Beyond the Cusp

October 22, 2019

The Kurdish Dilemma

 

History will judge and rejudge President Trump’s move to pull American forces out of the Kurdish region of northern Syria allowing a Turkish invasion. This move by the President is likely traceable to his main weakness, taking leaders of other nations at their word. In the situation with the Kurds, the word of Turkish President Erdoğan stating that he was merely going to keep the Islamic State and other terrorists from making bases and a home in Syria and leaving civilian Syrians at peace is worthless. President Trump and his advisors should know from history that President Erdoğan considers all Kurds to be terrorists. Further, they should have researched and found where Erdoğan claimed to be leading the reestablishment of the Ottoman Empire and desires absorbing Syria as far as Aleppo and Iraq all the way through Mosul and the Mosul oil fields. This would also place almost all the remaining Kurds outside of Turkey within the enlarged Turkey and thus facing genocidal efforts. We had discussed and revealed Erdoğan’s plans back on April 25, 2017, in our article Turkey Has a New Caliph Called THE President complete with a map of the Greater Turkey he envisions. We understood that the argument favoring Erdoğan’s expansionist plans was the fact that Turkey is a NATO member state and thus the United States is obliged to militarily support Turkey against perceived threats. If that is what NATO demands, then this we elucidated upon in our January 25, 2018, article, Time for United States or Turkey to Leave NATO. We discussed and proposed establishing Kurdistan numerous times including here, here and here. These should stand as providing a solid background and so now on to the current set of events.

 

We understand that President Trump promised on the campaign trail to disengage from all the Middle East squabbling and specifically the Arab on Arab fighting. This promise was his direct reference when announcing the pullout of American forces from the Kurdish regions of Syria and probably will soon be followed by the same in Iraq if our premises prove accurate. There are a few intractable facts which make the situation with the Kurds different and separate from President Trump’s campaign promise. The Kurds are amongst the very few peoples who refused to Arabize and thereby have kept much of their culture, kept their language and have distinct practices and are not uniformly following the Arab or Islamic dictates which have influenced most of the cultures which the Arabs have absorbed and destroyed. The Kurdish tribes include a large minority of Christians who the Islamic State had trapped and were set to annihilate them. These were the Yazidis of whom we spoke during our article of November 13, 2016, titled Erdogan Declares Border War on European Union, where the world, United States and her State Department included, ignored the plight of these largely unarmed civilians trapped on a mountain where ISIS promised to slaughter the men and use the women as they pleased. The Kurds of northern Iraq and Syria came to the rescue and pulled a majority of the Yazidis to safety. This is not an Arab on Arab fight but a Turk vs, Kurd war. We agree with President Trump when he complains that these wars between MENA tribes have been going on for centuries and the United States has fought in a few too many. We understand his not wanting to be dragged into another MENA conflict. We will even go so far as to understand his premise that the Kurds have received aid moneys, arms, training and support from the United States and it is time for them to stand on their own and emulate Israel, the one MENA nation to never have foreign troops defending them from her enemies. This begs one simple set of questions; can the Kurds be equated with the Israelis, does the United States owe the Kurds protections, and lastly, is there some means by which the United States can prevent a genocidal war by Turkey against the Kurds. We will take them one at a time.

 

Can the Kurds be equated with Israel? Actually, this is possible in a plethora of means. The first concerns statehood. When the Iraqi Kurds held their referendum and of those polled over 75% desired their declaring their independence, this was where the United States could have assisted the Kurds greatly. Instead, the State Department insisted that the United States would not provide them with support or even recognition as a new country insisting that this was not a good time for such a declaration. The State Department promised to let the Kurds know when it would be convenient. Read the top of this paragraph and instead of Kurds or Kurdish, replace it with Israel and Jewish and you have the reaction of the State Department to Israeli declaration of independence in May of 1948. Yes, President Truman recognized Israel and then the American government slapped an arms embargo on the entire region. As the Soviets were arming the Arabs, this embargo really only affected Israel. With the Kurds you have a heavily armed with American weapons Turkish military, one of the largest and presumed best armies in the world ranking within the top ten and the Kurdish militias who have limited armor and no air cover. Israel had far less equipped armies when the several Arab states augmented by militias attacking her on the very first morning of her existence. Israel received a fair amount of military aid from Czechoslovakia who sold Israel most of the arms remaining within their borders from the several armies of World War II. This aid included some armor and aircraft. The aid granted the Kurds had largely not included armor and had never included aircraft and minimal artillery. Any war between Turkey and the Kurds of either northern Syria or Iraq would be similar to Godzilla vs. Bambi. Israel was very fortunate to not be crushed in the 1948 Arab war to annihilate the Jewish State at her birth. Many feel it was nothing short of a miracle. Should the Kurds manage to throw off any Turkish attack, that too would be a miracle.

 

Next, we ask, does the United States owe the Kurds protections? The answer in realpolitik is an abrupt, “No!” According to realpolitik, no nation ever really owes another country or group anything just because they faced a common foe together. Britain used the animosity existing between Spain and France to their advantage by backing the weaker of the two turning the tables on the more powerful nation. When such a war ended, and during the lead-up to the next bout between France and Spain, Britain often was required to change sides as the other was not the weaker of the two. Britain never felt any debt to their last ally as for them, it was about preventing either France or Spain from becoming strong enough to challenge Britain. The United States never felt any debt to France for their aid in the Revolutionary War against Britain thus when the French Revolution erupted, the United States simply watched officially from the other side of the pond. If any nation has shown to be out of character and actually shown allegiance to former allies, that has been the United States who gives preference to things European, and particularly British. So, in the real-world of everyone out for number one, the United States does not actually owe the Kurds anything as they were fighting a common foe which the Kurds would have been required to face with or without any assist from the United States. This was proven when the Kurds went to the aid of the Yazidis and the world twiddled their thumbs.

 

And lastly, is there some means by which the United States can prevent a genocidal war by Turkey against the Kurds? The answer is that there is a means by which the United States can assist the Kurds, and not all of them require the use of any military force. Probably the most obvious would be for the United States to pressure Turkey such that they decide that it is not worth the sacrifice just to attack the Kurds of Syria and probably Iraq after them. President Trump honestly believes that economic threats and potential sanctions will be sufficient to persuade President Erdoğan to largely remain within his borders. One only need look at the collapsing economy and currency of Turkey to realize that Erdoğan does not care about these things anywhere near as much as he desires to reestablish the Ottoman Empire, or at least taking the initial steps, which he defines as taking northern Syria and Iraq south to Aleppo and Mosul along with the oil fields and the elimination of the Kurds. One would not be unfair to expect Turkey to follow up with the elimination of the Kurds within their current borders. They have carried out such attacks previously. The United States, had the Kurds been of any real importance, could have aided them far more greatly by aiding their declaring independence at least from Iraq after the resolution for independence. There are two means by which America could back their former allied Kurds at this late date. The first would be to threaten to remove Turkey from NATO, something which should have been done over a decade past. The other would be to provide air cover for the Kurds against Turkish air power which the Kurds have no ability to fight alone. This could be provided by providing them with anti-aircraft missiles, namely MANPADS. The other would be using American air-power to prevent Turkish raids on Kurdish villages, something we predict will soon be part of the Turkish offensive. Without such aid, the Kurds will prove to be sitting ducks falling victim to Turkish air attacks aiding their military thrusts into northern Syria and probably northern Iraq soon thereafter. President Erdoğan was completely serious when he claimed to be the new leader of the reestablished Ottoman Empire and his desire to capture Aleppo and Mosul.

 

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

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

 

Could there be a bright side to the presumed coming Turkish assault on northern Syria and Iraq? Yes, there is one positive in that Turkey will become a threat to the Iranians establishing their Shiite Crescent pictured above connecting Iran with the Mediterranean and placing them on the borders of Israel. The downside would be a conflict between Iran and Turkey which would bathe the entire region in blood. Such a conflict would greatly weaken one side while likely eliminating the military ability of the other. In case of a war between Iran and Turkey, the United States can expect to be drawn into a far more costly war in the Middle East as Turkey could call upon NATO to aid in any conflict with Iran. Should NATO members agree to intervene, their decision would mean that most of the fighting would be conducted by the United States with perhaps moral support from the remainder of NATO. American air power should be used either as a threat or, should it be necessary, as a hammer to crush any ability for the genocidal assault on the Kurds. Still, much of the problem the Kurds currently face comes down to two main factors. The first is the Kurds not following through and establishing their own nation of Kurdistan and the second the inability for the Syrian Kurds and Iraqi Kurds from being able to join together and form a political entity which both could endure. There are strong differences in their political outlooks with one favoring a democratic rule and the other a socialist government under a strong leadership. The coming conflagration between the Kurds and Erdoğan’s Turkey could result in a far greater conflict between Iran and Turkey which will result in a great loss of life and far reaching destruction. Such a conflict could result in one side initiating the use of nuclear weapons. We have stated often our expectation that Iran already had dozens of nuclear weapons and possibly a number of thermonuclear weapons while Turkey had a sharing agreement with NATO should they face nuclear attacks to utilize in their response, NATO willing. Should an Iran-Turkey war turn to nuclear weapons, it will be unavoidable for NATO to remain neutral as Turkey would most likely be the one attacked with such weapons which obligates the intervention of NATO and thus the United States. Such an escalation could pull Russia, amongst others, into the fray leading to escalation after escalation with nobody knowing what would be the end result.

 

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

 

January 25, 2018

Time for United States or Turkey to Leave NATO

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has received the requisite permissions from Russian President Putin to assist in their war to reinstate Syrian mass murderer Bashar al-Assad as the uncontested dictatorial ruler in all of Syria. Now Erdoğan, in his best al-Assad imitation, has launched an all out assault on the Kurds in northern Syria. There are few questions as to what Erdoğan views as the result of his efforts will produce. His desire for a Greater Turkey, or the new Ottoman Empire, will include the areas south to include Aleppo and to the southeast to include Mosul and potentially Kirkuk. Erdoğan is poised to engage and eradicate the Kurds by ethnically cleansing the entire areas which they currently hold. The fact that the Kurds were crucial in the containment and following defeat of the Islamic State matters not to Erdoğan, they are simply the wrong kind of Muslims in his book, making them just slightly less offensive than were the Armenian Christian population to the Ottoman Empire in the ramping to World War I between 1915 and 1917 and the Armenian Genocide. What is unfolding before the world is the result of the denial of the Kurdish desire for their own independent nation after their Kurdistan referendum where 93% voted for independence.

 

Where there was one nation who backed their vote and called for recognition of the nation of Kurdistan was Israel but as the United States having just finished an election resulted in a hasty decision based on the recommendations of the State Department and many at the Pentagon, both of which told the Kurdish leadership the same thing they told the Zionist leadership in 1948, wait, the time is not right and it will cause the United States difficulties which they refused to endure. You know the world has made a huge misjudgment when a maniacal egomaniac is given a green light to start and conquer lands they crave through a genocidal cleansing of the very people who desired to simply live in peace who were told their desire for a homeland was too much bother and they should wait. The difference is the Zionists did not listen to the State Department or Pentagon (Defense Department) and President Truman also made up his own mind remembering the Biblical lessons his mother had taught him in his youth. Unfortunately, the Kurdish leaders heeded the warnings from Washington and will now likely bear the consequences. Also, the fact that the Kurds in Iraq and their brethren in Syria are far apart politically also meant that only the Iraqi Kurds were polled and there was no consideration to include the Syrian Kurds. Until the Kurds can unite under a singular leadership and unite in their political preferences preferably choosing democratic capitalism over socialist governance, they will remain two separate groups and thus weak and easy victims. How far Erdoğan decides to push might depend on Russia and Iran, as they might not support his extending into Iraq. Defeating the Syrian Kurds is obviously supported by Russia and Iran as it furthers their efforts to reseat Bashir al-Assad, beyond that would only be accepted if they were working with the Iraqis. What will be interesting is the reaction of the Russians and the Iranians when they realize that Erdoğan intends to retain the extra territory he gains, conquers, and has no intention of stepping away and gifting the lands to al-Assad. That just might be where the coalition agreement comes to a brittle and violent end.

 

Greater Turkey

Greater Turkey

 

The real question will be whether or not United States President Donald Trump notices this little item in the news and whether it registers. The good thing is it will be easy to tell whether or not the President notices, simply watch his Twitter feed. Beyond that, we would be ignoring our responsibility if we did not provide our positions and any background we might have. The easiest way to address this is to go chronologically in reverse order on our main articles involving Turkey and NATO. Our articles start with NATO and the Turkey Problem from November 29, 2015; then Turkey Needs to Prove They Belong in NATO Now from September 18, 2014; and lastly we have our original article on Turkey and NATO, The Turkey Problem for NATO from January 15, 2010.

 

Perhaps we should go back as to when, why and how it was that Turkey became a NATO member state. Turkey was included into NATO along with Greece on February 18, 1952, under the direction of President Harry S. Truman as he declared that the United States would support and back militarily any nation threatened by the Soviet Union. Marking this declaration, President Truman announced the inclusion of Greece and Turkey into NATO and thus under the NATO umbrella. These two nations were the first additions since the founding states on August 24, 1949. NATO was the Western states answer to the Warsaw Pact nations under the auspices of the Soviet Union. Thus was the genesis of the Cold War which lasted until the end of the 1980’s and the fall of the Soviet Union and its satellite nations leading to a rapid expansion of NATO absorbing the Warsaw Pact nations which desired to join. This almost led to a second cold war which would have been an empty threat as these nations now had their own democratically elected governments and governance which departed from their old alliances.

 

That brings us to the current day where there is no real Communist threat from the Russians. With Turkey now aligning with Russia and the Warsaw Pact having collapsed, the reasons why Turkey was drafted into NATO are no longer viable reasons for their remaining a member of NATO. The time has long passed to reconsider the reasons and current politics and whether Turkey still offers anything to NATO or are they a threat to NATO. Then there is the question of whether NATO even has a purpose in the modern world. NATO could, and maybe should, be transformed into a trade union where the nations assure the rest free trade. The one thing the United States must determine is whether or not free travel and open borders between NATO nations is a good idea, and if that is to be permitted, then United States need assess whether or not they desire to permit such travel with all of the NATO members. There are many other international organizations which perhaps the United States and some, if not many, of their allies might decide that they have become counterproductive and require replacement. We would suggest a new international organization to replace a number of organization which have fallen to some form of political correctness and place that before their mission statements as group think has replaced honesty throughout much of today’s world. So, obviously we feel that either Turkey should be required to resign from NATO or the United States should resign from NATO.

 

Let us enter into BTC World, where things are as we envision the world. The United States places a challenge before every organization in which they are members. For the sake of brevity, we decided to use the following organizations, NATO, the International Red Cross, and the entirety of the United Nations including all aligned organizations and courts. Taking NATO first, the test is very easy, take a vote on permitting Israel to join and when the vote fails, the United States should resign from NATO. Simultaneously, demand that the International Red Cross accept Magen David Adom and when they refuse once again, the United States should pull out. And as far as the United Nations, the United States need not bother and should simply resign. Then the United States with Israel could begin a new international peace organization and allow any nation to petition for membership. Of course each nation should then be carefully deliberated as to whether or not they are worthy of inclusion. This new organization could easily replace all the aforementioned groups and affiliated functions. Imagine a world organization where Israel is not condemned automatically at the opening of every session such as the United Nations Human Right Commission or the United Nations General Assembly. Do not fear; the International Red Cross has their difficulty as they accepted the Red Crescent but refused Magen David Adom. For some reason we doubt it has anything to do with their sign being blue but rather it being two triangles, one inverted being superimposed. Perhaps they fear accepting such a sign would lead to it bursting into flames. We promise that none of the Magen David Adom vehicles have spontaneously combusted; any that have caught fire had a lot of assistance in doing so.

 

Burning Israel Star of David

 

The Israel test is a simple means of seeing if any of the plethora of international and regional organizations acts objectively. One need simply test to see whether or not the nations have chosen Israel out for particular consideration, negative consideration, and further their cooperation with the United States as a modifying test and see whether they pass that test. The sorry thing is that the vast majority of nations will be unable to pass such a threshold to enter into this new alliance. Using the United Nations General Assembly vote in reference to the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel there are but nine nations who would be easily admitted; Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo and United States. There were thirty-five which abstained allowing them to receive additional considerations by checking other votes condemning Israel and checking their history and these nations are; Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Haiti, Hungary, Jamaica, Kiribati, Latvia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda and Vanuatu. The final group was those who simply decided not to even arrive and take any stand which includes these twenty-one nations which include; Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor (Timor Leste), El Salvador, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mongolia, Myanmar, Moldova, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Zambia. The remaining one-hundred-twenty-eight General Assembly nations would find joining the United States new and rather exclusive group of nations for special and favorable treatment far more difficult. We realize that such events are a pipe dream, but without dreams what is life. We hear about Dreamers from the media all the time and how they are special and need our sympathy; what makes our dreaming any different? Yes, we realize dreams that Israel be treated fairly by international organizations are deemed unacceptable by the vast majority of the world. The world loves many things which originated in Israel such as cherry tomatoes and use the medical, agricultural and scientific discoveries and high tech inventions not to mention cell phones and security and encryption programs along with discoveries in all fields of science including life saving surgeries. Many nations have received exceptional and experienced teams who carry-out search-rescue and field-hospital alleviating their distress and giving life-saving assistance in every sort of emergency be it storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanos or other forms of emergencies. Unfortunately too many of these nations forget such aid when the time comes to vote to condemn Israel for virtually any reason. That is why the Israel test is such a viable test which it is sad so many nations fail such a simple test.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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