Beyond the Cusp

November 20, 2017

United States Needs Reevaluate Middle East Priorities

 

The developed world is on the precipice of failure while ignoring the severity of the problem. Much of that reason is they have adopted the view of the Sunni Arabs who claim that until their problems with Israel are solved, they cannot think of anything else. The reality is they could not care less about the “Palestinian People” as they know that there really is no such thing. They know this because they helped to build that myth. Their blaming the situation in Israel for everything is the means by which they remain in power. If Israel is to blame and the United States keeps Israel alive, then they can play off the United States using Israel as well. This dangerous game keeps these nations screaming “Israel, Israel, Israel” all day long and also ignoring the tiger breaking out just beyond and now into their eastern edge. That tiger is Iran and they are set on conquest of the Sunni Arab world and converting them all to Shia Muslims making Shiite Islam supreme once more. They see these conquests over the Arabs as revenge for the Arabs defeating the Persian Empire back just before 640 A.D. Now the Persian Menace has returned and this time the world is simply slightly larger but still deserving of Persian rule. The Iranian Ayatollah is set on the Middle East followed by the easiest European nations that they can conquer. But they have a first objective on their plate, Mecca and Medina.

 

The United States need forget about Israel except as the front lines of this coming war, and it promises to be a big war getting larger every day it is permitted to grow. Iran just spent eight years sucking the blood from Russia in Syria using Russia to destroy the Sunni forces. This was aided by Sunni on Sunni warfare as ISIS battled with the Sunni rebels and both fought against the Kurds, with the Kurds winning those battles with American airpower assisting. This destroyed the Sunni forces which still refuse to unify and with only the Kurds having a cohesive force as the Syrian and Iraqi Kurds found their way to fight together when necessary and do so selflessly. That is why the Kurds are the sole Sunni power standing and why the Syrian and Iraqi Kurds need to be unified in a single new nation of Kurdistan as doing so would establish a solid Sunni Islamic force and another friend for the United States which would be free and democratic in nature. The United States needs to pressure Saudi Arabia to get on board along with Egypt as they represent the core strength of the Sunni Arabs. Currently the Saudis and Egypt are not together or even near being on the same page as each is using their own unique book. The Saudis are busy taking on the Iranian backed Houthis in Yemen who have again started hurling missiles at Riyadh and other provocations. This signals that Iran is ready to join forces in Yemen taking over Yemen as they did Lebanon and taking control of the Al Mandeb Straits granting Iran control over the Red Sea exit into the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean and on to greater Asia. This would permit Iran to completely isolate Europe by making the Suez Canal useless which would bring much of Europe to their knees within weeks as they depend on the oil and natural gas flowing as well as the trade routes.

 

Saudi Arabia was allied with Egypt in fighting Yemen but then Egypt started facing other problems and decided to throw in with Turkey half-heartedly. Now Turkey is discarding any concerns for pleasing Egypt and starting their turn to Iran despite Turkey presumably being Sunni. Turkish President Erdoğan is most concerned with following the strong horse and attempting to recreate at least a part of the old Ottoman Empire and declaring himself as the great new Caliph. He has likely promised to take the Kurdish areas as part of Turkey including Mosul while cooperating with the Iranians allowing them to control the remainder. The Iranians, after watching the Kurdish success against the Islamic State, probably see Erdoğan as a tool sent by Allah to remove any threat from their direction while allowing Iran to take what they require from Iraq and Syria. This has left Egypt alone and still fighting the Muslim Brotherhood which believes that Sisi stole their nation illegally and they might actually have an argument, but nobody is listening. Unlike his predecessor Obama, President Trump is not concerned in the slightest with the Muslim Brotherhood and their problems, he has sufficient problems at home in the Congress even with his own party members. Meanwhile, as President Trump butts his head against the Arab-Israeli problem and getting nothing, they will be busy preparing for their next phase and with creating as many nuclear weapons in secret as they are able. One can only assume that the Iranians have the exact same nuclear weapons schematics, as does North Korea, which means that Iran has a deliverable thermonuclear warhead which can be configured as an EMP device to destroy electrical grids and components or can be maximized for destructive power allowing for the destruction of most cities in the Middle East.

 

Iran already has signaled their next set of targets. They may permit Hezballah with some al-Quds forces, if the Palestinian Authority will permit them to set up a base in Judea and Samaria if not within Jerusalem, something which very well could already be in place, and IRGC forces to attack Israel from the Golan Heights border out of Syria attempting to leave their structures and tunnel systems in tact in Lebanon. Such a frontal war would grab the attention of the world, have the United Nations frantically attempting to be relevant, press the European Union into convulsive meetings after meetings while the United States pleaded with all involved to step back from the brink and try and prevent this from breaking beyond the cusp and into a full blown war across the Syrian and Lebanese borders. Israel would have to use such a conflict to destroy as many Iranian missiles and bases as they know exist. With the world engaged in stopping this blatant Israeli aggression while Israel defends herself from this assault, Iran will be able to press a front to take the majority of the Saudi Arabian oil fields while using a pincer movement from Iraq in the north and Yemen in the south to take Mecca and Medina and surround Saudi Arabia. Once the Iranians pull the pin on their Saudi Arabia attack, the only nations preventing their spread across all of Sunni Islam are Egypt and Israel. The Iranians are mostly descendants of the Persian Empire rather than Arabs thus they feel themselves superior to the Arabs as a people and see themselves as the true rulers for the world instead of the United States, China or anyone else, and are out to prove this.

 

The Iranian Probable Saudi Arabia Attack Plans

The Iranian Probable Saudi Arabia Attack Plans

 

Once Iran has taken the Saudi Arabia oil fields, Saudi Arabia is finished, as all they will possess would be an ocean of sand and Mecca and Medina, the two Holy Cities of Islam. Iran intends to rob them of these at the same time. While this assault is underway, Iran will be vulnerable along the remainder of her borders. That is when Iran itself must be threatened forcing them to call off this attack and respond to their home-front. That would also bring them to the bargaining table once again where President Trump, if he had played his cards correctly, could completely renegotiate the Obama Iran treaty by formulating a new and realistic treaty where Iran was fully opened to inspections, report and release any nuclear weapons she has stored, reduced her missile capacities, remove her forces from Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, Judea and Samaria, stop supporting terrorism both by supply of arms and by providing money and training. The new Iran peace deal would grant Iran her actual borders and leave her well informed that crossing these borders again would bring a world of hurt down upon them by Israel if not the United States. Also, this time Israel is also be a signatory to the treaty and be granted a direct say in its implementation and enforcement. The Saudis would also join in the settlement as part of the deal would reestablish the borders of Saudi Arabia and the assigning their keeping of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, providing they were not made into international zones run by the world as a whole, like is often suggested for Jerusalem. This treaty should include the United States as its main guarantor.

 

The only way that peace can be maintained, or restored should violence grow worse, will require the United States to simply pass on any Arab-Israel peace deal right now and start to prepare for facing down Iran before they declare nuclear breakout or do so by using a nuclear weapon using a nuclear warhead on Riyadh, Cairo or Tel Aviv at the very start of their assault on Saudi Arabia, their next large target. The Iranians could very well send multiple nuclear warheads at the above cities as their intent for hostilities as once they acquire the Saudi oil fields along with Mecca and Medina, they become the leaders of Islam and Shia Islam will be empowered while the Sunnis will be in even further disarray. Yes, we realize such is difficult to picture, but the Sunni Arabs could actually become more fractured and at one another’s throat. But with a fractured Sunni Arab world and useless Arab League or with a truly unified Arab League under a strong leader, either way and with such as an ally or with Israel as their only ally, that is the choice, the entirety of the Sunni world or Israel, not both, the United States must address Iran even before Kim Jong un in North Korea as Iran is the true threat to world peace and the only nation capable and currently willing to attempt world conquest. Should they be permitted a running start before anybody responds, Iran will own the oil fields, have three-quarters of a billion new Shiite converts as Sunni tribe and country after Sunni tribe and country seek to ally with the strong horse and leave the all but dead horse of Sunni Muslim Brotherhood or Wahabbist Islam for the Ayatollahs of Iran. That would be a Persian dream revenge come to fruition and full success. Already Qatar has joined with Iran and turned traitor to Saudi Arabia and refused to return basically telling the Saudis that they believe Iran to be their replacement and to be such soon. Additionally, Russia has allied with Iran for years and Iran already has full control of Lebanon, Iraq, and pretty much Yemen and Syria. Turkey keeps flirting and coming closer to Iran and away from their Sunni friends. Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the two powerful nations of the Sunni realm, have had a falling out over fighting the Iranian proxies in Yemen, the Houthis. This left Saudi Arabia all but alone in the fight against Iran in Yemen while the United States remains staying above the war as long as their naval base remains open for refueling ships after long trips from the United States and elsewhere. The pins have obviously been weakened and all lined up and Iran is choosing their bowling ball and will be shooting for a strike very soon, and the United States can sit safely theoretically beyond the ability of Iran to strike, but what if those claiming the United States is vulnerable are correct after all, then what? This is the reality in the world and nobody apparently cares to do anything but demand that Israel do nothing to upset Iran. Really?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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November 16, 2017

Israel Cannot be Another United States

 

The first and most obvious reason is size, though that is the least important reason. But the long version of the title for this article should read, “Why Israel cannot be another United States and why the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) are in such a mess.” Then the first sentence would change. So, let us start again. Israel cannot and must not be made into a small version of the United States in the Middle East any more than Japan made into United States Asia Pacific, Thailand made into United States Southern Asia, Tanzania made into United States Africa or Poland made into United States Europe. In every case, these are nations which have been homelands to a particular people in some cases since before written history. The Jewish People are directly traceable to the southern nation between the two nations of the Hebrews who came out of Egypt. The two nations were, the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judea whose people became known as Judeans which over time, and for ease of pronunciation, became Jews. The northern kingdom of Israel was the northern ten tribes with their priest lived in the tribes of Judea and the far smaller Benjamin and their priest, which resulted in the tribe of priests, the Kohanim and the Levites divided between the two kingdoms. As the newly reformed nation invites all of the tribes of Israel and Judea to return, the older name Israel was chosen for the nation of the Jews.

 

Let us now speak to why there are so many wars and unrest throughout the nations making up the area called MENA. The problems derive from the decisions made on how to break up the areas which had belonged to the Caliphate and then the Ottoman Empire as the Ottoman Empire had sided with Germany and Austria-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the losing side. The Allies; Serbia, Russia, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and the United States were left to decide the new boundaries for the losing forces. The decision was decided to return lands to their indigenous peoples with the exception of the Ottoman Empire as these lands had been transformed into Arab-Muslim lands under Arab rule with their original indigenous tribal demarcations pretty much erased. Germany and Austria-Hungarian Empire were redefined with new borders defined for Germany with their losing areas to Poland and France. The Austria-Hungarian Empire was broken up into numerous nations which were again divided after the fall of the Soviet Union leading to the nations Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Romania and Serbia today (see map below). These divisions were presumed to make nations too weak to begin a new war as Austria-Hungarian Empire had, forcing the Great War. As further punishment, Germany was restricted in the size of their military and police, forced to pay prohibitive reparations and was forbidden from making air or naval power sufficient to threaten England, France or Russia. Obviously, that plan had failed, as it was one of the mitigating factors leading to World War II. We can only pray that the divisions made of the lands of the Ottoman Empire do not cause World War III.

 

Austro-Hungarian Empire Break-up into Independent Nations

Austro-Hungarian Empire Break-up into Independent Nations

 

The division of the Ottoman Empire came under two main rulings, the first resulting from the San Remo Conference and the Treaty of Sèvres which was restated and included in the Treaty of Lausanne. Many ask why all of these treaties, conferences and other agreements from World War I, especially what became known as the Mandate System, and the reason is Article 80 of the United Nations Charter. Article 80 states, in simple English rather than Legalese, that all these agreements from World War I are enforceable by the United Nations and remain recognized and applicable. Two men had met before the end of World War I and decided between them how to “fairly” divide the Ottoman Empire with much of the lands being turned over to, you may have guessed, France and Great Britain. These two men were the Frenchman François Georges-Picot and the British sent Mark Sykes who together drew up the lines which became the Sykes-Picot Agreement. This agreement gave colonial powers to the various allied powers including Spain, Italy, France and Great Britain. Subsequently, all of these powers have relinquished their rule permitting independent states (see map below). We must note that the 1979 date for Iranian independence notes the Islamic revolution and coup which removed the Shah and in his stead placed the Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini (Persian: سید روح‌الله موسوی خمینی‎‎) into power of the Islamic Republic of Iran. These lines were drawn willy-nilly, as the British might say. There was no regard given for tribal lines, or at least that is the normal reason given. We hold to another more sinister reason for these lines, a combination of complete laziness and the idea that each nation would be near ungovernable. The borders below (see map) are drawn with slight regard for obvious boundaries such as rivers and very straight lines. By dividing peoples into different nations and splitting up tribes in like fashion while placing numerous tribes within every nation, Sykes and Picot guaranteed that rule could only be established through a dictatorial strongman such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar al-Qaddafi and Bashir al-Assad.

 

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

 

This very likely was the plan, leave nations near ungovernable and leave tribes and peoples split between different nations preventing their coming together to try to establish their natural homelands. This was the opposite of the European plan where they returned lands to the local peoples while in MENA they mostly did the opposite with select exceptions. These exceptions included the Mandate areas which were divided between Arab Muslim from Christian and Jewish lands granting Lebanon to the area Christians to rule and Israel to its indigenous peoples, the Jews and other tribes of the Hebrews. Thus, Jordan and Syria were made Arab Muslim lands. The Kurdish were promised their own lands but the discovery of oil and a lucrative agreement with King Faisal I (Arabic فيصل الأول) and the British (read Getty) left the Kurds divided between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. Of these countries, Turkey and Iraq were the two most determined to remove their Kurdish presence through genocide if required. Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons amongst other horrific methods against the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey would do to the Kurds what they did to their Armenian people starting in 1913 and continuing through to nearly the end of World War I in 1917. There were also the added struggles between Shiite and Sunni Moslems with these differences felt the most severely in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and many of the Gulf States. This is in part what caused much of the violence during the Arab Spring.

 

The Arab Spring very quickly became and remains the Arab Winter except where the state was strong enough and willing to use that strength to squash any rebellion. That was how Saudi Arabia treated any rebellion amongst its fellow gulf states with the best example being Bahrain where Saudi Armor poured down all lanes of the connecting causeway to the main island bringing the demonstrations and any ideas of a revolt to a very fast and permanent end. There are still numerous revolts in various levels of violence ongoing in Libya, Syria and Yemen with possible problems still existing in Turkey, Jordan and Egypt. There is also the continuing violence committed by the Sudan on the recently established South Sudan. This is a sectarian struggle pitting the Islamic fighters from the north against Christians and Animists residing in the south. This war between the Islamists against the Christians and Animists continues across the continent of Africa in what is referred to as the African Transition Zone (see below). Eventually these lands will form borders based on their tribal affiliations. Even then, there will be those who believe as if it were their religion that it is their destiny to expand over more lands. If one were to ask how many more lands, their answer would be all of the lands and they and their children will fight until all lands belong to them and their beliefs. Fortunately, their claim to land is limited to those lands where mankind live, so founding colonies on other planets simply provides them with more lands which must be brought to the one true faith. That is their religious law until the Imams decide otherwise.

 

African Transition Zone

African Transition Zone

 

Therein lies the answer, convince their Imams to change the law or at least how they interpret their laws. We are far from alone in this proposal as some have proposed this before and others continue this cry for hope in their future. They see that continuing on the path of eternal conquest can end only one way, one greatly destructive conflagration. These almost singular voices are all but undiscernible over the cacophony of the raging world around them. One such voice has even carried his plea to the center of Islamic teaching, Al-Azhar University. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has walked into the den from which the most renowned and influential of Imams graduate. Al-Azhar University is the Oxford University for Imams. President Sisi has taken the lead position with his appearances and demands for transforming Islam and teaching coexistence, cooperation and acknowledgment of other religions leading inevitably to peace and possibly harmony for mankind at long last. There is the Muslim Reform Movement which are standing for just such a change as are those mentioned at the end of this article. These are people who should be provided prominence as an option worth consideration.

 

To some extent, the allied powers from the First World War, or at least Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot, is responsible for the discontent and violence which had ravaged the Arab Muslim world for the past quarter a century or so. Then, on the other side, the allied powers did not actually do such a great job with Europe judging by the ensuing World War II. The truth is the exact reason why the resurgence of Islam must be handled with a sense of urgency as well as tactfully. If the near future is bungled, then the result could very well be World War III. The entire problem was born of World War I and led to World War II and must be prevented from ending with World War III. All one need remember is the answer Albert Einstein gave when asked, “What weapons will World War III be fought?” To this Einstein replied, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” Perhaps it would be best not to test the validity of Einstein’s prediction of a possible future.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 7, 2017

President Trump Can Have an Iraq Base for Free

 

True, the base would cost to build but that could be performed by the Army Corps of Engineers. The beauty of this plan is that the United States would actually get three bases for the cost of their construction and a small additional price of repair and upgrade of the Mosul Dam and power station. President Trump could place a nice United States Army Base just southwest of Mosul, a large United States Marine Base and Training Area east of Kirkuk and a wonderful Air Force Base southwest of Van bordering Lake Van allowing for swimming and other recreational activities. These could all come true just for the building and then the United States would have the power and reach desired in the Middle East. The only catch is that the United States would have to back the Kurdish independence movement for all the Kurdish people. Those Kurds residing outside the area and desiring to relocate could be assisted by the Kurdish State and any sympathetic nations and people; and by this, we are not claiming it need be the United States. What additionally the United States could do would be to move to protect any Kurds who might face persecution resulting from the establishing of Kurdistan. Currently the only Kurds to have actually signaled a desire for independence have been the Kurds of Iraq. Still, the Kurds in Syria might be considered to be included along with the areas they control including Raqqa and Kobane, two of the cities that the Kurds bled deeply to take from the Islamic State just as their brothers and sisters bled for Mosul and Kirkuk in Iraq. Their sacrifices to push the Islamic State from these places should be recognized and used for a reward for their efforts. Unfortunately, all the world is simply happy to walk away and ignore the Kurdish desires for their own state knowing full well that once the world turns their backs on the Kurds, the result will be exactly the same as after World War I when they were denied their own free lands as promised by the British, they were persecuted by the very nations their lands were divided between. The world turning their backs on the Kurds this time will be double the crime as they have fought for their independence and then fought to vanquish the Islamic State and now they will be left to fight against the combined forces of Iraq, Turkey and Iran. This time the result will be nothing short of a genocidal effort just as was unsuccessfully attempted against Israel in 1948-9 immediately after Israel declared their independence.

 

Kurdish Regions and Proposed Greater Kurdistan

Kurdish Regions and Proposed Greater Kurdistan

 

The world has a habit of using people, often with promises of independence and other pie-in-the-sky promises only to be left hanging in the wind subject often to oppression and even genocidal efforts. There are other peoples around the world who have been ignored or abandoned. The Berber Tribes of northwestern Africa come to mind. Another is the entire nation of Tibet which was swallowed whole by China in October of 1950 without even a meeting at the United Nations. Sure, the United States claims they stand with Taiwan. We are willing to bet that should China move on Taiwan, other than a few naval maneuvers attempting to rattle China into a withdrawal and demands made in Washington, unless a very unique and strong individual was in the White House, nothing more would result and Taiwan would simply be the next Tibet. The problem with this is that would only serve to embolden China and Russia and who can even imagine whom else, possibly Iran or Turkey. The Philippines would become very nervous and try to make agreements with China to avoid becoming their next victim, which may or may nor work. Russia would likely swallow up the Ukraine while Washington was fast asleep and not defending their friends. The world will not pass up opportunities should a weak leader sit in the Oval Office. South Korea might face an all on assault from North Korea. In such a world, Japan would nuclear up really fast and probably be willing to face sanction just to openly test a nuclear weapon, likely a thermonuclear weapon, just to place fear in the hearts of any who might be viewing their Islands as their next victims. Iran would definitely complete their desired Shiite Crescent across the Middle East and may even move on the Saudi Arabian oil fields which they have eyed for years. This has been part of the reason for their moves in Iraq and Yemen and even interests in Djibouti. Our world is potentially an extremely volatile place. There are fuses all over the world and some of them are already smoldering just requiring somebody to blow on them to light them. That brings us back to the Kurds and the present situation.

 

The Kurds are the next step in repairing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The world after World War I, or we should say the Allied Powers, decided that it would be best if the MENA lands were divided along arbitrary lines with no regard as to tribal regions or any other logical or reasoned boundaries. Instead, they decided that by having the region divided into nations where there were tribes traditionally at war with one another and where the larger tribes were broken up between several nations preventing any form of unity. The Kurds were divided between four nations, Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. Turkey and Iraq have both attempted ethnic cleansing of their Kurds or, at the very least, thinning the population and suppression of rights or political power. In Syria since the dissolution of the government and the Civil War, the Kurds were the sole people to take control of their own area, protect their people, and enforce laws. They repulsed attacks by al-Qaeda and ISIS and eventually assisted in the Raqqa push which finished the Islamic State in Syria. In Iraq it were the Kurdish forces which drove the Islamic State out of Kirkuk and opened the door to Mosul and were instrumental in the final push to cleanse Islamic State from Mosul and were placed under demands by the United States to permit Iraqi forces to take part in that effort. Guess who got stuck with the final door-to-door fighting to rid the city of the remnants and remove the traps and explosives left behind. That is right, the Kurdish Peshmerga Militias. What has happened in Iraq after these efforts by the Kurds? The United States pulled their air support and with Iranian air support and IRGC troops supporting and armor they have pushed the Kurds out of Kirkuk and Mosul and will continue to push the Kurds and probably then start their ethnic cleansing, the start of a genocidal campaign against the Kurdish People in Iraq and then on to the Kurdish in Syria and then Turkey will erase their Kurdish presence and a proud people will be torn from the world because nobody cared. Well, the Kurds assisted all the efforts requested of them in Syria and in Iraq, now it is time for the world to honor Kurdish independence. After all, if the Kurdish People are going to have to fight the combined Arab armies, at least make it a fight for their independence. President Trump, recognize Kurdistan now and even assist their efforts with at least minimal air support if not more. They deserve the opportunity and the support of those whom they fought instead of the United States committing tens of thousands of American soldiers and saved another war for the United States in the Middle East.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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