Beyond the Cusp

August 16, 2015

They Threaten Israel and Speak Falsely and Iran Just Smiles

 

Hezballah Leader Hassan Nasrallah continues to make empty boasts and threats he knows would bring devastation on Lebanon and specifically Hezballah if he were to act upon his words. The claim he makes is similarly made by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and all of Israel’s enemies. Their claim is, as Hassan Nasrallah boasted, that should Israel make an assault on Lebanon that Hezballah in response, in his words, “We will destroy your tanks, kill your soldiers and defeat your army.” Hassan Nasrallah can make this threat for one simple reason, he knows that without a provocation or imminent threat from Hezballah that Israel will not attack them in Lebanon or even in Syria where most of Hezballah is engaged in a futile cause against less threatening forces than the IDF could bring to a war with Hezballah. Of course threatening Israel is one thing every foreign power can do with impunity knowing that the possibility of an Israeli strike on their forces are as remote as it would be to have fish fall upon the Hezballah training facilities in the Bekaa Valley out of the sky on an otherwise perfectly sunny day along the Lebanon-Syrian border. We hear these boasts mostly from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and twice a year from Hezballah. Their boastings are made for the morale of their supporters and their fighters such that Israel not taking the bait and attacking to prove the IDFs prowess and make a liar out of Hassan Nasrallah in turn makes his boasts taken to be true and thus Israel is viewed as being weak. Of course Hassan Nasrallah means nothing by these protestations and would be terrified if Israel were to take such boasting to heart and thus be led to make an assault to prove his boasting to be dead wrong. This boast was timed to coincide with the two year commemoration of the second Lebanon War, not exactly the most stellar performance by the IDF but was sufficient for Hassan Nasrallah to state in an interview something along the gist of had he realized the scope of the Israeli response to the kidnapping of two IDF soldiers, he would never have approved the raid. One of his statements can only be valid and I am more prepared to believe his gut reaction immediately after invoking Israeli retribution for an attack than his boasts made knowing that Israel will never attack solely over words and as no rockets are flying over the border, no IDF or Israeli civilians have been kidnapped, his boast is as safe as any statement alone could be.

 

 

Hassan Nasrallah Gesturing during remote feed video onto large screen during Hezballah semi-annual pretense of readiness to defeat any Israeli assault as he remain in hiding presumably beyond the reach of Israeli drones and commandos. This enhances his appearance of constantly under threat by Israeli forces seeking to assassinate him. The likely truth is that Israel had no reason, desire or even bothered to draw up plans to do so. As far as whether Israel could find Hassan Nasrallah’s various secreted locations, probably already have them pinpointed on some map just in case it becomes advantageous to remove Nasrallah from his position as the figurehead of Hezballah.

Hassan Nasrallah Gesturing during remote feed video onto large screen during Hezballah semi-annual pretense of readiness to defeat any Israeli assault as he remain in hiding presumably beyond the reach of Israeli drones and commandos. This enhances his appearance of constantly under threat by Israeli forces seeking to assassinate him. The likely truth is that Israel had no reason, desire or even bothered to draw up plans to do so. As far as whether Israel could find Hassan Nasrallah’s various secreted locations, probably already have them pinpointed on some map just in case it becomes advantageous to remove Nasrallah from his position as the figurehead of Hezballah.

 

 

On the other side, why would Hassan Nasrallah make such a provocative remark when his forces are locked into a losing battle against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State and the line that Hezballah must protect gets longer mile by mile as Bashir al-Assad and whatever remnants of the Syrian army that was not Druze, who had retreated to their own home areas to protect their own families, leaving the Alawites and Bashir al-Assad to defend themselves. Perhaps it is a rallying cry screamed into a deep void which is ever widening leaving Hezballah, and by fact of locations, the Bekaa Valley and anywhere else that ISIS or al-Qaeda might seek to finish what Hassan Nasrallah started when he first engaged the forces in Syria fighting to dethrone Bashir al-Assad, to make this struggle a true Sunni vs. Shiite affair. Now that the Alawites are being squeezed into an ever collapsing area along the coast slowly inching their retreat towards the point which will require Russian Naval forces to intervene, this will make the town of Latakia, where the Russian Mediterranean Fleet docks, secure and providing a last bastion for the Alawites and al-Assad. If I were an Alawite I might be tempted at this point to make a deal where al-Assad and his leading cohorts be turned over half to each al-Qaeda and ISIS forces with the winner of a coin toss to get Bashir himself in exchange for being left the strip of land they currently hold. Of course they would also have to make the port facilities available to the governing bodies replacing al-Assad once the rest of the fighting ends, if it ever does.

 

That brings us into the entire debacle unfolding in Syria and the different scenarios which are potentially about to develop. The current Turkish bombing campaign, presumably to prevent any further spread by the Islamic State forces, has had a strange set of targets as they all appear to be areas where the Kurdish fighters have been holding off Islamic State or ISIS, whichever name anybody prefers in this theater. These areas are not under Islamic State control nor Shiite or al-Qaeda but Kurdish Controlled who has been one of the most stalwart allies of the United States anti-ISIS efforts. The Kurds are viewed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as his most hated foes and considered as much an ally as the PKK and Turkey’s Kurdish Party who currently are blocking Erdogan and his party from all but turning Turkey into an Islamic state. Erdogan hopes to inaugurate himself as its once elected permanent leader and finishing the complete eradication of the vision of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who ruled Turkey after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

 

 

Photograph of a night time flight takeoff on reconnaissance mission from Incirlik Air Base inside Turkey. United States and Turkey are soon to start joint bombing and ground support missions against Islamic State forces to prevent their further advances in Syria. Thus far many of the Turkish sorties appeared to strike Kurdish positions rather than ISIS or al-Qaeda positions according to reports. Some believe this to be a move by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to paint Kurds as enemies of Turkey as he plans on holding new elections declaring previous elections unable to form ruling coalition.

Photograph of a night time flight takeoff on reconnaissance mission from Incirlik Air Base inside Turkey. United States and Turkey are soon to start joint bombing and ground support missions against Islamic State forces to prevent their further advances in Syria. Thus far many of the Turkish sorties appeared to strike Kurdish positions rather than ISIS or al-Qaeda positions according to reports. Some believe this to be a move by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to paint Kurds as enemies of Turkey as he plans on holding new elections declaring previous elections unable to form ruling coalition.

 

 

Meanwhile, the United States cannot be faulted for attempting to enlist the aid of Turkey against ISIS and by doing so allow the United States to finally fly strikes out from the Incirlik Air Base in the coming days making striking at ISIS forces and Islamic State secured regions that much more feasible and less taxing on American assets with the addition of the air base. There have already been a few reconnaissance announced to have been flown from the NATO Incirlik Air Base in central Turkey and talks are continuing to set guidelines for the use of the base. Actual sorties should start over the weekend or early next week while the reconnaissance flights will obviously continue as well from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. These attacks may work to the advantage for Hezballah and Bashir al-Assad by forcing their opponent to recede allowing al-Assad room to reconstitute his forces. As long as al-Assad and Hezballah can hold on to the International Airport in Damascus for another five weeks then Iran will likely have a large inflow of funds allowing for availing al-Assad with fresh supplies and potentially additional IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) units sufficient to alter the balance of powers. Allowing for al-Assad to reestablish his hold on the eastern areas in Syria and then hold those lands and allow the airstrikes by the United States and Turkey to do their damage and weaken their opponents could inadvertently make the retaking of Syria easier for by Bashir al-Assad. Further, by assisting in defeat of Islamic State with United States air support providing whatever support the Iranian military might require, Iran could finally reestablish their puppet states in Iraq and Syria thus retaining the Shiite Crescent across the Middle East as revealed in the map below.

 

This will be the starting point which will be gifted to Iran by the United States along with the P5+1 placing Iran as the hegemonic power and new nuclear power potentially breaking out unannounced and finally leaving the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) and after six months announcing their building of nuclear warheads and having developed ICBMs capable of striking anywhere throughout the world. The question soon after President Obama leaves office will be what can be done now that it may be too late to reel in Iran as with the unification of the Crescent under their singular rule with puppet governments in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, the question becomes where does the world place the line which must not be crossed. Will that line be Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Romania, where? The threat right now appears to be the Islamic State as their atrocities have grabbed the attention of many and will eventually lead to the turning to the one country currently perched to best threaten and destroy the Islamic State, Iran. The question that will likely never be asked is whether we are making an even worse and more dangerous problem reinforcing Iran and giving them such a huge swath of land as depicted below, and that is a conservative estimate as by the time the next United States President is sworn in Iran might already have swallowed Jordan and joined forces with the Arab Palestinians currently in Judea and Samaria as well as having crossed into the Arabian Peninsula and grabbed all of Kuwait and the Saudi Arabian oil fields all in the name of liberating oppressed Shiites which will be encouraged to riot and cause disturbances such that Iran can come to their rescue, all with the blessing of the United States and Europe in the hopes that they will be eaten last. Perhaps by then there will be no place at which the line can be drawn as the dye will have been cast and the doom of nuclear war facing the world dead in the face, then what?

 

This is the desired and long sought Iranian Shiite Crescent across the Middle East reaching from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea after Islamic State Defeat and Iran Surge Retaking Syria for Bashir al-Assad with Hezballah retaining their iron-fist control over Lebanon and the Iraqi Shiites retaining their hold on the southern half of Iraq. This could very well be the starting positions for a final World War resulting in exchanges of nuclear weapons before the end is reached. This map also depicts the areas bordering the Iranian influence which could become the future red lines and the trip wire for a horrific conflagration, exactly what the Twelvers desire to bring back the Twelfth Imam and the Islamic Messiah who will lead them to finally realize their destiny of world conquest. Despite what many in the West view as an outdated and dead idea, the Iranian leadership dreams of world conquest and desire to that end.

This is the desired and long sought Iranian Shiite Crescent across the Middle East reaching from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea after Islamic State Defeat and Iran Surge Retaking Syria for Bashir al-Assad with Hezballah retaining their iron-fist control over Lebanon and the Iraqi Shiites retaining their hold on the southern half of Iraq. This could very well be the starting positions for a final World War resulting in exchanges of nuclear weapons before the end is reached. This map also depicts the areas bordering the Iranian influence which could become the future red lines and the trip wire for a horrific conflagration, exactly what the Twelvers desire to bring back the Twelfth Imam and the Islamic Messiah who will lead them to finally realize their destiny of world conquest. Despite what many in the West view as an outdated and dead idea, the Iranian leadership dreams of world conquest and desire to that end.

 

 

Once the Iranians can establish their desired and long sought Iranian Shiite Crescent across the Middle East reaching from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea after Islamic State Defeat and Iran Surge Retaking Syria for Bashir al-Assad with Hezballah retaining their iron-fist control over Lebanon with the Iraqi Shiites retaining their hold on the southern half of Iraq, this really is a case of then what. This could very well be the starting positions for a final World War resulting in exchanges of nuclear weapons before the end is reached. This map also depicts the areas bordering the Iranian influence which could become the future red lines and the trip wire for a horrific conflagration, exactly what the Twelvers desire to bring back the Twelfth Imam and the Islamic Messiah who will lead them to finally realize their destiny of world conquest. Despite what many in the West view as an outdated and dead idea, the Iranian leadership dreams of world conquest and desire to that end. Would the tripping point be Israel or perhaps Turkey who could demand NATO support under Chapter Five of the NATO Charter. Maybe Iran would take Kuwait and the oil fields of Saudi Arabia and that would trip the wire for Western intervention in response to the Saudi Royals. Perhaps a sweep from Yemen, we cannot forget the Iranian southern front, into Eretria, Somalia, Djibouti and then across the Sudan and into Egypt which could be yet another call for Western assists against Iran. The only thing we can be assured, the Crescent is the beginning, not the end of Iranian expansion.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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February 20, 2014

Iran Offers Saudi Arabian and Wahhabi Leadership First Opportunity

In Islam one must make available to one’s foes the opportunity to recognize their errors and apostasy and submit to Allah and choose to worship in the traditional Islamic manner you proscribe to. This offer must be proposed three times and after all three chances have been refused and the offending entity has refused to submit, then one is permitted to use any method and amount of violent force in order to convert or eradicate the non-believer. What makes this procedure even more interesting is that this even applies when one of the subgroups within Islam has decided to bring other Muslims to their true vision of Islam and away from their apostate and impure practice of a false form of Islam. Where this applies in the coming confrontation in the Middle East is that the Sunni and Shia each view the other as apostates following a false narrative of insult to Islam. There is a long history of these two main branches of Islam going to war in an effort to eradicate the other. The beginning of this divide came very early in the history of Islam and is centered on who was the righteous successor to Mohammad after his death. The Sunni believe that Abu Bakr, the father of Muhammad’s wife Aisha, was Muhammad’s rightful successor while the Shia believe that Muhammad divinely ordained his cousin and son-in-law Ali, the father of his grandsons Hasan ibn Ali and Hussein ibn Ali, to be his rightful successor. Both Sunni and Shia follow the Five Pillars of Islam but it has been their differences which the two have concentrated upon leading to numerous wars over the thousand years plus these two versions of Islam have existed. They are still adversarial into the modern era though they both have ignored their differences when battling Israel and the rest of Western society. Still, with the rise of Iran as a major power in the Middle East, they are apparently preparing to make another drive to drive Shia Islam to be predominant through the eradication or submission of the Sunni followers of Islam. What drives their desires even further is the possibility of also gaining complete control of all the oil of the Middle East by acquiring the Saudi Arabian oil fields as a bonus as they impose Shia Islam on the predominantly Sunni Saudis.

 

The Iranians are feeling invincible after their complete routing of the Western powers with the recent agreement which Iran has interpreted as having received a reprieve from the majority of the sanctions for so little a price that they feel they received this basically for free. The Iranians have made it abundantly clear that they do not perceive of having made any concessions to United States President Obama and the P5+1 talks in Geneva. We have noted a number of times that Iran would make moves on either Saudi Arabia (from December 9,2013 Northeastern Saudi and Eastern Gulf Oil Fields the New Sudetenland and from April 26, 2012 Iran Aims For All Middle East Oil) or the United States initially and attack both well before they ever turn their attentions on Israel. That is not to imply that the Iranians will not make life in Israel uncomfortably challenging, it is just they will rely on attacking Israel piecemeal using Hamas, Hezballah and Syria but the last two will have to wait until at least some months after the Syrian Civil War has been completed with Bashir al-Assad still in power. Iran may also be making inroads with Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, hoping to utilize them as another front with Israel once they have attained as much as possible using the United States to force a solution upon the Israelis granting them their statehood. In the meantime the Iranians will simply use their influence with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza and the disparate terrorist entities including al-Qaeda to attack Israel from the Sinai. The Iranians will also, though not likely directing or planning the strikes, be highly satisfied with any attacks on the Egyptian military controlled government of Egypt as they would prefer to have the Muslim Brotherhood, despite their Sunni observance, as an ally, though only temporarily and only as long as the Egyptians were useful in harassing and attacking Israel.

 

The immediate necessities on Iran’s plate are cementing their control over Iraq by assisting the Shia Iraqi government defeat the Sunni al-Qaeda backed forces in the center of that country and defeating the Sunni rebels in the Syrian Civil War. In the meantime Iran will provide Hezballah with whatever they need to continue their stranglehold on Lebanon and also aiding and providing much of the most effective forces in Syria allied to al-Assad. Once they have tamed the Sunni resistance and completed their crescent reaching from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea they will likely strengthen their ties with Turkey providing Erdogan manages to remain in power which is very probable. Once the Iranians have settled and gained all the allies peaceably they can turn their sights on those gains which will require the use of military force. The initial steps in that agenda have already been taken. The Iranians have recently attacked not just the Saudi Arabian government, but also the Wahhabi Sunni sect that is the ideological underpinning of the Saudi Arabian regime and the enforcers for the Saudi Royal Family who back the Wahhabis with petro-dollars. The Iranians have recently declared the Wahhabis to be “worse than Jews” and heretical and stated that, “If they refuse to convert (to Shia Islam from Sunni Islam) killing them is not a sin.” The next step will be a second invitation to the Saudi Arabian Sunni influences of both the ruling Family Saud and the Wahhabi clerics and followers. Then we can expect for there to be some protests which will escalate eventually turning violent. When the Saudi Arabian government sends in troops to put down the Shia protesters and violence and enforce their hold on the oil fields located in northeast Saudi Arabia, this will give Iran the reason d’etre to send their final notice to the Saudis demanding they cease their violence against the Iranian Shia brothers and forsake their sinful, evil and apostate Sunni ways and adopt Shia Islam. The Saudis will not respond and will continue to secure their valuable property, their oil fields which are the basis of their wealth. This will give the Iranians the righteous cause to enter to protect their Shia brothers and as a convenient byproduct will also occupy and gain the Saudi Arabian oilfields. With the first salvo just fired with the invitation by Iran for the Saudi Arabian leaders, people and their Wahhabi religious communities to give up their apostolic Sunni beliefs and adopt the true Shia version of Islam, the only thing left is to wait and make sure we do not miss the next salvo when Iran, likely from Ayatollah Khamenei, their Supreme Leader, makes a public plea for the people, leaders and clerics of Saudi Arabia and the Wahhabi sect to join the true faith of Shia Islam and join with Iran in service of Allah. When that second invitation is given you can bet that Iran will already have a small arsenal of nuclear weapons. The sickening truth is they likely have already produced a small number of functioning warheads to have taken this step. Even if that is not the case, they obviously feel confident that they will be so armed and sooner rather than later. The time has come to scrutinize everything emanating from Iran with great concern and consider every possible ramification.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 29, 2013

Why Does Inaction on Syrian Chemical Weapons Use Matter?

I tried to think of an idea to write about that was important and almost everything I thought about came back to the situation of the use by Syrian troops loyal to Bashir al-Assad of chemical weapons. The problem is that when one thinks about this subject, it just does not appear all that overly vital yet it affects every other problem in one way or another. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the entire Syrian civil war touches on every vital subject facing the world at the moment. It ties to the terror bombing in Boston as the arch-terror group Hezballah is actively aiding the Syrian forces loyal to al-Assad and are responsible for most of their gains of late. It reflects on the problems in Egypt and Tunisia as the Muslim Brotherhood which currently rules both of these countries is the main impetus behind one of the two major rebel factions trying to overthrow al-Assad. On the human rights front, what could be a bigger situation for them to address than the over seventy-thousand civilians murdered and the many millions forced into refugee camps by the Syrian civil war, yet despite this the main impetus of human rights remains obsessively focused on the purported evil acts of the Israelis. But what is likely the most central importance over Syria has to do that the outcome in Syria is seen as the most central item currently addressable regarding Iran and the entire Iran-North Korea alliance which is by far the biggest threat to the world currently.

 

What I find most interesting about the Iran-North Korea alliance is how everybody attempts to separate these two problems and behave as if one has nothing to do with the other. This would be like pretending that in World War II the Japanese had nothing to do with the Germans except that Iran and North Korea are far more intertwined than they were. It is ridiculous to address the missile problem posed by North Korea while ignoring the joint research being performed largely in Iran to improve both countries missile technologies and upgrade their missile systems with longer range and more accurate heavy launch systems along with increased diversity of missile weapons systems for multiple and varied uses. Even more evident is how both Iran and North Korea have been interdependent in their pursuit of nuclear weapons as most of the research into nuclear weapons constructions has been carried out almost exclusively of late in North Korea while uranium enrichment as well as plutonium manufacturing have been pursued full-bore in Iran. Yet despite the evidence the United States and their allies have been addressing these two as completely separate threats rather than a unified front who are mutually supportive in aims of the same ends. The strongest evidence of their mutual cooperation leads us back to Syria and the fact that as Iran supplies Syria with weapons, intelligence reports, and manpower in their civil war, it was North Korea who provided Syria with their nuclear facility that Israel destroyed back on September 6, 2007.

 

But despite all of this evidence, it is the seeming lack of resolve in addressing the Syrian blatant disregard of the warnings over utilizing their chemical weapons stores that presents the biggest situational difficulty. It is blatantly obvious that the weakest link in the Iran-North Korea alliance is definitely Syria but that it is also a vital link in their chain which connects them to the Mediterranean Sea through Syria and Lebanon which is controlled for Iran by Hezballah. Syria is very much like Italy was to the German-Japanese alliance in World War II in that Italy guarded the underbelly of the European theater, Syria is the vital link to the Mediterranean Sea and through that the Atlantic Ocean as well as all of Europe. The threat to act against Syria and al-Assad if and when he introduced chemical weapons into the Syrian civil war was less important strategically about protecting the Syrian battlefield from such threats as it was about being the wedge that allowed for a casus-belli for intervention leading to the removal of Bashir al-Assad from power thus breaking the link for the Iran-North Korea axis connecting them to their Mediterranean ports and the Hezballah who serve as their enforcers. Losing their Syrian connection also wounds the Iranian Shiite alliance from their crescent of power that stems from Iran across Iraq, Syria and Lebanon presently and thus allows Iran to have influence and the ability to apply pressure throughout the Arab World and most of the Muslim world. Syria and the Mediterranean ports are also vital for the growth of the Iranian influence in South America which they have been carefully and slowly cultivating and growing for the past decade. For these reasons as well as the human rights and prevention of the potential catastrophe that could result from chemical weapons attacks make Syria the center-point of too much of the current world situation to not make each and every step well thought out and treated as the crucial elements that they are.

 

Despite all that is resting on the outcome of the Syrian civil war, President Obama appears to be taking the most passive interest in responding to the latest reports of chemical weapons use by al-Assad despite the hard evidence presented that Sarin gas was utilized. The reports of such use came from Israeli, British and French intelligence sources and not simply made by the rebel forces that could be doubted due their interest in removing al-Assad by any means available. President Obama not only reacted to this evidence by not taking any actions which would indicate the possibility of a military response, but simply restated his warning of dire consequences should chemical weapons be used by any side in the Syrian civil war. By refusing to even place some military forces on a higher alert status signaling the readiness to take the steps necessary to interdict any further use of chemical weapons, President Obama has virtually given al-Assad a pass on using these weapons as long as it is not overt and made undeniable. Why the President would refute the evidence presented by every allied intelligence report and allow al-Assad a pass is honestly disturbing. Such inaction could lead to wonder as to what outcome the United States would prefer to come as a result of the fighting in Syria. Could President Obama desire to simply allow the fighting to continue in order to drain Iran of resources and force them to be tied down by the open front threatening their Syrian connections? Time will tell but should al-Assad take the inaction by President Obama as permission for more extensive use of chemical weapons in the fight against the rebel forces one can only fear the full repercussions and the potential for unimaginable horrors should such weapons be used in an overt fashion in order to turn the tide and go for a quick end to the rebel fight. The potentials for a humanitarian disaster are too great for such a risky route to be taken. President Obama might still have an opportunity to enforce his edict of not accepting any chemical weapons usage before more general use is implemented and all the horrific consequences to the Syrian people become realized. Nobody could desire the consequences of the liberal use of such weapons and the indiscriminate and horrendous death which can be so easily dispersed literally on the winds across large swaths leaving a desolate ruin in their wake.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

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