Beyond the Cusp

September 10, 2013

Are the Syrian Christians Next?

With the capture of the Syrian Christian town of Ma’alula, a town of approximately five thousand just north of Damascus bodes ill for yet another ancient Christian community. The residents of Ma’alula actually still speak Aramaic just as they had when they took to Christianity as some of its first converts. The town holds numerous ancient churches, monasteries and shrines from the earliest years of Christianity and there are many who fear these irreplaceable relics of history could end up being destroyed or altered into Mosques. The people are also possibly in danger similar to the situation the Coptic Christians find themselves facing in Egypt. Ma’alula was captured after five days of fighting falling to the al-Nusra Front, a rebel group that has sworn allegiance to al-Qaida, the conservative Islamist rebel group Ahrar al Sham and the more mainstream Farouk Brigade. The one fortunate occurrence thus far is that the Syrian military had fought for the town with the rebel forces in the area for five days but retreated from Ma’alula before it had sustained serious damage to its ancient buildings. The question now is what will come as time unfolds, is it possible that the Islamists will allow these Christians to continue to reside in peace only requiring they pay the Jizya and accept Dhimmi restrictions.

 

There is another result which may be born of this situation which can also be applied to any other location within the areas where there is Arab uprisings resulting from the Arab Winter. The Obama administration has been hovering between striking in Syria as a response to the utilization of chemical weapons on the population and the battlefield by Bashir al-Assad and finding some justification for backing off the red line threat. President Obama has been wavering between these two positions often turning on a dime seeming to be searching for the one unarguable justification which would unite everyone either giving him the moral backing to either act or the perfect reason for walking away. Despite the fact that should the Syrian military decides to try and retake Ma’alula from the occupying rebel forces there would be a definite probability that there would be collateral damage destroying the ancient and irreplaceable buildings. Add to that the human casualties which President Obama could use as a further reason to enter the Syrian conflict. Since there have been strong indications which side President Obama has chosen as there have been atrocities committed by both sides yet only the Syrian military has been held to any standard by the President.

 

But then, by using the possible slaughter of one of the oldest Christian communities in the world to reinforce President Obama’s argument and having not even mentioned the similarly ancient Coptic Christians who are facing horrific evil in Egypt would be being duplicitous, and even more so as there have not been demands the United States intervene if the Egyptian government refuses to protect them. Such an argument using the expectation that in order to be considered a civilized force that is accepted by the rest of the world, all sides in the Arab conflicts which have spread across much of the Middle East and North Africa need to protect all peoples equally, be they Muslim or be they Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sheikh, Bahá’í, Jewish, Taoist or any other religious system or belief system and end the unjustifiable persecution of any non-Muslim religion. By making this the stated position for acceptance in the world community President Obama could finally have acted in a manner justifying his receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize simply because he won the election for President. Obviously the Nobel Committee had reasoned that President Obama was destined to act in some manner so as to commit the pinnacle act which would be transformational making the entirety of Earth a far better and more unified and accepting place where everybody has value and can expect equal treatment and opportunity. Having President Obama actually live up to the expectations which so many different people, institutions, and both governmental and nongovernmental organizations had expressed they were expecting to emanate from his Presidency would make his entire Presidency truly inspirational and transformational making Barack Obama far more than just the first American President of color but one of the truly great Presidents placing beside Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy. Should he make such a stand and use everything at his command including uniting the majority of the world behind such a noble cause using or separate from the United Nations, then the time will have come to get the hammers and chisels into motion adding one more head on Mount Rushmore; he would have earned such a placing. Hey, just because I have had my differences with a number of President Obama’s policies, that does not mean I cannot also hold out great hopes.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 29, 2013

Please President Obama, First Things First

President Obama please find a path around opening a new and unnecessary front within the Middle East. Instead of waging even a limited war and instead try and save lives which your Cairo speech and the Arab Spring which you supported so completely have left behind and are facing unimaginable sorrows, violence, persecution, and hatreds. When you were first elected you yourself spoke about a kinder, gentler America which was loved around the world and stood for peace and the betterment of mankind. You yourself scolded America’s past where we were perceived as warmongers who only knew how to rain death and destruction down on people who strayed from the path we had chosen for them. You went on an apology tour and now you threaten to continue with dealing out death and destruction, the very thing you once denounced. There are avenues right now that cry out for a hero to come and save innocent lives which simply wish to live in their homes in peace and security, worship as they choose, and have those simple things which you and I almost take for granted.

 

Unfortunately these unfortunate victims of sectarian violence no longer have their homes, their businesses, their houses of worship, or any vestiges of a normal life. And the only thing that you and your administration need to do, Mr. President, is allow them a Visa to come to the United States. These people are the Coptic Christians and if a brave and compassionate world leader would open their borders to the Coptic Christians then there are people who would see to getting them out of danger and to safety. It would require less planning and less efforts to provide this religiously persecuted minority a venue to freedom from persecution and the free pursuit to worship in their religion in peace and security than it will take to launch Tomahawk Missiles at Syrian military and government targets. There would also be less ramifications and danger to the delicate balance on which the current peace of the world is now teetering. Providing the Coptic Christians a route to freedom and liberty would gain you much recognition as the great transformational leader that you once claimed you strove to be instead of simply being just another President of the United States who resorted to bombs and missiles over diplomacy and new solutions.

 

Once you let loose the dogs of war on Syria over what many say was a use of chemical weapons by the rebel forces and not Bashir al-Assad there is no taking those actions back. Once the buttons are pushed launching your next kinetic action there will be no turning back. This Syria slap on the wrist tempts the fates and could set in motion a series of responses which would have the ability to fly out of control and cause results that nobody in their right mind could desire, unless the destruction of much of the world and the collapse of the world’s economies is one’s idea of a desirable end. Saving the Coptic Christians could only lead to be an example to other nations who could follow in kind and be the first wave in a sea change of compassion and consideration instead of an attack in the name of retribution. Is validating your “Red Line” threat worth risking kindling the instigation of war by Iran, Syria, Lebanon and numerous terrorist interests and other allies of Syria and Iran including both Russia and China, especially after that very same “Red Line” had been crossed twice previously as per intelligence provided by American allies Britain and France as well as Israel? Why this time and not those two previous deployments of chemical weapons? Please just pull back from the brink and instead make a gesture of kindness and compassion by extending a hand to rescue the Coptic Christians instead.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 28, 2013

Different Takes and Positions on Syria Attack

Filed under: Absolutism,Administration,Advanced Weapions Systems,Air Fields,al-Qaeda,Amalekites,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Arab Spring,Arab Winter,Arab World,Armed Services,Arms Transfer,Attack,Bashir al-Assad,Blue Water Navy,Britain,Cabinet,Calaphate,Caliphate,Casualties,Catholic,Catholic Churh,Catholic Institutions,Chemical Weapons,China,Chuck Hagel,Civil Disobedience,Civil War,Civilization,Colonial Possession,Commander in Cheif,Consequences,Covert Actions,Department of Defense,Enlightenment,Europe,European Governments,Executive Order,France,Government,Great Britain,Hezballah,History,Inteligence Report,Iran,Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps,Iraq,IRGC,Islam,Islam,Israel,Jihad,Joe Biden,John Kerry,Jordan,Lebanon,London,Mediterranean Sea,Military,Military Aid,Military Base,Military Intervention,Military Option,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslim World,No-Fly Zone,Oppression,Politics,Pope,President,President for Life,President Obama,Protests,Rebel Forces,Russia,Saddam Hussein,Secretary of Defense,Secretary of State,Special Forces,Syria,Syrian Military,Tel Aviv,Threat of War,Turkey,United States,US Air Force,US Army,US Marines,US Navy,Vice President,Victims,War,Weapons of Mass Destruction,Western World,White Papers,WMD,World Opinion,World Pressures — qwertster @ 3:17 AM
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The most important nation in discourse over whether or not to attack Syria over the most recent use of chemical Weapons is the United States. The first item which would be expected to be clarified is to make all evidence made available validating the claims that it was actually the Syrian military that deployed the chemical weapons and that al-Assad gave the orders. Thus far President Obama and the spokespeople from within his administration have sounded in virtual unison forming a chorus of accusations blaming Syrian President Bashir al-Assad for giving the orders to use chemical weapons which murdered hundreds of civilians. Evidential proof has been lacking or at best thin with assurances that they have solid and unimpeachable evidence of al-Assad’s guilt in the matter of loosing weapons of mass destruction and the American people and the world are left to simply trust they are correct. What makes this somewhat puzzling is that those who are behind claiming that there has been use of WMDs on civilians in Syria are people who not so long ago had a completely different view on taking a President and his people’s guarantees on another country having possession and having used WMDs. The President was George W. Bush and the person presumably owning the WMDs in question was Saddam Hussein of Iraq. This was the same reasoning given for the invasion of Iraq by President Bush who also expected that his word would suffice. The Iraq War was the conflict of which John Kerry was for the war before he was against the war; Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel were simply against that war in Iraq; and Joe Biden supported the war in Iraq but changed his stance when he campaigned with President Obama claiming that he had made a serious mistake in supporting the Iraq War. Now we are supposed to simply take these same anti-war politicians when they last spoke of their positions regarding the Iraq War but are certain that there are WMDs in al-Assad’s arsenal and he has used them on his own people and we are told to simply trust them. The only thing missing is their blaming President George W. Bush for not attacking Iraq in time to prevent Saddam Hussein’s WMDs from being spirited out of Iraq and stored in Syria where they were the real reason that al-Assad was able to utilize these chemical weapons this past week; after all, isn’t just about everything George W. Bush’s fault?

 

Then there are the British who could be considered one of the instigators behind this entire emergency. This is the third time the British have claimed that al-Assad has deployed chemical weapons during the Syrian civil war and have been backed up in their intelligence reports by the French and the Israelis on at least two of these occasions. The British had already announced earlier this week that their resources in the Mediterranean theater were on standby and ready to assist the United States if they decide to move on the current intelligence of chemical weapons use in Syria. The British were also absolutely positive that Bashir al-Assad was the perpetrator of the release of chemical weapons on the Syrian people. Thus far the French have not announced their readiness to join any attack on Syrian targets which are used by the Syrian military presumably including the chemical weapons storage areas and other military targets which could be utilized in the deployment of chemical weapons in the future. In a straight forward description of targets one could just describe them as any military targets including airports, aircraft, artillery positions, and virtually any other military target. Initial reports claim that the United States already has a list of targets within Syria numbering one-hundred-fifty and includes everything mentioned above as well as command and control assets presumably as that is where the orders originate and if they are taken out new orders would be impossible to relay to the units. Then again, perhaps the Syrians might think to use the same technology the American troops which invaded Grenada resorted to using when they were faced with a small embarrassment, the different units from each branch of service were set to different frequencies and the Marines could not talk to the Army who could not talk to the Air Force who could not talk to the Navy, so resourceful Rangers made a collect phone call to an Air Force base in Florida to order up an airstrike. I am assuming they have telephones in Syria which is likely a safe bet.

 

Then there are the Israelis who have been put on notice by Bashir al-Assad and many of his ranking officers and other high officials that should the United States, British, French or any other Western power attack Syria then Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and Hezballah will all attack Israel with everything they can muster. This threat will be their reaction whether Israel takes part in the attack or remains neutral. Since it has been made obvious that declaring themselves as neutral would be useless in protecting Israel from attack the Israelis went ahead and wasted their time and announced their intentions to leave Syria to their own civil war and not interfere in Syrian internal struggles. That is not to imply that Israel has had nothing to request about the entire situation that is developing over the Syrian use of chemical weapons on their own civilians. The Israelis actually asked the United States please advise them before they launch any attack. While Israel is not planning to assist any attack on Syria, with the standing threat that the Syrian response will be a general attack upon Israel by four nations and as many terrorists as they can muster, they probably would like the heads-up in order to at least be prepared for any eventuality. Unfortunately, for some reason I have a feeling that such a warning will not be forthcoming from President Obama. On the other hand, I would bet that the Israeli military monitoring capabilities would probably pick up any activity entering the Syrian theater, even if they were to do so from the Syrian Turkish border. This is even more likely as Turkey also accused Bashir al-Assad of using chemical weapons and has verified the British and French claims and has called for a military response.

 

I guess we need to conclude with our expectations and insights all of which are officially a poke in the dark guess. The first thing we would like to see presented before any retaliatory actions are initiated is the convincing evidence President Obama and his supporting cast claim to have in their position. The one truth which appears to be a certainty is that there was an actual deployment of chemical agent which killed hundreds of Syrian civilians. It is actually very probably this was the third time that chemical weapons have been loosed in the Syrian civil war. The ideal time to have addressed the chemical weapons stores in Syria would have been very early in the conflict with a precision attack or Special Forces intervention with either method having one dedicated target and otherwise avoiding any further interference which might have further effects on the status-quo. Once such an opportunity was missed and other nations took sides in the conflict there became complications which made any interference a risk of incurring a much larger conflict. That has become the threat which has been placed by those backing Bashir al-Assad when Russia, Iran, and China all issued warnings to President Obama not to interfere in any way in the Syrian internal conflict or face serious ramifications. Iran has agreed with the threat made by al-Assad that should there be an attack on the Syrian military or any of its resources then Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Hezballah at a minimum will ally with Syria in mounting an attack on Israel as their reply. Syria has also claimed that there are some surprises in store for any American forces or those of their allies should they attack Syria which will defend their nation with everything at their disposal. The most unfortunate reality which may be possible is that President Obama decides that a Syrian reply with all of her Middle Eastern allies against Israel is something which he is willing to risk and actually could not really care one way or the other. This lack of concern over any threat to Israel might also allow President Obama to disregard the Israeli request to be notified before the Americans or anybody attacks Syria, even if it is just minutes before the forces cross into Syria. Such disregard and disrespect shown an ally would normally be unthinkable but then President Obama has a standing record for unthinkable treatments concerning Israel. The worst possible result would be the Russians and/or Chinese enter into the conflict in support of Syria responding to an attack by the United States or any Western nation. The one sliver of good news was that the United States appears to have put off any attack until Thursday which may give them time to find some way around actually attacking Syria. The one suspicion which needs to be completely ruled out before any attack is launched against Bashir al-Assad is to know for a great degree of certainty that it was actually the Syrian military and not the rebel forces which deployed the chemical weapons. Exactly how such a level of assurance is possible to accomplish may be difficult but it is also one certainty which should be met before taking such a drastic measure as an attack. My prayers are going to be that President Obama backs down as even should he act it would not make him any more credible at this point in his tenure. In the meantime, I will have a very nervous week and am hoping that I am able to go to Rosh Hashanah services and praying for the war to end, be the war be in between Israel and the combined forces of Syria and her allies or an even worse case of a general war between the United States and whoever decides to ally with Iran and Syria in a general war which could become the worst conflagration in world history.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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