Beyond the Cusp

February 22, 2018

Iranian Nuclear War with Israel or the World

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Israel and Iran

Israel and Iran

 

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

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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February 18, 2018

Coming Wars from Iran

 

Where the coming war actually began is rather difficult to pin down. Was it the recent drone incursion into Israel? Probably not. Was it any of the missiles launched from Yemen at Riyadh? Also unlikely. Was it the Second Lebanon War started by Hezballah to cover actions in Syria both at the behest of Iran? Again, it was probably not. Was it the war Hamas fomented through launching a near uncountable number of rockets daily onto civilian targets covering half of Israel? Once again, this was not it. The start of the war coming from Iran did not begin or even originate in Tehran or anywhere else in Iran, it began just over six-thousand-three-hundred miles away in Washington D.C. The coming wars from Iran plus the current wars from Iran, namely Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen as well as Saudi Arabia, Israel and the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council all started with the foreign policy of President Jimmy Carter who ousted the Shah who was, be it ever so slowly, moving Iran towards a democracy, and implanting the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a religious man and thus incapable of having warlike intentions and obviously a peaceful man, as assessed by President Carter.

 

Even this grievous error in judgment, which placed the Iranian people into a totalitarian regime which has enslaved the people to the religious whims of their Supreme Leaders, originally Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini followed by the current Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei. They have imposed a strict Shiite Islamic rule where the vast majority of the wealth is spent on weaponry and the comfort of the leading Ayatollahs and their selected henchmen who are tasked with giving the appearance of a democracy. Iran is a democracy if a democracy is defined as free elections where one may vote for any of the preapproved candidates chosen by the Guardian Council, an appointed and constitutionally mandated 12-member council that wields considerable power and influence in the Islamic Republic of Iran. No matter how many political parties pretend to have a say in who is elected to office, the only party that matters is the Grand Council and those candidates they approve. The Iranian Grand Ayatollah and Supreme Leader official name is Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution. This Islamic Revolution refers to their designs to bring Shia Islam to all of the Muslim World replacing Sunni Islam as the predominant variety of Islam. After taking control of the Islamic world they have not completed their revolution as they intend to fulfill the Quranic command to conquer the world spreading Islam to every corner making it the sole religion, and in the case of the Grand Ayatollah, that would have to be Shia Islam. This is the sole aim of the Iranian regimes and is not conditional on the person who is the Supreme Leader as it is conditional part of their being the Supreme Leader.

 

Grand Ayatollahs Ruhollah Khomeini and Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei

Grand Ayatollahs Ruhollah Khomeini and Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei

 

The error in judgment by President Carter was probably survivable as Iranian oil production was waning as infrastructure fell from disrepair and lack of investment as the Iranian leadership was more interested in building their military and supporting terrorism throughout the Middle East and beyond. They all but established Hezballah, support Islamic Jihad and oft times Hamas as well as establishing a base for training and launching attacks on the Americas located in the South American Continent in an area called the Tri-Borders Region located where the three nations of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil border. Iran used this location from which to launch the two deadly raids on Jewish sites in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The first attack came on March 17, 1992, on the Israeli Embassy murdering twenty-nine individuals, four Israeli civilians and twenty-five Argentine civilian workers plus one terrorist suicide bomber along with injuring two-hundred-forty-two civilians. Islamic Jihad Organization claimed responsibility for the attack while Hezbollah operative Imad Mugniyah was charged by Argentina with participating in the bombing of the Israeli embassy. Then, a little over two years later, on July 18, 1994, Iranian operatives bombed the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA; Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) where eighty-five innocents were murdered with another three-hundred-plus were injured. The attack was suspected to have Hezbollah and Iran involvement as Ansar Allah, a Hezbollah front, claimed responsibility for the bombing. Argentina has attempted to no avail to gain extradition of several Iranian officials they have evidence participated in the planning and execution of these attacks.

 

Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina Building Bombing Aftermath

Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina Building Bombing Aftermath

 

Iran is currently behind a number of wars and internal struggles. These include conflicts concerning Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon with additional attacks having been launched against Saudi Arabia, Israel and Afghanistan while also training revolutionaries in Bahrain and finally the issue of “Export of Revolution,” defined in both the Iranian constitution and the founding statute of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as an essential part of the Islamic Republic. This is the concept that the Islamic Revolution of Iran, which was the name given the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, which demands that their eventual aim is the conquest of the entirety of Earth and the spread of Shia Islam to every person residing therein. It is the central concept of the Iranian government and the promise made by the Supreme Leader to “Export the Revolution” which guarantees that Iran will spread their influence. The Iranians are not foolish or lacking in planning as they use proxies and foreign leaders in their Exportation the Revolution to the far reaches as witnessed in Buenos Aires with the attacks on the Israeli Embassy and on the AMIA building. The Iranians are the financiers, military trainers and backers as well as a logistical resource of the largest and most expansive terrorist group on the planet, Hezballah. Most people think of Hezballah and immediately think Lebanon and attacks on Israel but Hezballah also is an active participant in the Syrian and Yemenis civil wars as well as the main force behind the Tri-Border Region and any operations planned and originating from that terror base. Their potential for spreading terrorism to any point on the globe is something that Iran has envisioned for some time, and through Hezballah, they have established this ability and the proof has been that there are a number of terrorist attacks that have been traced potentially to Hezballah but have yet to be proven.

 

Iran has consistently stated their desires to destroy Israel and to gain control over the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina. Iran is suspected of having orchestrated the recent broadcasts by Qatar calling for the internationalization of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina taking them from Saudi control placing them under control of a board of the several Islamic nations to include, of course, Iran. Saudi Arabian spokespeople from the government expressed that the Qatari broadcasts were the equivalent to a declaration of war and demanded that such calls cease immediately. Qatari officials declared they never made such a demand and that the government was not responsible for the broadcasts, as they do not control al Jazeera. Of course, nobody in Saudi Arabia believes the Qatari denials and neither does anybody with even the slightest knowledge of Qatar, al Jazeera, Iran and the Middle East. The reality is that Iran is escalating the level of threats on both Saudi Arabia with the broadcasts calling for the internationalizing of Mecca and Medina and with Israel with the launching of an advanced drone into Israeli territory this past week. Iran is behind much of the violence in the Middle East along with those who are taking advantage of the chaos such as Turkey who has begun a war with the Kurdish regions in northern Syria. Iran’s apparent intents currently are to push Saudi Arabia into moving against Qatar over the al Jazeera provocative broadcasts after which it would not surprise us if the Iranian response would be their own assault on Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates from which they could then assist Qatar without the need for an amphibious assault against Saudi Arabian forces who would already be in Qatar.

 

Their other target is Israel who they are hoping they can continue to provoke responses which Iran will use the European Union and United Nations as well as other European nations to proclaim Israel the aggressor. It would not be beyond reason to fear Iran pressing Hamas to initiate another conflict with Israel by once again launching rockets starting with a few smaller rockets per week escalating eventually to closing in on one-hundred missiles and rockets over most of Israel every day. The international media will all but ignore the escalation as once they run one article covering a single launch of even a half dozen launches with limited range, they will see no reason to mention the ever increasing numbers or the increasing range as they will claim it is all more of the same which they had covered. They will claim that it is not news unless something drastic occurs, say an Israeli response. Then the world media will cover the Israeli response making it appear as if Israel is overreacting to a few rockets and only five or six paragraphs into any coverage will the actual number of missiles are being fired into Israel and the fact that as far north as Haifa as well as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and everything inbetween has rockets raining upon them. Once Israel responds and beginning on the second day the new story will be the number of people dead on the two sides and how so few have been killed in Israel, while more are dead in Gaza. We have all seen this fiasco during the last Gaza war and the reasons will be the same this time, Hamas does everything to maximize civilian deaths on their own side while Israel has invested millions to make their population as safe as possible. But why should reality get in the way of demonizing Israel and making it appear that the Jews are evil and unworthy people who are hypocrites in claiming they want peace. The European media and much of their leadership and people take great pleasure in making Israel and Jews appear in as bad a light as possible as it makes them get that feeling of superiority they crave. This is one of the more nefarious forms of anti-Semitism with which we are all too familiar.

 

Iran will continue their provocations through drones, Hamas, Hezballah and possibly even Syrian launched missiles. They will continue to taunt Saudi Arabia hoping to provoke a military response. We will eventually see Iranian offensive attempting to get Jordan involved in a conflict probably using Hezballah or Syria and possibly both. Their intent with Jordan is to gain a greater front against Saudi Arabia by forcing either Syrian conquest of Jordan or Hezballah installing an Iranian puppet government after overthrowing the King possibly using the Palestinian people. Iran has been attempting to gain inroads on the Palestinian Authority (PA) through which they could also gain a path reaching the Arab population in Jordan. Should Iran ever get control of the PA they would probably wait for Mahmoud Abbas to be replaced either through a coup or through waiting for his passing as he is over eighty years old and his health is questionable. This or the ever present possibility of Hamas taking over the PA as they did in Gaza which would also bring the currently PA controlled regions within Iranian influence. Should Iran ever take control of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina one could expect them, in time, requiring that those making the Hajj adopt Shiism hoping to find a more peaceable means of replacing Sunni Islam with Shiite Islam. Do not think that Iran does not have designs further afield as Iran would take aim on Europe through financing terrorist groups using Hezballah and the IRGC to make inroads through offering weapons, training, explosives and financial support. Iran has grand and extreme designs for the future of the world under their oversight and eventual control. With the nuclear breakthrough likely in the near future, if they have not already established themselves clandestinely as a nuclear power, it is only a matter of time before the world witnesses their first attack of nuclear terrorism. We can only hope it will not take such a horrific wake-up call before the world realizes the potential violence under design by Iran for our futures.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 15, 2018

The Potential for Al Jazeera Starting the next Middle East War

 

Qatar has opened a gashing wound upon the Saudi Royal Family and their claims to be the “Servant of the Holy Places” of Mecca and Medina. Using their weaponized radio and television channels broadcasting as al Jazeera they have called for the internationalizing of the Islamic Holy Cities. Such an eventuality would rob the Saudi Royal Family of their claim which justifies their ability to rule Saudi Arabia and could even foment a civil war within Saudi Arabia. The reasoning behind this call being made by al Jazeera may not even be originating from Qatar but instead from Tehran, Iran and the Mullahs. This might even be a ploy originating in Ankara, Turkey with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who has visions of reestablishing the Ottoman rule over Mecca and Medina. Wherever the idea for these broadcasts, the one thing which is obvious is, it has heightened already drawn tight tensions with Iran, Qatar and Turkey on one side and Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on the other. As if things were not bad enough, with the recent drone incursion into Israeli airspace by what was an Iranian flown remote aircraft intercepted by Israel, led to the Israeli airstrike in Syria on Syrian and Iranian command and control centers used for such operations. Add in the recently started new front in Syria with Turkey bringing a war against the Kurds in northern Syria and a likely land grab by Turkey whose President Erdoğan has made speeches claiming that Aleppo historically was a Turkish city. This is also part of President Erdoğan’s delusional belief that it is his destiny to reestablish the Ottoman Empire. He has also made claims on Kirkuk and Mosul which are Kurdish areas of Iraq. One thing which is clear is the Turkish President has strong hatreds with the Kurds both within Turkey and elsewhere.

 

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubayr warned Qatar that clearly previously such a call for internationalizing the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina would be interpreted by Saudi Arabia as a declaration of war which he further stated, “Do not test the patience of the great powers, you dwarves.” This was an obvious attempt at intimidation which Qatar has apparently disregarded. Qatar has some insurance against any Saudi aggressions as there are troops sent by Turkey within the nation plus Iran has promised to aid Qatari interests from any Saudi or other outside actions. With tensions at such a heightened level and the above-mentioned nations restating their mutual support on each side and enmity for the others, it would take one wrong step, one misspoken word at an overly sensitive moment or even a misreading of intentions to tip over the first domino leading to the entire stack falling in rapid succession. These tensions and the recent fighting between the disparate parties in Syria, the interventions of Iran across the Middle East including Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon and possibly beyond including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist entities have proven President Trump correct in his assessment that Israel-Arab conflict is not the central problem.

 

President Trump has realized the reality that the Arab Palestinians are not the central focus of the Muslim world but an all but forgotten backwater which nobody desires to take too much interest just in case they might be stuck with having to come to their aid. The Arab Palestinians are simply an unwanted group of malcontents whose leadership had worn out their welcome across the Arab world. When the Syrian civil war first started, one of the first places bombed and struck with artillery barrages were the Palestinian refugee camps with the largest being barrel bombed for almost two weeks solid. These were the first victims of Bashir al Assad’s wrath. It may have been that President Trump noted how even the self-declared greatest friends of the Arab Palestinians, the European Union, European nations and leftist NGO’s were all silent and never registered even the slightest of concerns over Bashir al-Assad’s wiping out of the Palestinian refugee camps. Between such lack of real concern for the Arab Palestinians whose troubles could not be placed on Israel and Mahmoud Abbas consistently refusing every offer to talk or reach a peace under any condition has led President Trump to demand actual effort and signs of real sincerity before he will waste any further funding of UNRWA or the Palestinian Authority. President Trump appears to have one main objective in the Middle East, to keep the United States as untangled in the entire area as humanly possible. We should all hope that nothing changes this and forces President Trump to decide it is necessary for the United States to engage in the Middle East as such would only occur if things became excessively dire.

 

Iranian Allies versus Saudi Allies and pro-Saudi but Neutral

Iranian Allies versus Saudi Allies and pro-Saudi but Neutral

 

The unfortunate thing is should a war break out starting between Saudi Arabia and Qatar and quickly spread to having Iran step into the breach and also attack Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates as well as Saudi Arabia to force the Saudis to defend on the greatest number of fronts and also have the possibility of Turkey sending troops and air power to assist Iran as Turkey has returned to allying with Iran after a brief period of neutrality while seeking United States military aid which was provided. What is most disturbing is that Turkey continues to be a NATO member which makes possible numerous troubling demands which could be made of NATO should Turkey be dragged into a conflict against Saudi Arabia and aiding Iran. That raises the question as to what the United States do if called upon to honor the call of another NATO member for aid in a war they were presumably dragged into which would place the United States aiding Iran against Saudi Arabia, Egypt and their other allies which President Trump has decided are the United States true friends within the Islamic World. Perhaps President Trump’s belief that the Middle East is best left at arms distance or further may be the smartest means of dealing with most of the mess developing within. President Putin has been attempting to extract Russia while not losing face or disturbing his allies who are becoming more burdensome than they will likely prove to be worth. In the meantime, Putin had best find some way of putting a tight lid on the building pressure between Qatar and Saudi Arabia probably by insisting that Iran calm their attack dog and end the al Jazeera attacks on the Saudi Royals and end the calls for the internationalization of Mecca and Medina before the pressure boiler explodes from the pressure and open violence breaks out.

 

The causing of a new front in the Iranian war on the rest of the Islamic Arab world in their quest to spread Shiism making it supreme over Sunni Islam by whatever means required has only increased the regions where Iran can now threaten. If Iran truly desires to make Shiism preeminent and dominating the Middle East, picking a war with Saudi Arabia and Egypt would be the most direct method, perhaps not the smartest, but it would be the most direct. Saudi Arabia holds the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina and Egypt has the largest populations as well as the leading Islamic university, Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Taking control of these assets and swaying this many Arab Muslims would go a long way in having Shiism become dominant in the Middle East and make spreading it throughout the Islamic world far more readily possible. It might simply all depend on exactly how far along the Iranian work to develop and build a nuclear arsenal has come along. If it is much further along than believed by Washington D.C. and Jerusalem, then this task just became far more likely and the Iranian threat beyond just the Middle East just became exponentially more dangerous. This is another reason for the Russians to try to calm the situation because the last thing everybody needs is a war which could easily escalate completely beyond any efforts to control, and an Iran possibly facing losing a conflict with Egypt and Saudi Arabia might become capable of anything to try to alter such an eventuality. The one way Iran could lash out would be an all out attack upon Israel, and the last thing the world would need is an attack on Jerusalem and/or Tel Aviv with weapons of mass destruction, as the Israeli retaliation would be definitive and devastating. Perhaps Qatar had best be advised to calm down their rhetoric as otherwise things stepping beyond anybody’s ability to calm could be right around the corner, and if such is pressed, then it should be understood that Iran desired an open conflict and should receive all the responsibility for what follows equally with whoever fires the first shot.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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