Beyond the Cusp

April 21, 2017

It Can Get Worse But Why Wait?

 

The articles and editorials all point to the same truths. It is painful to read about but we read it anyways. Those who read here regularly know the feeling and most made of sterner mettle read on if for no other reason than the hope that in the story there will at the least be a single ray of hope. The stories from the last few days held no such light. Stories from across Europe and back again, from the campuses of the United Kingdom to across the Ukraine to Paris, the capital city of France, the stories are all too similar. The names of the victims change and all too often the perpetrators remain unidentified and probably without remorse. The only time these beasts feel remorse is before the television cameras and the media and even then the discerning realize their remorse is that they will face legal proceedings. Then there are the few defiant who cannot understand that they had committed any crime and demand to have explained what they did that was wrong, after all, they had merely beaten the life out of a Jew. And these miscreants often come in small groups up to a half dozen or so and attack as a mob again a singular target or perhaps two Jews both teens or old men. They rarely take their vengeance and hate out on any Jew physically capable of dealing harm to at least one or two before numbers take their toll. These stories rise out of Europe and one of the rare voices reporting on these heinous acts has been the Italian journalist Giulio Meotti. His most recent article ”Welcome to Europe’s Four Capitals of anti-Semitism” was one of a series of articles over the past week which served as the impetus for this article.

 

There has been one ray of light we have kept in mind when reading these stories, and that is that more and more European Jews are choosing Aliyah to Israel as the solution to the growing menace in Europe. The information we have seen indicates that Israel is the number one choice followed by the United States with a small number choosing elsewhere such as South America and Canada or even Asia. The main group we would like to speak with directly, and to anyone knowing of such people, are those deciding that the United States, and by inference anywhere other than Israel, as their destination where they can restart their lives anew and be safe. We are not trying to imply that currently the problems for Jews in the United States is something dire and that it is a reckless choice which places them in nearly the same level of danger as that is definitely not the situation. But on the other end of the scale, we are speaking as amongst those who made Aliyah to Israel from the United States. The main reason is that one of us had promised themselves at an early age that they would retire in Israel when the opportunity arrived. We lost a great deal of financial security by doing so having now to rent at a far higher price than the mortgage we paid on our home in Oklahoma. We can tell you that the sacrifice was more than worth it. That leaves the question as to why we would make such a move and that gets to the crux of why we recommend that the United States not be at the top of any Jew’s list of safe destinations. If your reason is that you have relatives in the United States and you are moving near them, then by all means go to the United States as having supportive relatives of close friends should always be amongst the highest priorities. But, if the choice is purely which destination would be best, then choose Israel.

 

First, we can give a couple of startling facts comparing Israel and the United States. Taking in all types of criminal acts even including terrorism, one is more likely to have a violent crime committed against their person in the United States than they are in Israel. The best means of avoiding such a fate is identical in Israel as it is in the United States; simply avoid areas where criminal acts are most often perpetrated. Do not visit certain places or at least minimize visiting such places to daylight hours and one severely diminishes the probability that they will fall victim to violence. We will grant that there is a definitive difference in the likelihood of a military attack on the nation between the United States and Israel. Mitigating this problem is that the Israeli government has made a great deal of effort into protecting the people, particularly the children, from the ravages of war. There are shelters throughout the country and should the sirens sound, simply follow the flow of people to reach the closest shelter. During the last Gaza war the seeming biggest question on virtually every Western journalists’ list came across asking, “Where are all the dead Jews to match the Palestinian losses?” Of course, it was not phrased so clumsily, well except one journalist who said almost exactly that, but they were all seemingly fascinated in the fact that more Gazan civilians appeared to be dying than Israel civilians. Now we must point out that these very same journalists were following the crowds of Israelis heading for the shelters when the sirens sounded and they marveled, as did we all, at the unbelievable accuracy and kill rate of the Iron Dome batteries. But, despite witnessing the exact reasons for the disparity, they were not making a comparison as much as a political statement which basically could have been read, what makes the lives of Israelis more important than the lives of Gazans. They were asking the wrong side, that is what they should have queried the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders as to why they too had not permitted their civilians the protections they reserved for their fighters. But that was a lesson that Israel will spend just as much if not more, fifty-thousand dollars a missile cost for Iron Dome to prevent a rocket costing a few hundred dollars if that, preserving the lives of her citizens, all her citizens. Israel has recently completed fortifying every school roof and structure to withstand the majority of rocket strikes and further enforced the kindergartens and many daycare facilities. Israel requires that all new residences come equipped with a shelter which will withstand rocket attacks up to a certain level. Basically, Israel is a nation with bomb shelters spread across every city, town, kibbutz and community and invests in the best intercepting systems all in the name of keeping the people safe.

 

Israel can offer one guarantee; she will not enter into any conflict which can be avoided by negotiations or other means to mitigate the necessity of war. The same cannot be stated about her neighbors, especially Hamas, Hezballah, the terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula (who are fortunately busy fighting one another), Syria (which is also engaged with internal struggles), Jordan, Egypt or Iran. What is interesting about Jordan and Egypt is that the nation’s leaders in both countries are less inclined in fighting with Israel than are the people, with the Jordanian people actually having the highest and most deeply ingrained hatreds for Israel largely due to their listening to Palestinian Authority radio and television, stations Israel licenses and permits to broadcast. That is largely financed by the European Union, United Nations, many individual European governments and likely the United States funds are also used for these broadcasts and at least the first three would all be up in arms should Israel shutter these incitive voices of hatreds. Some claim that Israel is high upon the list of the Islamic State as a target to attack should the opportunity present itself. This was revealed to be untrue when one of the commanders in the areas closest to the Golan Heights was asked if striking Israel was a priority to which he responded that striking Israel was not even on their to do list as they would incur serious and irreparable damage resulting from such a foolhardy move. If only all our enemies thought so clearheaded and logically. The main thing is Israel will do everything possible to refrain from engaging in a war, often going further than the majority of the population in such efforts. Once such conditions exist, the safety of the population becomes of paramount concern. Israel is a nation which stocks her shelters regularly and such activity being hastily performed nationwide would be a greater sign of potential for coming conflict than the opening of weapons bays and other such readying which other nations take as a sign of impending conflict.

 

So, even in worst-case scenario, one would be equally safe residing in the United States as in Israel. We must grant that residing in Israel would decrease the numbers of holidays one could celebrate as other than the Jewish celebrations, the other communities mostly celebrate on their own and theirs are not national holidays. On the other hand, with Synagogues plentiful and the vast majority of food retailers selling only Kosher foods and many restaurants also serving kosher food, it is far easier to be a practicing Jew here in Israel. Outside of certain neighborhoods in the United States, the same is not the case and it would be next to impossible in large swaths of the United States or at the least most difficult. In some areas, one would need look far and wide and likely further just to find sufficient men for a Minion for morning prayers forcing one to recite them alone, not a conducive setting for remaining religious. Assimilation in Israel means becoming more Jewish aware if not Jewish while assimilation in the United States makes one more secular Christian where you are either secular or Christian, both is difficult. So, should your concern be remaining a practicing Jew or becoming a practicing Jew, Israel should be your destination. If within you is even just an ember, a mere spark, of being a practicing Jew, Israel will nurture that spark until it lights the fire and from there you decide. In the United States, such an ember would be doused with ample water unless one was to protect it with great effort. So in Israel such an ember is given to lighting the passion of being a religious Jew and this is made much easier in Israel while in the United States the driving force is to make one a secular humanist and possibly a leftist who discards Hashem as they believe only those things they can see, touch and explain with formulae.

 

The final reason to choose Israel is the most difficult for people to accept, the growing anti-Semitism in the United States. For much of the last seventy-five years, anti-Semitism in the United States has been swept under the carpet. Much of this has been accomplished by those wishing to hide the brutal truth so as to make the United States appear moral. They also wished to deny that any trace of anti-Semitism was existent within their great nation. The problem is that despite these efforts, anti-Semitism has been measurably rising. The often-strange property of this rise in anti-Semitism is its tendency to rise fastest in those communities with the fewest or no Jews. All too often acts of anti-Semitism were perpetrated by people living outside of the neighborhood or even the city or town where the incident occurred. This has permitted the explanation that the act was a one-out or rare occurrence which poses no threat to the Jewish population. Such thinking is desperately erroneous. It is exactly this sort of anti-Semitism which is most dangerous because beneath such an act is a seething anti-Semitism which will only be furthered by the punishment of the miscreant. This will be interpreted as the Jew victimizing one member of their community and punishing them to an extreme for some minor act. My fortune was to, more often than not, live in an area where there was some distance, often more than five or even fifty miles, between me and the next Jewish family. Of course as I have resided in Wyoming; there in one town if there were not a person matching some description, it was at least fifty miles to the next town with maybe three homes between the two, so we are talking fair sized towns of at least seventy-thousand. Yes, that included where I resided in Wyoming.

 

While growing up as a youth anti-Semitism decreased hitting a low mark somewhere near or soon after the Six Day War as that made many in the United States feel as if they were a little bit Israel for that one week. Nevertheless, within a few short years, anti-Semitism began to grow, and in a most peculiar place, the far-left wing of the political spectrum. The far-right, today called the alt-right, actually remained relatively constant and more of a nuisance than an actual threat. The far-left had a simple problem with Jews, and that was Judaism and little ideas such as the Ten Commandments, the Torah and the entire Bible (Old Testament) and the morality within these documents. Adolph Hitler spoke of this hatred of a Jewish morality when he declared, “The Ten Commandments have lost their validity. Conscience is a Jewish invention; it is a blemish like circumcision.” And “…the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.” Hitler included Christianity as another of the items which prevented mankind from reaching its glorious heights he envisioned once Judeo-Christianity was dead. That is the overriding side of anti-Semitism left from many discussions, that what is the target is not as much the Jews as the Torah and the rules Judaism gave to human civilization. Judaism is the root from which Christianity grew and set at the core the Jewish morality which Christianity accepted as was with minor alterations making the practice more suitable for their target audience, the Roman pagans. Christianity kept many of the basics upon which Judaism is based, including but not limited to, the Ten Commandments, Love the stranger, treat others how you wish to be treated, and numerous other teachings which were gleaned from the words of Jesus. One item which remains in the backgrounds about Jesus was that he lived and died as a Jew, taught Judaic laws, preached from Torah and everything he said and performed he did so as Judaism taught and within the moral and legal codes of Judaism.

 

Conscience is a Jewish invention

 

Since the early to middle 1970’s anti-Semitism has grown regularly. This has been in part due to money flowing to anti-Semitic organizations with a great deal of this money invested on college-aged youth across the nation’s campuses. Many of these organizations and entities are under the collective arm of the Muslim Brotherhood often through multiple channels making direct tracing near impossible. Some of these organizations were recently linked to the Hamas terrorist group during the Holy Land Foundation trial which included amongst the numerous named co-conspirators Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). There was found numerous links from Palestinian Arab aligned groups especially the Students for Palestinian Justice (SJP) and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), all of which come together for a singular cause, the destruction of the Jewish State followed by the systematic eradication of the Jews worldwide as called for in the Hamas Charter. The destruction of the Jewish State is also included in the Palestinian Authority Charter. These groups use far left tactics of intimidation, harassment, and ridicule targeting anybody who might give an even and unbiased review of anything to do with Israel. There are a growing group of colleges and universities which Jewish parents oppose sending their children there for further education and many of the names are as amazing as it would appear to many as unbelievable. This list on its own would be sufficient to prove that a serious problem exists at many of the leading liberal arts colleges and universities across the United States. What makes this even more threatening is that it is exactly these institutions which are producing the national leaders of the next generation and the generation beyond. These colleges have become central places of indoctrination of a curriculum and faculty fiercely anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic. There will be those who claim that being anti-Israel is not against the Jews but the nation and its policies. They will also claim that Zionism is a form of racism and that they are against racism so of course they are not again the Jews. Yet the only nation these people demand be removed from the community of nations is Israel, the sole Jewish State. The only nativist group they call out as racist is the Jewish Israelite nativist calling. They have no problem with China basically destroying the Tibetan culture step by step removing forcefully Tibetan people moving them thousands of miles away into China and replacing them with Chinese peasants from rural areas of China. These groups have no problem with North Korea, Syria, Turkey, Canada and their indigenous people of the Inuit and other native tribes or a plethora of other nations and peoples we could name. Oh, many also have a problem with one other nation, the United States, where many will point to the problem that Jews have disproportionate power over the government. When pressed to explain, they basically just repeat that the Jews have too much influence and point out that President choose too many Jews for Cabinet posts and other important positions. If these are the most qualified people for these positions, we wonder why they should not be chosen. They always get to the same point, too many Jews alive and working hard and getting ahead. The simple answer is to come home now before the deluge starts, as it is coming. Some point in the near, far too near, future the United States will reach a critical point and past that point Jews will not be safe in the United States. This will signal the end for Jews in Europe as well and who knows where else. The Jews have already been wiped from the Arab World and pretty much from Russia. Europe will be next and when the United States pushes out her Jews, the end will have arrived. On that day, Israel has best be prepared because she will have no friends in the world and a mere half dozen nations remaining on talking terms. What comes after that, we are afraid to guess, really afraid to guess.

 

Anti-Semitic Cartoons top from Judge magazine bottom from April 15, 1896 issue of Sound Money magazine

Anti-Semitic Cartoons top from Judge magazine
bottom from April 15, 1896 issue of Sound Money magazine

 

The end of this story brings us full circle. Most anti-Semitism in much of the world generates the hatred for Jews in the baby’s milk. They are all but born with it permeating the conversation throughout their childhood. It is introduced as something as natural and normal as love for Mom and Dad. Life includes anti-Semitism is felt to be as normal as anything else in life and children are reared with anti-Semitism as if it were the right thing to do. Such hate simply is something that far too many children the world over are taught anti-Semitism just as they are taught their A, B, C’s and addition and subtraction. There is nothing strange or abnormal about such hatreds. That is the saddest of truths which the world must face.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 20, 2017

Which World Controls the Future?

 

There are basically two worlds, the technological, industrialized, computer, information, advanced world and the world still back far enough in development that world conquest is their big challenge. That is the face of the complexities in today’s world and it is very uncertain which world will prove to be the more solid and most able to survive persevering over the other one. One is sending robotized scientific probes to the planets, their moons, asteroids, comets, studying the Sun and searching the vast cosmos for other inhabitable planets close enough to Earth-like that they could serve as a second home for mankind and other interests. The other is planning on how they will conquer the entire world and force everyone to follow their religious rules and follow the customs of Islam serving Allah and basing their entire society on the Quran and likely Sharia as the law for all the Earth. These two worlds could not be any more opposite in the future they see for humankind. One is reaching for the cosmos and beyond while taking medicine into new frontiers conquering ageing and making discoveries that will feed the planet and make previously undrinkable water safe for consumption. The other places science aside except in how it can produce more efficient weapons with an emphasis on advance weapons systems, nuclear warheads and the missiles on which to mount them to target the Great Satan, the United States as well as the capitals of Europe and Israel. The contest between these two worlds may come down to the developed world actually understanding the aims of the other world and understanding that they really and honestly believe that conquest of the world and subjecting to Islam is not only possible but their raison d’etre. Where will the future take us?

 

Expansion of Islam Across MENA and threaten Europe before Ottoman Rule

Expansion of Islam Across MENA and threaten Europe before Ottoman Rule

 

The idea of world conquest by Islam is nowhere near a new idea. This had been the idea since Muhammad gathered his armies in Medina taking that city and followed it with the conquest of Mecca. Muhammad initiated the expansion of Islam and the Arab Empire, which has made them, the greatest colonialists in all of human history (see map above). Their expansion was finally halted in the battle of Tours by Charles “The Hammer” Martel in October 741 A.D., a mere hundred and twenty years after Muhammad began his conquests in the Arabian Peninsula ending the westward conquest in Europe. On the eastern fronts, Islam ran into three forces, which prevented their conquering further lands. At the eastern end of Europe was Constantinople which initially came under attack in the year 330 A.D. and held the Islamic forces in check eventually falling when the Muslims used siege cannons which finally gave the following Ottoman Empire the ability to break through the massive and all but impregnable walls in 1453 (see picture below). The Islamic forces were also stopped after their conquest of approximately one-third of India on their initial thrusts and then over the next eight-hundred years the Islamic forces pillaged their way across all of India into Burma destroying entire cities razing them to the ground slaughtering the entire populations. The conquests in Asia reached their peak until in 1255 when the Mongol Great Khan Mongke placed his brother Hulagu Khan in charge of an army whose goals were to conquer Persia, Syria, and Egypt, as well as to destroy the Abbasid Caliphate. This began the great attacks by the Mongols, which took a heavy toll on the Muslim Empire. In the end, the Muslim faith took roots in the Mongol society, which finally ended their warfare.

 

Great Turkish Bombard Siege Cannon Utilized by Mehmed II in his Siege and Breaking of the Impenetrable Great Walls of Constantinople

Great Turkish Bombard Siege Cannon
Utilized by Mehmed II in his Siege
and Breaking of the Impenetrable
Great Walls of Constantinople

 

The second assault on Europe was made after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans who ran into difficulties in virtually every front. In Rumania, they faced Vlad the Impaler, Vlad Dracula. He was a ruthless foe who would impale prisoners on pikes along the roadway, which the Muslims would be forced to utilize and other measures of brutality which spread fear within the Islamic ranks. It was rumored that even one of the Islamic leading generals refused to attack Romania claiming that Vlad the Impaler was far too insane and brutal and he would not place his men in danger of such brutalities. The Ottomans were turned back twice at the gates of Vienna. The more famous of these battles had the Polish King Jan III Sobieski reach an agreement where his neighbors would respect his borders while he and his entire military relieved the siege of Vienna. The Grand Vizer Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha began a siege of Vienna on July 14, 1683, and Polish King Jan III Sobieski led the largest cavalry charge in history: 20,000 mounted Poles, Germans and Austrians and Sobieski himself led the charge with 3,000 Polish Hussars relieving the sieged city of Vienna on September 12, 1683. World War I brought an end to the Ottoman Empire as they allied with Germany and Austria-Hungarian Empire against the Allied Powers consisting of Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, Portugal and Romania. Late in the war, the United States joined the war making an immediate impact assisting in facilitating a quicker end to the conflict. The European Allied nations took control for a period of the nations across the Ottoman Empire that stretched across the Middle East to Iran and across Northern Africa. These lands were divided into individual nations by the European victors using rather arbitrary determinations, which have contributed to many of the problems in these countries today. (The nation that controlled each of these new nations and the dates in which they left are on the map below.) The Muslims are feeling that they were cheated of their proper empire and currently there are different leaders who view themselves as the proper leader who should lead the new Caliphate.

 

Dates that the MENA nations received their independence after colonial rule many since the times of the Persians or even earlier

Dates that the MENA nations received their independence after colonial rule many since the times of the Persians or even earlier

 

The Saudi Royals, Turkey President Erdogan, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei all believe they should be the next leader of the Islamic Caliphate. Then there is another issue, whether Iran and Shia Islam should be the true Islam for the future or whether Sunni Islam will prove superior as it has the greatest numbers at eighty to ninety percent. Then inside Sunni Islam, there are different types with the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia, the Muslim Brotherhood that includes Turkey President Erdogan and most of the Imams at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. Finally, there is the Islamic State and their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who claims that he is the rightful Caliph. Saddam Hussein also had claimed he was the new leader and finally there is some claiming they are the Twelfth Imam known as Muhammad al-Mahdi. The one thing that will slow Islam is their inability to settle on a singular leader or even a single version of Islam. Currently, the Iranians are working towards becoming a hegemonic power in the Middle East and extending Shia Islam into Saudi Arabia where the north eastern and oil rich areas of Saudi Arabia already has a Shia majority population. The Sunni-Shia divides by some of the nations are; Turkey 80% Sunni and 20% Shia; Lebanon Sunni 24.5% Shia 47% with Christian and other 22%; Syria (before war) Sunni 73% Shia 14.7% Christian 9.3%; Saudi Arabia Sunni 52%, Shia 25%, Wahhabi 23%; Iraq Sunni 32.5%, Shia 63%, Christian and other 4.5%; Iran Sunni 11%, Shia 87%, Christian and other 2.5%; Egypt Sunni 87%, Shia 3%, Christian 10.25%; and Kuwait Sunni 61%, Shia 39%. The truth is that there are subsects beyond the more basic and simple Sunni and Shia divide which mostly what comes under discussions in the West, but the entirety of the complications of Islam are far more complicated. This may be the redeeming feature as witnessed in Syria. The initial divide is between Bashir al-Assad who is Alawite, which is basically a form of Shia and thus supported by Iran, the preeminent power of Shia Islam, and through Iran, Hezballah, the Shia terror groups from Lebanon, which has recently become the Lebanese military. Then there are the Kurds who despite being Sunni are targeted by all forms of Islam, especially Turkey and President Erdogan. The Kurds defend their area as best they are able and have had success against the Islamic State. There is the Islamic State which is Sunni, then the al-Qaeda aligned groups who are also Sunni and these two groups are enemies as they swear allegiance to different leaders and who you follow is the second level amongst Islamic forces. The Sunni are far more fractured than are the Shia, which actually may serve to permit Shia to slowly make gains and become dominant; especially should Iran become a nuclear power and through this become dominant. Should Iran actually use nuclear weapons, they may turn many Sunnis to switch and choose to join Shia Islam as in Islam you follow the strong horse and such acts would make Iran the strongest horse. As far as their target, it could be anything from Saudi Arabia to Egypt to Israel or the United States.

 

Interstellar Ship Made with Smart Metals

Interstellar Ship Made with Smart Metals

 

All this leads to some commentary about the developed world and what will be required for it to remain the dominant force in the world. First and foremost, the United States will be required to be a force in the world and Europe will need to change direction and find their core beliefs to prevent their perishing under a swarm from Islamic immigrants. Their scientific progress must continue and even accelerate and then be used to raise the standard of living throughout the rest of the world. They will need to set aside more funding for their militaries as only through strength can they avoid Islamic efforts. The remainder of the Christian world needs to take assistance, learn about good governance from the more successful Christian nations, and thus strengthen the Judeo-Christian ethic throughout the world. Space need become a dedicated and central effort with efforts to place permanent bases first on the Moon and soon thereafter Mars and ever further throughout the Solar System. Space is the high ground, which cannot be argued over as whoever holds space holds the highest of mountaintops. Technology is the developed world’s greatest weapon and sharing all of these technologies would be foolish. Once Islam has found a leader brave enough to actually return them to the original Quranic verses from Mecca and away from the verses written as a warlord in Medina, then with Islam taking a form where it is willing to coexist with other religions and not insist on being the superior and only religion, then the world might be capable of finally coming together. There are a fair number of Muslims who currently are working toward just such a goal with one being Egyptian President Sisi. These efforts should be supported when and where possible while the supremacist forms of Islam need be opposed and eventually eradicated if all Islam insist that they must rule the world and force all to do their bidding.

 

Coexistence is the key. The basis of this coexistence would be built upon a new material, which will be forged biological entities, to cooperate; otherwise they are separated and kept aside from all others until they are willing to coexist. The material, which makes sure that all people are willing to coexist and work together, is a living metal which will isolate any supremacist entities which refuse to cooperate with all others. These are the enforcement of coexistence and the enforcers of practical coexistence. Anything uncooperative will be sanctioned by this material until it learns cooperation and coexistence. In this society, the materials themselves will be the police and the enforcers of proper behavior.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 13, 2017

Frightening Challenges Facing All in the World

 

Syria is a problem from which there may be no good solution as there is much confusion and has as many facets as a rare gem, each reflecting hostilities on all the others. Every side of this entanglement fights for their own glorification seeking supremacy. Bashir al-Assad is attempting to prove that he is as worthy to carry the torch of leadership as was his father and to the grand level his deceased brother was expected to bestow on the nation as its President. He is attempting to overcome having been always the lesser son whose superior brother died tragically leaving him as the nation’s second choice. His attempts at overachievement could be diagnosed as some twisted form of Napoleonic Syndrome despite his height but due to his being measured by his father as always coming up short of what a leader should be. Add to the mix there is the Islamic State whose leadership fully believe that they are serving a greater purpose and are the proper leadership of all Islam and that they are defining the religion for every Muslim in the world. Their initial military successes have come to a crashing halt and are starting to find their opposition making valid and strong challenges and taking back territories which the Islamic State had initially conquered. Then there are al-Qaeda and other terror groups fighting representing the Sunni opposition to Alawite rule as it is a form of Shia Islam which they oppose and believe are apostates. There are also the Kurdish militias which are mostly concerned with defending their people and are having the greatest challenge coming from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, who has claimed to be fighting the Islamic State and other terrorist groups but has used the majority of his troops to attack the Kurdish populations. Additionally there are the Iranian forces which mostly consist of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who Iran is backing further with Hezballah terror militias from Lebanon. From time to time these two groups attempt to draw Israel into the war by launching artillery or rockets into the Golan Heights. Israel will return fire when they have a solid set of coordinates on which to return fire and which also do not endanger civilians but, other than these, Israel refuses to be drawn into the fighting. Finally there is Russia who is most interested in retaining their two naval ports which are within the Alawite region of Syria which places them in the position of supporting Bashir al-Assad. The recent presumed bombing of targets with chemical weapons such as Sarin Gas which murdered civilians received a strong attack from the United States on the originating airfield with over fifty Tomahawk Cruise Missiles. This drew a strong rebuke by both al-Assad and Russian President Putin.

 

By comparison, the remainder of the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) is only slightly less violent and confused. Yemen is also in the midst of a civil war with the Houthis being backed by Iran while Saudi Arabia is supporting the government forces of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Egypt had supported the Saudi Arabian side providing mostly air support but lost faith in the situation and no longer supports anyone in the Yemen civil war. Libya is a complete disaster with tribal forces warring for preeminence while terrorist forces use some contested areas for training recruits readying them for fighting usually elsewhere. At one point al-Qaeda and Islamic State had cleared out territories they used for training but when they came under attack by tribal forces decided to simply leave as they had no reason to take part in the wars in Libya. The Sudan and South Sudan, which declared independence on July 9, 2011, have remained in a state of conflict with the Sudan sending militias forces raiding their southern neighbor as the Sudan has not fully recognized their independence and still believe that most of the people of South Sudan to be infidel or inferiors and see their military actions as a cleansing the territory of enemies of Islam. Somalia continues to be basically without true governance and has become a destabilizing force for its neighboring nations most notably Eretria as well as Kenya and Ethiopia. There are further threats centered on Nigeria with Boko Haram attacking Christian villages and other sites as well as Islamic villages where they kidnap “volunteers” to fight in their Islamic Army. Boko Haram had pledged their allegiance to Islamic State but whether that remains intact is questionable. All of these Islamic disruptions are largely traceable to what was often referred to as the Arab Spring which largely destabilized the entire area of MENA with the exception of places where there existed strong dictatorial governance such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and Egypt which survived due to the military taking back the control they had lost to the Muslim Brotherhood after President Mubarak was forced from office under direct pressure from United States President Barack Hussein Obama. Iraq is still in a state of unrest with the Sunni and Shia segments of the population still facing difficulties resulting from a premature removal of United States forces by President Obama who was fulfilling a campaign promise sparking a low level of conflict. Meanwhile the Kurds are continuing to provide their own defense and act as if under semi-autonomous rule. Then there is a problem where the developed world has been inundated by refugees from these many conflicts plus increasing unrest and instability in Afghanistan leading to the new United States President, Donald Trump, to impose a temporary ban on immigration from seven nations where vetting to identify terrorist entities has proven difficult. This ban has fallen into court challenge and is still to be resolved but odds are the ban will stay in place for the ninety days while new vetting procedures are finalized.

 

Allied loosely with Syria and Iran is another problematic location, North Korea. The erratic leadership by Kim Jong Un who has ordered executions of senior officials including his uncle and also ordered the assassination of his half-brother all in the name of national security but actually to secure his position from any challenges. Kim Jong Un has also been petulant and often challenges the United States claiming that he is prepared to reply to any and every provocation by the erratic leadership of who he calls the nation’s greatest enemy. With the recent attack on the Syrian airfield both Kim Jong Un and Bashir al-Assad have denounced the United States as being imperialistic, colonial and using false excuses to try and extend the autocratic rule of the United States over more of the world through many varied and devious means. Both leaders have recently threatened to attack the United States or its forces and allies wherever and whenever possible and as necessitated by the warlike actions of the United States. The most violent of threats have come from North Korea and have been taken seriously as by many measures, Kim Jong Un is considered to be irrational and possibly not entirely rational and sane. The latest episode is currently playing out as the United States has diverted an aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and her strike group from harboring in Australia and is having them head towards the Korean Peninsula passing through the western Pacific. Kim Jong Un has raised the specter of a nuclear strike against the aggressor United States if a posture of war should continue and claims to be watching closely any aggressive behavior by the United States and its allies.

 

A World All Upside Down

A World All Upside Down

 

Add to this the threats by Syria and the displeasure shown by Russian President Putin and there are quite a number of signals which could be interpreted seriously wrong and any one could have devastating consequences. Needless to say, such unrest around the world, nerves frayed and on edge and troops moving and shots being taken on two separate fronts, one in the western Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan, East China Sea, Yellow Sea and possibly the Bay of Korea while the other is in the Mediterranean Sea, the world is balanced on a razor’s edge unlike anything since the end of the Cold War. We are a far cry from Cuban Missile Crisis stage but the world need take a deep breath and calm itself before somebody somewhere misreads intents and starts something which could quickly fly out of control and lead to serious sets of actions, reactions and counter reactions ending who knows where. Add in the increased amount of terrorism and rising crime rate in much of Europe and that simply adds another tinderbox to the sparks and electrical arcing from friction and frayed wires on too many fronts. You know things are tense when Israel is seemingly a singular place where the level of unrest could be considered calm, at least this far into the year. Being nervous is seemingly in fashion for world leaders currently and that is never a good sign. We need to remember that it was the assassination of a little known Austrian Archduke named Fred, well, you’re right, Ferdinand, but I bet his friends called him not Fred but Archduke Fred, which started the War to End All Wars. That War later was renamed World War I as it led kind of directly to World War II and if there ever should be a World War III and the human race survives, it will be traced in some means to World War II and thus World War I. If we were honest, we would realize that one could trace all warfare back to Cain’s Murder of Abel if we really tried, so don’t be too complacent, the world leadership sure has not been of late. We have too many people thinking they should rule the world or they already rule the world and all of them are mistaken, or at least we had best hope they all realize such. They won’t and we will all be the worse off for it.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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