Beyond the Cusp

April 19, 2014

The Latest Iranian Taqiyya

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed during military parade on Friday marking the country’s National Army Day celebrations where he stated, “We are not after war, we are after logic, we are after talks. (Iran) will not invade any country but will resist any invasion.” Such statements will very likely be taken by President Obama and his administration as further proof that the talks to prevent, or at least delay, Iran becoming a nuclear armed nation and that their leadership of the P5+1 has produced results. There will be claims and commentary describing President Rouhani and his calming words as further proof of his being a moderate force and to be leading Iran back from the brink and doing what was required to return Iran from the wild and threatening positions taken under the leadership of former Iranian President Ahmadinejad to a its rightful place amongst the peace-loving nations of the world. Needless to point out that President Rouhani has in the past bragged about how he had completely hoodwinked the Western nations during his stint as the chief Iranian nuclear negotiator referring to his tactics of smiling and making small talk and making jokes thus disarming the United States and European negotiators. President Rouhani went on to point to the massive increase in the Iranian nuclear program from a mere ten centrifuges to over seventeen-thousand centrifuges and major construction on the heavy water reactor at Arak all while he was misleading the Western nations with so little effort. He was very proud of his mastery of the art of diplomatic negotiating and hiding the real activities of the Iranian nuclear program behind his affability and a smile.


The lauding of President Rouhani and his pleasant sounding words ignores the greater evidence of the intent of Iran to pursue nuclear weapons using basically the same method of using deception and false guarantees all the while developing their nuclear program. Their initial push under former President Ahmadinejad used a tactic of simply bull-headed driving forward despite any opposition or sanctions from the world at large. The Iranians did not alter their drive for nuclear weapons with the election of President Rouhani; they simply altered their camouflage hiding everything behind a handshake, a broad smile, and friendly familial small talk, the exact same ruse utilized by the very same Rouhani back in earlier days of the nuclear negotiations with Iran. In order to keep ahold of this illusion of Iranian cooperation and passivity the Western leadership must simultaneously take President Rouhani and his calming words of cooperation and peacefulness at face value while ignoring numerous comments, claims and even threats from other high ranking Iranians including many from the military and even from within the nuclear program itself. One such statement came in a television interview Sunday with Iran’s nuclear program chief Ali Akhbar Salehi who insisted that Iran has the right to enrich uranium to ninety percent purity. This claim would be complete evidence necessary that Iran was working towards nuclear weapons and not simply completing the fuel cycle. There does not exist a nuclear reactor that requires highly enriched uranium at ninety percent purity, such enrichment is only required to make weapons. The obvious unsuitability of uranium enriched to ninety percent is evidenced that there does not exist any way to contain a reaction once begun at such concentrations of uranium to utilize it in a reactor; thus it can only be utilized to produce an explosion in a weapon. Nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi has also commented recently that Iran will require thirty-thousands of its new generation centrifuges to meet domestic fuel demands. This comment came amid the latest talks being held in Vienna. This statement came subsequent to his recent claiming, “We unveiled a new generation of centrifuges that surprised the Westerners … This new machine is 15 times more powerful than the previous generation.”


In recent speeches, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei explained how the Iranians were using the nuclear talks to stall for time while they continued their drive in developing nuclear weapons. He stated quite plainly that, “We had announced previously that on certain issues, if we feel it is expedient, we would negotiate with the Satan (the United States) to deter its evil.” Ayatollah Khamenei further claimed that, “the nuclear talks showed the enmity of America against Iran, Iranians, Islam and Muslims.” Al Arabiya reports that Ayatollah Khamenei’s statements are tantamount to a confession of employing the Islamic deception tactic of “taqiyya,” the utilization of deception and outright lies in order to conceal and advance efforts to advance a situation which would serve the interests and future spread of Islam. The tactic is used to great advantage throughout Islamic history in negotiations and during states of war, two main elements being applied to their military readiness and nuclear program very effectively by Iran today. So, while the centrifuges in Iran continue to spin and leaders of all stripe, political, military and even those directly involved with their nuclear program make threats and promises of coming destructions, President Obama and the negotiating team from the Western powers continue to laud praise on President Rouhani as those among us who are of a more suspicious nature simply wait for Rouhani to slowly melt from vies leaving his Cheshire Cat ominously evil smile as the only proof he was ever there.


Beyond the Cusp


October 16, 2012

An Attempt to Explain the Israeli Problems About Iran

There are two sides of the Israeli problems concerning Iran which I want to try to address with this editorial. The first is the apparent perception by much of the countries in the world and their call on Israel to answer for their rhetoric over Iran, but so few countries have any comment about Iranian statements of intents towards Israel. The second is to present what may in the end be the only promise of retaliation to any Iranian or Iranian supported terror entity launched attack upon Israel with nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction that might have any hope of being a proper and workable deterrent and the problems which would ensue immediately should Israel make such an announcement. Through both of these discussions it should become evident that Israel is in an unenviable and untenable position where every choice and every situation appears to present to Israel choices between two evils, both of which have undesirable implications and results of approximately equal though different consequences. The one thing that should be obvious but has not appeared to have broken through to many is that Israel is honestly facing once again an existential threat which threatens Israel’s very being on this Earth. This current threat is very likely the most serious threat to her existence that Israel has ever faced. It is more of a threat than the overwhelming attack by over half a dozen Arab countries’ armies on the first day after the declaration of statehood on May 15, 1948. It is also comparable to the massing of troops on either end of the country with the large, well equipped Egyptian Army on her southern border and the equally well equipped but slightly lesser rated proficiency Syrian Army on her northern border with Jordan joining the assault the next day despite Israeli pleadings for them to not attack and informing King Hussein that the reports of Egyptian and Syrian victories were a fabrication in early June of 1967. It even surpasses the threat posed by the Egyptian assault on Yom Kippur of 1973 which found Israel totally unprepared as their unimpeachable intelligence had completely failed to predict the attack which left Israel with her reserves and many of her regular IDF troops in services at Synagogues throughout the country and unable to be contacted for call up except by actually going to each and every Synagogue making announcements informing of the attack with resultant call-up. And lastly it exceeds any other threat from Hamas, Hezballah, Islamic Jihad, Egypt, Syria, or any other combination of terror groups or national armies that have threatened Israel during her short history. This is the seriousness of the threat Iran poses once they attain nuclear weapons, and it is a threat that also applies to the rest of the world and not just Israel.

On Sunday Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota met with Israeli President Shimon Peres and expressed concern over Israel’s threats to launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Foreign Minister Patriota was reported to have told President Peres, “We see with great concern the State of Israel’s threats to launch a military attack against Iran. These threats and future actions that may arise from them are extremely dangerous to the stability of the Middle East.” Referring to Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2010 where the former Brazilian President was quoted as saying that he wished to “made it unequivocally clear that he was against Holocaust denial and that he in favor of peace and nuclear disarmament in the Middle East. This perception is still valid.” This is not the first high government official who has either made statements to the press or directed speeches or queries about the perceived danger and threat posed by Israel towards Iran. These statements and comments always ask why Israel is threatening to take preemptive actions against Iran and what the Israeli intent concerning Iran is. Many have demanded that Israel unequivocally guarantee they will take no preemptive actions against Iran and disavow any intent to take any actions using the Iranian nuclear program as an excuse for intervention. It seems like at least once every week somebody from some government comes forth with a comment about Israeli belligerence and threats vis-à-vis Iran and that Israel is the main threat to world and Middle East peace. Despite all the calls by Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for the total destruction of the Zionist State, Israel, and of all the Jews everywhere, there are few countries outside of the Western nations who have shown even the slightest concern about these threats. Especially among the developing nations of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) there is a strong presupposition that Israeli threats against Iran are the highest threat to peace and have the potential of causing the next great war which would be started by an Israeli use of nuclear weapons while they see absolutely no threat coming from Iran and dismiss even the possibility that Iran would use WMDs such as nuclear weapons in a first strike against Israel. This is what Israel faces as the prevailing current of world opinion that Iran bluster and threats against Israel are of no consequence yet Israeli alarms about these threats against Israel emanating from Iran are an imminent threat to world peace. It is as if Iran attacking Israel would have minimal consequences but if Israel were to preemptively attack Iran it would cause an international reaction and drag the entire world into a great conflagration. I guess this prediction is likely a self-fulfilling prophesy. If every country basically stands aside should Iran attack Israel then such an attack would have a minimal consequence and even should the United States respond as they are committed by treaty, then the United States response would be the full extent of anything beyond the Israeli second strike capabilities. On the other hand, should all the countries that disregard any threat from Iran but promise world destruction would result from an Israel attack and after such they all actually went to war against Israel, and any country which sided with the Jewish State, then an Israeli attack would result in a worldwide conflagration. It does boggle the mind that Israel warning and pleading for assistance in preventing Iran attaining nuclear weapons ability is considered the preeminent threat in the world but the Iranian calls of, “Death to Israel; Death to America,” is considered simply a natural and expected action which would have no real world implications. Some things just make little if any sense.

The other problem has been described as the Netanyahu preemption conundrum. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu along with the Israeli Prime Minister’s Cabinet with advice from the Israeli’s top military planners and tacticians must discern what exactly the Iranian intents are. Beyond the obvious and very public calls by many of Iran’s highest placed spokespeople for an end to the Zionist entity and other threats calling for the death of all of Israel, Israeli intelligence analysts and leadership must discern exactly what the Iranian threat concerning Israel actually boils down to once all the bluster and hyperventilation are filtered out. Are the Iranian claims that Israel is but a one nuclear weapon strike away from extinction an actual call for making such an attack a reality as soon as the Iranian nuclear program develops a nuclear device and a method of delivery. If Iran is intending to try and bring about an Israeli apocalypse, what would they utilize as a delivery method? Would they use a ballistic missile, a bombing with aircraft, a ship with a registry which would not cause suspicion pulling into Haifa or Tel Aviv marinas, or a cement truck or other land vehicle capable of carrying the device infiltrating through the West Bank, or any other conceivable method. Israel cannot afford to plan for only one or two of the most obvious delivery methods as the 911 attack on the United States proved. Some have come up with a description of the problem simplifying it down to figuring out the psychological mindset of the Iranian leadership by choosing one of three categories, are they rational, irrational or simply insane. Supposedly each of these states of mind requires a different set of actions and determines what is needed to prevent Iran from an attack with WMDs on Israel, whether it will require preemption or is there a set of defined actions that would make a sufficient deterrent. The problem with this approach is that it allows for a mistake in judgment making all the planning and reliance uncertain with a high probability of error. What Israel needs to do is first decide whether preemption is viable and what would be the results of a preemptive attack and what would be required to implement a successful preemption and what determines a successful preemption. Then, if preemption is determined to either not be required, too risky to be attempted, too expensive in either treasure or casualties, ineffective requiring a frequency of preemption making it unfeasible, or too much risk of world condemnation and resultant reaction and punishments placed upon Israel, then some appropriate and sufficient deterrence must be determined and established as policy and communicated to Iran and the World.

An estimation of preemption would eventually lead to the conclusion that no attack could undo the amount of enriched uranium already held by Iran and since whatever destruction was dealt to the Iranian nuclear program would be able to be reconstituted or rebuilt and would only serve to delay the inevitable. Even if preemption appears to be feasible at this time and would result in at least a five year and as much as more than a dozen year setback of the Iranian nuclear program, there is one other problem which must be considered. Even if everything else made a current preemption viable and would not result in any permanent harm to Israel and would be sufficiently precise so as not to cause unacceptable collateral casualties and damage, the fact that it would not be a permanent solution must be brought into the discussion. Once that is realized, then it becomes evident that preemption would eventually lead to a situation where preemption would no longer be effective and therefore preemption becomes an nonviable solution. Israel must find a solution that once put in place makes the likelihood of an Iranian attack with the intent of annihilation of the Jewish State as its purpose becomes no longer acceptable to the Iranian leadership. One cannot even be guaranteed that bringing down the governance of Iran by the Ayatollahs and having a ruling theocracy would also actualize an end to the Iranian nuclear ambitions. It is likely that any government chosen by the Iranians may decide to continue the drive for nuclear weaponry and nuclear mastery. So, the only true solution would be to find some threat that would function as a proper and viable deterrence completely independent of any discernment about the mental state of those governing in Iran now or in the future.

Deterrence is the sole solution to the Iranian nuclear threat that can be considered and implemented which would be sane, rational, workable, and have any chance of effectiveness. The one thing that must be kept in mind is that the deterrence must be effective no matter whether the leadership of Iran is rational, irrational or simply insane. The only workable deterrence must be effective against all states of mind, political realities, religious considerations, and virtually any conditions which could possibly exist, whether likely or beyond belief. Unlike the Cold War where MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction, was sufficient as both the Soviet Union and the United States, and later China, were all sane actors and were checked simply by the guarantee of mutual destruction. Unfortunately, one of the conditions that must be satisfied when deterring Iran is that the leadership is now or may in the future be suicidally inclined. So, we can rule out mutually assured destruction as a viable deterrence. It is at this point that most of the appraisals I have read simply gives up and makes the call for a preemptive strike, which we have already ruled out as an inoperable and untenable approach to the problem. That leaves us in search of the necessary qualities and quantities that must be put under threat as a response to an Iranian attack such that Iran would be deterred from ever even considering such a move. There is but one thing which would satisfy these requirements and it would be applicable not only to Iran, but would also apply to the rest of the Muslim world. Israel must make it known that should they face annihilation from a nuclear or other overwhelming attack, especially one using Weapons of Mass Destruction, that Israel would launch a massive retaliatory strike. The initial targets would be the major cities of the attacking nation or nations. This would not serve as sufficient deterrence should Iranian leadership be either irrational or simply insane. To make the deterrence actually workable, it needs to have a secondary set of targets. These secondary targets must be the same regardless of who from the Muslim World would be the originating attackers. Israel needs to identify particular targets that are of such value to Muslims that to even consider testing Israeli resolve on such a threat would be unthinkable. This is why among these secondary targets there would be a select group of critical structures in each Muslim country which would be targeted for destruction either by nuclear weapons or conventional weapons, as required. For example, in Egypt the Aswan Dam would be destroyed which would cause irreversible damage to the entire Nile Valley and Nile Delta. The final sets of targets that Israel would include are targets that are universal in their value throughout the Muslim World. These would include but not be limited to Mecca; Medina; Qom, Iran; Mashhad, Iran; Najaf, Iraq; Karbala, Iraq; all Muslim Holy Sites upon the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel; and other selected locations which house other equally important sites important to all of Islam and to each of Islam’s major factions, Sunni, Shiite, and Sufi. By making the retaliatory attack diverse in order that all sects of Islam pay a price and also choosing those sites which are particular to each sect of Islam, this would cause every sect of Islam and Muslims everywhere to have a stake in preventing any such attack upon Israel. So, even if the leadership of Iran would, as has been stated, “not care if Iran is burnt to the ground as long as Israel was wiped from the Earth,” one needs to make the price beyond just Iran, make the price a concern for all of Islam and invoke every Muslim to have an interest in keeping the peace so it is in their interest to contain Iran as they too will be made to pay and not just Iran. Granted, should Israel make such a threat they would come under crushing criticism, but when you are considering national survival and the survival of the Jewish people in many ways, criticism is something one should accept. Israel can make it known that they do not relish or even anticipate with anything short of dread ever having to make good on this threat and retaliation, but it is a retaliation and as such cannot occur without an outside trigger, an attack from Iran or any other Muslim nation. Islam itself gives the world the concept that Muslims everywhere are really one nation despite false borders the world has imposed upon them and Israel is simply honoring that all of Islam is one and therefore all of Islam would be responsible for an attack by any Islamic force. It may not be very politically acceptable, but neither should the complete and total destruction of the Jewish State, Israel, be acceptable. All this would amount to is if the first unacceptable event should be initiated, the destruction of Israel and almost all Jewish Holy Sites with WMDs, then a second unacceptable event will be the response, the destruction of numerous Muslim cities and Islamic Holy Places.

Beyond the Cusp

September 1, 2012

NAM Convention Answer to Mullahs’ Prayers

The NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) held their conference of one-hundred-twenty nations in Tehran, Iran giving the Mullahs a stage before the world. The Mullahs did not let the world down by almost immediately making inflammatory statements and continuing throughout the week. Likely the low-point was the Iranian Supreme Leader commenting on Israel saying, “ferocious Zionist wolves who digest the Palestinian people.” This and the other comments were so far beyond the cusp of things acceptable that Ban Ki-moon felt pressured and commented that he “strongly rejects threats by any member state to destroy another or outrageous attempts to deny historical facts such as the Holocaust.” Ban Ki-moon added, “Claiming that Israel does not have the right to exist or describing it in racist terms is not only wrong but undermines the very principle we all have pledged to uphold.” The United Nations felt that the atmosphere emitted from the conference in Tehran was so toxic that they needed to make excuses for Ban Ki-moon’s attendance where such bigotry and hatred had become the central part of the message. The statement read, The “Secretary-General conveyed the clear concerns and expectations of the international community on the issues for which cooperation and progress are urgent for both regional stability and the welfare of the Iranian people.” The release continued with further clarifications stating, “On the nuclear question, the Secretary-General said he has been following closely Iran’s talks with the P5+1. He said he regretted that little tangible progress has been achieved so far during these intensive talks and that the talks needed to be serious and substantive. He said that Iran needed to take concrete steps to address the concerns of the International Atomic Energy Agency and prove to the world that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. He said that there is no alternative to peaceful, diplomatic and negotiated settlement which should be reached step by step and based on reciprocity.”

The week before the convening of the NAM Conference both the United States and Israel had requested that Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon refrain from attending the conference as by attending he would give the Mullahs the appearance of acceptance for their hatreds which were sure to be part and parcel of any conference held in Tehran. The Secretary General could have saved himself and the leadership of the United Nations any embarrassment or need for explanations and apologies simply by having heeded the warnings voiced by the American and Israeli leaders. Adding to the public warnings was the statement by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu who recently called the summit, “a disgrace and a stain on humanity.” He has subsequently commented “In Tehran today, the representatives of 120 countries heard a blood libel against the State of Israel and were silent. This silence must stop. Therefore, I will go to the UN General Assembly and, in a clear voice, tell the nations of the world the truth about Iran’s terrorist regime, which constitutes the greatest threat to world peace.” By his presence, Ban Ki-moon allowed for some of that stain to be splashed onto the reputation of the United Nations adding to other injuries from the past such as the Durban Conferences, all three of them thus far, which were nothing more than bigoted hatreds and slanders against solely Israel and the Jewish People all of which were held to blame for every ill and calamity which had ever plagued the human race. The driving impetus which steered the Durban Conferences from honestly investigating racial hatreds, xenophobia, and other social ills and hatreds that still plague the human existence to the singular condemnation of Israel and the Jews was these same one-hundred and twenty non-aligned nations which make up the NAM. Their actions on the world stage during Durban I, Durban II, and Durban III gave a track record which should have acted as a glaring flashing neon warning that their conference, especially with it being held in Tehran, Iran, was going to be problematic at the very least.

Another piece of business that was enacted during the NAM Conference was the passing of the office or the President of the non-aligned nations from the current holder, Egypt, to the next holder, Iran. Other high points were the fact that new Egyptian President Morsi was in attendance in Tehran though Morsi did not make any overt signals of making an alignment between Egypt and Iran. Instead, President Morsi suggested a new proposal for addressing the Syrian situation where a group of nations consisting of Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia take the lead in finding a solution to end the slaughters and chaos in Syria. We find President Morsi’s choice of nations to be interesting as we at Beyond the Cusp had predicted that there very possible would be a four way struggle for the leading position should a new Caliphate be formed with Turkey, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia all vying for the title. By holding the Presidency of NAM and the conference being held in Tehran, Iran took advantage of the leaders of the other contenders for leader of the Muslim world having to come to their capital. This was one of the subtle undertones which were most evident in the number of speeches and press releases committed by the Mullahs and President Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders. That is why Egyptian President Morsi’s announcement of having the four nations working to bring an end to the Syrian civil war for the sake of the Syrian people and the Islamic world. This was also a smart play for extending and improving the chances that the Muslim Brotherhood will end up the eventual winners and rule Syria once Bashir Assad is forced from office. Iran, on the other hand, is heavily invested in continuing the rule of Bashir Assad and likely resented the Egyptian President’s demand that Iran promise to cease arms shipments to the embattled Syrian leader as the first step in finding a sane solution.

On the international stage the NAM Conference had very few surprises. There were the usual denunciations of the United States and Israel. There were the same old calls for the complete revamping of the United Nations to reflect the new and changing world and alignments. They stated a desire for a new formula for the Security Council with the stripping of their veto and permanent status of Britain, the United States, France, Russia, and China and placing far more power in the hands of the NAM members. There were the expected calls for forcing the industrial world to make larger investments in the future and the building of the developing nations. The conference was everything one could either hope or dread would result depending on your point of view. One optimistic item one can take from the NAM Conference is that some of the member states have begun to progress down the road to becoming industrialized nations and have begun the long climb from a purely agrarian economy to an industrial economy. This will also lead to more advanced agricultural methods being implemented as their wealth grows. This is promising as only by bringing these countries up to an industrialized and information age economies which will allow them to share a larger share of the wealth while their contribution to world wealth increases driving the size of the world’s economy even higher thus avoiding the other option where everybody loses and the developed countries are torn down by the less developed world in an effort to make all societies equal. This is most evident when one looks at the advantages and the new visions coming from countries such as India, Brazil, Argentina and other nations which are well on the road to modernity. Perhaps within the next decade or so we will see the number of members in NAM start to decrease as more nations join the first world economic levels and no longer harbor societies filled with loathing and envy for those they see as exploiting their wealth and denying them a future with any chance for success. This can be made more likely if we can encourage representative governances and the rule of law replacing the rule of men which enforces a repressive nature which tends to oppose development and progress.

Beyond the Cusp

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