Beyond the Cusp

October 8, 2019

President Trump Mishandles Turkey and Iran

 

Turkish President Erdoğan demanded that the United States move out of his forces way, enabling attacks upon the Kurdish regions in Syria and potentially beyond into Iraq. These were the Kurdish allies in the war against the Islamic State working with American advisors and air support. One would pray that President Trump would stand his ground and deny President Erdoğan’s demands and protect the Kurds who were there against Islamic State with the United States. Instead, President Trump once more showed his excessive reluctance to use any form of force if he can avoid any fighting. President Trump assured Erdoğan that the American forces would be removed enabling his assault on the apparently former American ally Kurds in northern Syria. It was back in last January that President Trump threatened to “devastate Turkey economically” should Turkey attacked the Kurdish forces. At that time, Erdoğan agreed to set up a safe zone where Kurdish forces and civilians would be safe from any Turkish attacks. Instead, Erdoğan plans to use the idea of a safe zone to eradicate the Kurds along the entirety of the southern Turkish border into Syria. We believe that Turkey will be absorbing these lands into Turkey to make good on former Erdoğan promises. Apparently, that agreement is no longer accepted by President Erdoğan as he now desires to attack the Kurds in Syria probably taking over Aleppo if possible and not stopped. The actual reason for these attacks is simply the Turkish leadership regard the Kurds as an enmity and scourge which Turkey insist must be eradicated.

 

President Erdoğan and President Trump

President Erdoğan and President Trump

 

This is simply another all too obvious example that President Trump apparently lacks the intestinal fortitude to take on a fight which can be easily avoided with minimal blowback. Within the United States the bringing of military forces home is often met with great support. This time will be little different simply because the average American, J.Q. Public has little if any knowledge about who the Kurds are, where they reside and probably have forgotten the assistance by the Kurds in the fight with the Islamic State. Most are also unaware that much of the Turkish claims to be fighting the Islamic State (or ISIS) were more often than not fighting Kurdish regions where they killed fighters and civilians alike. One reason which may be forcing this decision by President Trump is since Turkey is a NATO ally, they may have used this alliance when insisting the United States desert the region under Kurdish rule and allow Turkey to do as they please. We predicted just such scenario where allowing Turkey to remain in NATO would force the United States to take on or desert a fight so their NATO ally Turkey could operate as they pleased. Still, President Trump has sent the message that he desires avoiding conflict and depending upon economic and social pressures to influence friend and foe alike.

 

Previous stories made President Trump’s avoidance of taking military action evident and in one case to an adversary in the Middle East. These have not been major stories as there have yet to be any direct repercussions from any of these actions. There was the rumored heated argument between the two men over use of force against Iran. When President Trump and John Bolton parted ways, the Iranian reaction was it simply proved that President Trump was too reluctant to defend anything if it required the use of military force. The Iranians had this idea reinforced when President Trump launched attack air craft after Iran had shot down an expensive United States drone presumably in international airspace and then cancelled the attack calling the aircraft back. This simply further emboldened the Iranians as they believe that Trump will always run and hide rather than actually use force and hold the line. We believe that with President Trump having a strong economic background has assumed a false concept, that everyone is concerned with finances and that this makes them vulnerable to economic pressures. Iran has proven repeatedly over time when sanctions have been placed upon them, they actually do not react as if it really matters until the situation shows signs of becoming volatile within Iran.

 

Because of this reliance on economic pressure to alter Iranian actions, President Trump has relied on ratcheting up sanctions despite their showing absolutely very little effect beyond Iran making false moves in attempts to hide their nuclear activities. But after realizing that President Trump would only use economic pressure and avoid any military actions, they have begun flaunting their breaking of the limits of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) testing the European signatories who also refused to take any actions beyond threatening to act. President Trump has all but ignored the Iranian actions as if after placing more severe sanctions would eventually show progress in persuading Iran to forgo their nuclear weapons research. Meanwhile, as the Mullahs and other Islamist elites are eating well and living large, the Iranian unemployment is spiking, the economy is hurting from the sanctions and the Iranian Rial has crashed forcing prices higher as inflation sets in. The rulers in Iran have shown little concern for the problems their people are suffering because under their Islamic rule, only the desired end result matters and that is the total destruction of the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel and eventually world conquest spreading Shia Islam to the entire world while maximizing violence and destruction in order to force the return of their messiah. Economic concerns are secondary to their religious commitment to spreading Shia Islam making it the only religion on Earth.

 

The possibility that President Trump will rely solely on economic pressures and avoid any military confrontation even with Iran will leave Iran free to spread their terror and control even further. Iran is already active in Yemen, Syria and Iraq and intending to continue these efforts against Saudi Arabia from within Yemen while threatening Israel using their proxy forces of the IRGC and Hezballah. Iran is also spreading their influence using terrorist forces largely in the Middle East but the real question is where does Iran plan on stopping their warfare. The truth is there is no conquest which would satisfy the Mullahs who honestly believe that Shia Islam will become the only true and allowed religion if they simply continue to follow their interpretation of the Quran. Their religious philosophy is based on the spread of Islam, for them Shia Islam as they consider Sunni Islam as a heretical cult despite ninety-percent of Muslims being Sunni and merely ten-percent being Shia. Their intent is to convert all Sunni Muslims to the real form of Islam, Shiite Islam. After this has been accomplished and they have also conquered all the oil assets in the Middle East, the Iranian leadership is convinced that with time their efforts will succeed in conquering the rest of the world replacing all other religions. Such beliefs allow for the true believers to suffer any hardships as all is reasonable in the pursuit of the promised end results if they simply continue on through all challenges. The leadership in Iran believe that they were chosen by Allah to spread his religion to the whole world. Their belief goes far beyond the world known by Muhammad as it includes the Americas and other lands unknown in his times. Western powers and governments need to address the Islamic threats which have been pressing to establish beachheads within Europe and the Americas. This is currently being pressed by two competing factions, the Iranians and Shia Islam versus the Muslim Brotherhood and Sunni Islam. Some of these efforts have been financed by Qatar backing the Muslim Brotherhood. Such efforts have to be either opposed even if force is required or surrendered to surrendering all free will, specifically religious freedom as under such a world all will be expected to live under totalitarian rule which demands complete compliance under pain of torture or death. That is the reality even if much of the Western world refuses to believe such thinking still exists today.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Advertisements

October 4, 2019

Another Useless European Gesture

 

According to reports by the BBC, Britain, France, and Germany, the three European nations who took part in the negotiations with Iran have warned Iran that any further breaches of the agreement could force them to act and leave the agreement. Such an eventuality presumably would cause the collapse of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Such a move is said to make it possible for the United Nations to reapply economic and other sanctions against Iran as well as the European Union or at least Britain, France and Germany. Some reports have actually appeared anxious worried that such a collapse of the JCPOA would free Iran to restart the entire nuclear program. Additionally, within days Hezballah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened to start sending terrorists into Israeli territory. While interviewed by Lebanon’s Massir magazine, Nasrallah was quoted stating, “The enemy is right now in a defensive position. Once we were constantly on the defensive, now we are threatening the enemy, not the opposite. We will enter the occupied territory of Palestine.” These are two related facts which should be seen as one entirety and not as separate in any way. Hezballah does not act independent of their Iranian masters. This will be escalated and was meant to be a shot across the bow warning Britain, France, and Germany not to withdraw from the JCPOA or be blamed for instigating a war in the Middle East, or should we call it by its real name, yet another war with Iran as the instigator in the Middle East.

 

Hassan Nasrallah

Hassan Nasrallah

 

It has been part of the Iranian world policy, you upset Iran and Hezballah will start a large-scale confrontation with Israel unless Iran is further appeased. Iran wears the JCPOA as an accessory by which it can frighten Britain, France, and Germany, and the European Union into any act of appeasement to what Iran fancies. The Iranian threat has been that they are forced by that eternal evil, ever ignorant and wild cowboy in Washington D.C., President Trump, to bend and even break specific parts of the JCPOA as Iran no longer felt constrained by the treaty if the Americans were no longer constrained from sanctioning Iran. The catch for all involved has been that Iran was never restrained by the JCPOA as we have reported repeatedly (see here, here, here and here). We also have shown that Iran was not even following the weak restrictions they claim that they had agreed upon and only not complying with those extreme measures that the United States claimed were included and that they had never agreed to place them in the agreement. Simply stated, Iran has been producing whatever weapons they desire and researching at full speed further nuclear weapons to add to their arsenals.

 

The real question is not so much are Britain, France, and Germany going to depart the JCPOA, but is whether or not they will join with President Trump in reapplying sanctions on Iran and end their comfy little trade deals by which they were making millions of dollars. One can blame the European powers for trading with Iran, but how else were they going to benefit from the billions of dollars lavished upon Tehran and the Mullahs by President Obama. Should Britain, France, and Germany actually leave the JCPOA, the next big question is over sanctions and whether or not this signals they are willing to work with President Trump. If Britain, France, and Germany are unwilling to work with the United States on sanctioning Iran, then any such announcement concerning leaving the JCPOA is just empty rhetoric. But there would be more than Iran finally coming clean about their continuing to develop nuclear weaponry as fast as they could, there would also be the war Iran wound instigate, if not actually order, against Israel to punish the world for their insult and blaming Britain, France, and Germany for their aggressive actions.

 

As we stated above, Nasrallah does not act without permission and orders from Iran. That is why the threats from Nasrallah were expected and were expressions dictated from Tehran. Just to complete the quotes, Nasrallah further stated, “The balance has changed due to the Iranian revolution’s victory, which was begun by the blessed imam Khomeini and is continued by the blessed imam Khamenei. Today we have much better intelligence regarding what the Zionist entity is doing than we had in the past, from official sources as well as from unofficial sources.” This overt threat is actually a restating of the Hezballah threats and claims that they could take back the Galilee from her occupation whenever they decided the time had come. This threat needs also to be taken along with the recent Hezballah claims that stated, “Once we said that we could strike targets south of Haifa. Today, we can say that if Israel has sites south of Eilat, then we can also hit them. All of Israel is under the range of our missiles.” All of this bluster just because of the threat by European powers to leave a treaty which few if any of the participants ever intended keeping. Iran, under the JCPOA presumably was inspecting their own military installations and were to report any breaching of the agreement. Really? Who expected that to work at all?

 

Iran has treated the JCPOA as the fig leaf behind which their nuclear program never even felt a hiccup as was proven when Israel lifted tons of evidence from their secure Tehran bunker in one evening and transported it all to Israel (see image below). These were the final information required by President Trump to pull he United States from the JCPOA and reapply sanctions on Iran in an effort to have them come to the table and negotiate a new deal. Iran does not desire a new deal; they prefer the one they have and will wait for a new President of the United States to be elected and be reasonable with their needs. Should the three European powers also leave the agreement, it never was an actual treaty, then Iran could be facing the reapplication of the sanctions by Europe which would actually cause Tehran some serious headaches. The serious nature with which Iran has reacted with their having ordered a Hezballah threat on Israel is all the proof needed to assess the nature and threat on the JCPOA.

 

Netanyahu Displaying Iranian Nuclear Program Files Stolen from Tehran Bunker

Netanyahu Displaying Iranian Nuclear Program Files Stolen from Tehran Bunker

 

Whether or not Israel should take the Nasrallah threat to heart and possibly take steps to respond will be determined by any information Israel has been able to garner. Over the last half a decade, Nasrallah was largely ignored as Hezballah was up to their ears in the Iranian backed wars in Syria and Yemen. There have been reports that many of the Hezballah operatives have since returned to Lebanon from their efforts supporting Iran. These operatives sent to Yemen and across the border to Syria were presumed to be training more than actually fighting yet, from intercepted casualty reports, the Hezballah members were performing much more than training than was admitted. These threats from Nasrallah should be taken seriously but tempered with intelligence of Hezballah movements of assets and terrorists placing them such that crossing the border appears likely. Israeli intelligence and aerial surveillance should take particular attention to any readying of Hezballah missiles and rockets. Such intelligence should be critically analyzed with specific attention to their Scud rockets and MLRV* units. The former, and its ilk, comprise the ability for Hezballah to strike at Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Dimona complex which would be primary targets in the initial round should they be seriously planning an assault upon the north. The MLRV with their rapid multiple rocket barrage capabilities is primarily used in supporting advancing forces by forcing the enemy to take cover and remain buttoned-up thus limiting their vision and ability to detect any attack or infiltration.

 

When it comes to terrorists, we are looking more at infiltration which could come from almost any front or direction. The most obvious would be across the fenced Lebanon border with Israel or, using the Syrian confrontation, entry could be attempted along the Golan Heights. Another option would be to enter through Gaza where allies such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad might assist or their people might carry out attacks for Hezballah to force a two-front confrontation upon Israel. The final entry points would be along the Israeli eastern lands bordering Jordan or the PLO/PA region west of the Jordan River. Israel will probably place their forces already in these positions to heighten awareness and be particularly sensitive to potential terror infiltrations. Israel might also redouble efforts at detecting and destroying tunnels under her borders to facilitate just such operations. The world need realize that this Hezballah threat is actually a threat coming directly from Tehran and should put most of Europe on notice that they have problems within their own countries which lie openly vulnerable to Iranian terror forces of the IRGC or Hezballah. This was not a threat made upon Israel for her presumed occupation of the Galilee but a warning to the world that moves made against Iran could be answered by terrorist forces in Lebanon as well as Iraq, Yemen and other supportive places. Europe should also take the precaution of seeking out any Iranian operatives who probably entered Europe as part of the waves of Middle Eastern and North African “refugees” they foolishly permitted entry. Many of the entering refugees were actually terror operatives and as Iran has the largest amount of control over these terrorists, even more than the Muslim Brotherhood, they could be activated and given targets within Europe to strike. Such strikes by terror operatives would target high profile locations very likely also tourist hot spots with intent to harm as many as possible. Israel is prepared largely while Europe is largely vulnerable. Israel will tread carefully until it is time to act, Europe would be best served to move with bluster intended to maximize the appearance of readiness. One last tip, the terrorists in Europe are most likely controlled through the IRGC or by Hezballah which means that your Lebanese immigrants just might be Hezballah plants. Be well advised Europe, after Israel you are the most inviting of targets along with the United States with a difference, Europe is far closer to their bases in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

*MLRV = Multiple Launch Rocket Vehicle

 

September 10, 2019

Why Am I not All That Worried?

 

Everyday I hear a similar question in several parts. Perhaps writing articles here at Beyond the Cusp makes them believe I actually know and understands what is going on in the world and especially in Israel. It might also be my record of making predictions which have a great amount of veracity and often coming true almost exactly. Whatever the reason, I realize these questions are posed hoping I can ease their minds or accurately warn them when to start to worry and make plans accordingly. The first part of the question is worded something like, is a war coming in the near term? This is usually followed by asking for clarification as to where. This is when I have had to provide some not so great news. The reason is that Hamas in Gaza in the south has stated that they will join in any war should Israel engage with Hezballah in Lebanon to the north while Hezballah has promised to join any war Israel might engage with Hamas. The answer is it matters little where the next conflict starts, it probably, thanks to orders from Iran, will encompass a two-front war against both Hamas (with Islamic Jihad) in the south and Hezballah in the north. This, fortunately, may not matter for the remainder of this year as my feelings are that there will not be any all-encompassing conflict, or this is my wishful thinking.

 

There have been a slowly increasing escalation from out of Lebanon and Syria where Hezballah and the IRGC are aiding Syrian forces loyal to Bashir al-Assad along with Russian air and defensive support. The escalations by these forces have gone from single or twin drones to a drone swarm and single rockets to multiple rocket launches and the use of guided anti-aircraft missiles against ground vehicles. Hamas in Gaza use rocket launchers, anywhere from two or three to as many as a dozen or two. On both fronts, the Iron Dome has intercepted the majority of these projectiles projected to strike populated regions at an unreal excellence and proficiency. There have been threats made after every exchange with Hezballah always making the claim that Israel started everything and thus they will respond to the Israeli belligerence. The only problem with their claims is that the exchanges are almost if not always initiated by Hezballah or Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Hamas also has their weekly, of more accurately daily, rioting along the border replete with launching of kites, balloons and the occasional drone with explosives and incendiary packages aimed for the destruction of Israel. They love the land so much they are willing to completely destroy everything such that nobody can use the region. These are the situations which many in our circles are concerned about, even to the point where it dominates conversation more than the coming election, but not more than the general banter which makes leaving the house worthwhile.

 

To the best of my discernment, many in our circles are displaying a level of tenseness and apprehension noticeably higher than usual. They claim that my lack of uneasiness with what I write and apparently obsession with the news cycle is unexplainable, even considering that I do not believe a war is inevitable this summer or until late next spring. Tomorrow morning, I fully expect to have this conversation within fifteen minutes of meeting the first of my regular circle leading to the same reaction of head shaking and pressing their feelings of ill-at-ease adding an, are you sure, to the conversation. If I am fortunate, others will not overhear our conversing as that almost inevitably brings others echoing the same questions and disbelief and even some expressing concern for my levels of sanity. I always assure them that I am still as unbalanced as ever. The upside of this tense situation surrounding us guarantees that people will want to converse so they can ask and be reassured that there is nothing coming in the immediate time-frame as none of the enemies of Israel desire having everything they own broken and having to wait for Iran to smuggle in a resupply of the necessary components for their rockets and drones. Outside events often supercharge the conversation and the number of scenarios discussed and presented as reasons why I am confused and unfounded in holding such an optimistic, almost Pollyannaish, attitude regarding the danger level around the threats which are thrown around weekly if not daily some weeks. Between Nasrallah boasting of the competence and preparedness of the Hezballah military units being capable of returning the Galilee to Lebanese control, read as Arab control, from the occupation by the Zionist Entity and Yahya Sinwar who leads Hamas insisting that the Friday (and often other days just peeking on Fridays) rioting will continue until the occupation by the Zionist Entity has been destroyed, we are pretty much guaranteed two to five threats each week depending on the need to distract the people from their poor governance. When one includes spokespersons from Islamic Jihad, commanders of the IRGC, Iran itself and Mahmoud Abbas and the rest of the Palestinian Authority (read PLO) circus all coming at the same demands, that the Jews take their rightful subjugation by their Islamic superiors, we seldom go two days without some threat raising concerns.

 

Hezballah is a terror army with all the abilities of the Lebanese Army in addition to their own forces as two-thirds of the Lebanese Army are members of Hezballah or sympathizers and thus do pose a credible threat. The IRGC is a second military fielded by Iran and are Islamic hardliners with radical beliefs. They are well trained and receive the same if not better equipment than the Iranian Army. This provides them with all the same capabilities as the Iranian Army with the possible restriction of less air support. Add in the Iranian Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei with his and the Iranian fanatics chants each Friday after religious services screaming, “Death to America, Death to Israel,” there is an additional guarantee for my conversation. The way I figure things, if there really was a threat of a war coming in the near period, they would have displayed a far higher rate of increase in the attacks and terrorism. There was the latest attack by Hezballah where they fired anti-aircraft guidable missiles at an IDF base targeting the vehicles and striking a field ambulance which could be claimed was an attempted escalation, almost, as they struck a converted Merkava I battle tank, which are obsolete as a main battle tank but make for a far safer ambulance for the rescue of injured soldiers in an active battle scenario, and claimed they had injured numerous IDF soldiers and claimed possible fatalities. The entire scene at this base was set up with mannequins which were evacuated as if being actual injuries. After Hezballah made their bombastic claims, IDF spokespeople revealed the reality that no Israeli was injured or killed and that the entire exchange was a trap which Hezballah took the bait, hook, line and sinker.

 

Still, the situation which Israel faces on a daily basis is serious and threatening. In the Middle East, threatening is the natural condition, and not just between Israel and her neighbors. Syria is in the midst of a long-running civil war, Iraq is fighting its own Kurdish citizens in the north securing the northern routs for Iran to provide supplies, forces and weaponry for the IRGC, Hezballah and forces fighting supporting Bashir al-Assad, Yemen is in a civil war with the Houthis attempting to overthrow the elected government with Iranian support provided by both the IRGC and Hezballah forces, the Jordanian King is facing the threat of massive unrest from the Arab Palestinians plus all the other conflicts surrounding the MENA nations and the remainder of the world. This is also another reason why I doubt that there will be any conflict this year. Iran is behind almost half of the conflicts in the Middle East. The other violence is mostly Islamic forces attacking those of Animist, Christian or other non-Islamic faith across central Africa in the Transition Zone (see map below). There are also conflicts between India and Pakistan as well as the civil unrest on Mindanao in the Philippines among other regions of strife. With most of the Arab and Islamic world facing internal as well as external conflicts, Israel has become less of an issue throughout their world.

 

African Transition Zone

African Transition Zone

 

This lowering of the level of concern and hatred against Israel as there exists an even more menacing threat, Iran. This has sent Saudi Arabia and many Gulf States to form an almost speaking relationship with Israel. There is far less mention of the Zionist Entity and threats with an exception for the Imams whose entire repertoire consists of hating Israel and Jews. This has caused the uninitiated to express their prediction that Israel will ally with Egypt and Saudi Arabia in order to counter the Iranian threat. Put absolutely no credence in this theme as everything will revert back to hate for the Zionist Entity as soon as Iran ceases to threaten the Sunni Islamic world. Simply put, take Iran out of the equation and the Sunni world will return to their emphasizing the destruction of the Zionist Entity and the return of the region to Arab Islamic rule, their defined norm for not only Israel but to the remainder of the world. Islam has a very simple definition for the world. They divide the world into two camps, Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb; being defined as the world of Islam and the world of war respectively. Making this slightly more complicated, the Sunni Muslims and the Shia Muslims each consider the other to be heretics and thus part of Dar al-Harb. This also explains the high level of animosity between the Sunni Arab states and Shiite Iran. With Iran actively holding heavy sway over Iraq and their total control of Lebanon through Hezballah and Syria where they are assisting al-Assad defeat his opposition for control of Syria; this forms what many refer to as the Shiite Crescent and has all but encircled Saudi Arabia potentially explaining their sudden affections for Israel, the sole military which is capable of restraining Iran from doing whatever they please.

 

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

 

There is one other reason that we doubt that there will be a war this year, and this includes elections. We can gladly say that the Israeli elections are not the main criteria but the 2020 American elections. Iran is aware that should they be caught pressing for a war anywhere in the Middle East, even Israel, then President Trump would have a free ticket to pose a massive assault on Iran destroying their nuclear program and military ability. As long as after hitting Iran and dealing them a definitive and debilitating strike President Trump departs Iran, then this would leave the rebuilding and possible selecting new governance for the people to do as they see fits them best. Should Iran return to being ruled by a governance nearly identical to their current theocracy, then they would face the same policies from the Trump administration. If the Iranians built a representative governance and called for recognition and relations with the rest of the world, this might be accomplished once their new governance was solidly in place, a constitution or similar document designed and order restored allowing for free and open elections, then perhaps Iran might join the rest of the world. This would require their disbanding the IRGC, ending all support for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezballah and all other terrorist organizations, ceasing their support and control over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen and liberalizing their civil laws allowing for greater human rights and other freedoms. Then the Middle East could return to their natural positions of complete and total rejection of Israel. This would work to relieve some of the terrorist threats on Israel, but all of them would remain and simply be seeking new backers such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabian entities and other support even to include the European Union, United Nations with accompanying agencies, European nations and others around the world. Things would take a while to settle into whatever the new conditions would become, and things would become more unstable as the terrorist groups would start to compete with one another while seeking funding and support. This would make things unsettled and far more dangerous and quite possibly could press a war with Israel to prove they are the real and true threat to the Jewish State. That is the Middle East, “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” the description Winston Churchill gave in a radio broadcast in October 1939 talking about the actions the Russians might take in World War II.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.