Beyond the Cusp

April 13, 2016

Of Papers and Glass Paperweights and Prices in Stone

 

Often the proof is in ancient writings found imbedded in the clay pottery shards which are on display currently in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem starting Tuesday, April 12, 2016. These are a collection of military orders written in ancient Hebrew dated to the end of the First Temple period which were unearthed in an excavation of a fort in Arad, Israel, and dated to about 600 B.C. shortly before Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of Jerusalem, and were uncovered in the Negev Desert (see image below). The fact that military orders found were written by multiple individuals has been used, along with biblical writings from the same period, in order to be effective implied that literacy was rather common amongst the area known as Judea. These writings, published Monday in the US Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, make it possible for the earliest books of the bible to have been written before the exile and during the First Temple period. According to Tel Aviv University archaeology professor Israel Finkelstein, “There’s a heated discussion regarding the timing of the composition of a critical mass of biblical texts.” Finkelstein, who led the team of researchers together with physics professor Eliezer Piasetzky reported, “But to answer this, one must ask a broader question: What were the literacy rates in Judah at the end of the First Temple period? And what were the literacy rates later on, under Persian rule?” The writings were discovered in the ruin of an ancient Judahite military fortress near the Negev city. Such evidence of higher rates of literacy existing throughout the military infers similarly high rates amongst the peoples themselves. Finkelstein, however, said he has long believed those texts were written in the late 7th century BC in Jerusalem, before the siege. He said the study offers support for that theory. “It’s the first time we have something empirical in our hands,” said Finkelstein. It was the fact that these orders were of a nature to have been disseminated through the entire chain of command which can be used to infer high rates of literacy.

 

 

Inscriptions in ancient Hebrew dating back 2,500 years discovered near Arad. (Tel Aviv University/Michael Kordonsky, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Inscriptions in ancient Hebrew dating
back 2,500 years discovered near Arad.
(Tel Aviv University/Michael Kordonsky,
Israel Antiquities Authority)

 

 

Shmuel Ahituv, an Israeli bible scholar who did not participate in the study, also believes literacy in ancient Judah was widespread before 586 BC and that the biblical texts in question were written before the siege of Jerusalem. He said he believes this is apparent through a literary analysis of the biblical texts alone. “I don’t need algorithms,” Ahituv chuckled referring to the algorithms used to reconstruct the missives other than those he had studied.

 

There was an additional discovery this week of the oldest glass manufactory found thusfar in the holy lands. This glass foundry dates back to approximately 400 A.D. The remains of the kiln used to produce large scale glass was discovered as construction of a road being built at the initiative of the Netivei Israel Company as part of the Jezreel Valley Railway Project between Ha-‘Emeril Junction and Yagur Junction. The oldest glass kilns ever discovered in Israel were unearthed at the foot of Mount Carmel near Haifa – exposing an ancient, global glass-production center which serviced the entire Roman Empire (see video below). These kilns are roughly 1,600 years old (dating to the Late Roman period), and indicate that the Land of Israel was one of the foremost centers for glass production in the ancient world. The other main glass producer was near Alexandria, Egypt. Glassworks and glass manufacturing sites had been found previously which dated to the eighth and ninth century which made this find all the more exciting and important as it predates the others by almost five centuries. This validates another find from Rome where a price edict was circulated by the Roman emperor Diocletian in the early fourth century describing and setting the prices for two kinds of glass. The first was known as Judean glass which presumably was manufactured in the Land of Israel while the second was Alexandrian glass from Egypt. Judean glass was a light green color and less expensive than Egyptian glass. What makes this edict so important is that it had been written in stone, well, chiseled in stone and was displayed at glassware shops making for fair trade standardized throughout the Empire.

 

 

 

 

This discovery has attracted glass experts who specialize in ancient glass manufacturing from around the globe who have all come to inspect the find and test the glass which was found amongst the ashes and stones from the hearths. This solves the question as to what glass much glassware was made from as this site was a serious large manufacturing industrial site. It was in these kilns where it was estimated that large glass blocks were produced using sand cleaned and transported from the beaches and salt which would have been melted together at a temperature of approximately 1,200oC in order to make the glass. The glass manufactured here would have had a soft green tint and blocks weighing as much as ten tons per casting. After the kiln had been permitted to cool and the glass removed it would have been broken into more manageable size pieces and carted off to be sold to glassware and other manufacturers where the pieces would be smelted again to form glassware products. Glassware was found throughout the Roman Empire as glassblowing had been discovered as a method for producing glassware on an industrial scale which is what made the need for production facilities such as the one found here and others which have been located dating years later. It is the earlier dating of this site which has sparked so much interest. Below is a picture of samples of the glass embedded in rocks found at the base of the hearth.

 

 

Fragments of glass discovered at the site Photo: Assaf Peretz, courtesy of Israel Antiquities Authority.

Fragments of glass discovered at the site Photo:
Assaf Peretz, courtesy of Israel Antiquities Authority.

 

 

This glass is another example of what we discussed in yesterday’s article titled Thoughts on the World on This Day where we pointed out that “Israel is still being accused of colonialism by the conquerors of their homeland from in the early seventh century. The Arabs were simply the last of a whole host of colonial enterprises all attempting to dislodge the Jewish People (the Israelites) from their native ground and capital city of Jerusalem.” This glass production site in conjunction with the Roman edict written in stone setting the price of “Judean glass” proves that the area even after the change of the region name still referred to the products as Judean. They did not call it Arab glass or Palestinian glass or any other peoples’ name in the reference; it was Judean glass from Judean manufacturing and proved that the Jews (Israelites) remained and ran a thriving industrial glass production. There have been wine and oil presses found dating to the same time frame and through the years preceding and afterwards all making Judean products. The Roman edict setting the price for Judean glass alongside Alexandrian glass displayed the two main centers for glassmaking which provided the raw glass used throughout the Roman Empire where the first known use of price controls is evidenced in stone and refers to Judea as a glass manufacturing area and the Jews residing in Judea as the makers. Sometimes the proof just pops up and settles things so simply. One might say the answer is as clear as glass, slightly tinted green as was the Judean glass.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 16, 2015

Israel Isolation Right Around the Corner

Filed under: Administration,Amalekites,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Appease Islamic Interests,Appeasement,Appointment,Arab League,Arab World,Ayatollah,Ayatollah Khamenei,Ayatollahs,Ba'al,Benyamin Netanyahu,Binding Resolution,Blood Libel,Breakout Point,Britain,Calaphate,Caliphate,Civilization,Conflict Avoidnce,Coverup,Czarist Russia,Egypt,Europe,European Council,European Governments,European Pressure,European Union,European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs,Executive Order,Extreme Leftist,Federica Mogherini,France,Germany,Government,Hassan Rowhani,Hate,History,Hitler,Hudna,Internal Pressures,International Politics,Iran,Iranian Pressure,ISIS,Islam,Islam,Islam,Islamic Pressure,Islamic State,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Israeli Interests,Jerusalem,Jihad,Judaism,Mainstream Media,Meaning of Peace,Media,Middle East,Mohammad Javad Zarif,Mohammed,Muslim Expansionism,Muslim World,Muslims,Nazi,Nebuchadnezzar II,Nuclear Program,Nuclear Sites,Nuclear Weapons,Nuclear Weapons,Ottoman Empire,P5+1,Parchin,Persians,Pharaoh,Plutonium Production,Pogroms,Politicized Findings,Politics,President Obama,Prime Minister,Qom,Remove Sanctions,Roman Empire,Russia,Russian Pressure,Sanctions,Saudi Arabian Pressure,Secular Interests,Smiling Cheshire Man,Supreme Leader,The Twelfth Imam,Twelvers,United Nations,United Nations Presures,United States,Uranium Enrichment,Weapons of Mass Destruction,WMD,World Opinion,World Pressures,World Without Zionism or America — qwertster @ 2:24 AM
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Entire Edited for ease of Reading Transcript of Iran Nuclear Agreement with the P5+1 Group

 
It comes as no surprise that the vast majority of Israelis as well as Prime Minister Netanyahu are about as far from pleased as a people can be, one might even claim spitting mad, over the agreement with Iran. It is equally unsurprising that the White House, especially the man at the top, President Obama, has passed to the media their stated understanding of the Israeli’s position and dislike but at the same time claim there was no other alternative. There have been claims and innuendo that Israeli disagreement will only sow the seeds of disrespect; not for President Obama, he’s close to perfect; not for the Iran deal, it is perfect; not for the European Union or the European backers of this deal, they’re perfectly blameless as the White House and State Department perfected the deal; not Secretary of State Kerry, he worked like a dog even when relegated to standing on one leg to get the deal, that was even before his accident; not for the negotiating team, their being made up in part with the same core members from the North Korea fiasco under President Clinton, they assure us they did not make the same mistakes, only new ones; definitely not the Iranians who, according to the White House and European leaders, are without blame or even blemish; not those leftists claiming that if the world would just show Iran’s leaders a modicum of respect, then the Iranian leadership would respect their obligations under the deal, thus it is the doubters fault should Iran break the deal; plus lastly not President Obama himself, he’s worked his fingers to the bone and even ran his pen out of ink and made so many calls to get such a good deal that his phone is out of minutes through 2037, sometime in early March; all the blame has come as a result of Israel, especially Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, expressing their doubts, their concerns, their admonitions all of which caused this injection of negative karma placing an ominous shroud, a kind of voodoo spell, over the proceeding which almost resulted in the death to any deal. This is coming mostly from the leftist Democrats in academia, the media and in the White House and their ‘fearless’ (I prefer gearless or clueless or both, I can be generous) leader who have all cast their lots against Israel.

 

Unsurprisingly, late in the document and placed after the lists of dropped economic, military, trade and other sanctions and listing each unfrozen fund and other assets all listed singularly comes “D. Nuclear Safety, Safeguards and Security” which appears in this obscure location such as nobody would have the fortitude and gut instincts to suspect there was anything after the lists, surprise. The section starts casually mentioning the obvious stating what seems as innocent as can be and would not have resulted in any serious concerns. It simply stated:

“E3/EU+3 parties, and possibly other states, as appropriate, are prepared to cooperate with Iran to establish a Nuclear Safety Centre in Iran, engage in workshops and training events in Iran to support interactions between Iranian nuclear regulatory authorities and those from the E3/EU+3 and elsewhere to, among other things, share lessons learned on establishing and maintaining regulatory independence and effectiveness, and training on implementing nuclear safety culture and best practices; facilitate exchanges and visits to nuclear regulatory authorities and nuclear power plants outside of Iran focusing on best practices for safe operation; and enhance and strengthen domestic emergency preparedness and severe accident management capability.
Provide support and assistance to enable Iran to join relevant conventions on nuclear safety and security, e.g. through workshops or seminars furthering accession to such commitments. Such workshops or seminars could also take place under the auspices of the IAEA.”

The agreement then goes beyond the cusp and into the Twilight Zone with this list of promises to provide expertise as required or requested in the form of assistance stating the obligation:

E3/EU+3 parties, and possibly other states, as appropriate, will co-operate with Iran in the following areas of nuclear safety, as well as in other areas to be mutually agreed:
Conclusion of bilateral/multilateral agreements with related organisations and research centres;
Supply of valid codes, instruments and equipment related to nuclear safety;
Facilitate exchange of knowledge and experience in the area of nuclear safety;
Enhance and strengthen domestic emergency preparedness and severe accident management capability;
Arrange on-the-job training and apprenticeship courses for reactor and facility operators, regulatory authority personnel and related supportive organizations in the area of nuclear safety inside and outside of Iran;
Establish a Nuclear Safety Centre in Iran, which shall be equipped with necessary tools, techniques and equipment, in order to support and facilitate technical and professional training and exchange of lessons-learned for reactor and facility operators, regulatory authority personnel and related supportive organizations;

This will complete the ability for Iran to keep their systems clean and some of their more proficient programmers may learn enough so as to use such spyware and other sophisticated invasive programs against their enemies, like Israel and the United States, the great and little satins. Much of this will reveal some of such programs already within the systems in Iran and we can bet safely that unless the invasive software has the name of the company and their logo, these invasive attempts will be blamed on Israel regardless of whom is known for having committed the crime, but that is just the start.

 

The Arab League has once again started their howling over how unfair the world is to place restrictions upon Iran but Israel is allowed to roam around untethered and restricted by the NPT (Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty) and not be inspected by the IAEA and restricted in their production of uranium and plutonium as Iran has been pressed to refrain? The mere fact that Israel has never used a nuclear weapon despite having good cause if one was to carry things to an outlandish finish where Israel might have been attacked by almost every Arab military or some unthinkable thing which history has shown is highly improbable and Iranian are regularly led in chants of “Death to America, Death to Israel” is hardly a convincing or even applicable comparison as Israel has never been attacked the ways that Iran has been and thus has no right to complain or compare situations, Iran has been under consistent attack since 1979 when the present government rose to power, thanks again President Jimmy ‘the peanut farmer’ Carter. The question is why is Israel allowed to hide their presumed nuclear weapons stockpiles which may rival the rest of the world combined for all the world knows. They must be made to rid themselves of their nuclear weapons.

 

The Europeans are entirely possible to stand behind such a call if it were made in the General Assembly and slightly less likely in the Security Council, especially a binding Chapter Seven Resolution. The United States is currently easily seen as using the Arab Leagues call for nuclear disarmament for the entire world. The real problem is the likelihood that President Obama could start with demanding Israel reveal their actual numbers of nuclear weapons; an exact count which would then be received by President Obama, and should Israel claim more than a dozen warheads and bombs in total, then the push for an acceptable limit be made to the breaking point and potentially beyond to denuclearize Israel in the name of peace in our time for all the Middle East. This would be followed by immediate demand for Israel to rid themselves of their nuclear weapons, a cry that could find its way by this October to the grand reopening of the next session of the United Nations where speech after speech could address Israel not being in compliance with the IAEA guidelines, let alone nuclear free. The hue and cry in the General Assembly continues with everyone demanding an accounting from Israel or the world is in danger of spinning off its axis and flying out of the Solar System if the imbalance that Israel may be causing with their nuclear weapons in the Middle East not be remedied. The intensity would grow and grow expecting President Obama to give the climactic speech all about the evils of nuclear weapons and his offer to match anybody nuclear warhead for nuclear warhead destroyed realizing their preeminence allowing them the ability to do so.

 

This will be the final egg in the basket, so-to-speak, as the BDS Israel protesters will go absolutely beyond the cusp with their rioting and demonstrating causing classes and final examinations to be cancelled for the first time since the late 1960s or 1970s in some of the universities. The ever increasingly shrill demands that Israel strip down and become denuded of her nuclear weapons will become unignorable demanding Israel comply or explain why will reach fevered levels sustained by instigators on every campus paid by NGOs themselves part and parcel subsidiaries of European governments and even the European Union all pretending to be independent, grassroots systems which rely on individual donations, not government grants year after year and their overseers demands for Israel to bleed nuclear weapons until her silos and arsenals run dry.

 

The nuclear issue will become the rallying cry as the mob grabs their pitchforks and torches and come to storm fortress Israel and bury the nuclear monster before it destroys one more life. Never mind that no lives have been lost because Israel has nuclear weapons, assuming for the moment that such is valid. If anything lives have been saved as there has been no major war between Israel and her neighbors in what many claim and recent news has proven since 1974, just a year or so after Israel presumably joined the nuclear armed nations club unofficially as Israel has always declined to answer whether she owned any nuclear weapons ever. Still, the suspicion that Israel possesses nuclear weapons has forced the Arab League and the independent nations to have to attempt to politically destroy Israel using presumed guilt of owning nuclear weapons; presumed guilt for murdering disproportionally in her wars against Hamas, Hezballah and other terrorist entities; presumed guilt over the truths in the forgery known by the title of “Protocols of the Elders of Zion;” presumed guilt simply for existing; and presumed guilt at causing hatred of the Jews to return to the world just recently and never before has there been such hatred been known in the past, never mind the treatment of Israel amongst the body of nations.

 

Israel will soon face a seemingly insurmountable threat to her existence. The greatest threat since over a half dozen national armies attempting to slaughter little Israel while she was still in her crib having been born in a single day and celebrated the evening before as Israelis for the most unbearable burdens for all mankind in even this presumed modern world is heading rapidly towards Israel from all fronts and in all venues. But is this world so sophisticated, so cosmopolitan, so cultured, so refined as to abhor all forms of anti-Semitism, well, except denunciation and demonization of the Jewish nation amongst the nations of the earth or do the base hatreds which drove mankind in their initial hatred of the Jews of the days when their neighbors prostrated themselves before idol and even more-so before Baal, the one they sacrificed their unwanted children to. Is the world all that progressed from those days when every upstart of a nation desired world dominion of ruling over the entire world and forcing all to their own religion, of course the kingdoms of man have progressed from those futile thoughts except for Iran, ISIS, Hamas and the scattered several potentates and high flung fools.

 

Mankind has become an enlightened entity where the more base segments of the body of mankind still hold deep cancerous hatreds that at least one of which has the oldest of pedigrees and this hatred has not changed since the earliest of times when these Jews demanded that in their nation and in their presence man shall not sacrifice man and especially the child sacrifice as was done, or is it when so many fetuses are murdered in the womb, in the cradle of life itself. When mankind desired to sacrifice infants, the Jews admonished and were hated. When mankind wanted to unify and make all exactly the same, true Judaism instructed how to not so practice. When one after another after another after yet the next petty tyrant all the way to Napoleon, Hitler and now the Caliph of ISIS when mankind sought to rule the entire world the Jews said except the small piece the L0rd of Abraham Isaac and Jacob gave to us to do as Hashem hath commanded and they hated us.

 

We marched for equality with Martin, we came and saved a dancer with a modern and nearly perfect prosthetic in Haiti after the great quake raising one thing of beauty amongst the thousands Israel saved and came to the soaked northeastern shored of Japan when nuclear plants threatened to melt into the soaked soil and threaten an explosion and we nursed for as long as we were allowed to stay and then left, as we have often done, a fully stocked and built clinic in the hardest hit area and when asked how we desired payment we asked they be kind to each other. We seek peace even where the mantras are we can have no peace other than the grace and a thousand of a thousand of a thousand of thousands of millions have spread hatred of the Jew and sworn an oath to their idols they were the ones who would finally annihilate the cursed Jew and rid the world of this pestilence which seeks to be kind and to help the helpless and they too failed and fell.

 

Now we have probably the most numerous of foes, a collection of tribes which easily include over half the globe’s population amongst their numbers as it includes the fundamentalist Muslims, the secular humanists, the churches of the West, the communists everywhere, the developing nations beholden to the oil sheikdoms, the neo-Nazis every bit as much inculcated by hatreds so as to rival the most ardent of the final solution as their predecessors. No nation on earth is without the curse that is the hatred of the Jew even if one has never met a Jew nor has any in his village, his hamlet, even his teeming city of a hundred thousand, yet he has many friends, amongst them all, they each have their story on what the Jew has done to them or their families despite there being no Jew for a thousand miles in any direction. The hatred seeps through the cracks in sanity and infects them, one after another, some online, some in the quiet places and others in the noisiest discotheque, and they found each other in huddled corners and now they rule and spread their hatred and the promise that if they just kill the Jew, and they succeed where all before them failed, then they will have cleansed the world.

 

Thus they must hate and kill the Jew, and that Jew today is Israel. We survived Baal, we survived Pharaoh, we survived Haman, we survived Nebuchadnezzar, we survived the Inquisition of Tomás de Torquemada, we survived the horrors of the Dark Ages, we survived wearing the yellow star in the Caliphate, we survived the pogroms of the Tzars, we survived the death camps of Hitler and the Nazis, we will survive the renewed hatreds of the ever growing spread of hatred borne of the dark heart in Medina and its younger cousin of Qom though they sit in Tehran. That is what we do, we survive, we thrive though small in number, and we give gifts to the world through our inventiveness, our love of knowledge, our innovative minds, and our love for mankind borne from Hashem. That is what we do even when surrounded by threats and hate, we love, we heal, we persevere.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Entire Edited for ease of Reading Transcript of Iran Nuclear Agreement with the P5+1 Group

 

May 29, 2015

Syrian War Winner and Losers

Filed under: Act of War,Air Fields,Allah,Amalekites,Appease Islamic Interests,Appeasement,Arab Appeasement,Arab Spring,Arab Winter,Arab World,Arabist,Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi,Bab-el-Mandeb,Babylon,Beheading,Blood Libel,Breakout Point,Calaphate,Caliphate,Civil War,Civilization,Clan,Conflict Avoidnce,Coptic Christians,Dhimmi,Dictator,Egypt,Egyptian Military,Europe,European Governments,European Pressure,European Union,Executive Order,Fatwa,Foreign Funding,Government,Hate,Hezballah,History,Internal Pressures,International Politics,Iran,Iranian Military,Iranian Pressure,Iraq,IRGC,Islam,Islam,Islamic Pressure,Islamic State,Islamist,Israel,Israeli Interests,Jihad,Lebanon,Leftist Pressures,Libya,Middle East,Military Council,Ministers,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslim World,Nationalist,Nationalist Pressures,Nebuchadnezzar II,Nuclear Option,Nuclear Program,Nuclear Weapons,Nuclear Weapons,P5+1,Pakistan,Parliament,Persians,Politicized Findings,Politics,Power,President Morsi,President Sisi,Pressure by Egyptian People,Rebel Forces,Religion,Saudi Arabian Pressure,Saudi Military,Shiite,Sinai Peninsula,Soldiers,Sunni,Syrian Military,Taqiyya,Theocracy,Threat of War,Threat of War,Tribe,Turkish Military,Twelvers,United Nations Presures,United States,United States Pressure,Uranium Enrichment,War,Weapons of Mass Destruction,WMD,World Opinion,World Pressures,World Without Zionism or America,Yemen,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 2:26 AM
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The Syrian war is about to finally enter its terminal stage. This is not something to be celebrated as there is only one winner and a ton of losers. Without any doubt the largest losers are the Syrian people who now have no country. Syria will be a nation in ruin for as far as the mind can see. Once the Assad government final is completely destroyed and the Alawites have paid the price for the Assad families’ decades of ruthless leadership where millions died just because the Assad family feared they might turn against their governing, then the Syrian fighting will simply be every factions, tribe and even clan contesting land until eternity. The war will rage on ravaging what is already a nation in ruin even further down the scale of civil rule. It is highly likely that Syria will never emerge from the ashes and the Syrian people will inherit a nation at war with itself with no relief from the horrors similarly to what is still ravaging Libya long after their dictator paid the price for his savagery. Bashir al-Assad will probably be more fortunate as he will probably take refuge in Iran, Russia or somewhere in Europe where he and his family will live quietly and under an assumed identity spending what is likely to be billions of Euros they have stashed in numbered Swiss accounts. Some might see this as their having come out as winning but they will also be living that life or relative luxury constantly looking over their shoulder checking for an inevitable assassination of Bashir al-Assad if not a slaughter of his entire family some night when something went bump in the night and their house was transformed into their tomb.

 

There will be numerous leaders of different factions of the groups fighting against Assad who will claim to have won and may even spend a few hours in celebration of the final end of Assad family rule before the next stage of the fighting begins to determine who will be the final winner. Unfortunately for the people of the Arab and soon greater Muslim worlds, when the entirety becomes a contest to determine who gets to form the next Caliphate then everyone loses as the fighting envelops a larger and larger area with numerous factions fighting against each other and eventually factions melding to be stronger and fighting to be the final victor as there can be only one Caliph and soon there may be countless contesters for that throne. This fighting promises to eventually cut the Muslim world into large factions with regular breaking down between allies just making the fighting even more destructive. The initial fighting will continue across Syria, Libya and Iraq for the foreseeable future with a few contesters being the forces to watch. The most obvious element is ISIS which claims to have their tentacles reaching across the different areas where fighting is active, even in Yemen. The news has reported of ISIS factions beheading some twenty Egyptian Coptic Christians which garnered them some attention from Egypt which carried out a series of airstrikes. This provides the simple truth of what it will take for ISIS to actually be capable of successfully claiming the leadership and establishing the next Caliphate, air-power. So far ISIS has not given even a tentative sign that they have any air capabilities. There was mention after ISIS captured an airbase in Syria of their intending to train pilots for the establishing of an ISIS air force. They managed to get a few jets into the sky which were immediately shot down by actual fighters from the Syrian Air Force. The next step was the destruction of every aircraft on the ground by two or three days of airstrikes rendering the airfield useless and destroying every aircraft they could target. So much for an ISIS air force.

 

ISIS will be a terrorist organization, though a powerful one for now, until they somehow manage to garner air-power in the form of aircraft and fully trained pilots to fly them. There will be only one way for this to occur, and that would be for a number of flight squadrons to take to the air and land on an airstrip already within ISIS controlled area bringing as much weaponry for their aircraft as they are able to carry. If such defections are well planned before their execution these pilots and some ground crews for servicing their aircraft, as such will be vital, will also have some cargo aircraft loaded with munitions, spare parts and everything necessary to sustain an active air force no matter how small. Obviously this would require either an entire nation’s air crews or a number of squadrons following suit in rapid succession thus forming not only the beginning core of an air force but instead a complete and functioning air force capable of defending their airfields as well as providing ground support and other missions. Anything less and ISIS will remain a terrorist group even if a powerful terrorist entity, but not yet the nation or even contender for the title of Caliphate. So, who are the real qualifiers for the title of leaders of the Caliphate?

 

Unfortunately ISIS is still the number one contender as they have the appearance as the strong horse with the plans and the fire to get the Caliphate started and lead the fighting forces to eventual victory and the unification of the entirety of the Ummah (Arabic: أمة‎‎). As pointed out, if ISIS is to eventually prove the leadership of the new Caliphate they will require a real air force which has thus far eluded them. That leads us to the more obvious candidates but first let’s list some of the non-state actors who will eventually play a role in the determining the next Caliphate. The first one to come to mind is the father of so many of the Arab and Islamist terrorist and non-state actors across the expanse of the Muslim world, the Muslim Brotherhood. Another entity with the structures in place for making a claim is al-Qaeda. A third would have to be the Taliban though their reach is limited; they do have well trained fighters who are highly motivated. Despite the Muslim Brotherhood, Taliban and al-Qaeda having extensive ties and supporters, they have the same problems as does ISIS, no air power. For this reason, none of these groups have much of a chance of defeating an actual state whose military is well formed and capable of fighting a modern war against what would have to be viewed as a terrorist entity in the eyes of the national leadership and armed forces. The main duty beyond holding the line against the terror entity would be keeping control through the ranks, especially the air force, to prevent defections to the other side, something which occurred with some of the Sunni military and security forces in Iraq and Syria. There were even a few pilots who defected over to ISIS but not in sufficient numbers to even form a single squadron of fighter air corps.

 

There are currently four nations which might be considered capable of eventually forming the next Caliphate if such is what is fated. These are in no particular order, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt. A fifth possible nation would have to be Pakistan if for no other reason than their being a nuclear armed nation. The nations who currently are allied in the fight against the Iranian proxy Houthis fighting for control of Yemen and most importantly, the Bab-el-Mandeb narrows at the southern end of the Red Sea and controlling access from the Red Sea into the Gulf of Aden and onto the Arabian Sea and beyond, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. This is a perfect alliance as Saudi Arabia has the oil wealth while Egypt has a strong, well-armed and well-trained military which has proven their unity and discipline over the trying period of two changes in governance over the past three years which the military retained its ranks and officer corps and structure throughout. The greatest threat to the Saudi-Egyptian alliance is obviously Iran which could become favored to gain the upper hand in this contest once they attain their own production of nuclear weapons, a structure that is greatly formed already and presumably not producing such weapons due to their negotiating with the P5+1 and possibly fearing actions by the United States should they actually proceed and build a nuclear weapons stockpile. This likely means that Iran is doing exactly that, as they have no respect, let alone fear, of any threat the United States might currently make. Once it becomes obvious that Iran has produced nuclear weapons, it is expected and been confirmed unofficially that Saudi Arabia will be exercising their agreement to purchase, most likely at wholesale, a dozen, or a few dozen, nuclear devices and the delivery system to go with them in the case they are warheads rather than bombs. This would allow for the Saudis to develop, which means build the facilities, their own nuclear program. The Saudi Arabian scientists and necessary technicians are already trained and ready to take up the challenge of producing nuclear weapons as they have received such plans from Pakistan in exchange for their subsidizing the Pakistani drive to produce their own nuclear weapons in response to India having done so. The Saudi access to nuclear weapons production will serve to perpetuate into perpetuity the alliance between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

 

With the establishment of an alliance between Saudi Arabia and Egypt one side and Iran and whatever remnants of Iraq, Syria and probably Lebanon as ISIS and the other rebel groups who will have brought down Bashir al-Assad will still have numerous scores to settle with Hezballah which any international borders will not be capable of standing in the way preventing this vengeance from being extracted. The above alliance leaves such powers as Turkey and Pakistan on the outside in the cold, so to speak. Pakistan is most likely to remain on the outside simply observing as a mostly disinterested spectator who if forced to choose would most likely ally with the Saudis and company as they have had a mutually advantageous relationship over the decades, despite Pakistan receiving much of their oil from Iran, it is likely that the Saudis could take care of any need in that area. That leaves Turkey to figure on which direction they are most likely to take. The direction Turkey would take depends on who is in power. Currently their leader for as long as most can remember has been Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Should Erdogan remain in power, which way he would choose would be in question. President Erdogan has over the years shown to side with the Iranians, Saudis and even Egypt alternately. Currently there is a significant rift between Turkey and Egypt over the ouster of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood governance and replacing it with the chosen General of the Army President Sisi. The Turkish government, which is to say Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has held fast demanding that President Sisi step down as President and place Morsi back on his Presidential pedestal along with the entirety of the Muslim Brotherhood government the last elections replaced. As doing so would most definitely lead to the loss of the lives of most of the upper echelons of the Egyptian military, this scenario is highly unlikely. If sentences are to be carried out swiftly there may no longer be a former President Morsi to return to the position as he and hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood leaders have been sentenced to death recently by the Egyptian courts. Meanwhile, Erdogan has alternately shown affinity for Iran though currently has remained surprisingly neutral and silent reserving his vitriol for Israel, always the default position one can take to insulate themselves from outside harms. Determining which direction Turkey might take under Erdogan is a guessing game and probably will remain that way until one side or the other proves the victor and then Erdogan would ingratiate himself to the victor. If he were to choose, he appears to favor Iran possibly due to their presence in Syria and thus along his southern border. Without Erdogan Turkey would naturally side with Saudi Arabia and Egypt as they would no longer be seen as supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

The question as to which side would prove victorious between a Saudi Arabian led coalition or Iran is a tougher call. It might all depend on which side was willing to use their ultimate weapon with sufficient deployment so as to end the ability of the other side to resist. Where I have some doubts that the Saudis would be the first to use nuclear weapons in the Middle East, I have no doubts that such would be the primary first strike or response to hostilities in order to simply end any contest and declare their victory. Should such an event ever be presented to the world, their answer should be carefully decided and decisively delivered. Should Iran use nuclear weapons against her adversaries on the Middle East and willingly bring such devastation to fellow Muslims, even if they were predominantly Sunni and not Shiite, then the rest of the world had best believe they would receive nothing less. Should Iran launch such a barrage, it would be surprising if they did not at the same time launch attacks by multiple means on Europe and the United States as well as any other nation they might perceive to be capable of mounting a credible resistance to their eventual world-wide victory. But even Iran does not appear to be quite that ruthless or willing to wreak such devastation on such a scale.

 

Should they prove to be that hardhearted and coldblooded as to end civilization as we know it, then it would prove a suspicion I had way back when a cursory review of the predictions of Nostradamus was in vogue and fascinated one youth after viewing a special on television where they gave lengthy coverage to his future vision of the world falling to a man from the Middle East wearing a blue turban. Despite every publication and prediction claiming that this meant Iraq I held stubbornly to my feelings that it signified Iran, and I do mean stubbornly. Often I was dismissed as a lost cause incapable of listening to reason but I had my faith that Persia would rise again and not Babylonia. Historically the Babylonians surrendered to the Persians almost joyously as their ruler had lost his mind after burning three Israelites (Jews) for not bowing before him and they somehow proved to be fireproof, well, at least for that moment as they cried out to G0d and were saved from a fiery death. This proved a bit much for the mind of King Nebuchadnezzar II who lost his mind unable to believe or understand that such a miracle was possible and that he was not the most powerful even in his own kingdom, his capital city even.

 

As is often the case, the eventual end to this will entail a fair degree of insanity, a touch of the impossible, room for a number of miracles, even more so should Israel somehow become involved. Perhaps this might be the place to end with a final word on the probable path Hezballah may be about to tread. Once the remaining forces, the few, the perplexed, the Syrian remnants; then Hezballah will find themselves pretty much alone as the IRGC forces will stake out a radius around Damascus and wherever else they determine is vital to Iran such as the port where the Russian fleet is docked, Latakia, and perhaps a few places in Lebanon as well. Should Iranian plans not include providing safety for the last remnants of the Syrian military, they certainly will not be protecting Hezballah. The Iranians may well understand that should they not side with the remnants of the defenders of Assad that their retaining the choice areas they believe essential to their requirements will be more readily accepted and produce minimal resistance. That leaves Hezballah pretty much out in the cold and in need of some reinforcement to their devotion to Allah and commitment to the perpetual cause, the eradication of the Zionist entity, Israel. The end result will be the same and Hezballah should prove to be better served for survival by fighting Israel than fighting ISIS. It needs to be remembered that Hezballah, just like ISIS, has no air force. This deficiency will prove fatal for them in either battle, against Israel it is obvious, they will have little recourse against Israeli air power, and against ISIS it places them on an even playing field with ISIS currently being the more motivated and Hezballah having superior training and better knowledge of the terrain as well as having heavily fortified bunker and tunnel system in southern Lebanon, their home turf. Either path will probably be the final battles Hezballah will ever engage in. Even should they start a war with Israel, that does not necessarily rule out a final settling of grievances with ISIS, it would just mean that final reckoning coming after Israel had smashed their bunkers and tunnels and decimated their rocket and other heavy weaponry. Anyway one slices it, there is a better than average probability that we will have seen the last of Hezballah by Summer’s end. That may be the cherry atop the ice cream Sunday and a gift to the civilized world out of the ashes of Syria.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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