Beyond the Cusp

October 13, 2013

Why Obama Will Continue to Ignore Alarms by Netanyahu

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There are a number of reasons working together, any one of which is sufficient to turn President Obama’s hearing off when Netanyahu gives any warnings about the Middle East or even the greater world. The major impetus behind the wall President Obama has placed to block Netanyahu out derives from the belief in President Obama’s mind that he knows more about what is happening in the Middle East and who can be trusted and which leaders he needs to woo and that his being raised in Indonesia gives him experiences and an innate knowledge which he believes will prove him correct in the end. Part of this insider knowledge that President Obama relies on is his familiarity with Islamic beliefs and society of Indonesia of his youth. No matter how many experts make claims that the form of Islam practiced in Indonesia at the time that President Obama resided there was completely different than the forms of Islam being practiced today in the Middle East and North Africa as well as the Islamist Madrassas around the Western World, President Obama is determined to prove that he knows best. President Obama’s pridefulness and inability to admit to his own mistakes, especially in matters concerning the Middle East and the Islamic World make for a combination where changing his perceptions on such subjects is simply impossible. The best examples of the President’s inability to adapt or incorporate new information if it does not fit his carefully crafted view of how he believes things to be can be found in Egypt and Turkey as well as the obvious, Israel.


In Egypt President Obama still holds to the policy which dictates that the Muslim Brotherhood is, as then Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said at a House Intelligence Committee hearing, “The Muslim Brotherhood is a very heterogeneous group, largely secular.” Group that “has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam” and “have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt.” He added that the Muslim Brotherhood, which has branches in many Muslim countries, has “no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally.” President Obama also believes that the Freedom and Justice Party’s President Morsi won the first elections after the removal of former strong man and American longtime ally President Mubarak in a totally free election in which there were no improprieties despite evidence to the contrary and that the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood was the most organized and the only group in a position to organize and conduct a coherent campaign and thus guaranteed to win the election. President Obama has also chosen to ignore the fact that Egyptian people in the tens of millions protested, signed petitions and carried out the most massive popular revolution calling for the removal of President Morsi. The protests to remove President Morsi were actually larger and more invigorated than those a little over a year earlier which dethroned Mubarak. President Obama prefers to believe and act as if the Egyptian Military acted solely on their own without any mandate from the people and has even gone so far as to blame all of the violence on the Egyptian Military totally absolving the Muslim Brotherhood of any guilt. Any casual observer of the violence being perpetrated against the Egyptian people, especially the Coptic Christians and any non-Sunni Muslims would easily see the evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda are behind much of the violence evidenced by the black flag and the Muslim Brotherhood banner being carried by the gangs violently attacking the people and intentionally attempting to destroy Egypt if they are not returned to power.


Then there is Turkey and President Obama’s declared bestest friend in the Middle East, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As we noted close to a decade ago and has been commented upon by numerous Middle Eastern experts, Prime Minister Erdogan has been slowly but surely moving the Turkish governance from a secular governance into a Sharia governance. Prime Minister Erdogan had warned Egyptian President Morsi very early in his time in office that he should emulate the example that Prime Minister Erdogan had used in Turkey of small increments and taking one’s time and not rushing or pushing the people too quickly so that they did not revolt to the sudden changes and the potentially unpopular proponents of Sharia. Morsi did not listen and if the violent protests which have gripped Turkey of late are any evidence, even taking the slow but steady change from secular to Sharia did not prove successful either. Add to this that the reaction from the Turkish government was just announced by the Justice and Interior ministries that people can now be jailed if they think about protesting against the government. Meanwhile, as the Egyptian Military is backing the temporary government by destroying the majority of smuggling tunnels from the Sinai into the Hamas stronghold of Gaza in order to prevent Hamas, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood formed to attack Israel, from smuggling terrorists back into the Sinai to attack Egyptian villages and military outposts, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has invited and met for the third time this past year Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal. Of course this does not appear to cause President Obama any concern as he just announced a $200 million program under which Turkey and Qatar will develop materials aimed at promoting the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist agenda while cutting off military aid to Egypt until they reinstate Muslim Brotherhood representative Morsi to the Presidency. Also, do not expect any apology any time in the foreseeable future to come from President Obama to Prime Minister Netanyahu for forcing him to apologize to Prime Minister Erdogan over the actions on the blockade runner Mavi Marmara where nine terrorists died after they posed a fatal threat as they attacked Israeli Special Forces who boarded the ship to enforce the blockade with paintball guns loaded with pepper-balls and were attacked with knives, steel rods, and other small arms. The closest that Turkey has come to making any return gesture to Israel has been complete and rudely given refusals to accept the apology and the obvious warming gestures with Hamas which may soon result with Hamas moving their headquarters from Qatar to Turkey.


Further proof of President Obama’s affections for the Muslim Brotherhood has been obvious in Syria where the only thing preventing full United States support of the Rebel forces has been the warnings and threats from Russia and China. The only times that President Obama has taken steps which may have proven advantageous for Syrian dictator President Bashir al-Assad has been the leaking of information proving the suspicions that Israel had been behind attacks that prevented the transfer of chemical weapons, advanced anti-air and anti-ship missiles presumably supplied by Russia, and other advanced weapons systems or game changing weapons that provided significant upgrades to Hezballah’s abilities. The sole threat of American intervention came in a threat to Syrian President al-Assad primarily when President Obama said, “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.” This brought about the now infamous backpedaling and stalling until Russian President Putin supplied President Obama a get untangled from your tongue alternative which he, of course, took immediately. Of course, many have pointed out that Syria is a no win proposition and what would probably serve the future best would be a prolonged conflict where the civilians who remain were permitted to leave or be provided safe-zones and eventually have, strangely enough, President al-Assad remain in power even if he ruled a small area while the rest of Syria was divided between the Kurds and the other forces. The one result we would like to have from all the turmoil and violence, especially in Syria and Iraq, would be a Kurdish state combining the Kurdish controlled areas in northern Iraq and north-east Syria, but that may simply be a dream as the Kurds have historically been treated poorly and denied their promised homeland simply because J. P. Getty wanted the central Iraqi oil fields which was within the areas promised the Kurds after World War I, and one thing anybody familiar with the broken promises to the Jews after World War I knows is just how unfairly the British were with the Kurds.


The final country which President Obama has taken as far back a seat as possible allowing even the Europeans to show definitively more leadership than he, is Iran. Yes, after years of wrestling with the Europeans President Obama has been dragged to a point where the sanctions on Iran are having their intended effect. The Iranians, masters in chess and the art of deception, have played their hand masterly with their choice of Hasan Rouhani as their new President and face before the world. He contrasts with former President Ahmadinejad nearly perfectly and has been hailed by an overanxious West as the revelation of a new and open Iran. He has been hailed as approachable and having shown an honest intention to make changes and reveal the entirety of the Iranian nuclear program with an honesty that will be unquestionable. This is all well and good except that it is a complete and total fabrication. President Hasan Rouhani was formerly the lead negotiator for the Iranians in their nuclear talks and as such he glad-handed and smiled his way adroitly avoiding revealing anything about the Iranian nuclear program as he also oversaw the installation of thousands of centrifuges. He was proven to be a masterful deceiver who was well spoken and had a full understanding of the West and the weaknesses of each person with whom he would need to deal. Adding to this is the fact that absolutely nothing has changed in the actual power structure in Iran. They have the same Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who is the real power and very likely the person most responsible for Hasan Rouhani’s election. The twelve on the Council of Guardians, six of whom are appointed by the Supreme Leader, have not changed and were responsible for choosing who would be permitted on the ballot in the elections. Since virtually all of the real power rests with the Council of Guardians and the Supreme Leader, nothing in Iran has changed except they have a new puppet to place on the world stage and apparently that is sufficient for a Western World who wish to find any reason to avoid having to face the facts that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons and is very likely to either use them or threaten their use in order to have a nuclear umbrella that guards their terrorist attacks across the globe. President Obama sees in Iran his chance to receive another Nobel Peace Prize and honestly believes his oratory abilities will sway the Iranians from their pursuit of nuclear weapons. The only times that President Obama might decide to take any real actions against Iran would be in order to force concessions from Prime Minister Netanyahu to the Palestinian. Even then his promise will more likely be broken and in the end if the negotiations do not produce the result he envisions as equitable and fair final peace treaty, which is the complete capitulation by Israel of all lands and every one of the Palestinian demands even including some form of Right of Return for millions of Palestinian refugees, President Obama is considering forcing a peace of his liking on the Israelis even if it requires a Chapter VII Security Council Resolution granting the Palestinians the entire enchilada with the threat of military enforcement by the nations willing to enforce the United Nation edict. President Obama is going to be the first man in history to win the Nobel Peace Prize before he did anything to earn it and then his efforts to prove he deserved it resulting in starting World War III. What a legacy.


Beyond the Cusp


May 18, 2013

Turkey’s Erdogan and Russia’s Putin Ignore Obama’s Requests

The initial repercussions to President Obama dithering and retreating from enforcing his Syrian chemical weapons use “red line” have begun and the ramifications are far more damaging to world peace and security than anything that Syria’s Civil War could ever produce. The initial shot across the bow came from Turkey where Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated, “According to my plan, most probably I would be visiting Gaza in June.” Erdogan added referring to his intents to visit both Hamas leadership in Gaza and Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, “I place a lot of significance on this visit in terms of peace in the Middle East. I’m hoping that that visit will contribute to unity in Palestine.”


State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki responded to the news declaring that, “As we’ve said consistently, we oppose engagement with Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization which remains a destabilizing force in Gaza and the region. We urge all parties who share our interest in the creation of a Palestinian state to take steps that promote the resumption of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.” Additionally, Secretary of State John Kerry commented during his visit to Turkey that Prime Minister Erdogan’s trip to Gaza would be “better delayed” waiting until the time when the “right circumstances” existed. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan struck back indignantly stating in response to Secretary Kerry’s impositions that “we wish he had not said that.”


Now the United States and the Obama Administration are facing a situation of explaining to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu exactly what he gained and where were the promised reconciliations with Turkey that President Obama had implied as a promise should Israel apologize. The Israeli-Turkish relations remain in a deep freeze with the charges and other legal actions by Turkish citizens and government agencies proceeding apace despite the humbling position Netanyahu was forced into taking at the close of President Obama’s visit, the visit where the President had promised there would be no surprises. The result is a slightly weakened Israel who now has been forced into a submissive position with Turkey and appearing weaker to the entire run of nations in the Middle East and the rest of the Muslim World. The full ramifications of President Obama’s miscalculations and consistent demands on Israel along with his weakness showed Syria and his apparent subservience to the Muslim Brotherhood as he supports their rise to power resultant from the Arab Winter, Obama’s Arab Spring.


On another front which also has ramifications in Syria and throughout the Middle East comes from Russia. Despite the ramifications presented to Russian President Vladimir Putin by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on a recent visit in Moscow which advised that the selling of the anti-aircraft S-300 advanced missile systems to Syria thus changing dramatically the balance of power in the Middle East, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated in an interview with Lebanese-based Al-Mayadeen television, the Russian government “committed to the agreements” signed with Syria regarding the advanced missiles and will “fully carry them out.” Lavrov further explained, “We have no intention of breaking international law. However, we do not want our reputation as reliable suppliers of weapons to be affected.” These statements came two days after Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit leaving no doubt whether the ramifications and effects on Israel were known and able to be part of the equation.


Further comments on what other driving influences were behind the Russian’s decision were recently provided by Russian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov. His supplementary information paints a troubling picture of the credibility possessed by President Obama and on his ability to influence anything concerning world affairs. Alexei Pushkov was quoted to say, “We’re opposed to no-fly zones, because they are the first step toward aerial attack. Syria asked Russia to help it defend itself from aerial assault.” He also went further in explaining that Russia’s decision to send S-300 missile systems to Syria is, in part, a message to the United States. A more forceful message was also made with the deployment of at least twelve warships to patrol near a Russian Navy base in Syria. This was likely to be a message to all parties including NATO members and Israel not to interfere in Syria as Russia will act to defend their interests.


Both of these situations cast strong aspersions on the ability of President Obama to apply pressure or power in any situation anywhere in the world. This is an obvious reaction to President Obama’s timidity concerning the reported use by Syrian troops’ use of chemical weapons. The rules of unintended consequences applies to these actions which were primarily resultant of President Obama’s inept mishandling over the Syrian red line threat yet Israel will also pay a hard price as well. Reinforcing these feelings were also the well documented examples of his slow and tepid response to any military situation. These include but are not limited to President Obama taking months to approve the mission against Osama bin Laden after he was advised that all was prepared and certainty of success was extremely high, his complete lack of concern in addressing the situation in Benghazi where the American Ambassador to Libya Stevens and three others were murdered when had immediate actions been taken or even proper security increased in a timely manner after receiving requests for more readiness, and the President dithering and almost losing the opportunity to interdict Somali pirates holding American hostages. One more item which has the potential to have devastating consequences is the Iranian drive for nuclear weapons. How is it possible for any world leader concerned over the Iranian nuclear program take seriously President Obama’s promise that he will act if such becomes necessary. He did not act in Benghazi, nor did he act after the Syrian use of chemical weapons, he took close to six months to pull the trigger on the Osama bin Laden raid, so how could anyone expect a timely response to prevent the Iranians from attaining not just one nuclear device but tens or even hundreds of such devices before President Obama even begins to consider acting. This threat does not only pose a large problem for Israel as it also has serious ramifications for Saudi Arabia and the other members of the GCC as well as Europe, though the Europeans have blinders on and refuse to even notice any threat. The world is facing the same type of threats that were evident towards the end of President Carter’s term in office with the Iranian Hostage Crisis, a Middle East on fire, and a Soviet threat spreading throughout much of the planet. The main difference is we will have four full years of these ramifications and not just ten to fifteen months as was the case with Jimmy Carter. President Obama will very likely fulfill the prediction some who were at the time dismissed as alarmist pessimists when claiming that he would be another President Carter except on steroids. If even the slightest possibility exists that such may prove true, that should scare the life out of anybody, it sure does many of us here at BTC.


Beyond the Cusp


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