Beyond the Cusp

April 12, 2016

Thoughts on the World on This Day

 

The negotiations between Turkey and Israel are proceeding as if running uphill through thick maple syrup. The Turkish Foreign Minister claims that the next high level meeting will end with an agreement. The Israeli negotiating team in London, England stated that these most recent negotiations showed no progress and that the impasses remain. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin recently stated matter-of-factly that there can be no rapprochement between Turkey and Israel until Israel ends the naval blockade of Gaza and ends the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands. This would appear to be a deal breaker making any return of normal relation impossible. We find this wonderful news as we believe that Israel normalizing relations with Turkey, a Muslim country which plays both ends of Islam against one another, is just one more sycophantic symptom of Israeli leaders belief they must please the whole world, even or especially their enemies. This game should become fun to watch as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is to visit Turkey this week and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is also to be in Turkey starting from Monday. The presumed leader, or at least high ranking servant of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, of Shia Islam is to visit Turkey at the same time as the presumed leader of the Sunni world visiting Turkey should provide some amusement. It should end up like a man handling his mistress while on a business trip where his wife arrived to surprise him.

 

On to Iraq and the failures of its government and the surprises when viewing exactly who is upset. The thought was that the Shiite population in Iraq with the assistance from Iran would be in a virtual; perfect world. There are a few problems with this situation which were not anticipated. The biggest problem is the really, really low oil prices. This is due to Saudi Arabia’s assault on Iran through flooding the market with low priced oil knocking the profit out of much of the world’s oil production. This low price has forced the closure of numerous fracking sites as the price of reaching the oil was too expensive even though the shipping costs were minimal. The actual aim by the Saudis was Iran and their allies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere. The American Fracking concerns were a secondary target which the Saudis are more than happy to see abandoned as they became economically unviable. If the United States were playing the game long term they would have stepped in and subsidized their oil and gas industry in order to send a message to the Saudis that the United States will be in this game and not abandon being internally provided and succumbing to the Saudi pressure forcing them from viability just so the Saudis can raise prices later and have everybody dancing to their tune. The additional fact that the Russians are also caught in the vice of the Saudi ploy was simply icing on the cake.

 

When the legacy for the Obama administration is being written it will hopefully have a few chapters which will require waiting until the complete story had played out in Iraq. President Obama was handed an Iraq which was mostly a done deal and took a concerted effort to completely erase all the hard work which had led to that point and somehow President Obama managed to mishandle and fumble that handoff within two years. Why two years? That was because it took that long for graft and greed to destroy all the hard work which had all but solved almost every issue. All that was left to do was oversee the government and make sure that they did their jobs and did not steal everything which was not nailed down. There was also the little thing called treating the people fairly. The initial problem which would have signaled there was a problem would have been the Kurdish areas as they already had a regional government which was up and working and thus had a means of voicing their displeasures. The next area one could look was the Sunni areas which also had a built in warning system, namely the Sunni Ministers who were arrested or fled the government before being arrested and subsequently tortured or murdered. Even had all these gone by undetected, even a blind man should have picked up on the increasingly violent Shiite demonstrations rising against the Iraqi government and the return of Moqtada al Sadr to prominence. The last item would have been the acceptance of the Islamist terrorist entity ISIS growing to such prominence unopposed initially by the government in Iraq as they had warnings galore that all was not well in the central Sunni areas which were the first to show displeasure and finally did turn to the Sunni terror state which proved to be a nightmare but were unable to receive any support fighting ISIS when they might have been most easily defeated from the central government leading to the middle of the country to simply fall into the arms of the Sunni Islamists.

 

Another area which the Obama government got wrong was Egypt where President Obama gladly backed the Muslim Brotherhood and was so infatuated with their rule that they completely ignored the Egyptian people who rose up against the Muslim Brotherhood whose mismanagement of the economy and infatuation to the point of obsession with applying the Sharia and doing so as quickly as possible that they missed all the warning signs. When even Turkey’s President Erdogan tells you that you are attempting too radical an approach and agenda and that they would be better served to slow their pace of incorporating the changes, then you might have a problem. Their refusal to adjust led directly to the coup by the military which then installed a temporary government while elections were held. The military showed more sympathy for the people than had the government of the Muslim Brotherhood. This led directly to the ouster and outright banning of the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood who had simply tried to do too much too fast and won itself the ire of the people.

 

The next boondoggle was Libya and the terrorist overrunning of the Benghazi Consulate. This required the willful blindness of both the President and the Secretary of State. Of course both of these individuals were more concerned with the reelection of President Obama which largely led to their ignoring repeated pleadings for greater security and additional people in Benghazi. Then followed the dropping of the ball through a clumsy cover-up designed to put off any bad publicity by a willful media. The needless deaths of four Americans was something which screamed to be heard and was simply too great a tragedy to be swept under the rug. That did not matter as the reelection went as planned and the revelations about Benghazi slowly emerged and by that time the American people had moved on. Nothing was going to damage the administration this late in the game, but the end of Benghazi has not been heard from as it will most definitely return loud and clear should Hillary Clinton be the Democrat candidate for President this coming election cycle. The televisions will carry wall-to-wall video of Hillary before the Senate committee investigating Benghazi stating, “What difference now does it make.” That is when Benghazi might finally be felt.

 

In Israel it is everything normal all upsides down. Israel is still being accused of colonialism by the conquerors of their homeland from in the early seventh century. The Arabs were simply the last of a whole host of colonial enterprises all attempting to dislodge the Jewish People (the Israelites) from their native ground and capital city of Jerusalem. It started with the Babylonians who were felled by the Persians who gave way to the Greeks who morphed into Rome which split into the Byzantines who lost out to the Arab Muslims and now that the aboriginal peoples are returning to claim their homelands from the greatest colonialists who spread and even outdid the British and are crying foul. If anybody can find a people who are still a viable people who predate Kings Saul, David and Solomon and predate Joshua it would be quite interesting. The Arabs broke out of Arabia in the early seventh century and have been proudly declaring their intent to conquer the globe and they are calling the Jews colonials?

 

What could be more ludicrous than that? Additionally, in order to assure he has the title President for Life and to never hold another election for the “Palestinians” Abbas has now established a Kangaroo Constitutional Court to declare election are not possible because Israel did it. He has refused to hold elections knowing a snowball would last longer in Hell than he would in office if elections were held and he has a ready-made scapegoat which the European and United Nations are more than happy to blame along with him. How the Palestinian Authority refusing to hold election in the lands where they have been unfortunately granted a semi-autonomous rule can be somebody else’s fault is beyond logic, but since when did logic ever come into play if the Jews can be blamed.

 

Meanwhile Europe is in panic mode because their great plans on inviting anybody claiming to be a refugee from a conflict in the Middle East is not working out as planned. Imagine that. Who thought for a moment allowing herds of people whose standing is living in a governmental system where fair elections are the ones where they know the outcome only days in advance of the voting instead of years and the Europeans cannot understand what went wrong. Still, the Europeans continue to demand that the Israelis allow any and everybody who desire to vote and claim residence for their elections vote for their parliament, the Knesset, and cannot understand why Israel would balk at such a demand. Some people, and by this we are referring to the people who are in power and are completely unable to see what is plainly before them. Perhaps it is time to clean house Europe.

 

The American primaries are continuing and both parties are now wishing they had a viable alternative to their frontrunners. The Democrat elite are sold on Hillary because she and Bill still have the FBI files on most of them. The Republicans had seventeen candidates so have no one to blame but themselves for not straightening things out before it became Cruz or Trump or who are you kidding from Ohio where he won you know. If we had to pick the race now it would be Bernie feel the Bern Sanders against Cruz but as long as the Democrats pull the rug out from under Hillary once again thus making her honorary Charlie Brown and the Football award winner, then Bernie wins against either frontrunner of the Republicans. Yes, the Americans know he is a socialist and really do not care as he has the most experience in government yet is probably the most outsider of them all having never joined either Party. Yep, the democrats are going to nominate an Independent over the actual Democrat in the race. What next?

 

Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders

 

 

Oh, even Putin has pulled most of his troops out of Syria leaving in as many as required to protect the naval bases they have there and leaving Assad clinging to power and Iran equally hard. The Russians never were actually fighting the Islamic State and why should they as it is not their problem and the Islamic State is not so stupid as to tug on Superman’s cape or anger Putin, there is little difference except Russian revenge is swifter. That leaves Syria as the most dysfunctional nation on earth with Iraq right behind. The next after that are Pakistan, North Korea tied with Greece and Greece has a wider glimmer of hope named German Banks. The European Union is nervously awaiting the vote this fall by the British on whether to remain even loosely attached to the European Union and the Brits are really glad they continued to hold on to the Pound Sterling and only accepted Euros in trade. Meanwhile, I am sure there are politicians worth their salt in France and Germany thinking of returning to the Franc and the Mark. If they ever actually do that, the European Union is dead, done, fini!

 

China is in the midst of a quiet disaster waiting to happen as they have not met growth projections for a year and a half. They are reacting as one would expect, returning to the good old ways of managed economy with the central government reverting to their communist roots. This will simply exacerbate the problem and that will drive them further still from any capitalist economic engines and back to their five year plans. That will work exactly as it did when it drove them to try capitalism except this time it will be seen as saving them from capitalism. Somewhere along the way China came to believe that capitalism could never slow down and growth would be a constant ten percent or higher. That proved to be a tad too optimistic so they are slowly dismantling the entire effort and returning to what they know will fail, but at least they will control the failure and will blame it on capitalism and become even more draconian and this should tumble China from economic dynamo feeling a small crunch to economic basket case rushing headlong to the bottom but doing so in a controlled manner. Their controlled crash will resemble an Airbus A380 whole wings and tail rudder fell off at 35,000 feet. Anybody standing between China and rock bottom should look up and be prepared to dodge a falling giant.

 

More disjointed news next time we feel our minds slipping and have no actual subject for an entire article, Thanks for your patience.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 29, 2015

NATO and the Turkey Problem

 

We here at BTC have warned about the eventual problem that Turkey was going to pose for NATO any number of times over the years going back to our article The Turkey Problem for NATO, though we never envisioned it might mean war with Russia to be honest. We saw the problem coming between Turkey and Israel which only was heightened after the Mavi Marmara blockade running confrontation between Israeli Special Forces and the terrorists placed on the lead ship intentionally by IHH terrorist groups posing as a human rights group in our article Let’s Talk Turkey. The problem we saw forming between Turkey and NATO remained centered on their different Middle East views particularly when it came to Israel. This became heightened once again over Iraq and the Second Iraq War when once again the ever more so drifting from a secular state into an Islamic state when at the onset of the second Iraq War Turkey’s entrenched leader refused NATO ally the United States from launching the second pincer of the initial engagement from within Turkey, as originally planned, in the article Turkey Needs to Prove They Belong in NATO Now. Turkey has continued their slide into an Islamic state replete with a strongman with near dictatorial powers in Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It was here in September of 2014 we continued to question the reason for continuing to have Turkey in NATO. The initial reason had been as a stalwart NATO member who could bottle up the bulk of the Russian Mediterranean fleet by refusing them access to the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles, originally and often still referred to as the Strait of Constantinople, through which any ships docked in the Black Sea would necessarily have to pass to make their way from the Black Sea through the Mediterranean Sea and onto the Atlantic Ocean, the only passage once the northern route freezes every winter. It was partially due to having a docking and repair facility which was one of the factors in the Russian seizure of the Crimean and the docks at the port city of Sevastopol and the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards which is the resting and repair port for the Russian Atlantic Fleet during the winter months. One can see the tactical necessity the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles in the map below.

 

 

From the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards Across the Black Sea then Through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles to the Mediterranean Sea and thus the Atlantic Ocean

From the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards
Across the Black Sea then
Through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles
to the Mediterranean Sea and thus the Atlantic Ocean

 

 

After the Cold War ended, or at least ended until the current outward weakened appearance of the United States under President Obama, this tactical necessity for containing the Russian Atlantic fleet became far less important. Since the increased strength of the Russian naval forces, particularly its Atlantic and Mediterranean fleet the passage through these Turkish chokepoints had appeared to have lessened. That was before the current madness which is Syria and the Russian presence with both boots in the war in support of Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad. Suddenly fleet access to Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards has once again become of importance, or at least would have except for the lead from behind, well behind, foreign policy, or lack thereof, once again could have blockaded the heavy vessels of the Russian fleet. As it stands currently, the Russian Navy has been sending one of their large cruisers and battleships through these waters in order to have them in the Mediterranean Sea just in case they may be required in Syria. This is also the reason that the Russians are so concerned about their and the Iranian’s puppet in Syria, Bashir al-Assad. The Russians have set up forces both land and sea around the most important area in Syria, the western strip from Damascus with its international airport to the dock city of Latakia as seen in the map below.

 

 

Area West of Demarcation Line is Minimal Area for Russia to Control which Includes Most Military and Dual Use Areas Including the All-Important Area Around Damascus and Latakia Granting Access to Damascus International Airport and the Latakia Shipyards and Docks

Area West of Demarcation Line is Minimal Area
for Russia to Control which Includes Most Military
and Dual Use Areas Including the All-Important
Area Around Damascus and Latakia Granting
Access to Damascus International Airport
and the Latakia Shipyards and Docks

 

 

As the fighting in Syria worsened, especially for Assad and the Russian interest back in February of this year and it began to appear that the Alevites who are the tribe, which the Assad Family belongs, supporting Bashir al-Assad and in turn the Russians we noted the necessity for any outside forces, primarily the United States and NATO, in our article Battle for Middle East and Beyond Are Now Choosing Sides. This article included the Iranian influence as well as the Kurdish forces the neighboring situation in Iraq, ISIS, now calling themselves the Islamic State, but had not included the Russians as their main concerns back then included areas around Latakia and its naval base which was Russian built and was not exactly intended for the Syrian Navy, like they have one. At that time Turkey was less concerned with Assad as they were the Kurdish forces which had actually begun to merge between the Syrian Kurdish fighters and areas with their considerably stronger Kurds in the northern third of Iraq. This was the set-up which leads us directly to the present situation.

 

The sides have been aligned and the battle lines drawn. Russia has ended any pretense of soft support of Bashir al-Assad and the Iranian influence and can be expected to only increase their footprint. Where such may end is anybody’s guess. Meanwhile, the Islamic State appears to be mostly cementing their control over the large area they have carved out between Syria and central Iraq and cleaning house while trying to hold their own against the pressures from the Kurdish Militias, the Peshmerga Militias, who have retaken some of the major cities formerly under Kurdish control or belonged to the Yazidis. The areas liberated from Islamic State forces have revealed the true horrors which are the Islamic State including mass graves. The group presumably vetted and supported by the United States, the so-called Free Syrian Army has proven to be more embarrassment than force to be feared. These forces have been degraded to the point of virtual uselessness but these are still President Obama’s reason d’etre for being even minimally involved in the fight against the Islamic State. Whatever remnants of the Free Syrian Army can be fielded, are being attacked by Russia. This is important for another reason, these were the side backed by Turkey as well as the United States which have served as the conduit for United States aid monies and equipment has been placed into the battle. Much of what was sent presumably for the American trained forces but ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda. The ultimate joke of the entire tragedy which is the Syrian Civil War has been the training and equipping of the Free Syrian Army which had become all but useless as a force in Syria all while the United States invested millions upon millions of dollars and succeeded in training as few as five soldiers and definitely under a dozen. This is the force President Obama has supported and trained almost completely out of existence. These were also Turkey’s best hope for defeating al-Assad and the Turkish pipeline now feeds al-Qaeda forces and very likely is still allowing supplies to flow to the Islamic State just as Turkey has been selling their crude oil and mixing into the Turkish supplies which are piped to refineries and on to Europe. So, the lines have been drawn and the different sides defined even to include the double-dealing of Turkey at the orders from Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A state of status-quo has seemingly set in with the Russians now enforcing al-Assad which includes siding with Iran and fighting the presumably vetted fighters of the Free Syrian Army.

 

This is the force along with al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood presumably supported through the United States efforts and also by Turkey’s efforts and which the Russians have invested their main efforts of their attacks. This has placed the United States technically allied with the Russians against the Islamic State while also supporting those selfsame groups which includes the remnants of the Free Syrian Army all of which being made insignificant due to the efforts by the Russian efforts to degrade their abilities to fight. These forces receive some weak-willed support from Turkey as well as the majority of the United States as these were the forces which were to bring free and open elections to the remnants of the Syrian people who remain. The interesting alignments come to the fore with the Kurds who are despised by Turkey, supported to some extent by Europe and the United States, though most of this aid goes to the Kurdish forces in Iraq; have neutral relations with the Russians and are despised for their success in resisting even some of the greatest efforts by the Islamic State which revolved around Kobane. It was this front of fighting which melded together the two separate Kurdish groups into one Kurdish nation, well, at least as much a nation as is the Islamic State or the remnants of what was Iraq which has had its central region taken by the Islamic State which is now closing in on Baghdad, the Iraqi Capital City. The support structure of the Syrian campaign which has been defined as intended to degrade and defeat the Islamic State, ISIL as President Obama refers to them as well as the Junior Varsity, is confusing to say the least.

 

But much of this all fell by the wayside in the last few days as this was the week that somebody took their stand as solidly as possible and then immediately reassured itself of the backing of the group to which they belong and had a pivotal role to play previously. We are referring to the shoot-down of the Russian fighter-bomber by Turkish anti-aircraft weapons. There were initial reports that one of the Russian pilots managed to parachute from the stricken jet after it was struck by Turkish fire and was captured and executed by Turkish forces but those reports have been found to be false. The pilot in question was rescued in a twelve-hour operation involving Special Forces according to Russia sources. This may help to deescalate the crisis which is Turkey at the moment. It has been suspected, actually a lot stronger than suspected all the way past known and into certitude, which Turkey has been key for Islamic State recruitment allowing them to set up interviewing sessions in hotels which were moved every few weeks to give the appearance of having to avoid being too overt. It is a shame that Turkey did not follow this charade up by having heavily armed police storm the room in the hotel which was used right after they had moved on. This covert on-the-sly support for Islamic State’s most important business, recruitment and their sale of oil, to be channeled through Turkey who makes out financially well due to these facts. Everyone knows that Russia, especially under Putin, does not let things lie unbalanced from their favor even if it takes decades for them to serve-up their cold dish of retribution, some might call it revenge or even vengeance. Turkey must expect some payback from Putin; the only debate is how serious the Russian vengeance will be. What was distressing was that within a few hours Istanbul (Constantinople) had placed a call to Brussels, Belgium in order to request that NATO forces and nations stand ready to support Turkey in the case of any overly overt acts by Russia such as an invasion to take control of Turkey’s greatest asset, the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles, the gateway which separates Europe from Asia. This has been the classic line between the two continents. Now it could become the initial battle in a much greater conflict should it become a reading of blows with each one made to be one measure harder than the previous measure. The main question NATO may need to answer is whether that old remnant from the first Cold War has any teeth or validity now in what is rapidly becoming the second cold War and may go hot at any moment as long as threats of escalation or simply this for that trade-offs to continue.

 

 

Various Stages of Russian Fighter/Bomber During Turkey’s Provocation Over Claimed Airspace Violation by the Russian Pilot

Various Stages of Russian Fighter/Bomber
During Turkey’s Provocation Over Claimed
Airspace Violation by the Russian Pilot

 

 

Where this will go nobody at this moment other than Russian leader Putin and potentially Turkey’s leader Erdogan can say. Both men are strong willed and willing to go to any lengths to maintain their power. Putin switched the job descriptions for the offices of President and Prime Minister in order to get around the term limit and switched everything back as he returned to his previous position. On the other hand, Erdogan used his party and influence to prevent any government from taking power in order to force new elections where through intimidation and other frauds was able to return his party to absolute power with a majority of the seats in the Turkish Parliament. These are the extents these two men have used to remain in power for most if not all of this young century. We can be assured that neither will back down nor will they let such assaults lie without some form of retribution. Meanwhile, there has already been ramification with Russian Foreign Minister cancelling his visit to Turkey which was scheduled for early next month. There have also been a number of trade deals backed out of and voided placing financial pressures on a nation which can ill afford any such disruptions. Truth be told, both nations are financially vulnerable at the moment and this could have further ramification on a world financial situation where very few nations are sitting particularly safe from fallout if a trade war ensues between Turkey and Russia as this would mean potentially Russia refusing to use the oil pipelines which cut through Turkey which would be a major blow to the Turkish economy. One can bet that for as long as this is a contentious issue that Russians will not be vacationing on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, another financial hit on Turkey. Relations and actions will be measured and may quiet as long there are no future provocations between Turkey and Russia though I expect that Russian aircraft may avail themselves of taking bombing routes dangerously close and likely over the Syrian Turkey border rendering that border being crossed by Russian aircraft making raids on Syria acceptable and this be Putin’s revenge because it is the also on the face with the gauntlet followed by throwing at the feet of Erdogan just daring him to take another shot at one of the Russian aircraft ignoring the border at their leisure. This could get intense and seriously large real fast, especially if these two leaders start to play the international form of the game of chicken as neither one of these leaders will even flinch, let alone swerve away at the last moment; this situation would produce a clash of massive proportions which Turkey would be well-advised to avoid because against Putin, Erdogan would lose and Turkey be irrevocably damaged, perhaps destroyed would be more appropriate a term.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 27, 2015

When the Good Are Leaderless

 

This week has proven how absolutely horrific the world scene can turn when the Western governments are leaderless and not only do not have a policy but don’t even have a clue. The United States State Department has released statements explaining their expectations that Secretary of State Kerry will hold meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during the ceremonies this week at the United Nations to discuss the situation in Syria, to discuss what role the United States might play towards stabilizing the situation and combatting the Islamic State. This is the end result of Washington leading from behind. The full ramifications has yet to even begin to play out as to the far reaching effects of the surrender of any leading role by the United States over the past six plus years of the Obama foreign policy. Further tokens being cashed due to the lack of American presence, let alone leadership, will be the handing of seventy-five Russian tanks from Syrian forces to Hezballah in order for the latter to form a core around which to build an armored division. These tanks will be T-55 and T-72 models which make them outdated compared with the United States Abrams or the more modern Israeli Merkava IV tanks currently deployed by the two Western militaries, but when compared to no such force these are a definitive step up towards fulfilling the Hezballah desire to field heavy armor units. Further there are plans for Russian and Iranian tank commanders to train Hezballah in the best tactics and use of these assets. This news comes fast on the heels of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu meeting with Russian President Putin in Moscow where Netanyahu received Putin’s guarantee that Russian forces currently being deployed in Syria were there to provide a positive influence and not to alter the balance of power. This news of the gifting of heavy main battle tanks, no matter how dated, to Hezballah is not what one might call having no deleterious effects on the current balance of power.

 

United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, top American negotiator for the Iranian nuclear deal, was quoted according to The Associated Press on Friday that the Obama administration is ready to open a dialogue with Iran about the situation in Syria. This comes on the heels with an Administration signaling their readiness to soften their position on the requirement for Bahir al-Assad to be removed from power in any progress in ending the carnage on the ground in Syria. Additionally the Administration has fully admitted their having no priorities nor plans for addressing the Islamic State and that the United States was taking a back seat and simply providing assistance behind the clearer vision provided by Iran and Russia as to what will be the most advantageous manner in which to address the Islamic State. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reportedly made it patently clear to America in the past that their assisting in taking the lead in fighting the Islamic State was predicated on their continued support for al-Assad and that the United States demands for his removal were a dead issue. It now appears that the Obama Administration is ready and willing to surrender on this issue and will be satisfied to once again to lead from behind.

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has made it clear previously stating, “The United States’ ‘obsession’ with Assad isn’t helping in the common fight against the threat from Islamic State… People put the fate of one person whom they hate above the fight against terrorism. Islamic State can go ‘very far’ unless stopped, and air strikes alone are not going to do the trick. If people continue to acquiesce with what is going on and continue to acquiesce with those who categorically refuse to start the political process until Bashar Assad disappears, then I’m not very optimistic for the future of this region…”

 

 

Storm Brewing and Time to Ride the Storm Out

There is a Storm Brewing and the Time Has Come to Simply Ride the Storm Out

 

 

That is as straight a manner of stating that in Syria things will be done as benefits Russia if anything is to be done with their taking the lead. This was as definitive a ‘my way or the highway’ get ‘out of town’ reading of the riot act and exactly what can be expected from President Putin as a reaction to the complete lack of United States initiative. This lack of United States policy is a large part responsible for why Egypt and Israel have both had to meet with Russia’s Putin to receive any assurances that the plans for the Middle East were not planning on eclipsing their future and stake in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Still, this lack of leadership by the United States will leave Israel in a compromised position for as long as she remains beholden to the United States as her life raft. Perhaps it would have been wiser for Israel to have read the tea leaves and departed Obama back when doing so had advantages which are no longer in play.

 

 

 

 

The best path left for Israel is to watch the upcoming elections in the United States with great interest and care and plan for either eventuality when the results are in. It would be unwise to aggravate an already untenable and shaky situation any further and probably best to attempt to prevent any further daylight to come between the allies and hope to ride the storm out. In the meantime Prime Minister Netanyahu should prepare to defend his attitude when opposition forces within the Israeli government such as Yair Lapid make as much out of this delicate balancing act. The one advantage for Netanyahu is that the Israeli electorate more than likely trust Lapid even less than they do Bibi. The one truth is that Bibi has attached his wagon to the United States and declared his decision to ride out the remaining year and a half in order to see what makes its way into the White House starting January of 2017. Bibi is betting that closer relations will become presentable with the next administration and the Israeli public appears to be along for the ride for now. This could result in a bumpy ride and make for an interesting next election cycle in Israel. Until then it is batten down the hatches and keep on riding the storm out.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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