Beyond the Cusp

September 12, 2017

State Department Declaring Open Season on Middle East and Israel

 

We once predicted Rex Tillerson would be a problem for Israel in particular and much of the Middle East as a whole. Secretary of State Tillerson belongs with the State Department with only one shortcoming; he is an Arabist and not a supporter of the new Persians in Iran. Making his position to be at odds with his own department will come when the struggle finally turns to Iran against Saudi Arabia. Rex Tillerson, before becoming Secretary of State for President Trump, was the CEO for ExxonMobil and as such had many enjoyable and enriching relations with the Saudi Royal Family. In that position, Rex Tillerson was granted honors and received with feasts and joyous celebrations. He saw the most shining and generous side of Saudi Arabian culture as he was an honored guest who brought great prosperity with his visits which enriched the Royal Family. He would have stayed in five star hotels in the finest suites available and eaten at royal feasts so it is no wonder that he has great affection, respect and possibly love for the Saudi Arabian rulers, and thus favors their nation which he has only seen their best side. One cannot blame the man for the views he gained in a lifetime of working in the oil industry.

 

Secretary of State and Former CEO for ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson

Secretary of State and Former CEO for ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson

 

Another problem with Rex Tillerson and the State Department is their view that the Kurds should postpone their September 25th vote and any consideration of declaring their independence until it will be more suitable to the understandings and outlook of the United States State Department. Imagine a people, a proud people with a history and who had their own nation until empires came and erased their nations and enslaved them and who, despite the best efforts of Saddam Hussein and his chemical weapons, survived and have been the ones who initially stopped ISIS leading to the current offensive and the best hope for their defeat, having to wait until the United States State Department decides they are ready for their own country. Had President Truman listened to the State Department, the United States would not have recognized Israel but President Harry Truman listened to his mother growing up and read his Bible and was a good man who decided he would listen to his mother and his learnings as a youth over some government department. Now we need to hope that President Trump, another president whose last name begins with a “T” like Harry S. Truman, also can find his way to disregard the State Department and give the Kurds recognition simply because they deserve the recognition and any assistance they require as they have carried the fight against Islamic State for the world. But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his State Department have not changed since 1948 where they simply do not believe that people can have their own nation without their permission. With any good fortune, the Kurds will hold their vote, take the world by the horns and declare their independence and the world has the great goodness to recognize their aspirations and recognize that without the Kurds, ISIS might still be rampaging across the Middle East instead of being pushed out of Mosul with the Kurds playing a major role.

 

The Middle East is going through a period of great turmoil shaking off the old lines imposed upon them by the Europeans at the close of World War I. After World War I, the victors (Britain, France, Russia, Italy and Japan) decided where the new boundaries and borders with much of the decisions made by two men, British diplomat Mark Sykes and a French diplomat François Georges-Picot, called the Sykes–Picot Agreement. The lines were drawn with no regard to tribal allegiances, without regard to Sunni and Shiite observance and simply decided on how the major powers decided they would carve up the remains of the former Ottoman Empire. These lines were set up in such a way as served the major powers in Europe and the Russians agreed as they were given some parts of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire and protected them from any resurgence from Turkey. Russia also was in the weakest position as they had left the war early after the revolution unseated the Tsar and the Communists had finally established governance which was to last until almost the end of the Twentieth Century. The Middle East was colonized mostly by the British, French and Italians who gave up their colonies mostly by the end of World War II through until around 1970 (see map below). Still, the nations that were formed were ungovernable resulting in mostly dictatorships, which suppressed most of the population. This led to such leaders as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Hafez al-Assad, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Abdullah I bin al-Hussein and the Saudi Royals and their successors. Now the Middle East is making its first steps to figuring out where the lines need be drawn and what belongs to whom and everything else. Like any continental shifts in a world, the Middle East will take some time to shake out and there will be those who believe they are entitled to an empire on the backs of others while still other leaders will refuse to surrender rights to their people. This will be where the State Department will take their position that nobody deserves anything without their consent.

 

Dates that the MENA nations received their independence after colonial rule many since the times of the Persians or even earlier

Dates that the MENA nations received their independence after colonial rule many since the times of the Persians or even earlier

 

Now the State Department is demanding that President Trump demand that Israel return seventy-five-million dollars voted for Israel to build additional equipment for their defense against rockets and missiles which Israel requires to upkeep their defenses. The State Department demands these finances be returned as they exceeded the limitation that President Obama placed upon Israeli aid. The State Department claims that Israel lobbied Congress for the additional funds. Many in Congress claim that they voted for the funding without any requests or coaxing from the Israelis. Senator Lindsay Graham, Republican of South Carolina, stated, “Congress is not a party to this agreement nor is this agreement binding on future congresses. Congress has an independent duty to make a decision about the proper level of support for Israel or our other allies. To suggest this will bind future presidents and Congresses for the next decade is constitutionally flawed and impractical.” Many have commented that this is an internal war within the United States government where the Department of State is doing everything they are capable to drive a wedge between the Trump Administration and the Israelis. There are those in Congress who have their hackles up over this claiming that they had no part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that they feel President Obama forced and threatened on the Israelis. They also declare that it is the duty and responsibility of the Congress and that no President, especially any past President, can limit or restrict their decisions on spending beyond their veto power. Once a President has left office, he can no longer veto Congressional legislation once passed, only the sitting President has such power and the Congress has promised to flex their power and pass legislation to resend these funds should the State department win this round. This is a war that will decide exactly how much influence Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Department of State are going to have over the Administration of President Trump. In all honesty, we hope that their influence will be as minimal as possible as it has been our opinion that the Department of State has been on the wrong side of history and the fight from the very start from before World War II onward. We will be watching this test for President Trump as if he gets this one wrong, then we will know that there is troubles coming.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 30, 2017

As North Korean Missiles Fly Tillerson Lies

 

We made a poor calculation, or so it seems. We had predicted, “somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas Kim Jong-un will announce he has had it with the American double-dealing and perversity and lies and return to firing missiles.” Apparently, Kim Jong-un did not even wait for Labor Day as on Saturday North Korea launched a set of short-range ballistic missiles and on Tuesday fired another missile, this time over the Islands of Japan. The series of missile firing came just days after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson welcomed North Korea’s recent “restraint” suggested talks with Pyongyang may be possible “in the near future,” (Watch video below). Tillerson stated in response to the North Korean provocations that the missiles were a “provocative act” adding that the United States would continue to search for a peaceful solution. This is where we question whether or not Secretary of State Tillerson may be going off the rails concerning Kim Jong-un and North Korea as compared to his stances on Israel, Kurdistan and the Arab World’s general offensive along with Iran and Turkey against the world, specifically the Western World.

 

 

Secretary Tillerson, it has been noted in conjecture, has been the driving force driving the Administration’s suspicions and commentary against the Kurdish intentions to vote for a referendum to declare their independence from Iraq and form their formerly promised state of Kurdistan before the British reneged on their promise. The Secretary of State has also been a consistent thorn in the side of relations with Israel. The problems with Israel do not rise to the level that the relations with the Kurds have reached, but Israel has her independence already. Still, having Secretary of State Tillerson constantly promoting policies which reflect the Arabist views of the world in general and the views of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, or potentially Mecca and more appropriately, Medina, is wearing thin as it flies in the face of policies which would be to the advantage of the United States specifically and the free world generally.

 

We understand that the apparent assignment for the State Department is to play Devil’s advocate and oppose what would be right and best for the United States. This was evidenced when they sent a communist group to assist in writing the United Nations Charter and gave the Soviets advantages at every corner. It was further established with their strong advice to President Truman not to recognize Israeli independence, good thing he ignored their advice. Now they are advising the United States deny nationhood to the strongest and closest ally existing in the war on the Islamic State, the only group to have large success in driving the Islamic State from northern Syria, the peoples whom the United States has been arming and Israel has given tactical assistance yet the State Department claims they are unworthy of statehood as that would detract from Iraqi sovereignty and weaken Iran. We seem to remember some commentary about knocking Iran down a peg or two and rewriting parts of the deal with Iran over nuclear research into nuclear weaponry and the processing of uranium by President Trump. Apparently, Secretary Tillerson is concerned about what effect a Kurdish State might have on Iraq and Iran and very likely the Islamic State and Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

 

These steps come in addition to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson making some antagonizing noise over Israeli “settlements” referring to legally built communities and cities according to the Oslo Accords stipulations while ignoring illegal building by the European Union along with the Arabs in Area C against every stipulation concerning this region by the Oslo Accords. It has become apparent that Secretary of State Tillerson and his State Department have decided once again to adopt the Arab revisionism of the Oslo Accords in which Israel has no right to Jerusalem, Akko, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Tiberius, Eilat, Beersheba and Tel Aviv. This had been the interpretation of the final settlement according to Yasser Arafat and has been adopted by Mahmoud Abbas and the PA and apparently also adopted by Secretary Tillerson in spirit if not in its entirety. Such sophomoric, treacherous and toxic advice can only embolden Abbas and the Arabs to avoid direct negotiations and in its stead demand concessions from Israel which Secretary Tillerson and the State Department will very likely pressure Israel to concede, as they always have, regardless of the position of President Trump or his Middle East envoy Jared Kushner and President Trump’s International Negotiator Jason Greenblatt which appears to be more open ended. While President Trump’s team has stated clearly an Administration position of no preconditions, preconceptions, or premonitions of the design of a solution, the State Department with a few worthy exceptions appears to be backing the continued failings of the “two-state-solution” directly in opposition to all other, including their own, efforts.

 

Secretary Tillerson also came out expressly against Kurdish independence. One would be following logic and good sense if they were to conclude from previous indications such as the United States arming of the Kurds in Syria and in warning off Turkey’s Erdoğan, who had started a general campaign militarily against the Kurds in Syria and Iraq, thus protecting Kurdish interests, that the Administration would back the concept of a new country named Kurdistan where the Kurds could fulfil their destiny free of tyrannical and counter productive interference from Baghdad. We would and have gone further in suggesting a greater Kurdistan which would span across northeastern Syria, northern Iraq and northwestern Iran and for allowing Kurds from outside the area, from Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran in particular, to return to their newly reestablished homelands free from outside influences or policies. The Kurds were another indigenous group which had been promised a return to their homelands and a freely established state after World War I and the divisions of the great empires of Austro-Hungary, German (which had included Poland within its borders) and Ottoman. One might be led to believe that Turkey would desire such a nation as a place they could force their Kurdish minority to emigrate and end their fears of Kurdish revolt but Erdoğan envisions a greater Turkey which would envelop the Kurdish regions and then the Kurds would be facing a similar fate than that of the Armenians under Ottoman rule. One can only wonder where Secretary Tillerson stands on the ideas of a greater Turkey or a hegemonic Iran which would include much of Iraq plus all of Syria and Lebanon (see concept map below). Greater Turkey would include areas of Syria and Iraq which the Kurds desire for their homelands and extend slightly beyond before they would run into Iranian Shiite opposition but would include Sunni areas of Iraq. Hegemonic Iran would incorporate much of Iraq and Syria plus all, if not beyond, Lebanon, Oman, Yemen, Djibouti and Qatar thus surrounding Saudi Arabia and Jordan who would be thrust together potentially being forced into having relations with Israel. The greater question would be how far along the coast of the Horn of Africa Iran might spread and whether or not Jordan would invite Saudi Arabian protection as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (included in map).

 

Greater Turkey and Hegemonic Iran In Faceoff to Control Middle East

Greater Turkey and Hegemonic Iran
In Faceoff to Control Middle East

 

Our guess of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reacting to such a map as depicted would be outrage that Israel would take control of the lands actually promised her by the San Remo Conference, the Treaty of Sèvres, the Treaty of Lausanne, the Mandate System, the Conventions of the League of Nations and Article 80 of the United Nations Charter making these treaties and the entirety of their implications, promises, stipulations and implications all enforced by the United Nations. He would likely view at such a point as this that Israel rightfully belonged to Saudi Arabia as the British Mandate of Jordan had been included under Saudi protective rule, why not the remaining 22% of the British Mandate. He would question, with the support of the deep state of the State Department, the protestations expressed by the Israelis and would ignore the religious implications and what would verily happen should Israeli citizens ever come under Muslim or Arab rule. Secretary Tillerson would likely read some missive from the Saudi Royals which would be presented as their guarantee of protection for the Jews of Israel as they are People of the Book (أهل الكتاب) and as such a protected class of Dhimmis. He would infer that Dhimmis meant honored guests and a protected group as stated and would ignore the horrid rumors about the Jews being Kāfir (كافر) and thus could be subjected to the choice of convert to Islam or die without ever compromising their Dhimmitude.

 

Allow us to end with a beseechment to the leading advisors and their coordination impairment and the confusion, embarrassment and detriment they have caused. Please, President Trump and especially Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Four Star Marine General (ret), clean up the imbroglio which is the President’s Cabinet. First and foremost, determine who amongst them are capable of supporting a single set of ideas and ideals and are willing to cooperate, then be rid of the rest. Next, sit them all down and play for them the main points President Trump promised to accomplish while campaigning. Then ask who would not be capable of not only supporting but actively engaging all their energies to accomplish whatever tasks they may receive to get these things accomplished. Those who appear even the slightest to delay and especially those who cough, hem and haw, be done with them and receive not their counsel. Lastly, ask each Secretary to submit plans to, first, restructure their department, second, cut their department staffing by a minimum of fifty percent, and lastly, to dissolve their department entirely and advising where critical actions could be best served. Then meet with the President and go through these plans and decide which departments need to implement which plan. Just as a starter, may we suggest you get rid of Educations Department, Homeland Security Department; half or more of the law enforcement bureaus starting with BTFE, and have the State Department reduce its staff by fifty percent, at least twice. Advice for President Trump, ignore much of the noise which erupts regularly from the State Department, as often doing the opposite of what they advise is the best move.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 22, 2017

Trump Bordering Clueless on the Middle East

 

President Donald Trump is bordering on clueless regarding much of the Middle East and who are the best and who are troublesome. He has occasional bursts of insight and then appears to slide back into oblivion. One of his problems is his advisors are all over the map on their advice and no two are coming from the same objective point. There is one advisor who, while being amongst the loudest, acts as if he were paid by George Soros which, according to his resume, he once was paid by George Soros as have so many as Soros has his fingers in virtually every dark corner in this world, and you don’t get to the positions Tillerson has held without some contacts with undesirables. Still, Tillerson is at the State Department likely because he was the sole friend or acquaintance who was at all willing to enter that snake-pit and war with the vipers and constrictors who squeezed and poisoned the minds of previous Secretaries of State such as John Bolton, Condoleezza Rice, Collin Powell, and probably others all the way back to Timothy Pickering. Tillerson has some contrary views on the Middle East as he is an oil soaked Arabist. As such, he is opposed to Israel, the Kurds an oddly every true friend the United States has in the Middle East. Trust that Israel and the Kurds are more than simply friends for the United States but also barometers of whether she is steering a true path or sailing towards the craggy cliffs of futile endeavors which will steal from her life, blood and treasure and return nothing but rude awakenings when the truth be known.

 

We will leave the Israel part for background and look largely at the coming binding resolution the Kurdish People will be taking in their regions on September 25, 2017, on whether they should secede from Iraq. Their nonbinding resolution on this subject taken a little over a decade ago passed with 99.8% supporting secession declaring their own nation of Kurdistan. We are equally supportive of the establishing of a greater Kurdistan which would be carved almost exclusively from Iraq and Syria (see map below). We would favor this nation having a Right of Return law similar to the Israeli Right of Return for the Jewish People except for Kurdish People to return to their homelands. This would actually be something which honestly is owed the Kurdish People as they were initially promised by the British that they were to be given their homelands after World War I. When oil was found near Kirkuk and King Feisal offered the British rights to the oil fields, the offers made to the Kurds were found to be inconvenient. The British were good at altering their deals with indigenous peoples in order to suit the Arab demands. The Arabs claimed all of the Ottoman lands claiming, as per their Quran, that all lands which were part of the Caliphates and thus also the Ottomans were to remain as Arab lands and were not to be permitted to be allowed for any others. This was also the deal with Israel and in order to prevent the founding of Israel as the Jewish State the British kept paying Arabs to move from Iraq, Jordan, and even Syria and especially Egypt into the areas west of the Jordan River in order to maintain the Arab majority and thus permit refusing to allow the Jews sovereignty. The Jews eventually, after the agreement passed by the General Assembly accepted any deal while the Arabs refused the deal demanding they have all the lands and promising to destroy the Jews by war if necessary. That was the reason for the War of Annihilation against the Jews by at least a half dozen Arab armies and numerous militias starting at dawn of May 15, 1948, the same date when the Jews declared their state. The Kurds were not as fortunate as the Arabs overran their area and they did not have the organizations to resist, something the Jews managed despite losing the areas of Gaza, Judea and Samaria.

 

Our Idea for a Proposed Kurdistan

Our Idea for a Proposed Kurdistan

 

Things have changed and the Kurds now have one of the more proficient military forces in the conflict-savaged areas of Iraq and Syria. The Kurds have proven to have the most effective military forces which stopped the spread of ISIS when they were spreading into Iraq and again as they advanced on northern Syria. What is confusing is, despite the Kurds providing the most reliable fighting force assisting the United States efforts against the Islamic State, President Trump has opposed their intentions for independence. It is known that the State Department also opposes Kurdish independence, as does Secretary of State Tillerson, unsurprisingly. Both the State Department and their boss, Secretary Tillerson, are strongly influenced by their ties and deference to Arab influences. Tillerson is reflexively influenced by Arab desires and influences due to his deep experiences with the oil companies and Exxon-Mobile in particular. The State Department went from being supportive of Arab influences in correlation with their subversion to the Soviet Union and their interests. During this period, there were a number of Arab supporters hired into the State Department and the atmosphere turned against Israel and now against the Kurdish hopes. These influences remain and are continuing to serve interest not of the United States. President Trump claimed he would drain the swamp but thus far, it appears more as if the swamp has begun to drain him as it has others before him.

 

It would be a sad thing should the swamp, which has spread into the areas of Washington D.C. which were originally drained from swamp to make room for the buildings, which comprise the governing conglomerate, should eek its way and permeate the government deeper than Trump is able to drain the morass and its accompanying miasma. Perhaps this was ordained from the start when the decision was made to use reclaimed swamplands for the mall and seat of the Federal Government. Perhaps a little foresight and a better selection of lands, as it might be difficult to build a shining city on a hill if you start in lowlands formerly the habitat of rodents and other creatures of the tidal wetlands of the Potomac River. Just because you name a place Capital Hill, that does not make it into an automatically high place. Perhaps such is the challenge put before the elected officials to take the former swamp and clear it of the current affliction which President Elect Donald Trump claimed was the swamp he would drain. By all current appearance, President Trump may have chosen a task for which he does not posses the requisite skills to accomplish. Perhaps time will prove him capable, but for now, he has yet to get his own Cabinet in order. President Trump has appointed a former military man, a retired Four Star Marine General named John F. Kelly, as his new Chief of Staff who will hopefully find some order and get the members of the Trump team to follow the same script. His first job will be to find a common chord upon which they can all find agreement and work from there to fill out an entire program. Eventually, General Kelly will have to find some means of untangling the Middle East, the area where there appears to be most disagreement and confusion. Within the Cabinet and advisors there are those who support a united Jerusalem under Israeli rule and those who believe that the two state solution will but need the division once again of Jerusalem. Oddly enough, that might be the area of least disagreement. The seeming discordance of views may be the biggest disappointment for Trump supporters and should this not be rectified and set to right with the greatest of urgency, President Trump may find his support vanishing. Already there have appeared cracks in the foundation of the Trump White House and the need for order could not be more obvious. President Trump should Tweet less and instead get his songbirds all tweeting the same tune, or at least from the same operetta.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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