he would need do is look southward to the Winter Olympics in South Korea to see that his nation is in dire shape and has some extreme problems. But then he knows this and this was what caused him to test President Trump and pressure the world with threats trying to force them to treat his temper tantrum by sending his beleaguered nation food and money. The more serious standoff between two nuclear powers was the Cuban Missile Crisis. This pitted the United States and President Kennedy against the USSR and Commissar Khrushchev. This standoff ended peaceably but not before nerves throughout the globe was frayed to the breaking point.

 

So, let us now look at what the future nuclear situation might be between Israel and Iran as well as Iran and the rest of the world. The first thing which can be stated, is, that Israel would not be the first to use nuclear weapons except in response to an attack using weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against Israel. Israel has made this their policy on nuclear weapons and their use such that they would only be used in response to a WMD attack. Now, such a nuclear response might be used on Iran if there were a massive WMD attack emanating from Syria or Hezballah which could be traced as being ordered by Iran. Should Iran launch a nuclear or other WMD attack on Israel then an Israeli nuclear response should be expected against Iran and for Israel to go on alert in case of an attack across the northern border from Hezballah or Syria. This covers every use of her nuclear weapons by Israel except for one rumored plan known as the Samson Option, used as the basis of “The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy,” a 1991 book by Seymour Hersh. The theory put forth presumably from an Israeli intelligence source who told of plans that should Israel be facing being overrun and destroyed by invading armies, then she would respond by launching her missiles at the main population centers of numerous Arab and Muslim nations which was hoped to prevent any attacks by Arab armies. The last organized assault on Israel by national military forces was the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, which was before Israel was assumed to have a nuclear arsenal. Since then the Arab world has not launched an assault on Israel using conventional forces and only through terror forces. There may be a question whether Hezballah, with there over one-hundred-thousand rockets and missiles could be considered to be a national type military force equating any attack by Hezballah into an attack by Lebanon and possibly their masters in Tehran thus including Iran? This is a conundrum for the heads of state and the military in Israel and we are not about to second-guess them and will wait for any announced policy. There has been some mention that should Hezballah attack Israel that Israel now considers Hezballah as being the governance of Lebanon and thus any attack by Hezballah would, at the least, be considered an attack by Lebanon.

 

This leaves Iran and what their leadership might be thinking about nuclear confrontations. It was reported by CNN on September 11, 2015, that the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said during a speech that week in Tehran, state-run media report, which translated as, “I’d say (to Israel) that they will not see (the end) of these 25 years.” That, in and of itself, is ominous enough to rattle nerves or it could be written off to bluster meant to impress the Iranian people. One thing people need to understand about the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is that his life revolves around the Quran and it is the Quran which provides him with his authority, gives him authority to make Iranian foreign policy decisions, and allows him great latitude concerning internal decision making within Iran. The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is all but unopposable when it comes to decision making and his word is as good as law. If the Supreme Leader were to order a nuclear attack on Israel, the missiles would be launched within minutes with almost nobody even thinking of questioning these orders. What is unknown is who, other than the Supreme Leader, is able to order such an attack. This is not as well known and there are suspicions that there are some military high level officers who might also be permitted to give such orders including the leader of the IRGC, the special forces and most fanatical of the Iranian military. These are also the forces responsible for foreign operations including terrorist attacks. For our concerns, we will limit our concerns to address just the possibility for the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordering a nuclear strike on Israel or on any other nation.

 

First, let us look at what logic might be used by the Ayatollah. He would be aware that the United States has extended their nuclear umbrella to Israel which would imply that any nuclear attack upon Israel would potentially result in the United States striking back at the attacker. Between Israel and the United States, there is little comparison between their nuclear capabilities as the United States has a far more capable nuclear capability. The first question is whether or not the United States truly would respond as promised to a nuclear strike on Israel. The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has witnessed a number of United States Presidents and has very probably noticed that the level of support Israel receives wavers from President to President, especially under the administration of President Obama. Thus, it is more likely that the Ayatollah would be more likely to consider taking any actions when the United States has a President who has shown preferably hostility to Israel or possibly only an indifference towards Israel and has pressured Israel over the ill-fated peace process. The real problem comes back to the one book which guides the Ayatollahs and much of the higher officers, especially those of the IRGC, which is the Quran. The one command from the Quran which has appeared again and again when it comes to relations towards Israel are two-fold, first, to kill the infidel wherever one finds them, and second, that the hour (end times) will not begin until you fight the Jews. The combination of these two concepts could lead to problems as the Iranian leading Imams and Ayatollahs have repeatedly proposed that Iran was chosen to bring on the coming of the Mahdi and the End Times. They have claimed that should they cause sufficient chaos and follow prescriptions written in the Quran, that they can cause the onset of the End Times and the coming of the Mahdi. This has often been stated to be solely the hope and ideas held by the Twelvers but some in politics have also adopted these ideas in order to gain greater acceptance by the ruling clerics. Many claim that Iran is not ruled by Twelvers though former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad brought this threat to a head and since then there have been more and more in the power structure who have been revealed as Twelvers. The prevalence of the Twelvers would make the leadership more aggressive which could be a problem, a definite problem.

 

Israel and Iran

Israel and Iran

 

What would possibly push a greater threat would be a Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah who came under some suspicions of impropriety or other weakness which might lead them to make a desperate grab at ending the rumors replacing them with a far greater news story. The Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah could be completely above all suspicion; but should the economic situations worsen leading to greater demonstrations and complete civil unrest and the regular military side with the people and the Ayatollahs believe they are losing control of the nation and may soon be deposed, then having nothing further to lose they might take equally desperate moves. Either threat could lead the Iranian leadership to throw everything they have in their arsenals at Israel and potentially also the United States. But no matter what the immediate future will bring, eventually the Ayatollahs will decide to use any weapons they have and in the not too distant future, that will mean nuclear weaponry. The Quran will eventually force the leadership who will be pressed by the IRGC commanders to press their revolution and Israel and Saudi Arabia are the two targets highest on their list. This means that sooner or later the Iranians will launch weapons at Israel. We will grant that this would not happen until Iran had struck Saudi Arabia and taken over Mecca and Medina, the two holy cities of all Islam. They also have desires to take over Egypt and would have to take Turkey so as to place somebody to rule there as President Erdoğan still has dreams to reestablish the Ottoman Empire and as he will support Iran, that will only last for as long as the Iranian dreams of reestablishing the Persian Empire do not interrupt his idea for the Ottoman Empire. There is no way for the two empires to coexist as the Persian Empire included all of Turkey and much of the Ottoman Empire plus, the Ottoman Empire also included Mecca and Medina, something the Iranians already have their own ideas about. The one place where Turkey and Iran will agree is on attacking Israel, providing that Israel will only be striking back at Iran and Turkey can remain unscathed. The problem is that at some point in the future the Iranian Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah will call for an all out attack to destroy Israel and should Israel see a fair number of ballistic missiles headed for Israel launched from Iran, Israel will no longer have time for diplomacy, Israel will need to reply anticipating that the Iranian missiles are tipped with WMD’s and most likely nuclear weapons. We can only hope that before such an eventuality comes to fruition that the people of Iran succeed in replacing their theocratic dictatorship with a true democratic governance which represents the people’s desires and write a constitution which will revitalize the Iranian economic situation and liberate the people from the Ayatollahs and their oppressive rule. We need remember that before the return of the Ayatollahs in 1979, Israel and Iran were friends with embassies and good relations and vital trade. A return to such would be good for Israel, good for Iran and good for both Iranians and Israelis as well as the rest of the Middle East.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 15, 2018

The Potential for Al Jazeera Starting the next Middle East War

 

Qatar has opened a gashing wound upon the Saudi Royal Family and their claims to be the “Servant of the Holy Places” of Mecca and Medina. Using their weaponized radio and television channels broadcasting as al Jazeera they have called for the internationalizing of the Islamic Holy Cities. Such an eventuality would rob the Saudi Royal Family of their claim which justifies their ability to rule Saudi Arabia and could even foment a civil war within Saudi Arabia. The reasoning behind this call being made by al Jazeera may not even be originating from Qatar but instead from Tehran, Iran and the Mullahs. This might even be a ploy originating in Ankara, Turkey with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who has visions of reestablishing the Ottoman rule over Mecca and Medina. Wherever the idea for these broadcasts, the one thing which is obvious is, it has heightened already drawn tight tensions with Iran, Qatar and Turkey on one side and Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on the other. As if things were not bad enough, with the recent drone incursion into Israeli airspace by what was an Iranian flown remote aircraft intercepted by Israel, led to the Israeli airstrike in Syria on Syrian and Iranian command and control centers used for such operations. Add in the recently started new front in Syria with Turkey bringing a war against the Kurds in northern Syria and a likely land grab by Turkey whose President Erdoğan has made speeches claiming that Aleppo historically was a Turkish city. This is also part of President Erdoğan’s delusional belief that it is his destiny to reestablish the Ottoman Empire. He has also made claims on Kirkuk and Mosul which are Kurdish areas of Iraq. One thing which is clear is the Turkish President has strong hatreds with the Kurds both within Turkey and elsewhere.

 

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubayr warned Qatar that clearly previously such a call for internationalizing the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina would be interpreted by Saudi Arabia as a declaration of war which he further stated, “Do not test the patience of the great powers, you dwarves.” This was an obvious attempt at intimidation which Qatar has apparently disregarded. Qatar has some insurance against any Saudi aggressions as there are troops sent by Turkey within the nation plus Iran has promised to aid Qatari interests from any Saudi or other outside actions. With tensions at such a heightened level and the above-mentioned nations restating their mutual support on each side and enmity for the others, it would take one wrong step, one misspoken word at an overly sensitive moment or even a misreading of intentions to tip over the first domino leading to the entire stack falling in rapid succession. These tensions and the recent fighting between the disparate parties in Syria, the interventions of Iran across the Middle East including Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon and possibly beyond including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist entities have proven President Trump correct in his assessment that Israel-Arab conflict is not the central problem.

 

President Trump has realized the reality that the Arab Palestinians are not the central focus of the Muslim world but an all but forgotten backwater which nobody desires to take too much interest just in case they might be stuck with having to come to their aid. The Arab Palestinians are simply an unwanted group of malcontents whose leadership had worn out their welcome across the Arab world. When the Syrian civil war first started, one of the first places bombed and struck with artillery barrages were the Palestinian refugee camps with the largest being barrel bombed for almost two weeks solid. These were the first victims of Bashir al Assad’s wrath. It may have been that President Trump noted how even the self-declared greatest friends of the Arab Palestinians, the European Union, European nations and leftist NGO’s were all silent and never registered even the slightest of concerns over Bashir al-Assad’s wiping out of the Palestinian refugee camps. Between such lack of real concern for the Arab Palestinians whose troubles could not be placed on Israel and Mahmoud Abbas consistently refusing every offer to talk or reach a peace under any condition has led President Trump to demand actual effort and signs of real sincerity before he will waste any further funding of UNRWA or the Palestinian Authority. President Trump appears to have one main objective in the Middle East, to keep the United States as untangled in the entire area as humanly possible. We should all hope that nothing changes this and forces President Trump to decide it is necessary for the United States to engage in the Middle East as such would only occur if things became excessively dire.

 

Iranian Allies versus Saudi Allies and pro-Saudi but Neutral

Iranian Allies versus Saudi Allies and pro-Saudi but Neutral

 

The unfortunate thing is should a war break out starting between Saudi Arabia and Qatar and quickly spread to having Iran step into the breach and also attack Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates as well as Saudi Arabia to force the Saudis to defend on the greatest number of fronts and also have the possibility of Turkey sending troops and air power to assist Iran as Turkey has returned to allying with Iran after a brief period of neutrality while seeking United States military aid which was provided. What is most disturbing is that Turkey continues to be a NATO member which makes possible numerous troubling demands which could be made of NATO should Turkey be dragged into a conflict against Saudi Arabia and aiding Iran. That raises the question as to what the United States do if called upon to honor the call of another NATO member for aid in a war they were presumably dragged into which would place the United States aiding Iran against Saudi Arabia, Egypt and their other allies which President Trump has decided are the United States true friends within the Islamic World. Perhaps President Trump’s belief that the Middle East is best left at arms distance or further may be the smartest means of dealing with most of the mess developing within. President Putin has been attempting to extract Russia while not losing face or disturbing his allies who are becoming more burdensome than they will likely prove to be worth. In the meantime, Putin had best find some way of putting a tight lid on the building pressure between Qatar and Saudi Arabia probably by insisting that Iran calm their attack dog and end the al Jazeera attacks on the Saudi Royals and end the calls for the internationalization of Mecca and Medina before the pressure boiler explodes from the pressure and open violence breaks out.

 

The causing of a new front in the Iranian war on the rest of the Islamic Arab world in their quest to spread Shiism making it supreme over Sunni Islam by whatever means required has only increased the regions where Iran can now threaten. If Iran truly desires to make Shiism preeminent and dominating the Middle East, picking a war with Saudi Arabia and Egypt would be the most direct method, perhaps not the smartest, but it would be the most direct. Saudi Arabia holds the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina and Egypt has the largest populations as well as the leading Islamic university, Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Taking control of these assets and swaying this many Arab Muslims would go a long way in having Shiism become dominant in the Middle East and make spreading it throughout the Islamic world far more readily possible. It might simply all depend on exactly how far along the Iranian work to develop and build a nuclear arsenal has come along. If it is much further along than believed by Washington D.C. and Jerusalem, then this task just became far more likely and the Iranian threat beyond just the Middle East just became exponentially more dangerous. This is another reason for the Russians to try to calm the situation because the last thing everybody needs is a war which could easily escalate completely beyond any efforts to control, and an Iran possibly facing losing a conflict with Egypt and Saudi Arabia might become capable of anything to try to alter such an eventuality. The one way Iran could lash out would be an all out attack upon Israel, and the last thing the world would need is an attack on Jerusalem and/or Tel Aviv with weapons of mass destruction, as the Israeli retaliation would be definitive and devastating. Perhaps Qatar had best be advised to calm down their rhetoric as otherwise things stepping beyond anybody’s ability to calm could be right around the corner, and if such is pressed, then it should be understood that Iran desired an open conflict and should receive all the responsibility for what follows equally with whoever fires the first shot.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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