Beyond the Cusp

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

 

October 22, 2012

Jordan is Next to Fall, Will Saudi Arabia Follow?

Pressures have been slowly building quietly and just below the sight of most Western observers which aim to topple Jordan’s monarchy of King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein. These pressures are being exerted by two competing forces, the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran through assistance by al-Qaeda. Contrary to what has served as a basic understanding in much of the West, al-Qaeda is allied with Iran in the power struggles for dominance in the Muslim World, something that initially makes little sense for those who placed al-Qaeda firmly in the Sunni camp. Slowly but ever so surely the base of al-Qaeda has drifted from its Sunni origins into an orbit with Iran and a balance in membership between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. This is making for strange possibilities which would have originally been unthinkable and for many purists is still beyond imagination. The current challenges for dominance in the Muslim World is being played out between the two main forces, Iran with al-Qaeda against the Muslim Brotherhood, in two major theaters, Syria-Lebanon and on a quieter but just as serious confrontation in Jordan. So, what are the likely results and what will follow in the future?

Syria has been front and center in the coverage of the Middle East with its violent clash which is destroying the entire fabric of society sending thousands fleeing over the borders or being murdered in the streets. Often civilians who are not among the combatants often become the targets of both sides as the civil war spreads through every corner of the country. The real problem is trying to explain the sides of this conflict as it is more than simply the rebel anti-Assad forces against the Syrian army which has remained loyal to President Assad. There are also the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps) and Hezballah also fighting and supporting Bashir Assad while the rebel forces are actually several groups who, even should Assad fall, would soon be at each other’s throats conflicting over who would take over in a new government. Some of the Rebel forces are backed by the Muslim Brotherhood while others by al-Qaeda with still others belonging to other interests be they Kurdish, Christian or even aligned with Turkey.

The real question will come down to what will Iran do should Bashir Assad be killed or effectively overturned from office? Will Iran send divisions of regular army with supporting armor and air power or will Iran simply accept the loss of both Syria and Lebanon and their over-ground link with the Mediterranean. Iran has made huge financial and logistical investments in Lebanon as well as in Syria and should Iran lose their surrogate, Assad, in Syria they will also lose their supply line to support Hezballah which controls Lebanon as an Iranian proxy. Already interests in Lebanon which oppose Iranian and Syrian influence are threatening Hezballah leader Hassan Nasrallah over his using weapons and arms supplied Hezballah against the Syrian people despite his original claims that they were to be solely used against the Zionist Entity, Israel. Iran currently enjoys an unhindered path through to the Mediterranean through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Iran is known to be using transit across Iraq to start to impose their will on Jordan. This has come about as the Bedouins have been steadily radicalized and their youth are no longer supporting King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein and his rule in Jordan. This poses an additional threat on Israel originating from Iran and is a result of the United States being unable to negotiate an agreement with the leadership of Iraq that would have allowed for continued American presence and prevented Iraq from entering into the Iranian orbit. This was facilitated by the appearance of a weakened United States no longer willing to lead in the Middle East. One thing which is becoming evident is that either through Iran and their surrogates or by the hand of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Jordanian monarchy is being undermined and is losing its authority and influence. It appears that the fall of Jordan to the more radical forces of Islam has already been written into the near future. That begs the question of what comes next.

The future will depend to a large extent on who will gain the upper hand in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. It will also depend on in which direction the Muslim Brotherhood and through them, Egypt, take in making alliances in the near future. Currently the main forces are the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Iran with their influences in Iraq and gaining influence in Afghanistan. The wildcards are Turkey and the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia. Turkey will eventually need to ally with either Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood and give up on their aspirations to return to their place as the leadership of the Caliphate as they were during Ottoman rule. The one thing that should be feared beyond all else would be a pragmatic alliance which joined together the forces of Shiite Iran and Sunni Muslim Brotherhood. This may become an alliance of convenience as both find themselves in competition with the Saudi Wahhabis for preeminence in the Muslim world. If Iran should manage to retain their grip over Syria and Lebanon along with their new found influence over Iraq, then if they add Jordan to their sphere the Muslim Brotherhood may have little choice but to join forces with the apparently rising Shiite Iran and put the Sunni Shiite differences aside. This would not be the first time this divide has been overrode in the interest of Islam and would lead to a force that would be difficult to contain should they also become nuclear armed. Should Iran become the obvious preeminent power of the Muslim world, then the countries of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) would be facing an unavoidable threat from said force. Bahrain and Oman would likely be the initial targets, especially the islands claimed by them and also by Iran in the Gulf, be it called Arabian or Persian which the winner will decide, and particularly those in the Straits of Hormuz. Once the smaller nations have been neutered and footholds be made by Iran one can expect that Iran would then begin to pressure Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The Iranians do not need to necessarily conquer all of Saudi Arabia to gain their desired goals; they only need take the predominantly Shiite northwest of Saudi Arabia which includes the vast oil fields. The Iran can simply wait for Saudi Arabia to fall as their financial goose that lays the golden oil eggs in Iranian hands. In time Iran would then gain the real gem held by Saudi Arabia, Mecca and Medina.

As for which result would be preferable for the Western nations of Europe, the United States and the rest, it is more of a pick your poison than a choice between a positive and a negative result. Neither Iran nor the Muslim Brotherhood is amiable to Western interests. Both see themselves as the eventual rulers of all of humanity and both are incompatible with the freedoms and liberties that the Judeo-Christian world has become accustomed to enjoying. This has already been made evident by the riots over what in the West is viewed as a guarantee under the ideals of free speech. As long as Islam insists on the validity of their notion that the world will be rendered under their rule and that this is inevitable and it is the responsibility of every Muslim to work toward this goal, there is likely to be conflict existing in numerous places where Islam and the rest of the world border each other. Fortunately, there are some within Islam who have begun what they see as a necessary reevaluation of the tenets of Islam which call for the use of force and rejection of all who are not Muslim. The struggle for the heart of Islam between those who desire an Islam which is able to coexist with the rest of the world and those who insist that Islam is the sole religion of truth and all else is a blaspheme is the struggle which should be encouraged in favor of the former over the latter. The struggle between Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood is a disagreement without a difference as far as those outside of Islam are concerned. That is the truth that the powers in the West need to learn and understand. It unfortunately seems thus far to be beyond the capacity or understanding in much of the Western world’s leadership.

Beyond the Cusp

September 4, 2012

Prophesies of Obama Doom Only Partly Correct

I have read numerous editorials which predict that it will take twenty, thirty, even forty years before the full ramification of the disastrous Obama foreign policy will be fully felt and realized. I actually hope these predictions are correct and I understand the reasoning behind these predictions. The driving logic most often cited is the time it took to fully understand the entirety of the monster created in Iran by President Carter which took some time to fully appreciate. These editorials point out that even should radical Muslim governments not come to the fore immediately as a result of the Arab Spring, they will eventually attain power, and likely come to power sooner rather than later. The one thing that I find problematic about these predictions is that they ignore the simple fact that the miscues made in the Middle East by President Obama have to be taken as accumulative to the grievous error made by President Carter. President Carter built the head of the serpent and now President Obama has placed a body behind the head and the snake is now coiled and ready to strike. What must also be minded is that this snake is not a striking viper spitting poison. This snake is a constrictor which slowly crushes and strangles its victim encircling them and slowly pressuring them more and more until they inevitably expire, then it consumes.

The coiled monster which is the Muslim world has struck out at the world in previous incarnations and each time has furthered its stranglehold on an ever larger piece of planet Earth and then is pushed back, but only a small amount compared to what it has gained. The next piece of planet Earth to be consumed by Islam is very likely to be the rest of North Africa possibly reaching into Central Africa and much of Europe with some of the old Soviet dominated countries possibly holding out against the coming push. The real question is who will stand this time to stem the tide of Islamic waves spreading its control over even more of the world. The first holders of the standards against the spread of Islam were the Crusaders who had very limited success but may have prevented the further spread of Islam. Another of the times of spreading Islam was turned back by Charles “the Hammer” Martel at the battle of Tours in southern France. Twice the spread of Islam was stopped at the gates of Vienna. This time it appears likely that neither Vienna nor Tours will stop the coming spread of Islam as the new tactic is simple immigrations and subversion by numbers, a much more difficult assault to stop especially if moral relativism has overruled the survival instincts of a society.

The early signs of the gathering for the next expansion are the calls for a return to the Caliphate. There is one burning question, who will be the lead in this new Caliphate? Iran has made the early claim assuming the role with the 1979 revolution and the imposition of the Mullahs and a religious Islamic ruled state. The next claim was made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as his Justice and Development (AK) Party has slowly transformed the military from the defenders of the secular nature of Turkey as designed by Kamal Ataturk when he wrote the Turkish Constitution into a reinforcing arm of his Islamist government which has slowly been moving Turkey away from the West and more in line with Islamist interests. With the advent of the Arab Winter and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to control all of Egypt, especially since President Mohamed Morsi has already managed to take complete control of the military by replacing any opposition and appointing commanders who were approved by the Muslim Brotherhood, he thus claimed the rights to the title of the new leader of the new Caliphate. No list of potential leaders of a new Caliphate would be complete without mention of the family Saud, the rulers of Saudi Arabia and likely some of the deepest pockets in all of Islam. With their oil wealth and the Wahhabi bought support, they too will likely make some claim to the leadership title of the Caliphate. One might hope for sufficient internal infighting preventing any alliance and ending the hopes of the Islamic world for a new Caliphate. Whatever the future will hold, I seriously doubt we will have the luxury of time before reaping the rewards of the follies that have passed as foreign policy of the Administration of President Obama.

Beyond the Cusp

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