Beyond the Cusp

April 18, 2019

How American Jews Should Influence Israeli Politics

 

So, you either hate or love Bibi Netanyahu winning and likely forming a strong right-wing, Zionist, Religious coalition. There were four Jewish Congress-critters, Representatives Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey of New York, Ted Deutch of Florida, and Brad Schneider of Illinois, all Democrats, who came out strongly threatening Bibi Netanyahu against extending Israeli law to Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria. Well, that is all well and good for them to do as private citizens, but when doing so as representatives of other Americans and presuming to speak for Jews throughout the land, that is presumptuous to say the least. We are sure that in numerous leftist Synagogues there will be sermons and the usual gnashing of teeth that the Israeli people had the audacity to ignore the advice of their betters, after all, where would Israel be without American support. Well, let us address the so-called critical monetary support Israel receives from the United States once again (previous articles can be read here, here and here).

 

We will not go into the reason that America provides Israel with military aid as that can be read in any of the above articles. What need be told is the limitations on that aid money. The percentage has shifted over the years but seldom if ever dropping below three-quarters of the aid money being required to be spent on American equipment. The aid money has two main effects in theory. The first is to provide Israel with air superiority, something which has been downgraded slowly over the years to now it is closer to parity with the difference presumably made up for by the skill of the pilots, in theory. The second is to provide supplementary money for the American arms industry. Another effect, many refer to it as a side-effect, is that it makes Israel dependent upon the United States for resupply in times of crisis when Israel is between a rock and a hard place if not resupplied rapidly. President Nixon is loved in Israel for his resolute action during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Israel initially lost a great deal of equipment and used a great deal of her provisions turning the tide. This left Israel short on armor such as APCs and tanks as well as running out of the very essential bullets. From history we know that then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger advised President Nixon to force Israel to promise to give all of the former West Bank and Gaza to form a Palestinian State before resupplying her with the vitally needed equipment. If we remember well, he may have said to make them bleed. Nixon, to his eternal credit, picked up the phone, called the Secretary of Defense and ordered him to provide Israel with everything they required and to do so with the greatest of speed. The next hurdle was Europe as every ally refused to permit any resupply aircraft heading to Israel to overfly their airspace, let alone land for refueling. Portugal permitted the United States to use their airfield on one of their islands in the Atlantic Ocean and the resupply arrived helping to save the day, you might say. After this near disaster, the United States placed one of their ready supply depots inside Israel in a location which is a well-guarded secret, probably which can be found using Google. The premise for this depot is should the United States be required to respond to an emergency, they could send troops and these arms could be made ready and provided faster than attempting to bring them from the mainland. The secondary reason for this depot is that should Israel find themselves pressed for provisions; they have access to this depot which will provide for the immediate while resupply can be arranged without the urgency as in 1973 where Israel came close to the disaster of losing one war. One need remember that should Israel lose a war, it will be the last war Israel fights as after that loss, there would be no Israel.

 

Now for some facts which are often met with disbelief. The United States has not always been Israel’s close friend and military ally. In fact, after President Harry Truman went against every advisor and recognized Israel in 1948, the next thing he did was place an arms embargo across the Middle East, Israel included. For the Arabs this was not a problem as they had the support of Britain, France and the Soviet Union. Israel had as her main ally Czechoslovakia. Israel did not receive much in the way of aid from the United States until the late 1960’s and not very appreciable aid until the 1970’s (see graph below). Two items become blatantly obvious when examining the graph. First, is that aid to Israel was nonexistent through all of the 1950’s and well into the 1960’s. Second, is that United States aid to Israel has leveled out at approximately three-billion dollars annually. This fact will become more relevant later in this article. As stated before, the vast majority of this aid must be spent inside the United States. Most of the funds goes for aircraft as might be expected with the next largest amount going for aircraft parts and munitions for those very same aircraft. But the United States receives far more than these orders which benefit keeping the American manufacturing of the weapons of war remaining in business as the demands of the United States Armed Forces would be insufficient to keep all the weapons manufacturers afloat. Israeli orders may not be the largest ticket, but it is not insignificant either.

 

United States Israel Aid (Military)

United States Israel Aid (Military)

 

We stated that the United States gets more than just the return of their investment in Israel with orders for arms production from the United States. Probably the two most famous are the Super Sherman Tank and the rear-view mirrors on the F-16 fighter jet which the Israelis noted the pilot was unable to see if there were any enemies at his six o’clock (behind him). The more modern addition of rear-view mirrors came about when Israeli pilots complained of having a vital blind-spot. Some industrious crew chief came up with the apparently bright idea of using sport mirrors he went and purchased at an automotive supply store which led to a design engineering change which incorporated rear-view mirrors on all F-16 fighter jets (see image below). The above mentioned are merely examples as Israel also has provided numerous improvements, modification and other forms of upgrades, not all of which were adopted by the United States. The Trophy anti-missile defense system is one such example and Israel is working on modified versions for use on other vehicles in cooperation with the United States (article here). Israel also designed some other improvements for other systems including upgraded avionics and targeting systems. Israel agrees with every purchase of American weapons systems to provide full documentation of any alterations, additions or other improvements for the United States to consider whether such would be useful on their own systems. Israel most recent upgrade was the use of the Iron Dome targeting software and related requirements which has upgraded the Patriot anti-missile systems, but this is not supposed to be common knowledge.

 

F16 with After Modification Rear-view Mirrors

F16 with After Modification Rear-view Mirrors

 

Back to the American aid provided to Israel. When the aid reached the three-billion dollars, this was fairly close to the total Israeli GDP and was essential for Israeli military capabilities. Today, that aid is approximately one-percent of Israeli GDP. What is amusing is both Israelis and American Jews believe that Israel could not survive without continued military assistance as Israel is incapable of affording her own military requirements. The truth is quite different. The main reason that the United States desires to continue this aid is no different than when it was first negotiated, they do not desire Israeli competition in the lucrative field of military aircraft. Back in 1970 it was to protect the sales of the F-16 while today the reason is likely to protect the existing F-35 and more likely whatever a sixth-generation fighter aircraft system might entail. By having Israel in continued dependence on American aircraft, the United States avoids yet another aircraft competing with their own. The rising costs of military fighter aircraft forced the Europeans to jointly produce their Eurofighter Typhoon, the world’s most advance fighter, according to their advertising. Israel would be well advised to adjust their dependence upon the United States militarily as their aid could become questionable under a new administration. For that reason and for the well-paying jobs which Israel would gain, adding to her GDP, are two very good arguments for Israel to plan on becoming self-sufficient when it comes to military equipment.

 

 

Now, for those American Jews who wish to force their will and policies upon Israel, we have some basic advice. Make Aliyah and then you can help to elect a Prime Minister and a governing coalition more to your liking. This advice comes with a warning, once you have made Aliyah and are living in a nation the size of New Jersey, and not one reaching from one ocean to another ocean, your views will rapidly become more realistic and fitting to your location. Currently, any advice or demands you place upon Israel do not have any effect on your day to day lives. When you are in Israel, let us say Tel Aviv, and you look to the west and can see the Judean Hills which you currently insist must belong to some Palestinian Arab state, you get this chill down your spine if you have any sense of military strategies. The picture below pretty much defines the result of a Palestinian State along the Green Line. This and the increasing rate of conflict and terrorism are a rude awakening but it is also why Israel seems to be moving more to the right despite the warnings from the left in the United States.

 

Tel Aviv Now Before Green Line Peace and Tel Aviv the Day After Green Line Peace

Tel Aviv Now Before Green Line Peace
and
Tel Aviv the Day After Green Line Peace

 

It is not that Israelis are not listening to their counterparts in the United States, we are. It is just we tend to consider it almost as much as we react to things staring us in the face, so to speak or literally. The last Gaza war, the only reason that buildings in Tel Aviv were not struck and toppling into the streets causing thousands of deaths was simple, the Iron Dome systems which were placed between Tel Aviv and Gaza. Their near miraculous interception rate of close to ninety-percent became the miracle of that war, but eventually a way of getting past the Iron Dome systems will be found and we can only pray that Israel has the next system which will make the Iron Dome obsolete will be ready in time. Israel lives on the knife’s edge with no lack of enemies attempting to press us down and cutting Israel until there is no Israel. Living surrounded by people who desire your complete and utter destruction tends to affect the choices you make when voting. Israel is the safety net for Jews, all Jews. We were the safety net when the Arab world expelled almost all of their Jews during the 1950’s and Israel will be the safety net should Jews anywhere, yes, including America, require finding a home with minimal notice. Israel will not ask if you have any wealth or a job waiting or even an Israeli passport, only that you are a Jew needing refuge. Israel will take such Jews in with open arms and welcome them home, nothing more and nothing less. Jews who believe that tragedy cannot come to the nation in which they live are ignoring Jewish history which should have taught us that nowhere remains safe for the Jews indefinitely. Yes, even the United States has had its time where Jews were evicted from their homes when General Grant ordered the expulsion of all Jews in his military district, comprising areas of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Sure, President Lincoln countermanded that order, but by the time the orders reached Washington D.C. and were reviewed and the countermand was returned to Grant, much of the damage had been done. With the rising anti-Semitism around the world, Israel as the safe haven for the Jewish People has become more important with every passing attack upon Jews anywhere. With Jews being assaulted in New York City, once a safe haven for Jews, what more evidence is required that things are changing. To quote Frank Sinatra, sort of, If it can make it in New York, it can make it anywhere. That is as true for anti-Semitic attacks and worse as well as it worked for Frankie. What counts, Representatives Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey of New York, Ted Deutch of Florida, and Brad Schneider of Illinois, is that Israelis elected a government which will protect them and provide the decisions they find favorable. Further, if the Palestinian Authority can extend their civil law to the regions under their control under the Oslo Accords, why should Israel be prevented from the exact same actions in the regions Israel was granted control by those very same Oslo Accords. If you feel so strongly that you know better than the Israeli public and their chosen governance, then make Aliyah and form a party and run for the Knesset here on those very same ideas. We would wish you luck with your views in an Israeli election, but it is in Israel that you need be to exact the changes you desire for Israel, not in Washington D.C. We would welcome you with open arms, just come here and then you can work to make Israel in your own image. In the meantime, until you make Aliyah, allow us the privilege of electing whom we choose and have them fulfill the promises for which they received so much support. Thank you in advance for your understanding and hoped for making Aliyah so we can discuss this on equal grounds.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 13, 2019

False Readiness Reports on IDF by the Report Writers

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 2:54 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

IDF Ombudsman Major General Yitzhak Brick recently retired and on his way out the door, he just had to write one more report. Ombudsmen are those people you go to when your normal path, chain of command, has not provided you with the satisfaction you sought. In other words, they are the people you go see when you are truly upset and nobody appeared to care. They get to hear all the whining and complaining and they sooth the wounded minds and hearts, or at least try. But Major General Yitzhak Brick has not been the only one who has complained about IDF readiness, there has been a fair share of paper pushers who had only evils to report about virtually every part of the IDF and specifically the fighting forces. Anybody who has served in the military of any nation knows the problems with getting the needed items through the normal supply chain. Such stories of the nightmares and ridiculous miscues of supply requisitions such as getting Bermuda shorts sent to your unit on its way to perform three months of arctic training, something nobody in the IDF will ever need worry, would be an example. Entire books and plays have been written about the Snafu’s in every branch of the military such as Catch 22, What Did You do in the War Daddy, Operation Petticoat and numerous other comedies. Some would say that many of the John Wayne movies were actually spoofs on the military, as he was refused to join the military because Marion Robert Morrison was exempted from service due to his age (34 at the time of Pearl Harbor). But he never made a film about the IDF though he was in Cast a Giant Shadow, which told the story about David Daniel “Mickey” Marcus. But what about the IDF now?

 

Unfortunately, I cannot make any direct reports about the readiness of the IDF, as nobody would allow me to do an assessment, which is a shame. But I can tell about the inability for judging an army’s ability to fight simply due to reports and the fact that the higher in the military one is, the less they know about the readiness of the troops and have only a continuous barrage of complaints and immediate problems making up their day-to-day operations. I was placed in an infantry company by the infinite wisdom of the United States Army. So, in a way, I am as much an expert, if not more-so, than almost any ombudsman. The proven best war-fighters in my last unit in which I trained before moving to something a little less dangerous, Crash Rescue Firefighter, was a small core of men who had served anywhere from one to three combat tours in Viet Nam. They had come back with a chest full of ribbons and held high NCO ranks only to rapidly become privates once more in an army not fighting a war. Here is the little secret, the troops often who take their training the most seriously are the worst fighters when the actual war breaks out and the worst soldiers become the best fighting force you will have ever seen. There are numerous reasons for such things.

 

First, when infantry units are preparing for wars they find they are performing the same basic field practice for a small part of the time and the rest of their time is spent performing busywork such as cleaning the barracks, policing the grounds for cigarette butts, washing the motor pool vehicles and guarding often empty buildings. When a unit is not in actual field duty, the people who get the promotions are the ones with the most military school training. These are also the people who were sent to these training schools because they were mostly uptight, paper pushing, whiny and worst of all, by-the-book exactly as described, letter-by-letter people. When things are not performed exactly as described in the military manuals, and yes, they have one for the proper way to use a mop, they will write a report and send it on up the chain of command. These become the first people placed in the rear when the fighting starts. Meanwhile, those goofballs who were constantly playing pranks, being as silly as possible, and mostly scoffing at the idiots who were busy writing a report on their horrible lack of ability to follow simple orders will be the greatest fighting force ever seen. When you want to base a report on soldiering, forget the reports and actually go and watch the teams placed as the opposition in a field exercise. These are the people often placed on such duty to punish them and the only excuse they will need to make whatever unit is in the field training against them appear to be unorganized and useless is to be challenged to do so. Units training in the field are often a perfect example of why the last requisition was filled completely wrong, it was amusing and the worst people are in charge.

 

The truth is that almost any army when in training often cannot do a single thing correctly. Everything becomes a monumental task which simply continues to pile screw-up after screw-up upon one another until you need a true paper wizard (read ombudsman) to untangle the whole ball of string the cat just played with. This is what passes for military preparedness. That is what occurs when there are no real bullets firing. That is what you get when soldiers are under the realization that there exist dozens of NGO anti-Zionists, anti-Israeli and anti-Semites who will run to their favorite judge and claim murder took place should a soldier even accidentally point their weapon at a suspect. Should a soldier shoot a terrorist before the terrorist has murdered anyone directly, there will be NGOs screaming for that soldier’s head on a platter and there will be paper pushers who will give them their wish. Why would they do so knowing it will demoralize the troops? They are paper pushers and their actions are noble and for the good of the soldiers and will mold them into thinking people and not just brutes who use force. The problem is in a war what you want are brutes who are very good at applying force. What makes for a great soldier in peacetime makes a lousy and often dead soldier in a war zone.

 

This is why right before deploying into a war zone, many units completely revamp their command structure and place those troops who never did anything the way they were instructed into the new command structure. Not all of them as there are some truly ungifted troops but a smart commander knows who is a peacetime officer and who are their soldiers who operate just fine in the fog of war and does not require orders to advance or take cover. There actually is a military procedure for how to lie down and take cover while with a weapon in hand, and it is cumbersome. Then there is the method used when bullets are whizzing past your ear, this is the method where one throws their body to the ground behind something very solid. There is no five-step maneuver as taught in Basic Training; you just act. We all understand why there exists the correct means of lying down while with a weapon, safety. The proper and taught method for performing this task keeps the barrel of the weapon, the end the bullets are spat out, pointed down-range and not at another soldier. In a war zone it does not matter where the barrel is pointed until you intend to shoot, the emphasis is surviving in order to shoot that weapon. There are no reports required, no by-the-book performance regulations and anyone fool enough to walk up and down their defensive position measuring, actually measuring, your grenade sump to make sure it is exactly half a meter deep will most assuredly be the first person shot by the enemy when they engage.

 

When You Know it is Just Training

When You Know it is Just Training

 

The soldiers who go by the book often find that book torn to shreds and thrown away once the bullets start flying and then it become expediency and staying alive. No sergeant is writing reports other than requisitions for more ammunition. There are few if any reports being written as coming home alive is the best report one can hope for in combat. Doing things the Army way in actual combat will get one killed as the correct way to get things done in a war zone is quickly and quietly as possible while taking minimal risk to you or your fellow soldiers. As written by Lt. General James M. Gavin in his book titled, “War and Peace in the Space Age” and published in 1958, he quoted as follows, “George Patton’s last words to us before we left Africa came home with meaning: ‘No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country.’” (citation here) These are true words and probably would be countered by a peacetime leader who will claim that the military manual gives the proper way of performing virtually everything a soldier will ever execute. Pushing such folly to the limit in training simply means more paperwork, more reports of incompetent behavior and not following procedure, and why higher-ranking people who do most of their interaction with the fighting man through such reports have such a low opinion of their readiness for what they have been trained to do, fight.

 

But the training is what will keep them alive. Actually, that is a true statement and often something which occurred while training will make a life-saving act automatic instead of the soldier having to think what to do next. But the idea of what needs to be done and not exactly what is the twelve or twenty-five step military correct means of taking cover and seeking cover and concealment. You just know that behind a fair-sized boulder is far safer than behind some shrubs which is better than being out in the open. There is no need to measure the bolder to make sure it is ample enough or to check the density of the shrubbery, you know what will serve you best of the available options and also do not need the military manual means of taking a prone position with a weapon in hand, you throw your body to the best cover or concealment if there is no cover, but get down at the very least. The good soldier knows these things and checks regularly for such cover. Some soldiers find they have a sixth sense which tells them when to take cover or check the path for mines or booby-traps and so many other things which normally you would claim are impossible. I have known of one troop who could smell vehicles and pretty accurately tell when they were ahead, what numbers and the sizes of the vehicles, and we never figured out how they could do this. The soldier claimed he could small the metal as well as the grease, fuel and any lingering exhaust.

 

While the IDF may not be ready to fight an enemy following the strict application of the manual, from what I have seen as the interplay between soldiers in public, these young men and women are prepared for just about anything except losing a battle. They have the familiarity which is so essential in combat because you need to know how the others are going to act, who is best at which tasks, and you need to know who the go-to person is for plans for victory in the actual combat and not on some sketch sheet. The comraderies of the troops is a big plus and joking is the sign that a combat soldier is prepared. It is one thing to play war in training and completely another task when it is real. Many outfits will equate winning at laser-tag as being a great soldier, as long as the person winning is a by-the-book soldier. Give me your nonconforming and most irreverent troops and we will win the war. Why, because these are most likely the brightest and best trained who understood everything before the lesson was half over. These are the troops who know that field duty is goof-off time where you have fun playing laser-tag and nothing is for real. Then you find yourself in the real world and the other side is throwing everything they have at you and your platoon of soldiers, or so it seems. This is where more than the training comes into play. Now thinking in a nonconformist manner becomes instead of a liability as the means for turning the tide of battle. The troops who played on training missions may now be the individuals who save your platoon and thus the company et al. Just be prepared for the paper pusher to be left behind to write reports and with a good deal of luck and much understanding of the principles of their training, reports and not letters to the loved ones is all you will write. Our conclusion is very simple, No army, no people, no country is prepared or can know what a future with war will bring upon them, they can only hope and be prepared just in case they end up with no other viable choice.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 24, 2018

The Syria Connection

 

One hears rumors of deals and arrangements being touted which predicated the United States departure from Syria. One can only pray that these are valid statements but should plan as if those words were never heard. Does anybody in their right mind believe that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is really going to end his murdering of the Kurdish population in Syria? How many actually are able to convince themselves that once the United States has departed that Bashir al-Assad will not simply begin to slaughter not only the fighters who still oppose him in the eastern parts of the nation but will also choose a genocidal approach to the civilian populations in these regions slaughtering millions of innocents for the crime of being Sunni Muslims or Kurds. There was one promise already kept, but whether the promise was made to United States President Donald Trump or to Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is unclear. The good news is that Russian President Vladimir Putin did lean on Lebanon regarding the Hezballah tunnels dug under the border and into Israel plus warned them to take steps to assure the border with Israel remains quiet. This also serves Russian influences and interests that there does not open up warring between Lebanon based Hezballah and Israel as such a war is bound to spill into Syria even if just to prevent arms from reaching Hezballah from Iran through Damascus, the route usually taken, though of late Iran has begun using Beirut International Airport to transport guidance system upgrades to the massive Hezballah rocket inventory making them deadly accurate missiles instead of launch and pray rockets with marginal accuracy.

 

The problem is that either President Trump has not learned that in the Middle East falsehoods are a way of life and actually demanded of the followers of Islam if that lie furthers the goals of Islam. The American President is accustomed to making deals with people whose word is their bond and such does not exist throughout most of the Middle East, Israel being the exception. This has caused Israel many serious problems when dealing with the Palestinian Authority (PA) as they would often make a promise which they had no intention of ever honoring as that would be counter to their interests, and as they are Muslim, their interests when dealing with Jews is an imperative that they gain specifically when they lie. The PA has not kept virtually everything they have ever agreed upon with the greatest and most obvious lie being that they rewrote their charter removing calls to totally destroy Israel and kill all the Jews. To the credit of the PA, when Washington DC sent State Department monitors to determine if the PA was to alter their charter, they had a vote to form a committee to look into having a committee which would consider making the prescribed alterations. The State Department monitors returned to Washington DC reporting that the PA was indeed going to make the changes required, and that settled that argument. Of course, that committee saw no reason to form another committee to decide if the changes should be made, as obviously they never intended to alter one letter of their charter and nobody in the Western World can understand their charter as it is written in the apparently untranslatable Arabic. We can expect the same for any and all guarantees given to President Trump as conditions under which the United States military could leave the region-claiming job done in the defeating of the Islamic State.

 

That takes us to whether or not the Islamic State has indeed been defeated. That would depend on one’s definition of defeated. The Islamic State lost virtually all of the territory it once held, had its declared capital city taken and has been reduced to sparse groups scattered over many square miles of territory all of whom have melted back into the population, often in the very villages they left to fight with the Islamic State. Such a dispersed group would be next to impossible to hunt down and the effort would make such more and more difficult as time progressed as many of these people would be torn from their communities leading to resentment and making more terrorists. So, was the Islamic State defeated? Well, yes, as much as such can be the case as the remainder has vanished into the countryside and in small towns and villages. The remnants if they were to gather to attempt another power seizure, they would become a simple target which could be eliminated using aircraft from the fleet in the Arabian Gulf or Mediterranean Sea as soon as they were identified. Will the Islamic State ever return and become a new menace? Probably not, or at least not in the same form with the same leadership and it would only take the name Islamic State because there is a history to be found in the ruins of the Islamic State. President Trump was basically correct in reporting that the Islamic State had been defeated, but his move to pull the troops may prove to have been premature.

 

Reports have stated that this was a decision made by the President and only the President. Security Adviser John Bolton argued against pulling the troops out claiming it was premature. Secretary of Defense James Mattis was in so much agreement with Bolton that he tendered his resignation claiming that the President should have somebody supportive of his decision rather than himself who was vehemently opposed to this move. The leadership of the Democrat Party stated that what the President did with pulling the United States military troops from Syria was a form of deserting America’s post in the troubled region. Yes, you read that correctly, the Democrat Party is now in favor of a military campaign half way around the globe to eradicate every last person who ever had any cordial relations with the Islamic State. These are the same people who scream as if somebody murdered their pet puppy any time Israel is forced to act against Hamas, a terrorist group on the immediate border from Gaza yet bemoan the removal of United States military which was fighting terrorists extremely far removed from the American borders. That, our friends, is hypocrisy. But nobody ever honestly claimed that the United States had no double standards when it comes to Israel. Every nation, or virtually every country, holds contrary expectations of Israel which are far and away more restrictive and bordering on making it dangerous to the point of allowing Israel to face destruction while applauding any other nation taking steps for protection from terrorists even if the threat was thousands of miles distant; for example, the United States and Islamic State for whom the United States sent troops to the far side of the planet.

 

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis

 

The first and near immediate consequence of the United States pulling her troops from the region will produce will be Iran establishing a direct route across Iraq and into Syria and Lebanon with the equipment headed for Lebanon and will be utilized by Hezballah. The IRGC will become more active vis-à-vis the Israeli border with more regularly stray bullets just happening to strike somewhere along the Golan Heights and even rockets will stray into the Golan Heights all of which will make soldiering on this front more demanding. Bashir al-Assad will take the American troop withdrawal as a signal that he will be free to do as he pleases while he completes his retaking of Syria. The human rights abuses are simply going to become a major part of the coming Syrian despotic regime returning to power. Assad will definitively punish those peoples he feels were disloyal or critical of his rule. This will include the Kurds and the Sunni Arabs in large part as their Alawite Shiite leader purifies their nation. Once the perceived enemies of the Syrian despot have been cowed, then everything will return to an eerie form of normalcy. Such will take time as the people are going to have to rebuild their lives and their homes in all too many instances. Bashir al-Assad has proven to be at least as great a destroyer of worlds and has exceeded his father’s totals and Bashir is not yet near to the completion of his transformation of his nation and its population. Additionally, Turkey’s Erdoğan will be serving al-Assad by sweeping through and killing the Kurds in the north of Syria while disarming any he allows to remain. We may be on the verge of witnessing the murder systematically of millions of Kurds. In far too many cases, the military troops have been hand picked selected for their proven loyalty and their brutal oppression they are willing to inflict often on innocent persons. The anti-Kurd animosity is very apparent in both the sweeping away of described terror cells and the brutal treatment of all of those who are not them. The Kurds are also facing murderous troops in northern Iraq as the Iraqi militias, the Iraqi military and the IRGC from Iran are sweeping Kurdish territories seeking to kill anyone who ever had even the slightest connection to Kurdish Militias. This sweep may even include what is left of the Yazidis who escaped the Islamic State slaughterhouse by the skin of their teeth. Life outside of Israel in the Middle East can be horrific to the point one simply gets trampled by one despot after another. The United States departure from this region will have detrimental effects, but these will be nothing when compared to what will occur once the United States pulls their support for Israel and no longer provides cover in the Security Council. That is something which is already in the pipes and coming before you know it. Before that day arrives, Israel will require a new and kindly friend who has a permanent veto.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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