Beyond the Cusp

December 11, 2017

Lowdown on the Entire Jerusalem Fiasco

 

President Trump did indeed say, “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.” A little while later he added, “Israel is a sovereign nation with the right, like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.” Then he stated, “Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the Prime Minister and the President. It is the headquarters of many government ministries. For decades, visiting American presidents, secretaries of state, and military leaders have met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as I did on my trip to Israel earlier this year.”

 

Moving along we get to where President Trump stated the obvious, “Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and people of all faiths, are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs.” Then started the qualifying his statements thus far when he limited where Jews can pray excluding them from prayer on the Temple Mount just as the Muslims and Arab Palestinians have demanded things be stating, “Jerusalem is today, and must remain, a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the Stations of the Cross, and where Muslims worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque.” Then comes the teaser, “But today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It is something that has to be done. That is why, consistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act, I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

 

This was a validly true statement which might have carried a lot of weight had President Trump not added this little gem, “In making these announcements, I also want to make one point very clear: This decision is not intended in any way to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians. We are not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders.” And shortly thereafter, things went from weak to expanding wiggle room stating, “Without question, Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in those talks. The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides. In the meantime, I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites, including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif.” Then came stating the obvious and the empty promises with these two lines, “There will, of course, be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. But we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a peace and a place far greater in understanding and cooperation.” Now was time for optimism and President Trump did not disappoint as he restated from the Summit in Saudi Arabia adding, “I repeat the message I delivered at the historic and extraordinary summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, The Middle East is a region rich with culture, spirit, and history. Its people are brilliant, proud, and diverse, vibrant and strong. But the incredible future awaiting this region is held at bay by bloodshed, ignorance, and terror. Vice President Pence will travel to the region in the coming days to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations.”

 

We apologize for repeating close to half of the speech, but the path taken was less than perfectly straight as it took some nasty curves and swerves around the obvious doing everything necessary to keep Jerusalem in play. President Trump was not about to give up the largest chip in his hand before he could use it in a bet to gather concessions from one side or the other. President Trump still believes that as a businessman he has what others lacked, the magic touch with which to arrange the perfect, you give they give and each takes half of this and that presto-chango and you have an Arab-Israeli peace deal. We really hate to burst President Trump’s bubble, but there is one stopper to a peace deal which even he, the great realestate magician, will find he cannot crack, Mahmoud Abbas and his final demands. What can President Trump offer Mahmoud Abbas in exchange for surrendering on the complete eradication of the Jewish State and the reduction to nil of the Jews residing there? This has been Israel’s Ace in the hole as no matter what is offered, we know that Mahmoud Abbas will say no as long as Israel remains the Jewish State.

 

The two main historic points of negotiations were the 2000 Camp David Summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat overseen and assisted by President William Jefferson Clinton. One can read a complete story which covers much of the negotiations by Wikipedia of the 2000 Camp David Summit but we will give our summation as well. As one would expect, there were accusations and insults passed back and forth until the two main parties refused to sit in the same room. The Camp David part of the negotiations ended with severe acrimony. President Clinton is persistent if nothing else and he demanded that the parties meet in Paris to try again, this time with his taking a more active role, he was convinced that his gifts of persuasion could alter what had previously proven to be an intractable situation. The talks again broke down quickly so President Clinton stepped into the breach. He spoke with Ehud Barak and demanded he define his best offer which he took to Yasser Arafat, after exacting out of Barak every inch of land and other allowance and benevolence until he was satisfied he had a presentable agreement. Then he took this to Yasser Arafat and the offer was refused, as we could have told President Clinton it would have been. President Clinton is not one to be put off that easily, so he worked for a few more hours with Arafat until he got him to put forth a proposed settlement that he would accept. Of course, Arafat gave President Clinton a set of terms he was sure that Ehud Barak would never accept even under torture. President Clinton truly was persuasive when upon returning to Barak he got him to accept whatever deal Arafat had proposed. President Clinton then sent invitations to both parties to attend breakfast the next morning without, apparently, telling either side there would be a signing ceremony. When Arafat came down a short time after Barak and saw papers laid out on the table and the media in attendance, he shot straight through the room, out the front door with Madeline Albright chasing after him, and into his car heading straight to the airport and took flight to Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan. There is contention as to what exactly was in the final presumed agreement but many claim it was a generous offer which was the most ever offered up to that point.

 

A while later President George W. Bush was persuaded, likely by his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, to take a shot at Middle East peace. Summations of the final settlement offered which was refused by Abbas can be read from these sources; Jerusalem Post, Wikipedia, Haaretz, Times of Israel and an interesting editorial from the New York Times. He arranged meetings between Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas along with shuttle diplomacy with diplomats and officials flying between Washington D.C. and both Jerusalem and Nablus. The result was the definitive offer of the most it is likely Israel would or ever will be willing to provide. This was supposed to be the greatest and closest offer which could be and still, as it left the State of Israel intact as the Jewish State, this made it unacceptable to the terrorist leadership of the Palestinian Arabs. Many have pointed out that the Israeli People have suffered and will continue to suffer from terror attacks and threats which we have seen can be set in motion like a water spigot, simply say the words “Days of Rage” and the rioting begins and will continue until requested to end by the terror leaders of the Arab Palestinians. Those who riot are the youth and a core of instigators who are hardened terrorist planners, trainers and facilitators. The other sufferers are the Arabs Palestinians as their wealth is stolen, they are subjected to the disturbances as are the Israelis, are forced to support terrorism which of which many are not necessarily in favor and are forced to live in an atmosphere unfavorable for their making an honest living. This has been proven from some who have committed acts of terror who confess that they did so for the money their family would receive, as it was the most prosperous means they had left to them. Allow us to offer up a commentary on the aforementioned Palestinian Authority pay for slay policies.

 

Prime Minister Olmert, President Bush and Mahmoud Abbas

Prime Minister Olmert, President Bush and Mahmoud Abbas

 

Let us now move on to the commentary about Jerusalem and its relations as the capital city of the State of Israel and what the President of the Czech Republic stated recently. The following quotes were taken from two articles, Czech President Blasts EU over Jerusalem Stance and Czech President Hints: We could move embassy to Jerusalem which were both published by Arutz Sheva.

 

“The European Union, cowards, are doing all they can so a pro-Palestinian terrorist movement can have supremacy over a pro-Israeli movement,” said Czech President Milos Zeman commenting before delegates attending the congress of the nationalist Freedom and Direct Democracy party. President Milos Zeman had stated formerly, “Trump’s decision makes me happy because when I visited Israel four years ago, I said that I would like to transfer the embassy, and that if that happens, we will be the first to do so,” He added at that time, “Every country has the right to decide which city will serve as its capital, and by the same token, every country has the right to decide where its embassy will be located. Trump’s move was meant to demonstrate the self-confidence of the United States, and that’s very positive.”

 

The Czech Republic followed in the footsteps of U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday and said it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel within limitations, as apparently nobody is quite brave enough to state the truth, that everything west of the Jordan River is rightfully and legally belonging to Israel and there can be no other legal claim. The Palestinian Arabs are guaranteed the right to open and unencumbered employment, legal rights, property rights, and social rights but are restricted from political rights which remains definable as the State of Israel cares to define them. A statement issued by the Czech foreign ministry stated, “The Czech Republic currently, before the peace between Israel and Palestine is signed, recognizes Jerusalem to be in fact the capital of Israel in the borders of the demarcation line from 1967.” They added the formal weasel wordings of the European establishment doing all they can to eradicate Israel even if in steps adding, “The Ministry can start considering moving of the Czech embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem only based on results of negotiations with key partners in the region and in the world.”

 

Returning to our own commentary, we simply wonder how long the world, led by the Arab League who are faithfully followed by the Europeans and the United Nations and encouraged by the leftist and far right media and too many other sources and nations in a never ending plotting to destroy Israel. The British did all they could from the moment they took control of the Mandate to form the Jewish State out of the lands handed them to make sure that the Jewish State would never materialize. Their first move was to take 78% of the British Mandate and make the Arab State of Transjordan, today known as Jordan, giving it to the Hashemite family and King Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, as compensation for his family losing their former rule over the Two Holy Cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina, which were conquered after World War I by the Saudis filling the vacuum left when the Ottoman Empire collapsed. This took care of all the lands east of the Jordan River. The British, in conjunction with the surrounding Arab nations and the Arab League, always made sure to keep an Arab majority in the lands west of the Jordan River so they could refuse giving the Jews sovereignty, as they were a minority. This was very costly to world Judaism as the British imposed a cap on Jewish immigration to their holdings of seventy-five-thousand per year and, in order to assure this cap was never breached, they seldom even permitted the full number. According to Jewish Virtual Library the decade from 1929 through 1939 approximately one-quarter of a million Jews were permitted entry into the British Mandate area for the Jewish State meaning that the British actually allowed twenty-five-thousand Jews per year out of the set limit of seventy-five-thousand. The British finally decided to relinquish the headache of trying to keep order between the Arabs and Jews which would regularly explode between them and both were also working to rid the land of the British. All in all, this made the British continued command of the Mandate a burden no longer acceptable, so they set a date of May 15, 1948 for their departure. The United Nations General Assembly made a suggestion to divide the land, which legally all was an aside for the Jewish State, and despite having legal claim, the Zionist Congress and Jewish authorities accepted but the Arab League refused which voided the entire resolution. This meant the lands west of the Jordan River relented back to the original Mandate of forming a Jewish homeland and Israel came into being on the date of May 15, 1948 defined as all the lands west of the Jordan River. Any lands taken in the ensuing war of Arab aggression were illegally occupied. The Gaza was subsequently released by Israel to the Palestinian Authority who lost it soon after to Hamas. The area historically known as Judea and Samaria (Jordan renamed West Bank to remove the Jewish sounding names) is still legally defined as part of the Jewish State unless or until Israel decides otherwise. Should Israel decide to apply their rule over the entirety of Judea and Samaria, it is within their legal purview. What the world need realize and admit is Israel also does not have to provide political rights such as voting in national elections or even local elections, in areas Israel desires they not have a political say, as Israel is only required to provide social rights, religious rights, financial rights and other rights other than those of a political nature according to all the original resolutions, treaties and other measures all based on the Balfour Declaration and its specific wording.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 15, 2017

Hezballah Threats Growing in Intensity

 

When threats of Hezballah invading Israel start being the next great idea used by Hassan Nasrallah to rally the troops and spark excitement in the Lebanese Shiite public replacing his usual anti-Christian rhetoric and claims of preparedness to repel and Israeli attack which may be imminent as the Jews nefarious ways can never be predicted, one can only expect the worst. That such news would be reported by, of all places, Yahoo News then either things are a whole lot worse than one thinks or Yahoo was going for broke trying to sell the story. The problem is Nasrallah has been speaking big much more than usual of late and that never bodes well. Part of the reason for his big chest pounding rhetoric could largely be due to things not going as well as hoped for on the Syrian front and Hezballah has been losing more men than they had initially expected when answering the call from Iran to assist Bashir al-Assad hold to power in Syria. Hezballah has lost a number of commanders including Mustafa Badriddine whose death was commemorated this past week in Lebanon. This too could be a further reason for the boastful threats by Nasrallah as he needs to make it sound as if the Syrian debacle has not swerved the terror outfit from fighting their supposed main enemies, Israel. Whenever the troops and/or the people need a little pick-me-up, well, there’s nothing like some anti-Israel threats topped with a little anti-Semitic slurs claiming that the Jews could never match his Hezbollah fighters.

 

Hassan Nasrallah

Hassan Nasrallah

 

In Nasrallah’s televised speech he declared, “Israel has been threatening for 10 years to open a front against Hezbollah, but it hasn’t done anything. Israel is afraid of any confrontation.” This is standard grist for the mill and can be found in virtually every Nasrallah speech in some form or another. The interesting declaration, which has been added in the last couple of years, has been the insistence that the next war, whether started by Israel or by Hezballah, will be fought in the Galilee, otherwise called occupied Palestine. They can only use the word Israel in conjunction with words such as annihilation, decimation, elimination or other wonderful threat or another, otherwise it is always occupied Palestine, occupied territory, occupied something or another. Nasrallah’s speeches almost always speak of the massive armaments and fearless Hezballah fighters who are going to fight scared Israelis, again win another war against the accursed Jews or some other fantastical fantasy, if you will permit the double-speak. Somehow redundancies actually seemed apropos when speaking of Nasrallah and his threats which come periodically from the man who seldom leaves his presumed hidden bunker appearing solely by teleconference on a bigger than life television screen even for outside events.

 

We have often wondered what he is making up for with these super-sized television screens. It couldn’t be some inadequacy such as fear of assassination, which keeps him seriously safe from anyone who might desire to replace him thinking that his actions have betrayed their main purpose and is now sacrificing their people in the service of Iranian and Syrian overlords. There are likely some who feel that Nasrallah has failed in many ways including not taking care of job number one, Israel, and instead is wasting lives and resources fighting in the Syria civil war. Somebody does not appreciate that the Iranians pay the bills and provide the weaponry, especially the advanced rockets and missiles including those, which can reach from Lebanon into Egypt and Saudi Arabia, not to mention all of Israel. That is the problem as well, as the Iranians have provided, over the past five years, somewhere between one-hundred-thousand and two-hundred-thousand rockets and missiles of varying sizes and ranges including Scuds and Chinese knockoffs made in Iran, missiles including the C-701 and C-802 and Yakhont subsonic Chinese anti-ship missiles, as well as Zelzal-1 and 2, Fateh-110, Fajr-3 and 5 Missiles and a myriad of smaller rockets which can rain down on many towns and cities in northern Israel. Making matters slightly more problematic is the fact that Hezballah is aligned, more like subsumed, by the Lebanese Army which provides them with tanks, the T-55, T-62, and T-72 Russian Main Battle Tanks as well as M-1 Abrams United States Main Battle Tank. This also includes Armored Personnel Carriers. Their armaments also include various MANPADS (anti-aircraft man-carried anti-aircraft rockets) SA-7, SA-14, SA-16, SA-18, FIM-92 Stinger, QW-1 Vanguard, Misagh-1 and Misagh-2 which are of Russian, American and Iranian manufacture. They also possess both stationary and self-propelled anti-aircraft weapons. Further Hezballah received SA-8, SA-17, SA-22 and the Sayyad-2 surface to air missile systems. Further weapons include a myriad of anti-tank missiles from wire-guided to fire and forget and everything in between. Hezballah has become the beneficiary of main battle tanks, which they could never have gained on their own but were capable of purchasing them through the Lebanese Military, which claimed they had no connection with Hezballah when making the arrangements with the United States for the Abrams Main Battle Tanks, which was a complete and utter misrepresentation of the truth. We suspect that the Obama Administration was fully aware of the lie but went through with the deal in order to provide Hezballah with this formidable weapon system. Also attained by the Lebanese Army were seventy M-198 Howitzer artillery units, along with twenty-six-million rounds of ammunition. A summary reported by Breitbart tells that, “Lebanon is now the 5th largest recipient in the world of U.S. military foreign assistance. Over $100 million last year, and over $1 billion in the last 8 years.” The list of weaponry provided all but directly to Hezballah by the United States is astounding and frightening making one wonder who was the person behind making such weapons available to the second arm of Hezballah, the Lebanese Military which were known to be one and the same as long as a decade ago when it was first suspected by the administration of George W. Bush though they refused to go public and stay from admitting any direct link.

 

We can only hope that with a new administration in the White House that shipments of such weaponry to the Lebanese Military, and thus to Hezballah, have come to a close. Still, the damage has been done and cannot be undone. These weapons make the threats by Nasrallah all the more dangerous and the chance of war far more likely, not less. Hezballah has at most a limited number of pilots making them completely dependent upon the Lebanese pilots. The only other break is that the Lebanese Air Force is completely made of helicopters that can be dangerous to fixed wing aircraft no matter the sophistication. The Israeli Defense Forces also have helicopters that include the Apache, very likely one of the most advanced and capable attack helicopters. Still, any war between Hezballah and Israel would include the Lebanese military making it an all-out war between the two nations. Israel has realized this and made it evidently clear through contacts that any attacks by Hezballah would be taken by Israel as a declaration of war by Lebanon and constitute a state of war between the two nations. Israel desires to keep the peace with her neighbors but the threats and boasting by Nasrallah will eventually lead to the rank and file terrorist fighters that make up Hezballah’s fighting force demanding to be permitted their glorious and victorious war with Israel. Nasrallah realized that any war with Israel would devastate all of Lebanon and Hezballah but he does not care. Nasrallah will continue to periodically make his threats despite knowing that some day his big mouth will trigger that hated of results, an infernal war which destroys both nations with one probably incapable of recovering and the other taking a long time but rebuilding and, believe it or not, once rebuilt offering to assist the other as that is the Israeli way, help people, even former enemies. Israel sent tons of relief aid including food, medicines, diesel fuel, electricity, water and other provisions into Gaza during the Gaza War with Hamas even to include a field hospital at one of the crossings because the average Gazan was not the problem and should suffer as little as possible. The same will be true for Lebanon as much as conditions allow, but the conditions are likely to be horrific as Hezballah, like Hamas, use the civilians to protect their military assets. The real problem is not his threats but that one-day he will use such a threat to launch such an attack leading to total carnage, mostly in Lebanon, once their initial assault has been turned back as the rockets and missiles are the real threat, not so much any ground fighting. That day will provide an honest evaluation of the limits to Israeli missile defenses where Iron Dome, David’s Sling and both Arrow 1 and 2 will need to work together and seamlessly if Israel will be successfully defended.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 13, 2015

A Chance America Riding Off Into the Sunset

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There has been speculation about what role the United States will play on the world’s stage as threats abound of various severities and natures almost everywhere one looks and still we hear from United States President Obama that he awaits final strategy and complete plans laid out before him from the Pentagon before he can act. This excuse from President Obama for not committing to some plan of action sounds unrealistic, especially as it is well known even personally after having served in the United States Army, the Pentagon has plans, War Scenarios, for near any contingency which might arise. This makes President Obama’s excuse of not having any plans before him sound quite lame. Even had the Pentagon not had an exact battle plan in place when ISIS first reared their ugly heads and started chopping heads, especially since some belonged to the United States, you can bet the Pentagon went to their files and had cobbled together six ways come Sunday for dealing with ISIS which probably had added contingencies for removing Bashir al-Assad from power and potentially addressing the Iranian nuclear issue as well. The one thing is, they were not short of was plans. The only thing necessary would be for the President to choose one and they would be implementing within forty-eight hours. Each set of plans would have in the full layout exactly which units were trained for that exact mission and which of those units was at full strength and had a ready status. They would have decided whether or not to use the ready actions units of which at least two brigades of Army would be on immediate deployment status and I can assume the Marines, Navy and Air Force have similar plans for immediate response to any call up.

 

We can trust the Pentagon has plans and that all the President need do is pick up that phone he claims he could use to call for action if Congress did not pass his legislation in a timely manner and instead call the Pentagon and request their actions and plans be presented. Then he could pick up that pen with which he threatened Congress to use to write Executive Orders and use it to sign off on a plan of action and then write an Executive Memo to the leaders in Congress informing them of the impending actions and the Pentagon would take care of the rest. There is one contingency for which the Pentagon likely has plans but would be unable to implement them until the President ordered them to follow and support somebody else’s initiation of actions. That is President Obama’s famous plan of leading from behind, better known as following which often is the action of those too cowardly to commit to actions and stick their neck out, something which would be risky against ISIS but the President can go ahead and stick his neck out, the military would be out in front and would do or die even knowing that in the end the President would claim the glory, after all he took out Osama bin Laden haven’t you heard. Leading from behind is not an option on this crisis but President Obama is not one to make definitive decisions which might have him owning his actions. President Obama would rather simply follow and take only that action was dictated by somebody else, the United Nations, the European Union, NATO led by another member, actually President Obama would follow anybody, well, anybody but Israel. Were Israel to engage ISIS, it would not be a complete surprise if President Obama gave weapons to ISIS through some obscure middleman leader of another nation who might be supportive of ISIS though doing so would be risky. But until somebody else takes the lead we can expect more excuses over action from the White House.

 

One wonders if President Obama has even requested the Pentagon produce their plans for dealing with ISIS and said plans actually called for the United States to sit this round out. We can figure that the United States is loath to send troops back into Iraq after being pulled out by President Obama in a manner that military planners had informed the President was a premature action which would cause more problems than it could solve. The one problem leaving a residual force would not have addressed was President Obama winning reelection on his promise to bring our boys home come something (keeping it family friendly) or high water. The Pentagon may have been requested to provide plans which would include supporting UN or EU or NATO action taken to facilitate leading from behind at which time the Pentagon action would most likely be exactly what we are seeing, doing nothing waiting for somebody else to take the initiative so they could follow thus leading from behind again allowing President Obama to risk nothing which actually making a choice and lead would mean. But this begs a question; what happens if the United States is about to return to her historic role of isolationism where the United States trades with her friends and with her enemies but on a lesser scale and dares not interfere in worldly matters allowing them to work themselves out without United States interventions. United States entering an isolationist perspective would only allow her deployment of troops to be limited and almost always to support trade more than worrying about such trivialities as world balance and defeating evil, that’s better left to the knights of Europe who have always done this before. Of course this before was before the United States encouraged Europe to stop their militarism and that the United States would spread her umbrella and cover them so they could turn to less harmful pursuits such as taking on debt and squabbling amongst each other, just this time no world wars starting in Europe, that was the deal the United States imposed on Europe. But now it appears the United States may be folding up that umbrella and claiming not to see the storm clouds rising out of the Middle East, a denial which is difficult to swallow.

 

The going theory is that the United States will return to the role of the world’s police and enforce the good behavior between the nations extending force projection where needed. That is not the historic tendency of the United States after any major conflicts; her historic stance has been a laissez-faire attitude of simple sitting back keeping her hands politely to herself, which is the norm from the United States. The average American knows little about world affairs and cares even less. The average American was defined by President Clinton in his initial campaign for the Presidency with his slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid.” The stupid in this case was George Herbert Walker Bush (the elder and first Pres Bush) and the elections proved it as President Bush did not gain reelection largely due to his having broken his promise of, “Read my lips; no new taxes,” and then was forced to raise taxes by a Democrat Congress in order to get his budget passed with the military spending not slashed by the Congress. The election of President Clinton over reelecting President Bush was all about domestic policies over foreign policies.

 

You start to talk about foreign policy with the average American and their eyes gloss over and they drift into some zombie like state all catatonic and in shock after the first two or three sentences. Talk about immigration, taxes, domestic hot-button issues, government spending of which all is unnecessary except those they are or will receive, and the economy then you will engage in a sometimes heated debate. Talk about money and they will listen, talk about something happening in the Mille East or Asia and they will repeat what the media stated, that is bad, that is good and those people sure have as rough time, but then they will turn it back to how the government needs to take care of things at home first. The average American has all the sympathy you could ever ask for and they will donate more to charities than any other peoples on earth but when it comes to sending their young men off to fight in what they mostly see as somebody else’s war, then they need a ton of convincing and President Obama surfs waves, seldom makes waves when it comes to world politics. The President came from a past as a community organizer, read rabble rouser causing trouble to force government actions usually spending more money of which they get the lion’s share, and knows little outside of Chicago, let alone outside of the United States. He treats foreign policy as if it was a plague and to his outlook, as well as many Americans outlooks, simply does not go past the horizon and possibly not past the water’s edge.

 

We can bet that should the Democrat candidate become the next President, they too will do little as they can in foreign policy. We need remember that the Democrat candidate will not likely be Hillary Clinton but more likely somebody not even announced as of yet. Ms. Clinton’s campaign van has the wheels flying off and the engine is about to quit. The van is driving down the road to oblivion. But what if it is the Republican candidate, you inquire. There we need to find out who will take the lead and which ones do not survive the first three or four actual primary votes. We can make some specific and general observations. Rand Paul is an isolationist libertarian who believes if the United States hurts nobody then nobody would target the United States. Of all the governors and ex-governors running, only Jeb Bush might be a President inclined to use military force and actually have an active foreign policy. Others have claimed that they will repair the United States relations with Israel as well as Egypt and Saudi Arabia largely undoing some of the changes made under President Obama. Still, such actions do not necessarily mean a return into Iraq to defeat ISIS unless it becomes a dire threat to the stability of the Middle East. Only Senator Marco Rubio has direct experience with foreign policies as he in on the Senate Intelligence Committee which gives him access beyond the average Senator under the need to know doctrines. Almost any Republican candidate becoming President would easily take four months to a year to become fully briefed on every hot-spot that the Pentagon had plans and counter plans and different options under each plan and time granted each. Such amounts of information is why the President has a Secretary of Defense whose staff is divided so they can divide their work and attend to each contingencies. Still, the final decisions and person who must form the overall foreign police and who has to call in the troops for action when deemed to be necessary lies with the President and the President alone. That is one of the reason it is said that it is lonely at the top. We still have no real available input that any of the Republican candidates would press for an interventionist approach to foreign policies.

 

Likely the most pressing foreign policy might already have their hands tied should President Obama make any Iran nuclear deal somehow into a treaty without gaining Congressional affirmation. Such a decade long deal would actually prevent the next administration from taking any actions without smoking gun style proof that Iran had broken the agreement but as the agreement includes steps all the way through twelve years with little margin for change in the terms or even the terminology during that time period with the Iranians presumably free to complete their desired goal of deliverable nuclear warheads and the ICBMs on which to place them after ten years according to President Obama’s own admission which would leave them at a minimum two years to produce as many weapons systems as they are able starting with an unknown amount of LEU (low enrichment Uranium) with which to work and all of that Uranium a simple two day’s processing to be made weapons grade HEU (highly enriched Uranium over 90% purity) and then they would be capable of molding the cores and producing actual weapons. All of this is a guess of what the eventual agreement will appear to say and Iranian compliance to the terms and inspection protocols as well as their answering numerous questions about previous work performed largely by the military which Iran insists is an unprecedented and unnecessary invasion of their privileges and privacies. So, when it comes to the Iranian nuclear program the next President may be acting with his hands tied and possibly looking at a negative response from a nuclear armed Iran claiming their dominion over Iraq and dismissing the need for United States interference in their area of control which they will claim includes Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and who knows where else by January 21, 2017 when the next President takes office. After Iran there will be other situations such as Russia and their low-grade war with the Ukraine and its possibilities, China and their expansion Islands being built and potentially taking territorial control semi-legally over the entire South China Sea giving them control over one of the most active shipping lanes in the world. Speaking of choke points for shipping, Iran already has menacing control over the Straits of Hormuz where almost one third of the world’s oil is shipped by tankers and may through their proxies in Yemen, Houthis can also threaten to control the Bab-el-Mandeb which would cut off the southern exit of the Red Sea making the Suez Canal unusable and the Israeli southern port to the orient and Africa blockaded, a casus belli which could lead to a state of declared war by Iran on Israel and Egypt as both would have their shipping access to the world impeded illegally as Iran would have no other excuse other than they could close all shipping. These are just the top three and none of these includes the ISIS threat which may grow to the point where Iran and ISIS meet on equal footing with ISIS having gained an Air Force even if of a limited nature, and tactics which are prone to working, at least working well against the Iraqi army. ISIS has had far less success against the Kurdish Militias such as the Peshmerga (literally “one who confronts death”) and the People’s Protection Units (known as the YPG). These have held the northeast parts of Syria having an astonishing turning point in the city of Kobanê as well as the northern third or so of Iraq where the Kurdish forces saved thousands of Yazidi and whose Yazidi Militias have joined ranks with the Kurdish Militias. We could continue to the other continents and their probabilities for causing distress but that would leave Antarctica as probably the only safe haven if you desired no strife, or at least not yet.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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