Beyond the Cusp

December 3, 2017

Should Israel Ally with Saudi Arabia Over Iran?

 

There have been whispers that there may be a plan taking shape between Israel and Saudi Arabia to try and prevent the obvious moves by Iran to establish themselves as the hegemonic superpower of the Middle East. This has much to do with the Shiite Crescent we have spoken of at length which Iran has put together using the southern three-quarters of Iraq, Lebanon and the soon to be reconstituted Syria of Bashir al-Assad connecting Lebanon with Hezballah into the mix. When one adds Qatar and Yemen where Iran backed Houthis are winning against Saudi Arabian efforts, one can see immediately that Iran has all but surrounded Saudi Arabia against whom Iran has often claimed they desired the Saudi Arabian oil fields as well as taking control over the Holy Cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina which are also part of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian efforts in Yemen had early support from Egypt but President Sisi has enough troubles of his own and pulled out of the efforts in Yemen and began to work more favorably with Turkey and President Erdoğan.

 

An aside, one can only hope that Sisi has since reconsidered any siding with President Erdoğan as such could end up being an ill thought out plan with President Erdoğan appearing to have hegemonic dreams of his own and also having proven not exactly unopposed to siding with Iran when it suits his needs. This could prove particularly dangerous should President Erdoğan promise assistance in the Sinai Peninsula as his offer may have ulterior motives. Additional reasons for Saudi Arabian Royal Family concerns may be tied to the apparent exit by the United States from Syrian and Iraqi support for the Kurdish forces leaving them vulnerable to Iranian allies as well as Turkey’s President Erdoğan, the man who assured President Trump that abandoning the Kurds was necessary unless the United States was ready to support their declaring themselves independent, something both the State Department and Pentagon opposed. The exit by President Trump has left the Saudi Royal family nervous and seeking another power to ally with in order to pose a more formidable opposition force against Iran. This will be double should Turkey actually agree to ally themselves with the resurgent Shiite forces of Iran. That could prove tricky as Turkey is three-quarters Sunni, but then Iran has allied with Sunni Hamas and is wooing Sunni Fatah and PLO all in their effort to also encircle Israel. One can only wonder how long before Iran offers Egypt assistance with their troubles in the Sinai Peninsula as this would give them their final front with Israel and Saudi Arabia plus a direct route for arming Hamas. Iran may also pose a threat to Jordan as Jordan also borders Israel and Saudi Arabia.

 

One last reason for Saudi Arabia to desire allying with Israel is the obvious case that Israel is considered a nuclear armed nation and Iran is a borderline, if not already, nuclear armed state who will likely turn recognized nuclear within the next two to three years. This usually brings up the old story about how Saudi Arabia financed the Pakistani nuclear program and the two nations have an unspoken agreement that Pakistan was to provide Saudi Arabia with plans and as many as a dozen nuclear warheads upon a request from the Saudi Royal Family. That agreement, assuming that it ever existed, may fall upon the old adage of, “What have you done for me lately?” Time has passed and things have changed which means the people who made that long ago agreements have left the scene and the people who replaced them may not be as eager to provide the requested assistance. Probably the most that the Saudi Royal Family should expect might be the schematics and plans for the manufacture of nuclear weaponry and not the actual weapons and as the Pakistanis have very likely long since developed more advanced nuclear weapons including thermonuclear weapons all without Saudi Arabian assistance which probably makes the Pakistani government feel far less indebted to the Saudi Arabian Royal Family for their initial financing of the Pakistani crash effort to respond to the development of nuclear weapons by India. The Saudi Arabian Royal family likely already has checked and realized that their former agreement with Pakistan no longer holds water or nuclear warheads or possibly even the plans for a nuclear warhead or other device. This very probably has not made the Saudi Arabian leaders feel any more secure about the Iranian looming threats.

 

So, Saudi Arabia is facing the reality of the Pakistan deal having gone south, the United States pulling out of every hot spot in the Middle East, Egypt sliding away from the Saudi Royals and inching towards Turkey, feeling the Iranian noose tightening around their necks thus the Saudis are seeking someone, anyone to come and take some of the problem off their shoulders knowing that this time the United States has been caught flat-footed needing a friend badly. Israel is facing much the same problems, as are the Saudi leaders, and likely just as desirous of friends and allies upon which to depend coming to their side immediately. The difference is that Israel has been here before and her faith in Hashem has always provided exactly what the Israelis required. The proof was centered and has given Israel much to think and mull over. The Israelis have faced such a threat before and survived despite all odds. This still leaves much to consider before it is too late.

 

This forced the hand of the Saudi Government to act and seek new directions and friendships. Still, now that we have the time, what should Israel do in order to survive any Iranian threats, something which must be viewed as if being under a microscope? The idea to ally with Saudi Arabia has way too many holes to actually hold much promise. Israel must weigh exactly why they should enter into any relationship, especially with a nation which is still in a state of war with Israel. The Saudi Arabian peninsula has numerous oil fields and a means of gathering the Jews closer together. Israel is dependent on Hashem and need no other protections as Hashem made a promise and will be true to his words. Still, the Israelis will be alone facing a regional super power possibly after Saudi Arabia has been eliminated as one to be reckoned with leaving Israel feeling very vulnerable. Should Israel manage to be in such a position the United States would need to provide assistance though manpower would not necessarily be required. Israel might feel that the current case of threat requires her to rely on another and to seek to find such a nation. Israel has always stood by herself and honestly does not require any additional assistance to face down Iran. Starting to rely on people whom until recently sought her destruction would not be the most prudent of acts.

 

Saudi Arabian and Iranian Maneuvers in Middle East

Saudi Arabian and Iranian Maneuvers in Middle East

 

The leaders of the Arab world now seeking to ally with Israel would turn away the instant the threat has passed. Further, forming an anti-Iran alliance would result in placing Israeli Defense Force soldiers under foreign command. That would be nothing short of suicidal. Israel has an ally in this situation, and that ally is Hashem, just as she has always had. Yes, Israel might be wise to enter into a coalition which would strengthen her position, but should also be careful not to be used simply to strengthen their position leaving Israel with insufficient forces retained for her own defense. Israel has the capacity to defend herself and protect her borders and adding in her ability to launch in kind any strike likely to originate from Iran including nuclear. Israel would, inevitably when push comes to shove, have only herself to defend her people, as none of the Arab world would permit any of their soldiers to fight to protect Jews no matter the situation. Israel must contend with protecting Israel by herself with her own forces and their stamina to go the distance. Israel will have no others on which to defend her when Iran turns her attention to Israel. The sole responsibility for protecting the Israeli people falls to Israel. We do not see Arab forces rushing to our aid in a time of need, but can realize that many would be rushing to join our enemies in the efforts to defeat us.

 

This is part of why Israel must join those who refused Saudi Arabia’s invitation to join forces to fight Iran. One can readily see that the Saudi Arabian leadership would lead the sacrifice of everybody else’s troops before losing a single one of theirs. That is a bad deal, period. Israel should commit to her reliance in Hashem as she has always committed to doing when troubles brewed internally or externally. This next test Israel is facing will be one which tests her faith and at some point, it will take measure of the Jewish People and their collective faith in the Almighty. Should Israel pass this test, then we will know that we are prepared as a People to receive the Messiah and that the time is approaching where the Messiah will finally come to establish the Heavenly Kingdom here on Earth and peace will rule the world over for a very long period. We may very well be on the threshold of the ultimate deliverance of mankind, their final deliverance. We must be prepared for such an eventuality as we need be readied for such a monumental event. The last of our brethren who will be returning to Eretz Yisroel will be gathered to Israel by Hashem and the Messianic Age will be upon all of us with a Heavenly ruler whom we had best not disappoint.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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May 30, 2017

Jews Who Are Counter-Productive on Israel

 

The extreme leftist Jews love to protest their self-proclaimed Israeli occupation of Judea and Samaria. You talk to any of them and they will proudly claim that Israel has no desire to pursue peace. They will tell you all about how Israel is illegally occupying Judea and Samaria under International Law. They will go on about how the area of Judea and Samaria are the Palestinians homeland and that Israel must return the lands immediately and stop stalling. They will claim that it is Netanyahu who refuses to meet with Mahmoud Abbas despite any and all evidence to the contrary. And their favorite pastime is protesting Israel loudly and proudly claiming that their Jewishness safeguards them from any charges of anti-Semitism. With their sanctimoniousness, it is difficult to have to deflate their confidence in the complete faultlessness of their arguments. The one thing that is even better is most of the claims in the rest of this article could mostly be applied to virtually all the students protesting Israel with the exception of those instigators and inciters used by NGO’s to lead so many students to protest Israel using pseudo-information that they know are pure propaganda mixed with unadulterated lies with an occasional statistic or fact mixed in for the sake of making everything else credible.

 

One of their points is that Israel took the land in the 1967 war. This they actually have correct. They claim they stole it from the Palestinians who were not even combatants in the war. This is tricky because if there were actually any people by the name of Palestinians at that time, they were not combatants. The problem is there were no Palestinians and the closest thing was the PLO which had no claims to Judea and Samaria but did claim all of Israel within the Green Line and was sworn to defeat the Jews driving them into the Sea to drown or killing them where they stood. The area of Judea and Samaria at the time between 1948 and the Six Day War was occupied; let us get this straight, that is occupied illegally, by Jordan. Jordan took control of this land during the War to Annihilate the Jews fought by over a half dozen Arab Armies against Israel starting on the morning of her birth. Jordan held half of Jerusalem and the areas of Judea and Samaria which was part of the guaranteed areas west of the Jordan River which were to be the State of Israel after an agreement reached with the British upon allowing the formation of the Arab State of Jordan. Jordan illegally annexed the land and their action was recognized by only two nations, Britain and Pakistan. After the attempt at destroying Israel by the judgement of the Peel Commission, Britain trying to help destroy Israel at every turn is quite believable (see map below). Fortunately, the Peel Commission was rejected, as was the annexation by Jordan. Even the Arab and Muslim world outside of Pakistan rejected their annexation. Also, in the War to Annihilate Israel which raged on and off through 1948-9, Egypt gained control over Gaza though they never attempted to annex the land. Jordan and Egypt both threw all the Jews from their homes and lands and Jordan went further and gifted land to many Jordanians of presumed merit though most never utilized these lands. This was a means of removing all Jewish claims to the lands. The Jordanians also illegally forced numerous Jordanian citizens to relocate onto the lands they illegally held against International Law and gave Jordanian citizenship to all Arabs living in the area. These are truths that these protesters ignore likely because they were never educated in history and were never curious enough to seek the truth themselves.

 

Peel Commission Truncated Jewish State of Israel and Expanded Transjordan

Peel Commission Truncated Jewish State of Israel and Expanded Transjordan

 

These wonderful and wide-eyed leftists right out or still incubated in college or university take on complete faith their professors tales of the crimes committed by Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers which are just as big of lies as was Mahmoud Abbas trying to pass the Palestinian incitement of which he personally has taken the lead as educating their children in peace to President Trump, a lie which has been revealed using Abbas and his own words. What their professors never taught their young charges was Jewish history and the Twelve Tribes of Israel and that Israel held both sides of the Jordan River and for her northern border she had the Litani River which is inside Lebanon today and holds the Hezballah terrorist army between the Litany River and the Blue Line, the Israeli northern border with Lebanon (see map below). The Tribes of Israel included the best snow skiing in the Middle East on Mount Hermon and the medicinal waters of the Dead Sea. The Golan Heights and the Kinneret were all within her borders. What do these snowflakes from University know of this history? Probably little or nothing.

 

Eretz Yisroel from back in the time immediately after Exodus and before the additional conquest by King David and King Solomon with the original division of the lands between the Tribes covering both sides of the Jordan River. The Israelis and Jews in general could attempt to demand that Eretz Yisroel, the Land of Israel be made whole as was First Apportioned by Hashem.

 

Israel is not reluctant to make peace. Israel offered to give Judea and Samaria back to their illegal occupiers, Jordan, when the two nations reached their peace just as she had offered to return Gaza to Egypt and both refused, as there was an Arab plan to hatch. That plan was to invent a new Arab people called the Palestinians who were going to claim that they had a history in the lands. Inspect their claims and then read the Jewish history and you do not have to take modern Israelis view, read the Old Testament, the Torah (Five Books of Moses) as well as the rest of the Bible which includes Kings and Prophets and Judges. Read the entirety of the Jewish history written in the time in which it was made by those who lived and saw it in real time. The Israelite, the Jews, beginning in these lands came when Joshua crossed the Jordan and sacked Jericho, defeated five armies at Ai and then conquered the south and began the conquest of the north which had to be left for those who followed to complete, but the promise was kept and Hashem laid the land open before the Jewish People and they swelled within. Saul was anointed King and then David ruled and then Solomon who built the First Temple and the lands flourished. But it all started when they crossed the Jordan River and Joshua led the Army into the lands and began the defeat of the Canaanites, not the Arabs by any name and especially not any Palestinian Arabs who Abbas or another official once claimed lived in the lands nine thousand years ago. Well, then the Canaanites must have driven them out as they were not present for Joshua to conquer when he entered the lands just over three-thousand-five-hundred years ago, that is around 1489 BCE, in case you were wondering. (His route to the conquest of the holy Lands and the start of the nation in the Promised Lands can be seen in the map below.) The history is quite remarkable and probably a far easier and more interesting read than your chemistry books and mathematics books, at least as I remember them from my days back in the stone age.

 

Cities Conquered by Joshua as Recounted in Kings In the Hebrew Bible the Old Testament

Cities Conquered by Joshua as Recounted in Kings
In the Hebrew Bible the Old Testament

 

The realty is quite a bit different, as the area known as Judea and Samaria belonged to Israel under International Law and was illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 up until the Six Day War; Israel did not conquer the area as Israel liberated lands that belong to Israel from Jordanian occupation. The Arabs residing in the area were holding Jordanian passports and identifications and were citizens of Jordan which meant that by International Law Israel could have made them relocate back into their country which had forced many to move into these lands; they legally could, and maybe should, have sent them back into Jordan. Having sent them all into Jordan immediately and reclaiming what was legally Israel would have saved Israel all the headaches they have faced ever since. The reason that Israel did not relocate the Arabs was simple; Israel is not a normal nation but a nation of people who are supposed to lead by showing the world a better face for humanity, a better way of treating one another, simply to be a light unto the nations. Unfortunately, Israel is located in an area where civility is seen as weakness and mercy as a form of surrender. Israel’s enemies know that the Jews are not a cruel people and use this against Israel. The professors in the universities know the youngsters in their charge are neophytes as far as historical knowledge and that their words are unquestioned by their students and thus they use them as their personal weapon against what they believe is the greatest evil in the world today, their own nation. As leftists, they cannot help but find that religious people are inherently evil and unthinking and all the things they despise most. This is why they tell lies about Israel and the Jewish People, their own people. Their little charges will grow as they enter the world and meet people with different perspectives and more knowledge which was not provided back in all their years of schooling, which is why it is known as the College of Hard Knocks in which I am working on my doctorate and that takes a lifetime. Learn whose land it was under International Law before you decide that someone is breaking International Law because when it comes to Israel, the world is attempting to coop and break International Law day in and day out, and they are doing so against their favorite people to blame for all their own ills, the Jewish People. Again, read history throughout the ages and remember the admonition we received from the All Knowing, in every generation there will be one to rise up against you. The one was not a person as much as an enemy, and this time the one is everyone and they have used you. Learn history, learn International Law, learn from the sages through the ages, and learn about the Jewish People and when you have learned a lifetime of learning, then we can talk. Learn, most important of all, on your own and trust very few, just the few who have proven that they will not lie to you and are not going to candy coat the truth even if that truth is difficult to swallow and goes against everything you think you know. First, test what everyone says by seeking out those who hold the opposite opinion and then check each one’s sources. The first we would recommend is the Bible as it holds a few thousand years of knowledge in a single book with some tremendous stories which will amaze you.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 17, 2017

Let’s Talk Middle East Conflict, Minus One Overly Blamed Nation

 

We are going to do something which the average person would believe impossible, discuss conflicts in the Middle East, which includes North Africa and the entirety that goes by the initials MENA, without mentioning Israel other than this once. Yes, that is not only possible but necessary such that people can learn how solving the Palestinian issue would not bring peace to one of the most troubled areas on the planet. There are a number of separate wars going on in Libya alone. In the capital city of Tripoli the government’s forces hold a little more than the offices of the Parliament, the President and the other government buildings and their residences, and only because they reside very close to this central area in Tripoli. There are usually a minimum of two rebel groups at any time fighting the government as well as one another. Often there are more than two as these clans believe that they should be the ones running the country and that Libya is their personal playground. These clans also fight against any terrorists who they believe are trying to take over their areas which they actually do control. The terrorists fight to retain their training grounds. Benghazi is also an open warfare zone with no real governance which controls the entire city but it is the second largest concentration of government military forces. As the government forces do control the port of Tripoli there does exist some trade which is mostly necessities as well as arms and ammunition to keep the government in control. Further, Benghazi, Tobruk, Surt and the other major ports are often changing hands as different groups will exert the necessary force to take the ports when they are expecting shipments from their arms merchants. As some European and many Middle East and Asian arms dealers are making a fair profit, the risks of doing business with the different clans and terror groups operating in Libya is worth the risks involved. Needless to say, the violence in Libya does not always stay in Libya; it often crosses borders into Egypt, Algeria, Chad, Niger and even the Sudan. One of the main arms providers is the Sudanese government and arms dealers taking side action arming the Sudanese neighboring nations including Libya but excluding South Sudan as this is not permitted by the Sudanese government.

 

There is a very good reason that the Sudanese government has made the providing of arms to South Sudan a capital offence, they are still fighting a war and committing a slow genocide against the Christians and Animists and act as if nobody in the world has recognized South Sudan as a separate nation. As long as the world, including those who have recognized South Sudan as a separate nation, do nothing of consequence to protest the nascent country from its far stronger and well-armed former rulers, the killing will continue. There have been some troops provided by the African Union. The United Nations also has sent troops to South Sudan. The problem is what is really necessary would be an entire army, which is not what has been sent. Back in 2013 the United States took what it claimed was measures to assure the genocide in South Sudan would be relieved by allocating one-hundred-fifty Marines and a few aircraft to the Horn of Africa from where they were to be capable of evacuating people under threat in South Sudan. As is said repeatedly in Bill Cosby’s routine on Noah, “Right!” Our new United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated this week that refugees were fleeing cities and towns and that “The security situation continues to deteriorate in parts of the country and the consequent impact of this ongoing conflict and violence, has reached catastrophic proportions for civilians,” A United Nations report stated, “The rise of militias under the loose command of the SPLA or rebel commanders is spreading the fragmentation and dislocation of its territories, which risk, if this trend continues, remaining out of any government control for years to come.” The United Nations further reports that the numbers of refugees currently seeking relief is beyond one and a half million.

 

Now we can slide over to Somalia which is only a real country on maps for lack of a better means of describing the area. Like Libya there is no actual ruling government but instead a series of gangs ruling their territories with iron fists and warring with each other trying to increase their domain. The people have to make sure they are aware of which gang is currently ruling their block of homes as that will also define where they are allowed to shop and who they may visit. Crossing from one region to the next carries varying degrees of danger. Some of the gangs along the shoreline engage in pirating for a living seeking pleasure yachts, merchant ships and even passing warships which are traveling without escort. These pirates have varying levels of gall living by the code “no guts, no glory.” They have attacked European, Asian, Australian, Canadian and American shipping and anybody else who comes within their range. Their method is to use a larger ship which remains out of sight but relatively close and smaller craft attack the target vessels and attempt to board and commandeer the ship then demanding ransom for the ship, crew and cargo. They check the cargo for anything they might desire or need to keep for themselves and will take any weapons they find an board the ships they take. There has been some degree of international efforts to bring this to an end but for the most part ships take their own risks coming out of the Red Sea after passing through the Suez Canal.

 

Of course that means they need to make their way through the Bab el-Mandeb Straights without being struck by Houthis shelling out of Yemen. The Houthi rebels in Yemen are Iranian backed and attempting to conquer all of Yemen to give Iran a base from which to attack Saudi Arabia from the south. This will come in very handy should Iran decide to attack Saudi Arabia from Iraq and the north mainly the northeast of Saudi Arabia which has the majority of Shiite Muslims as well as most of the oil fields. Additionally, Iran has made friends with Qatar and has made overtures claiming than Oman and Bahrain are actually breakaway Iranian provinces. Much like China keeps threatening that they will one day rejoin Taiwan to the mainland as it is simply a breakaway province, Iran makes the same claims on Oman and Bahrain. Bahrain has a Sunni monarch and a predominantly Shiite population. During the Arab Spring (boy was that a joke and a complete disaster from the word go thanks in part to President Obama who had a hand in these failed revolts with great assistance from Hillary Clinton and the European Union) the Shiites in Bahrain revolted and things appeared to be heading for real troubles, that was until Saudi Arabia used the multi-lane causeway highway to send troops to quell the revolt. The Shiites left their Mosques on Friday all revved up to overthrow the monarch when they found tanks, armored personnel carriers and heavily armed Saudi Arabian troops at both ends of the block so everybody calmed down and went home. Sure there were a few short outbursts of violence which were immediately quelled. The entire Arab Spring in Bahrain ended that Friday with barely a whimper. Similarly, the Shiites in the northeast of Saudi Arabia thought about staging an uprising but were quickly persuaded to remain calm. That thought of rising up was so short it did not even make a single news cycle.

 

Egypt is next on out little tour and is currently largely complacent. They had their Arab Spring and threw out military rule and President Mubarak and replaced him with the predicted Muslim Brotherhood candidate, President Morsi. President Morsi was advised by Turkish President Erdogan to take a slow and steady approach to Islamizing Egypt but paid that no heed. He took off on a radical program of change trying almost overnight to make Egypt a Muslim Brotherhood run totalitarian hellhole. This was met with a public already in revolt mode and they rose up again and demanded Morsi’s head. General of the Army Sisi took the hint and removed the Muslim Brotherhood from power and held new elections. Having the most recognized name in Egypt and having just saved the day, surprisingly Sisi who had stepped down from General of the Army ran and won the Presidency of Egypt. So Egypt is now safely back under military rule for intents and purposes and appears happy to be so. The one problem is the Sinai Peninsula. The Sinai Peninsula is filled with terrorists from al-Qaeda and Islamic State to Hamas and even Iranian backed groups. They attack Egyptian military outposts with varying degrees of success. They often attack the border outposts between Egypt and Gaza in order to allow the flow of terrorists, arms, and contraband into and out of Gaza where Hamas and Islamic Jihad share control. What is interesting about Gaza is that Islamic Jihad is supplied by Iran amongst others and Hamas is Muslim Brotherhood thus provisioned by them and also on occasion they are given rocket engine technologies and even rudimentary guidance systems from Iran as Iran will even arm Sunnis if they are attacking Iran’s favorite target. Egypt has yet to put down the menaces in the Sinai Peninsula and they have even been cleared to use whatever troops and equipment they need and they are apparently fighting a losing battle, or at least not completely reaching a totally peaceful situation. Perhaps they never should have accepted the Sinai Peninsula back when they made peace between President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin.

 

Turkey is also involved in a war which few appear to care to mention. They are claiming to fight against Bashir al-Assad in Syria as well as against Islamic State but somehow the majority of their efforts appear to be barely across the border. They seem preoccupied, or at least President Erdogan is preoccupied, with the Kurds. Turkey could actually make a great agreement and win an ally for life if they would simply allow the Kurds to form their own nation out of northeastern Syria, northern Iraq and at the worst a few tens or hundreds of square miles of southeastern Turkey where the population is majority Kurdish. The United States or other groups would probably handsomely reward Turkey for the lost lands, give a relocation allowance to any Turkish non-Kurdish citizens desiring to leave the Kurdish nation and return to Turkey and all could be settled. Even if Turkey refused to sacrifice a small portion of land, the Kurds in Turkey would likely relocate if they were granted recognition as a nation as was promised them by the British (we all know how good the British are on their promises when oil is involved). Turkey has been bombing and using ground assaults backed by heavy armor against the Kurds who have largely been fighting the Islamic State. Apparently Turkey would prefer the Islamic State on their border than the Kurds, there is no accounting for taste.

 

Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

 

Then there are the wars outside of Yemen and Gaza where Iran is a major player. We are referring to Iraq and Syria where Iran is attempting to rule Iraq through proxy and reestablish Bashir al-Assad as the ruler of Syria. Bashir al-Assad has lost almost the entirety of his nation to the Islamic State, a number of other rebels, a Kurdish section which is simply attempting to protect their own people as well as the Yazidi refugees they took in after rescuing them when the rest of the world twiddled their thumbs, President Obama leading the thumb twiddlers. Iran has a friend in Russia who are actually fighting simply to retain their Mediterranean Sea port privileges such that they retain a warm water port capable of allowing ships to enter the Atlantic Ocean year round without having to pass through the Dardanelles in Turkey, an iffy situation at times. That is why the majority of the Russian operations center around Latakia and the port facilities located in that Mediterranean coastal city. Latakia is also in the central region where the Alawite Tribe resides which also happens to be Bashir al-Assad’s allies and tribal alliance and they along with some of the Druze except they have largely withdrawn and are simply, as are the Kurds, defending their own people and lands from the Islamic State and any other threats. They are safe from the Russians, Iranians and Syrian Army and even most likely the Hezballah forces from Lebanon who are supporting Bashir al-Assad as if Syria was their own country and not Lebanon. Hezballah is there because Iran insisted they fight or else Iran would have cut them off and they would then be facing the rest of Lebanon ready to dispose of the Hezballah terrorists who have been ruling Lebanon through their military threat. The one benefit of Hezballah fighting in Syria and taking the casualties in numbers far higher than are admitted is they are unable to attack any others including but not limited to the Christians and other minorities in Lebanon.

 

Our final stop is at the Afghanistan and Pakistan end of MENA. We left out some of the nations at the far end of northern Africa where one of the major problems is Boko Haram who are bloodthirsty Islamist terrorists who often kidnap Christians and even other Muslims and sell them into slavery. They specialize in selling to the sex slave industry and thus most often target young women and boys. Their other main effort is to murder Christians and Animists, something which sounds familiar from the South Sudan. Boko Haram operated largely centered on northern and central Nigeria and the neighboring areas even south to Mali. Meanwhile, Afghanistan and Pakistan consist of large areas which are considered tribal and the government rarely enters these zones as the tribes are well armed and do not recognize the governmental right to their areas. Too often these tribal areas will war with one another and then they make their money off of allowing terrorists to train and make a lucrative business from poppies. The heroin trade is something the government does not fight as they too benefit from the trafficking in illicit drugs. Until there is introduced another cash crop the farmers will grow and sell the easiest and most profitable crop they can raise, poppies. The flowers are almost as pretty as the profits. Needless to point out but where you have such profits there will always be violence as the tribes desire to expand their fields and taking the tribe next door’s fields is the quickest way to making more profit. Additionally, there is the constant state of conflict between Pakistan and India over Kashmir, a nation which appears on older maps and had the distinction of having to be colored white because it had so many neighboring nations on its border that it needed it own color and white was the best one not in use anywhere else. That concludes our Middle East conflict roundup leaving one nation obviously ignored, imagine all this without mentioning the nation always considered the source of the Middle East conflict chart. Perhaps the rest of it is not so peaceful after all.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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