Beyond the Cusp

December 25, 2013

Why Obama and the United States are Able to Ignore Syria

Filed under: 1949 Armistice Line,1967 Borders,Absolutism,Act of War,Administration,Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade,al-Qaeda,Amalekites,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Appointment,Arab Spring,Arab Winter,Arab World,Arabist,Arabs,Armed Services,Arms Transfer,Bashir al-Assad,Blood Libel,Building Freeze,Cabinet,Calaphate,Chemical Weapons,Civilization,Commander in Cheif,Condemning Israel,Conflict Avoidnce,Covert Actions,Damascus,Defend Country,Defend Israel,Dictator,Divided Jerusalem,Egypt,Executive Order,Fatah,Forced Solution,Foreign Minister,Gaza,General John Allen,Government,Green Line,Hamas,Hate,History,IDF,IDF,Inteligence Report,International Politics,Intifada,Islam,Islamic Jihad,Islamist,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Jerusalem,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jihad,John Kerry,Judea,Judean Hills,Mahmoud Abbas,Meaning of Peace,Middle East,Military Aid,Military Coup,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslim World,Netanyahu,Obama,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Partition Plan,Peace Process,Politics,Popular Resistance Committees,PRC,Pre-Conditions,President Assad,President for Life,President Obama,President Vladimir Putin,Prime Minister,Prisoner Release,Promised Land,Protect Citizenry,Rebel Forces,Rebel Forces,Recognize Israel,Refugees,Russia,Samaria,Secretary of State,Settlements,Six Day War,Statehood,Support Israel,Syria,Syrian Free Army,Syrian Military,Taqiyya,Temple Mount,Terror,Third Intifada,Threat of War,Threat of War,United States,Weapons of Mass Destruction,Western World,WMD,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 3:46 AM
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President Obama has been attempting to completely ignore the horrors continuing in Syria from even before he attempted to use the Syrian civil war to sound tough on the world stage which backfired so completely revealing the Emperor had no clothes. President Obama figured that if he set a red line that Syria would never dare to test his resolve as doing so could potentially bring the full strength and power of the United States military down on al-Assad. What President Obama did not figure on was that Syrian strongman Bashir al-Assad did not care if the United States delivered even more damage on his nation which he has been rapidly destroying to the point that now they are bombing the ruble in many places. The destruction in Syria has been so complete that great swaths of that country will not be worth taking possession of once the war ends, if it ever does, as there is almost no infrastructure or structures left undamaged to make possession worth a plug nickel. The United States got off the Red Line hook when Secretary of State Kerry made a speech suggesting that the Syrian chemical weapons be destroyed. Hearing this somewhat sarcastic and snide comment from Secretary Kerry, Russian President Putin saw an inexpensive way to knock the United States down a few pegs and allow Russia to take the limelight and bask in relative glory for the small price of destroying Syrian chemical weapons. President Putin likely talked with Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad and told him that Russia could take the Americans up on the Secretary of States invitation and Syria could forget about any American military threat simply by allowing Russia to arrange to destroy the Syrian chemical weapons. Assad probably jumped at this deal as he has more than sufficient conventional weapons to destroy the rest of Syria ten times over. This left the United States completely removed from having any influence or threat against Syria and Bashir al-Assad freeing Assad up to do whatever he found necessary to retain his rule even if he was left ruling a large area of rubble.


So, why is it that President Obama and the military hierarchy need not fear any results which may result when and if the civil war in Syria finally ends? Would it not be considered a threat to the United States if al-Qaeda deposed al-Assad and took control of Syria and turned it into an Islamic terror state complete as staging and training grounds for terror attacks including attack comparable to 9/11? Normally that would be a great and threatening situation which should cause the leadership of the United States many sleepless nights. If such a condition were to exist almost anywhere else in the Muslim world such a condition would send shivers down the spines of those tasked with keeping America safe from such threats. There is a saving grace which makes Syria a problem which the United States can totally ignore. Syria sits on the northern border of Israel which cannot afford another terrorist state on their border, and especially one that is beyond anyone’s ability to influence, let alone control. As horrible and undesirable as an al-Assad may be, even a monster as he is preferable to a terrorist state which poses a threat to every nation in the world which does not bow to their threats and demands.


There will be some who would bring up the idea that had we supported the Free Syrian Army secularists earlier in the Syrian civil war then we could have had a secular and democratic Syria and the Islamists would have never had a chance to become such a threat. The truth is there never was an actual secular Free Syrian Army except on paper. The jihadist Islamist forces invented the entity called the Free Syria Army which actually did have some young idealists just as in Egypt but no real depth or numbers. The idea of a secular force was necessary in order to gain funding and weapons from the West, particularly the United States. The truth about the Free Syrian Army was revealed this past week when the warehouse which held much of their Western supplies was overrun by the Jihadists and there was almost no resistance to their assault which was evidenced by the fact that the total loss of life in the battle to take their main warehouse totaled the unbelievable total of five souls. That was all that existed of the Free Syrian Army guarding and manning their main base and warehouse which contained virtually their entire collection of aid from the Western world.


Just as in Egypt and Tunisia where what were touted as secular revolts that would result in Western style governance resulted in Muslim Brotherhood controlled governments and resulted in Islamic Sharia governance. Egypt escaped this tyranny as the people did object to the lack of results and the continued economic stagnation which was taken up by the Egyptian military which reestablished a military governance in Egypt. In Tunisia the people threatened mass demonstrations and unrest which appears might result in new election which might have the possibility to result in a governance that will serve the people. That remains to be seen as is the final result in Egypt. Egypt may be resolved by having a military controlled governance which was exactly what the Mubarak government had been. One of the main reasons that the Mubarak government fell was due to the lack of support from the military which felt betrayed when Mubarak announced that he would appoint his son to follow him as President of Egypt instead of allowing the military to choose the next President. Egypt has gone full circle from Mubarak, a military backed President who revolted trying to set up a family hierarchy like the Pharaohs of old thus losing the support of the military. That loss of support resulted in the successful revolution deposing Mubarak which led to the Muslim Brotherhood stepping in and installing themselves as the new Pharaohs. The people deplored the Islamist governance as it was no different than Mubarak. This led to the military executing a coup removing President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood and reinstalling a military backed government, just as Mubarak was and Sadat before him.


Whether the military will return power to the people through the ballot box remains to be seen and if such should be the result, then what if the Salafists or Muslim Brotherhood should once again prove victorious in an election. The unrest in Egypt may be a long way from over. Syria is the same as Egypt except that al-Assad never left power and the Syrian military has thus far kept him in power, for now. Should al-Assad win out then the former status quo returns with all the potential threats in place, but should the terrorist prevail then there would be a terrorist state bordering Israel, a situation which Israel can ill afford and most certainly work to neuter such a dangerous threat. Israel is the security blanket which protects the United States from whatever result is produced by the Syrian civil war, the same Israel that President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry appear determined to destroy with a force and suicidal peace which established a Palestinian State by returning Israel to her Green Line as a border, the same border which enticed the Six Day War attack by her neighbors and the same border which has been named the Auschwitz Borders. Some events make absolutely no sense and the United States doing all in their power to neuter Israel, the sole protection against a terrorist owned and run Syria, is preeminent in the no sense category.


Beyond the Cusp


August 23, 2013

Same Old Egypt but New Targets

Some are wondering why the current violence in Egypt has been restricted to mostly victimizing the Coptic Christians while there are no reports of any other religiously persecuted groups. Most obvious by their absence as victims of the current violence in Egypt are the Jews. The reasons behind this require a quick refreshing look at recent history since 1948 and the founding of Israel. Upon the founding of the Jewish State of Israel on May 14, 1948 Egypt was one of the numbers of Arab nations which declared war intending to eradicate both the nation and Jewish people of Israel. At the time of the founding of the State of Israel there were approximately 75,000 Jews residing in Egypt. After years of pogroms, bombings, riots and other violence the Jewish population had seen 40% of their population emigrate by 1950. This reduced the number of Jews left residing in Egypt to around 45,000 with most of them residing in either Alexandria or Cairo. The next major event was the 1956 Suez War where French, British and Israeli forces attacked Egypt in order to force Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser to reopen the Suez Canal to international shipping after he had nationalized the canal and began denying western shipping the use of this vital waterway. Subsequent to this conflict it was announced that the “all Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state,” and would soon be expelled. After this declaration some one-thousand Jews were arrested and imprisoned while nearly half the remaining Egyptian Jews fled Egypt for Israel, Europe and the Americas. Upon leaving these Jews were forced to sign declarations that they were leaving voluntarily and had agreed to the confiscation of their wealth, property and other assets. This left a mere 25,000 Jews living in Egypt with a large percentage of this population being elderly. The final event came after the 1967 Six Day War which began with Egypt closing the Straits of Tiran, massing troops and armor divisions on the Israeli border along with Syria massing on Israel’s northern border both nations threatening immediate annihilation of the Jewish State. Israel responded to this casus-belli with a preemptive assault defeating both enemies plus Jordan who declared war on Israel soon after hostilities began. After the Six Day War almost all the remaining Jews were forced to emigrate after having their wealth, properties and anything of value confiscated while some of the male Jews above the age of eighteen were imprisoned and tortured for three to five years and then made to leave Egypt. There is now but a tiny remnant remains numbering under one hundred all of which are aged with no younger generations of Jews so once these few die there will be no Jews remaining in Egypt.


So, when religious violence broke out after the removal of President Morsi by the Egyptian military there was not a sufficient population of Jews to target which left only the Coptic Christians and Shiite Muslims for the Sunni members of the Muslim Brotherhood to victimize. This is the main driving reason for the seeming singular persecution of the Coptic Christian population as they number anywhere from five to twelve million persons depending on which source one chooses. Even at the lowest estimate of around five million the Coptic Christians far outnumber the under one-hundred remaining aged Jews. The Coptic Christian population also far outnumbers the Shiite Muslim Population in Egypt as there are estimated to be anywhere from a few thousands to as many as eight million with the recognized number being around one million. So, now that we have discussed the numbers which reveal and make obvious the reason behind why we are hearing about violence against the Coptic population in Egypt and not about any violence against Jews or Shiite Muslims whose numbers are quite small by comparison, it honestly is all about availability of people to target. No matter the reason underlying the victimization of Coptic Christians and the destruction of their churches, monasteries, businesses, homes and other properties as well as the assaults, murders, and forced conversion and marrying young Coptic women to Muslim men, often to men far older than the woman and under threat of torturing and killing of their families in order to force compliance, human compassion and especially Christian compassion needs to spur action to protect the victims from such crimes fueled purely by hatred and religious persecution.


As horrid the pictures and news out of Egypt reporting of the violence and destruction of the Coptic population and property in Egypt may be, it pales when compared to the silence and complete lack of action by the remainder of the Christian world in response to the violence being perpetrated on their fellow Christians. What makes this passivity in the face of Christian persecution is made all the worse when one realized that the Coptic Christians are the descendants of some of the oldest Christian communities dating their origins to their being brought to Christendom by Saint Mark in the city of Alexandria in the year 42AD. This victimization of the Coptic Christians should serve as a warning for all Christendom as to their future should Israel ever be destroyed thus leaving the Christian populations as the largest and often sole non-Muslim population throughout much of the Middle East and the rest of the Arab and Muslim worlds. What is currently befalling the Coptic Christians in Egypt is the same fate that awaits the Christians within Israel and in a slightly lesser extent already befallen the Christians in the Palestinian controlled areas of Gaza and the West Bank. One need not look any further than the numbers of Christians residing in Bethlehem where in 1947 the Christians made up 85% of Bethlehem’s population which declined by 1998 to a mere 40% of Bethlehem’s population. There are differing numbers pertaining to the numbers of Christians remaining in Bethlehem today but most agree they are now less than one quarter of the population and still in decline. Researching Christian population numbers throughout the Middle East and North Africa one will realize that the Christian population has been generally in decline across the entire area and their numbers decreased at a greatly accelerated rate once the Jewish population either emigrated or was otherwise diminished to a point where the Jewish numbers were negligible. The sole nation which attests to an increasing number of Christians is Israel despite the falling numbers in the Palestinian controlled areas, whether controlled by the Palestinians Authority or Hamas. The only advice history might provide Christians at this point in history is they need to protect their fellow Christians who are under assault which currently is most obvious in Egypt where open hostilities are on display and the Coptic Christians are helpless victims. It is time for all Christians to protest the victimization of the Coptic Christians and put aside any differences their particular sect may have with the Coptic Christians as such things are of little importance when Christian lives are on the line. If the world’s Christians are unable to protect the Coptic Christians within Egypt then it is dependent upon the Christians to provide the Coptic Christians a path to escape the Egyptian violence and to provide welcoming arms to care and assist fellow Christians to pick up their lives and make a new start. What else can be said other than it is the Christian thing to do.


Beyond the Cusp


July 26, 2013

United States Middle East Policy a Disaster Zone

Filed under: Absolutism,Adly el-Mansour,Administration,Afghanistan,Ahmadinejad,al-Qaeda,al-Qaeda,Amalekites,Arab World,Arabs,Armed Services,Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi,Bashir al-Assad,Blood Libel,Britain,Chemical Weapons,Civil War,Civilization,Clan,Consequences,Demonstrations,Disengagement,Economic Growth,Economy,Egypt,Egyptian Military,Employment,Failed State,Financial Crisis,France,Government,Hassan Rowhani,Hezballah,Holy Sites,IAEA,Inteligence Report,Iran,Iraq,Islam,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Jerusalem,Jewish Heritage,Jewish State,Jewish Temple,Jews,John Kerry,Jordan,Jordanian Army,Judea,Judean Hills,Kurdistan,Kurds,Land for Peace,Lebanon,Libya,Mahmoud Abbas,Mali,Middle East,Military,Military Base,Military Coup,Military Intervention,Military Option,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslim World,Netanyahu,Nouri al-Maliki,Nuclear Program,Nuclear Sites,Nuclear Weapons,Nuclear Weapons,Old City,Ottoman Empire,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Peace Process,Plutonium Production,Politics,Pre-Conditions,President Morsi,President Obama,Prime Minister,Protests,Rebel Forces,Recep Tayyip Erdogan,Refugees,Religion,Riots,Samaria,Secretary of State,Sharia,Shiite,Sinai Peninsula,Statehood,Sunni,Syria,Syrian Military,Temple Mount,Terror,Tribe,Troop Withdrawal,Tunisia,Turkey,United Nations,United States,Uranium Enrichment,Veto Power,Weapons of Mass Destruction,WMD,World War I — qwertster @ 3:21 AM
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When looking at the Middle East and the efforts of the United States, and we use the word efforts in the weakest of definitions possible, one sees a string of disasters where the Palestinian/Israeli Peace Process must be considered to be the shining glory when compared to the rest of the situations. One almost shakes there head muttering, “Where to start, where to start?” The United States is finding even removing their equipment and forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan to be a difficult and unnecessarily expensive task to complete. Looking at the sanctions which are presumably deterring Iran from moving forward with their nuclear program and forcing them to deal honestly with the United Nations IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) one sees them making life difficult for many of the least affluent citizens and devastating the middle class merchants but having little if any influence on the government who is proceeding without any difficulties with their nuclear programs for enriching Uranium to just over twenty percent, developing their plutonium production, advancing their ballistic missile programs, and even importing banned substances, materials and even equipment with such minimal difficulties that they are actually erecting yet another nuclear facility if intelligence recently received in Europe is to be believed. Meanwhile, the newly elected President of Iran, Hassan Rowhani, was their former nuclear negotiator who was very adept at being obstructive and is not likely to change the Iranian goal of becoming nuclear weapons capable. He also will not be as ham-fisted as Ahmadinejad and should be a far superior deceiver who is quite adept at misdirection and false representation in negotiations and when speaking to the press. He will prove to be much as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu described him, “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.”


While talking about Iran, we may as well address Iraq and how much of the efforts expended by the United States have been completely reversed since their departure. The most obvious turn of events was the aligning by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with Iran. This alliance has led to the Iranian airlifts of war materials and personnel to Syria which was something the United States would have actively opposed if they had any remaining influence. Additionally, al-Qaeda has returned and recently breached two Iraqi prisons managing to bring about the escape of over five-hundred of their leading members who were incarcerated. This infusion of top level, experienced manpower will greatly enhance the capabilities of the al-Qaeda terror groups in Iraq, Syria and possibly even in Afghanistan and in the Sinai Peninsula. The level of violence had been increasing even before the raids on the two prisons and now the effect will be a force multiplier on many fronts. There will be a lasting effect of the al-Qaeda raid that will be felt for years possibly decades and will greatly enhance the capability of al-Qaeda worldwide. This will also make the situation in Iraq become even more violent and destabilized. Iraq has gone in a short period from an American success into a potential for a failed state should the violence continue to build. The one bright result has been the semi-autonomous Kurdish areas in the north of the country. We will cover more on this Kurdish area later.


Next we move to Afghanistan where Afghan President Hamid Karzai has turned to the Taliban to deal with them after he felt betrayed upon finding out that United States President Obama had approached the Taliban over two years ago in an effort to cut a deal to allow the United States to leave Afghanistan without facing increased violence. President Obama’s approach of the Taliban became an utter failure once he had announced that after the surge in American forces that then the United States was going to draw down their troop strength and prepare to leave by a set date. From that point on the Taliban decided to simply wait out the Americans. Now Afghan President Hamid Karzai has decided to see exactly how far he can push the Americans by levying fines, taxes, fees or whatever one wishes to call them on the removal of equipment from his country. Reports claim that the Afghan government wants to charge the U.S. Military $1,000 in customs fees for every cargo container that leaves the country. This began over a year ago and was just one more manner in which the United States’ supposed allies have been attempting to fleece the goose before it departs taking its future golden eggs with. Unfortunately, this is an example of some of the more favorable events of relations between Presidents Karzai and Obama. It appears almost inevitable that the Taliban will return and take control over most of Afghanistan and we might even see the return of al-Qaeda training grounds in the not too distant future. Certainly Afghanistan will not be a shining example of American success.


Then there is the military coup that shall not be named a coup in Egypt where the military in response to massive millions of demonstrators in the streets removed the duly elected Muslim Brotherhood backed President Morsi and imposed their hand-picked replacement in the Presidency promising to hold election as soon as possible. Egyptian Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi placed as interim President the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court Adli Mansour. Feeling pressure to announce a date for new elections, interim President Adli Mansour stated that a parliamentary vote would be held in about six months which would be followed soon after by a presidential election. Meanwhile the levels of violence continue to climb with the Muslim Brotherhood calling for massive “peaceful” demonstrations and Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also calling for demonstrations to produce a show of support by the people for the military’s actions in removing President Morsi. The ensuing confrontation of these two groups could explode today after Friday services have ended. Another problem which has resulted from the lack of government control has been complete lawlessness in the Sinai Peninsula. There is currently a multi-divisional Egyptian force deployed after receiving Israeli permission into the Sinai Peninsula in an effort to impose order and end the buildup of terrorist groups who had developed a large presence taking advantage of the lack of continuous governance in Egypt. There does not appear to be any quick fix in store as Egypt is highly likely to spin into more violence possibly even reaching levels of a Civil War similar as to the disaster raging in Syria.


That brings us to Syria where an all-out and excessively destructive Civil War has raged for over two years. Much of the national infrastructure is in a shambles and there are millions upon millions of refugees currently in camps in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. There have even been a couple of dozen injured victims from the fighting that have crossed the Golan Heights and received care in Israel before being sent either back into Syria or into Jordan. President Obama has claimed he supports the removal of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad as long as it did not require him to exert much effort. He originally promised to supply humanitarian supplies but refused to send weapons or other military aid to the Rebels. His main stance pertained to the use of chemical weapons which President Obama threatened would cause serious consequences should Bashir al-Assad be proven to have deployed such weapons of mass destruction. Then there came initial proof provided by the Israelis, French and British that al-Assad had indeed deployed chemical weapons against the Rebels and some civilians in Aleppo. The severe consequences implemented by President Obama was to fiercely restate that use of chemical weapons would cross his “Red Line” and result in serious consequences. This dance continued through the next few weeks until President Obama could no longer pretend that the evidence was inconclusive and he then promised to supply some of the Rebels with light weapons and ammunition. Somewhat behind the scenes was Saudi Arabia who has been supplying the Syrian Rebels with light and medium weapons for the past two years with the blessings of the United States. This was the way that the United States could funnel whatever supplies they deemed necessary as long as no game changing weapons systems were transferred by the Saudi Arabian government. The one plus in Syria is that the Kurdish population has carved out an autonomous area in the northeastern parts of Syria. With any luck and the well-earned and owed assistance of the United Nations and the rest of the world, the Kurdish areas in Syria and neighboring Iraq will be allowed to be independent as a reformed Kurdistan.


The Civil War in Syria has gone through a transformation here in the past four to six weeks and is no longer simply about deposing Syrian President Bashir al-Assad. The struggle has now become the next step in the world jihad being waged by the Sunni Muslims which include the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda against the Iranian Shiite front which is fighting to retain the Shiite Crescent which stretches from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea and includes Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The Lebanon branch of the Iranian Shiites is Hezballah which has taken some serious casualties over the last few weeks of the latest offensive thrust from the Iranian backed forces who are merely using al-Assad as their excuse but are actually now fighting to retain their supply line from Iran to Hezballah who represent the Iranian front against Israel. There are two other fronts to the Civil War between the Sunnis and the Shiites in Syria which have not received much coverage. The more active front has been the Shiites in Turkey who have been rioting in an attempt to weaken and eventually overthrow Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and replace him with a Shiite ruler who would follow the dictates out of Iran. The other front has been quieted as there was a recent joint training exercise in Jordan which included United States troops which some have remained along with their equipment in order to strengthen Jordanian King Abdullah II. The threat in Syria will likely intensify in the coming weeks as some of the recently freed al-Qaeda leadership and highly experienced fighters in Iraq make their way into Syria. The al-Qaeda offensive in Syria will eventually, should they succeed in Syria, spread across into Lebanon and possibly even into Egypt should the situation there disintegrate much further and devolve into another Civil War similar as in Syria except in Egypt it would be Sunni Islamists against the Egyptian military. Presumably the United States would support the Egyptian military should such fighting break out, but as the United States just decided to put the delivery of four F-16 jet fighters until the unrest in Egypt becomes more settled that becomes questionable.


There are also the lower level conflicts which remain simmering in Libya and Tunisia. Libya has broken down into tribal and clan level skirmishes as well as the country becoming a training ground for al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Libya has also become a place to organize fighting units and training them before injecting them into Mali, Nigeria and other areas in neighboring African countries where there is fighting between Islamic rebels and the governments. With Libya having become something of a failed state this was bound to happen and will only get more serious unless somebody either takes over as the new strongman much like Moammar Gadhafi and literally imposes their will on the more populous tribes forcing them to support them. In Tunisia the people had elected by a slim majority a Muslim Brotherhood majority government. They had expected to see some economic growth and development or at the very least some relief from the burdensome rules of the previous government. No such relief has been felt and the natives are getting restless.


Lastly there is the ever present Palestinian-Israeli Peace Process which has been misrepresented as having been restarted by Secretary of State Kerry. With Secretary Kerry making six trips since taking office to the Middle East in an attempt to force the two sides back to the negotiation’s table, he has made progress but not necessarily as much as advertised. Yes, the two sides are supposedly sending representatives to Washington DC to meet. No, they are not coming to hash out the final status issues. The coming negotiations are simply negotiations about whether or not to meet to actually negotiate and what will be required from each side to facilitate such negotiations. Mahmoud Abbas has not given up on imposing his preconditions; he has simply sidestepped everything and is now making his preconditional demands through a mediator, namely Secretary Kerry. Thus far it appears that Secretary Kerry is having no reservations about presenting Abbas’s preconditions to the Israelis and has already pried a concession from Prime Minister Netanyahu, a release of an unspecified number but rumored to be approximately one-hundred of some of the longest serving terrorist prisoners. Many of these prisoners are serving multiple life sentences as they have the blood of numerous Israeli victims through their planning, bomb-making, and actual actions on their hands. Many Israelis believe that this was an outrageous concession and will hold this against the Prime Minister for as long as they live. If these talks do not produce tangible results which are believed by many Israelis to be favorable, a highly unlikely scenario, then it is doubtful that Prime Minister Netanyahu will have any future in Israeli politics. There are those in Israel who suspect that President Obama is doing a great amount of arm-twisting and even leveling threats of withdrawal of United States support in both arms and in use of the American veto in the Security Council to squeeze Netanyahu in order to be able to present President Abbas with an irresistible offer. Our prediction is that unless the offer includes all of Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Right of Return for all five to six million Palestinian Refugees into Israel accepted immediately as full citizens and either their homes and lands restored or equivalent properties given them, then Mahmoud Abbas will refuse and walk away and start another round of violence. All in all the Middle East is in the worst shape than it has seen since the end of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.


Beyond the Cusp


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