Beyond the Cusp

October 8, 2019

President Trump Mishandles Turkey and Iran

 

Turkish President Erdoğan demanded that the United States move out of his forces way, enabling attacks upon the Kurdish regions in Syria and potentially beyond into Iraq. These were the Kurdish allies in the war against the Islamic State working with American advisors and air support. One would pray that President Trump would stand his ground and deny President Erdoğan’s demands and protect the Kurds who were there against Islamic State with the United States. Instead, President Trump once more showed his excessive reluctance to use any form of force if he can avoid any fighting. President Trump assured Erdoğan that the American forces would be removed enabling his assault on the apparently former American ally Kurds in northern Syria. It was back in last January that President Trump threatened to “devastate Turkey economically” should Turkey attacked the Kurdish forces. At that time, Erdoğan agreed to set up a safe zone where Kurdish forces and civilians would be safe from any Turkish attacks. Instead, Erdoğan plans to use the idea of a safe zone to eradicate the Kurds along the entirety of the southern Turkish border into Syria. We believe that Turkey will be absorbing these lands into Turkey to make good on former Erdoğan promises. Apparently, that agreement is no longer accepted by President Erdoğan as he now desires to attack the Kurds in Syria probably taking over Aleppo if possible and not stopped. The actual reason for these attacks is simply the Turkish leadership regard the Kurds as an enmity and scourge which Turkey insist must be eradicated.

 

President Erdoğan and President Trump

President Erdoğan and President Trump

 

This is simply another all too obvious example that President Trump apparently lacks the intestinal fortitude to take on a fight which can be easily avoided with minimal blowback. Within the United States the bringing of military forces home is often met with great support. This time will be little different simply because the average American, J.Q. Public has little if any knowledge about who the Kurds are, where they reside and probably have forgotten the assistance by the Kurds in the fight with the Islamic State. Most are also unaware that much of the Turkish claims to be fighting the Islamic State (or ISIS) were more often than not fighting Kurdish regions where they killed fighters and civilians alike. One reason which may be forcing this decision by President Trump is since Turkey is a NATO ally, they may have used this alliance when insisting the United States desert the region under Kurdish rule and allow Turkey to do as they please. We predicted just such scenario where allowing Turkey to remain in NATO would force the United States to take on or desert a fight so their NATO ally Turkey could operate as they pleased. Still, President Trump has sent the message that he desires avoiding conflict and depending upon economic and social pressures to influence friend and foe alike.

 

Previous stories made President Trump’s avoidance of taking military action evident and in one case to an adversary in the Middle East. These have not been major stories as there have yet to be any direct repercussions from any of these actions. There was the rumored heated argument between the two men over use of force against Iran. When President Trump and John Bolton parted ways, the Iranian reaction was it simply proved that President Trump was too reluctant to defend anything if it required the use of military force. The Iranians had this idea reinforced when President Trump launched attack air craft after Iran had shot down an expensive United States drone presumably in international airspace and then cancelled the attack calling the aircraft back. This simply further emboldened the Iranians as they believe that Trump will always run and hide rather than actually use force and hold the line. We believe that with President Trump having a strong economic background has assumed a false concept, that everyone is concerned with finances and that this makes them vulnerable to economic pressures. Iran has proven repeatedly over time when sanctions have been placed upon them, they actually do not react as if it really matters until the situation shows signs of becoming volatile within Iran.

 

Because of this reliance on economic pressure to alter Iranian actions, President Trump has relied on ratcheting up sanctions despite their showing absolutely very little effect beyond Iran making false moves in attempts to hide their nuclear activities. But after realizing that President Trump would only use economic pressure and avoid any military actions, they have begun flaunting their breaking of the limits of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) testing the European signatories who also refused to take any actions beyond threatening to act. President Trump has all but ignored the Iranian actions as if after placing more severe sanctions would eventually show progress in persuading Iran to forgo their nuclear weapons research. Meanwhile, as the Mullahs and other Islamist elites are eating well and living large, the Iranian unemployment is spiking, the economy is hurting from the sanctions and the Iranian Rial has crashed forcing prices higher as inflation sets in. The rulers in Iran have shown little concern for the problems their people are suffering because under their Islamic rule, only the desired end result matters and that is the total destruction of the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel and eventually world conquest spreading Shia Islam to the entire world while maximizing violence and destruction in order to force the return of their messiah. Economic concerns are secondary to their religious commitment to spreading Shia Islam making it the only religion on Earth.

 

The possibility that President Trump will rely solely on economic pressures and avoid any military confrontation even with Iran will leave Iran free to spread their terror and control even further. Iran is already active in Yemen, Syria and Iraq and intending to continue these efforts against Saudi Arabia from within Yemen while threatening Israel using their proxy forces of the IRGC and Hezballah. Iran is also spreading their influence using terrorist forces largely in the Middle East but the real question is where does Iran plan on stopping their warfare. The truth is there is no conquest which would satisfy the Mullahs who honestly believe that Shia Islam will become the only true and allowed religion if they simply continue to follow their interpretation of the Quran. Their religious philosophy is based on the spread of Islam, for them Shia Islam as they consider Sunni Islam as a heretical cult despite ninety-percent of Muslims being Sunni and merely ten-percent being Shia. Their intent is to convert all Sunni Muslims to the real form of Islam, Shiite Islam. After this has been accomplished and they have also conquered all the oil assets in the Middle East, the Iranian leadership is convinced that with time their efforts will succeed in conquering the rest of the world replacing all other religions. Such beliefs allow for the true believers to suffer any hardships as all is reasonable in the pursuit of the promised end results if they simply continue on through all challenges. The leadership in Iran believe that they were chosen by Allah to spread his religion to the whole world. Their belief goes far beyond the world known by Muhammad as it includes the Americas and other lands unknown in his times. Western powers and governments need to address the Islamic threats which have been pressing to establish beachheads within Europe and the Americas. This is currently being pressed by two competing factions, the Iranians and Shia Islam versus the Muslim Brotherhood and Sunni Islam. Some of these efforts have been financed by Qatar backing the Muslim Brotherhood. Such efforts have to be either opposed even if force is required or surrendered to surrendering all free will, specifically religious freedom as under such a world all will be expected to live under totalitarian rule which demands complete compliance under pain of torture or death. That is the reality even if much of the Western world refuses to believe such thinking still exists today.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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February 22, 2018

Iranian Nuclear War with Israel or the World

 

After reading Professor Louis René Beres’s article “Looking Ahead: Longer Term Prospects for an Israel-Iran Nuclear War” we found some additional aspects which were either dismissed or ignored. We decided that perhaps we could add some information by looking more closely at the Iranian perspectives and what these should mean to Israeli planners. The one item with which we took the most critical concern was his statement, “In essence, there are no conceivable experts on fighting a nuclear war, not in Washington, not in Pyongyang, not in Jerusalem, not in Tehran.” He also postulated that, “Insofar as a nuclear war has never been fought, what will be needed is more broadly intellectual guidance than Israel should ever reasonably expect from even its most senior and accomplished military officers.” The reality is that senior officers often have educations equal to that of many professors and their minds are just as keen and capable of any academic. We will grant that officers exist who are nowhere near the expert of some academics, but mostly those are junior officers and by the time an officer makes Full Bird Colonel they have at the least a Bachelor’s degree and probably a Master’s degree and many a General will have a Doctorate in at least one field from Military History to Mathematics, Physics and possibly Nuclear Physics. They will all have taken courses in Military Tactics, as even Noncommissioned officers are required to take such courses. They will have been required to take a number of command courses and often have attended some very rigorous military training courses which is how they get those impressive patches such as Ranger, Airborne and even Special Forces or Seals in the United States. So, to be honest, there are likely very few professors or other experts who would be better trained, educated and able to make the decisions and make plans to handle any threat including, or even especially, a nuclear standoff or even an actual nuclear exchange.

 

Professor Beres also said that there had never been a nuclear war, but that is technically not entirely valid as the War with Japan at the end of World War II was ended by the use of nuclear weapons which kind of means that the War with Japan did turn into the first, and thus far, only nuclear war. That was a completely one sided nuclear exchange as Japan had no nuclear weapons with which to respond which is what made the American use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki so effective. Fortunately, the Japanese did not know that the United States had used every nuclear weapon at their disposal and did not posses a third weapon. Had Japan tested the resolve of President Truman, the American’s next move was to build fifty additional nuclear weapons in the ensuing year and strike Japan with most of them in simultaneous strikes including Tokyo and a number of nuclear weapons into Mount Fuji in the hopes of causing a massive eruption. This was not much of a lesson for a nuclear standoff between two nuclear-armed adversaries. Such a standoff has limited lessons to teach us with only two which come to mind. The minor one has been the battle of the boasting idiots between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. Deciding which one is the larger idiot would be a difficult call but we would have to side with Kim Jong-un if he honestly believes he is a man-god and that his nation is as happy and well off as any other on the face of the planet. All he would need do is look southward to the Winter Olympics in South Korea to see that his nation is in dire shape and has some extreme problems. But then he knows this and this was what caused him to test President Trump and pressure the world with threats trying to force them to treat his temper tantrum by sending his beleaguered nation food and money. The more serious standoff between two nuclear powers was the Cuban Missile Crisis. This pitted the United States and President Kennedy against the USSR and Commissar Khrushchev. This standoff ended peaceably but not before nerves throughout the globe was frayed to the breaking point.

 

So, let us now look at what the future nuclear situation might be between Israel and Iran as well as Iran and the rest of the world. The first thing which can be stated, is, that Israel would not be the first to use nuclear weapons except in response to an attack using weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against Israel. Israel has made this their policy on nuclear weapons and their use such that they would only be used in response to a WMD attack. Now, such a nuclear response might be used on Iran if there were a massive WMD attack emanating from Syria or Hezballah which could be traced as being ordered by Iran. Should Iran launch a nuclear or other WMD attack on Israel then an Israeli nuclear response should be expected against Iran and for Israel to go on alert in case of an attack across the northern border from Hezballah or Syria. This covers every use of her nuclear weapons by Israel except for one rumored plan known as the Samson Option, used as the basis of “The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy,” a 1991 book by Seymour Hersh. The theory put forth presumably from an Israeli intelligence source who told of plans that should Israel be facing being overrun and destroyed by invading armies, then she would respond by launching her missiles at the main population centers of numerous Arab and Muslim nations which was hoped to prevent any attacks by Arab armies. The last organized assault on Israel by national military forces was the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, which was before Israel was assumed to have a nuclear arsenal. Since then the Arab world has not launched an assault on Israel using conventional forces and only through terror forces. There may be a question whether Hezballah, with there over one-hundred-thousand rockets and missiles could be considered to be a national type military force equating any attack by Hezballah into an attack by Lebanon and possibly their masters in Tehran thus including Iran? This is a conundrum for the heads of state and the military in Israel and we are not about to second-guess them and will wait for any announced policy. There has been some mention that should Hezballah attack Israel that Israel now considers Hezballah as being the governance of Lebanon and thus any attack by Hezballah would, at the least, be considered an attack by Lebanon.

 

This leaves Iran and what their leadership might be thinking about nuclear confrontations. It was reported by CNN on September 11, 2015, that the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said during a speech that week in Tehran, state-run media report, which translated as, “I’d say (to Israel) that they will not see (the end) of these 25 years.” That, in and of itself, is ominous enough to rattle nerves or it could be written off to bluster meant to impress the Iranian people. One thing people need to understand about the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is that his life revolves around the Quran and it is the Quran which provides him with his authority, gives him authority to make Iranian foreign policy decisions, and allows him great latitude concerning internal decision making within Iran. The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is all but unopposable when it comes to decision making and his word is as good as law. If the Supreme Leader were to order a nuclear attack on Israel, the missiles would be launched within minutes with almost nobody even thinking of questioning these orders. What is unknown is who, other than the Supreme Leader, is able to order such an attack. This is not as well known and there are suspicions that there are some military high level officers who might also be permitted to give such orders including the leader of the IRGC, the special forces and most fanatical of the Iranian military. These are also the forces responsible for foreign operations including terrorist attacks. For our concerns, we will limit our concerns to address just the possibility for the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordering a nuclear strike on Israel or on any other nation.

 

First, let us look at what logic might be used by the Ayatollah. He would be aware that the United States has extended their nuclear umbrella to Israel which would imply that any nuclear attack upon Israel would potentially result in the United States striking back at the attacker. Between Israel and the United States, there is little comparison between their nuclear capabilities as the United States has a far more capable nuclear capability. The first question is whether or not the United States truly would respond as promised to a nuclear strike on Israel. The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has witnessed a number of United States Presidents and has very probably noticed that the level of support Israel receives wavers from President to President, especially under the administration of President Obama. Thus, it is more likely that the Ayatollah would be more likely to consider taking any actions when the United States has a President who has shown preferably hostility to Israel or possibly only an indifference towards Israel and has pressured Israel over the ill-fated peace process. The real problem comes back to the one book which guides the Ayatollahs and much of the higher officers, especially those of the IRGC, which is the Quran. The one command from the Quran which has appeared again and again when it comes to relations towards Israel are two-fold, first, to kill the infidel wherever one finds them, and second, that the hour (end times) will not begin until you fight the Jews. The combination of these two concepts could lead to problems as the Iranian leading Imams and Ayatollahs have repeatedly proposed that Iran was chosen to bring on the coming of the Mahdi and the End Times. They have claimed that should they cause sufficient chaos and follow prescriptions written in the Quran, that they can cause the onset of the End Times and the coming of the Mahdi. This has often been stated to be solely the hope and ideas held by the Twelvers but some in politics have also adopted these ideas in order to gain greater acceptance by the ruling clerics. Many claim that Iran is not ruled by Twelvers though former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad brought this threat to a head and since then there have been more and more in the power structure who have been revealed as Twelvers. The prevalence of the Twelvers would make the leadership more aggressive which could be a problem, a definite problem.

 

Israel and Iran

Israel and Iran

 

What would possibly push a greater threat would be a Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah who came under some suspicions of impropriety or other weakness which might lead them to make a desperate grab at ending the rumors replacing them with a far greater news story. The Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah could be completely above all suspicion; but should the economic situations worsen leading to greater demonstrations and complete civil unrest and the regular military side with the people and the Ayatollahs believe they are losing control of the nation and may soon be deposed, then having nothing further to lose they might take equally desperate moves. Either threat could lead the Iranian leadership to throw everything they have in their arsenals at Israel and potentially also the United States. But no matter what the immediate future will bring, eventually the Ayatollahs will decide to use any weapons they have and in the not too distant future, that will mean nuclear weaponry. The Quran will eventually force the leadership who will be pressed by the IRGC commanders to press their revolution and Israel and Saudi Arabia are the two targets highest on their list. This means that sooner or later the Iranians will launch weapons at Israel. We will grant that this would not happen until Iran had struck Saudi Arabia and taken over Mecca and Medina, the two holy cities of all Islam. They also have desires to take over Egypt and would have to take Turkey so as to place somebody to rule there as President Erdoğan still has dreams to reestablish the Ottoman Empire and as he will support Iran, that will only last for as long as the Iranian dreams of reestablishing the Persian Empire do not interrupt his idea for the Ottoman Empire. There is no way for the two empires to coexist as the Persian Empire included all of Turkey and much of the Ottoman Empire plus, the Ottoman Empire also included Mecca and Medina, something the Iranians already have their own ideas about. The one place where Turkey and Iran will agree is on attacking Israel, providing that Israel will only be striking back at Iran and Turkey can remain unscathed. The problem is that at some point in the future the Iranian Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah will call for an all out attack to destroy Israel and should Israel see a fair number of ballistic missiles headed for Israel launched from Iran, Israel will no longer have time for diplomacy, Israel will need to reply anticipating that the Iranian missiles are tipped with WMD’s and most likely nuclear weapons. We can only hope that before such an eventuality comes to fruition that the people of Iran succeed in replacing their theocratic dictatorship with a true democratic governance which represents the people’s desires and write a constitution which will revitalize the Iranian economic situation and liberate the people from the Ayatollahs and their oppressive rule. We need remember that before the return of the Ayatollahs in 1979, Israel and Iran were friends with embassies and good relations and vital trade. A return to such would be good for Israel, good for Iran and good for both Iranians and Israelis as well as the rest of the Middle East.

 

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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