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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October 4, 2019

Another Useless European Gesture

 

According to reports by the BBC, Britain, France, and Germany, the three European nations who took part in the negotiations with Iran have warned Iran that any further breaches of the agreement could force them to act and leave the agreement. Such an eventuality presumably would cause the collapse of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Such a move is said to make it possible for the United Nations to reapply economic and other sanctions against Iran as well as the European Union or at least Britain, France and Germany. Some reports have actually appeared anxious worried that such a collapse of the JCPOA would free Iran to restart the entire nuclear program. Additionally, within days Hezballah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened to start sending terrorists into Israeli territory. While interviewed by Lebanon’s Massir magazine, Nasrallah was quoted stating, “The enemy is right now in a defensive position. Once we were constantly on the defensive, now we are threatening the enemy, not the opposite. We will enter the occupied territory of Palestine.” These are two related facts which should be seen as one entirety and not as separate in any way. Hezballah does not act independent of their Iranian masters. This will be escalated and was meant to be a shot across the bow warning Britain, France, and Germany not to withdraw from the JCPOA or be blamed for instigating a war in the Middle East, or should we call it by its real name, yet another war with Iran as the instigator in the Middle East.

 

Hassan Nasrallah

Hassan Nasrallah

 

It has been part of the Iranian world policy, you upset Iran and Hezballah will start a large-scale confrontation with Israel unless Iran is further appeased. Iran wears the JCPOA as an accessory by which it can frighten Britain, France, and Germany, and the European Union into any act of appeasement to what Iran fancies. The Iranian threat has been that they are forced by that eternal evil, ever ignorant and wild cowboy in Washington D.C., President Trump, to bend and even break specific parts of the JCPOA as Iran no longer felt constrained by the treaty if the Americans were no longer constrained from sanctioning Iran. The catch for all involved has been that Iran was never restrained by the JCPOA as we have reported repeatedly (see here, here, here and here). We also have shown that Iran was not even following the weak restrictions they claim that they had agreed upon and only not complying with those extreme measures that the United States claimed were included and that they had never agreed to place them in the agreement. Simply stated, Iran has been producing whatever weapons they desire and researching at full speed further nuclear weapons to add to their arsenals.

 

The real question is not so much are Britain, France, and Germany going to depart the JCPOA, but is whether or not they will join with President Trump in reapplying sanctions on Iran and end their comfy little trade deals by which they were making millions of dollars. One can blame the European powers for trading with Iran, but how else were they going to benefit from the billions of dollars lavished upon Tehran and the Mullahs by President Obama. Should Britain, France, and Germany actually leave the JCPOA, the next big question is over sanctions and whether or not this signals they are willing to work with President Trump. If Britain, France, and Germany are unwilling to work with the United States on sanctioning Iran, then any such announcement concerning leaving the JCPOA is just empty rhetoric. But there would be more than Iran finally coming clean about their continuing to develop nuclear weaponry as fast as they could, there would also be the war Iran wound instigate, if not actually order, against Israel to punish the world for their insult and blaming Britain, France, and Germany for their aggressive actions.

 

As we stated above, Nasrallah does not act without permission and orders from Iran. That is why the threats from Nasrallah were expected and were expressions dictated from Tehran. Just to complete the quotes, Nasrallah further stated, “The balance has changed due to the Iranian revolution’s victory, which was begun by the blessed imam Khomeini and is continued by the blessed imam Khamenei. Today we have much better intelligence regarding what the Zionist entity is doing than we had in the past, from official sources as well as from unofficial sources.” This overt threat is actually a restating of the Hezballah threats and claims that they could take back the Galilee from her occupation whenever they decided the time had come. This threat needs also to be taken along with the recent Hezballah claims that stated, “Once we said that we could strike targets south of Haifa. Today, we can say that if Israel has sites south of Eilat, then we can also hit them. All of Israel is under the range of our missiles.” All of this bluster just because of the threat by European powers to leave a treaty which few if any of the participants ever intended keeping. Iran, under the JCPOA presumably was inspecting their own military installations and were to report any breaching of the agreement. Really? Who expected that to work at all?

 

Iran has treated the JCPOA as the fig leaf behind which their nuclear program never even felt a hiccup as was proven when Israel lifted tons of evidence from their secure Tehran bunker in one evening and transported it all to Israel (see image below). These were the final information required by President Trump to pull he United States from the JCPOA and reapply sanctions on Iran in an effort to have them come to the table and negotiate a new deal. Iran does not desire a new deal; they prefer the one they have and will wait for a new President of the United States to be elected and be reasonable with their needs. Should the three European powers also leave the agreement, it never was an actual treaty, then Iran could be facing the reapplication of the sanctions by Europe which would actually cause Tehran some serious headaches. The serious nature with which Iran has reacted with their having ordered a Hezballah threat on Israel is all the proof needed to assess the nature and threat on the JCPOA.

 

Netanyahu Displaying Iranian Nuclear Program Files Stolen from Tehran Bunker

Netanyahu Displaying Iranian Nuclear Program Files Stolen from Tehran Bunker

 

Whether or not Israel should take the Nasrallah threat to heart and possibly take steps to respond will be determined by any information Israel has been able to garner. Over the last half a decade, Nasrallah was largely ignored as Hezballah was up to their ears in the Iranian backed wars in Syria and Yemen. There have been reports that many of the Hezballah operatives have since returned to Lebanon from their efforts supporting Iran. These operatives sent to Yemen and across the border to Syria were presumed to be training more than actually fighting yet, from intercepted casualty reports, the Hezballah members were performing much more than training than was admitted. These threats from Nasrallah should be taken seriously but tempered with intelligence of Hezballah movements of assets and terrorists placing them such that crossing the border appears likely. Israeli intelligence and aerial surveillance should take particular attention to any readying of Hezballah missiles and rockets. Such intelligence should be critically analyzed with specific attention to their Scud rockets and MLRV* units. The former, and its ilk, comprise the ability for Hezballah to strike at Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Dimona complex which would be primary targets in the initial round should they be seriously planning an assault upon the north. The MLRV with their rapid multiple rocket barrage capabilities is primarily used in supporting advancing forces by forcing the enemy to take cover and remain buttoned-up thus limiting their vision and ability to detect any attack or infiltration.

 

When it comes to terrorists, we are looking more at infiltration which could come from almost any front or direction. The most obvious would be across the fenced Lebanon border with Israel or, using the Syrian confrontation, entry could be attempted along the Golan Heights. Another option would be to enter through Gaza where allies such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad might assist or their people might carry out attacks for Hezballah to force a two-front confrontation upon Israel. The final entry points would be along the Israeli eastern lands bordering Jordan or the PLO/PA region west of the Jordan River. Israel will probably place their forces already in these positions to heighten awareness and be particularly sensitive to potential terror infiltrations. Israel might also redouble efforts at detecting and destroying tunnels under her borders to facilitate just such operations. The world need realize that this Hezballah threat is actually a threat coming directly from Tehran and should put most of Europe on notice that they have problems within their own countries which lie openly vulnerable to Iranian terror forces of the IRGC or Hezballah. This was not a threat made upon Israel for her presumed occupation of the Galilee but a warning to the world that moves made against Iran could be answered by terrorist forces in Lebanon as well as Iraq, Yemen and other supportive places. Europe should also take the precaution of seeking out any Iranian operatives who probably entered Europe as part of the waves of Middle Eastern and North African “refugees” they foolishly permitted entry. Many of the entering refugees were actually terror operatives and as Iran has the largest amount of control over these terrorists, even more than the Muslim Brotherhood, they could be activated and given targets within Europe to strike. Such strikes by terror operatives would target high profile locations very likely also tourist hot spots with intent to harm as many as possible. Israel is prepared largely while Europe is largely vulnerable. Israel will tread carefully until it is time to act, Europe would be best served to move with bluster intended to maximize the appearance of readiness. One last tip, the terrorists in Europe are most likely controlled through the IRGC or by Hezballah which means that your Lebanese immigrants just might be Hezballah plants. Be well advised Europe, after Israel you are the most inviting of targets along with the United States with a difference, Europe is far closer to their bases in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

*MLRV = Multiple Launch Rocket Vehicle

 

May 27, 2018

Story Why Trump Cancelled Korea Summit

 

The story we hear from most news organizations is that President Trump is thinking like a small time real estate broker where walking away from a deal is part of the negotiation tactic. They claim he is trying to look big and tough and out man Kim Jong-un and in the process is becoming even more of a clown. They claim he has now brought the Korean Peninsula and the world to the brink of Armageddon. The accusations don’t stop there. He has been said to be acting like a schoolyard bully throwing a tantrum just to get more attention. What has been amusing about this last accusation, and to some extent most of the others, is that it more accurately describes the actions of Kim Jong-un and the entirety of the North Korean power structure including, or maybe especially, the military.

 

Let us put this as plainly as we know how, or at least try. Let’s pretend we are the President of the United States. We have appeared to have pressured the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un into agreeing to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to end any ballistic missile tests and nuclear tests. The North Korean strongman also has agreed to forgo the normal protestations of upcoming already known and planned joint South Korean-American military maneuvers. There has been a date set to meet in Singapore. Then when administration personnel sent to Singapore to work out the logistics of the summit attempt to contact North Korea to engage them in the planning and set up formalities, the North Koreans completely shut them out refusing to allow any communications. An administration senior official connected to the planned talks said, “The summit was halted because we couldn’t get them (North Korea) to pick up the phone. There was radio silence.” In other words, it was impossible to even set up the seating or achieve any of the necessities when the other side is refusing to even confirm who will be attending from their side, when anyone will be arriving, or even if they actually expect there to be talks. The North Korean actions were an initial signal that they were backing out of the talks.

 

This was accompanied during the same time-frame by two broken promises, two breaches of their former agreements. The North Koreans issued a major objection to legal military exercises between the South Koreans and Americans which they had stated they would accept without protest. Then they refused to denuclearize in a complete manner or to permit their denuclearization to be verifiable in any way. They basically were hedging away from everything they had stated in order to have the meeting such that they were now to use these items as bargaining chips in an effort, most likely, to gain economic relief, sanctions relief and some form of aid package which would include large amounts of food and energy to be given over by the United States in order to have a second meeting and for them to make these same promises a second time. They would demand these relief packages in aid and sanctions relief almost immediately for a meeting later. They would then renege on further discussions and return to their former habits of ballistic missile tests and nuclear research and bomb tests along with intermittent bluster about destroying Guam or possibly upping the ante to Hawaii. This was the exact same actions that previous meetings with North Korea had taken and probably should have been expected, and might have been expected, by the White House and administration members.

 

But even this was not the straw that broke the Trump’s back; there was one last insult which sent everything over the edge. North Korean Vice Minister Choe Son Hui, in addition to officials from North Korea calling Vice President Mike Pence a “dummy,” threatened, “Whether the United States will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States.” This is old school communist bluster of meet our demands or face complete and total annihilation. This did not work with President Reagan and it will work even less with President Trump. If there is one thing President Trump knows, it is mindless bluster and extreme hot air, both of which he has proven countless times to the media’s delight. President Trump knows that Kim Jong-un, despite being as unbalanced as he has shown, is not near stupid enough to trigger a nuclear exchange with the United States. That is especially true with President Trump in the White House being advised by former CIA Chief Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, former Marine four-star General as Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, whose nickname was “Mad dog,” and former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton as National Security Advisor who more than once claimed, “The Secretariat building in New York has thirty-eight stories. If it lost ten stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” With this group around President Trump, how can anybody claim that Trump is the least sane person in the room?

 

Still, threaten President Trump with a nuclear stand-off was exactly the path that the North Korean’s decided was in their best interests and the disloyal opposition exploded at President Trump having the audacity to be offended and cancelling the summit. They honestly are advising that the United States should walk into a room and negotiate with a group which broke every previous agreement ever made with almost every former President for the past quarter century and who had just broken every agreed condition for the meeting and threatened to start a nuclear exchange. How much weaker a position would they prefer and how could one imagine one short of sending an aid package as a concession to get them to the table. Wait, that is the exact position every President has taken with Israel since President Jimmy Carter, both Democrat and Republican, when they demanded that Israel sacrifice land, release terrorists, eventually even terrorists with blood soaked hands, and sometimes both land and release terrorists. Thankfully, President Trump has taken a different track here as well and especially with his moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, many thanks for this.

 

President Trump and Kim Jong-un in Missile Face-off

President Trump and Kim Jong-un in Missile Face-off

 

President Trump knows as a businessman that one does not walk into a meeting in a position of surrender; you do not start any negotiations by surrender before even sitting down. President Trump was possibly going to let some of Kim Jong-un’s antics fall to the wayside and see what could be achieved at least through meeting head to head and actually talking. The problem was that Kim Jong-un heaped insult of refusal to even talk upon backtracking on every point and every other general insult he could find and then threatened war if President Trump did not do his bidding at the talks, it became obvious that Kim Jong-un was not taking President Trump seriously and was going to keep upping the level to see where he would balk and if President Trump meekly met him despite the ever rising levels of insult, then he had a measure of Trump as somebody he could walk right over. Now Kim Jong-un is very probably going to get an entirely different measure of President Trump as it is likely that President Trump will grant Kim Jong-un a brief amount of time to be the meek one and try to undo the damage he has wrought before upping the ante from the White House either through China or simply tightening the sanctions further. Now Kim Jong-un has been informed that this is a different President who is willing to only negotiate as equals and if you refuse that, then he will insist on negotiating with you once you surrender all but unconditionally and maybe even that.

 

As for the immediate future, it is in the better interest of Kim Jong-un if he finds the better judgement and comes to President Trump offering peace and honesty and forgets the one-upmanship. It will also be better for the people of North Korea for their “furious leader” to step off his high horse and find some means of joining the rest of the world striving for peace and not world conquest or even peninsula conquest. Unfortunately for the people of North Korea, Kim Jong-un is not all that concerned with their welfare but rather more concerned with appearing like a giant on the world’s stage. Kim Jong-un needs to learn that he is nowhere near a giant even on his peninsula as the South Korean economy and standard of living is so far and above that of North Korea that there is no comparison. Of course, it is that wealth which Kim Jong-un strives to take in order to steal everything from them as well and use their economic engine and manufacturing to bolster his military and forge greater nuclear research for better and more deadly nuclear warheads. There is a great amount of parallel between North Korea and Iran as there is between Kim Jong-un and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Both of these leaders believe they are a god or are in direct communication with their god. Both leaders are more interested in building their militaries and nuclear weapons capabilities and missile delivery systems than the welfare of their people. The main difference is that Kim Jong-un rules a bankrupt nation with an economy on life support and even that is failing while the other has economic problems but with excessively large infusions of cash over the past decade is now capable of causing great disturbances over the entirety of the Middle East. By cancelling the meeting with Kim Jong-un, President Trump has placed the gauntlet down gently in a controlled and nonthreatening manner in what we see as an attempt to settle this amicably without any threats or actual violence but firmly enough to send the message that unless Kim Jong-un capitulates and returns to civil behavior, then things will become more agitated and worse for the North Korean leader. Perhaps a shot directly at Kim Jong-un and placing an embargo on caviar, French champagne and fine cigars will hit him hard enough to make him see that President Trump is no fool and can directly strike at Kim Jong-un’s lifestyle.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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