Beyond the Cusp

July 11, 2017

What if the United States Does Not Respond?

 

The threats abound all around the globe. Let’s start here with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, along with more minor states such as the UAE, Bahrain and, in a pinch, Jordan are in serious dispute with Oman, thus with Iran and Turkey plus potentially Russia. Syria is a whirlpool of conflicts with more sides than one can reasonably figure with Bashir al-Assad as the so-called President of Syria being protected by Iran, who is also fighting a proxy war in Yemen in order to surround Saudi Arabia, and Hezballah with assistance of air power from Russia and funds from Qatar as one power; the Islamic State as a diminished but still dangerous threat; al-Nusra allied with other al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood terror fighters aim to defeat and replace al-Assad and rule Syria; the Kurds who are allied throughout Iraq as well as Syria and only wish to make a new nation of Kurdistan and wish to be left alone and have received aid from the United States in secret; Turkey who claim to be fighting the Islamic State but are actually fighting the Kurds as Erdogan has an ethnic hatred for the Kurds who are the new Armenians in the politic of Turkey who would ally with Iran if a general war were to break out in the Middle East. This defined the current mess in the Middle East (diagrammed below) without Israel who could easily be considered an enemy of every groups mentioned above with the possible exception of Russia who would remain neutral or aid the Arabs quietly.

 

Middle East Guide to Conflict and Syria c/o ElderOfZiyon.com

Middle East Guide to Conflict and Syria c/o ElderOfZiyon.com

 

There is another area of conflict much overlooked by the world and the media apparently refuses to comment except if an exceptional distress and disaster strikes the region, and that is a swath across Africa, which has been named the African Transition Zone. This area (pictured below) stretches from the Atlantic Ocean through Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, the two Sudans (Sudan and South Sudan), Ethiopia, and Somalia to the Indian Ocean. The zone strikes across Africa just south of the Sahara Desert reaching into the heart of the continent and delineates the borders between the Islamic world and the worlds of Christian and Animist Africa and all the rest of the non-Islamic peoples. This is a war of terrorism and slaughters trying to drive the non-Muslims from their homes and take the territories after which the war will continue southward until the entirety of the continent has been washed clean and made wholly the realm of Islam. The violence and murdering will not cease until one side has vanquished the other or Islam turns within itself and discovers a means by which it purges the Quran of verses such as those we posted yesterday and instead follow the verses of the Quran written in Mecca where coexistence and the goodness of humankind was the theme rather than the violence of the verses written in Medina which we explained in very simple means and little depth here. This is “a war between civilizations,” “between the civilization based on the Bible and between the civilization based on the Koran exactly as described by Professor Moshe Sharon. He was close as that is the main war as far as the Western World is concerned, but the reality is it is a war of one civilization, Islam, as they have declared war on the entire world, it is simply that the world is refusing to believe the truth, the fact of what they all face and they have a choice, face it together and prevail or fight it separately and they will each fall one nation at a time, one culture at a time and one civilization at a time until there is only one civilization; Islam. That is the reality which need be learned.

 

African Transition Zone

African Transition Zone

 

There is a war starting across Europe and reaching to the United States. As far as Western World and its culture are concerned, this war began with Israel, though the Western World is doing everything to deny this fact. Europe used to distrust everything Israelis said and ignored when the Israelis warned that there would come a time when Europe would face the same threat and it was really sad that it would take this for Europe to understand what Israel faced. The Israelis were wrong. The Europeans, particularly Western Europe, or Old Europe, are facing the initial stages of terrorism and the terror war (map below denotes terror attacks since 9/11) and they still doubt Israel claiming that Israel is insincere about peace and this is the cause of the problem. The Europeans are blinded by their continued anti-Semitism, which has begun to spread itself into everyday European life, and many Jews are beginning to realize that they have no home in Europe and that it is time to return to their true home, Israel. Yes, a fair number are choosing the United States and will find that home too will become less than comfortable over time. As terror increases, the rest of the peoples will initially blame the Jews making the claim that the entire conflict began because the Jews would not return the lands they purportedly stole from the Palestinian Arabs. This ignores the millennium and a half war which began as the Arab Muslims spread from the Arabian Peninsula to conquer the Middle East followed by Northern Africa (MENA) and have made three attempts before the present one to conquer Europe and are still attempting to conquer India, another conflict which could turn nuclear between India and Pakistan, so note this as another point of potential open and serious warfare. The Islamic warfare in Europe will continue politically and physically through terrorism and the courts with their claims of Islamophobia and hate crimes as their means of enforcing Sharia, the subjugations of the European societies. Additionally, there is also a Province, Xinjiang Province that has approximately fifty-percent Muslim of which virtually all are of the Uyghur ethnicity, which has its origins in Turkey.

 

Map of Terrorist Attacks in Europe Middle East and North Africa after 9/11

 

The final nation causing turmoil in the world is North Korea whose leader, Kim Jong-un, has continued testing and developing missiles and nuclear weaponry. The North Koreans have been working coordinating with the Iranians with each nation testing weapons technology for the other when it suits skirting sanctions. This has led to suspicions that Iran has tested some missile technologies in the past for North Korea while North Korea has likely tested nuclear weapons for Iran. Of course, each nation, Iran and North Korea, have conducted their most sensitive technologies themselves. The one item on each of these belligerent nations to-do list is the conquest of the world, or at least large swaths of area and both have an overriding hatred for the United States. This hatred could drive them to attack other nations so as to force the United States to act. In the case of Iran it might be a nuclear weapons attack on Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel or make an assault upon a smaller target such as Bahrain, UAE, or Oman which would cause Saudi Arabia to defend any of these nations as they are all members of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) which is an economic and mutual defense pact. North Korea has often made direct threats to destroy South Korea, Japan and/or the Philippines. These three have direct defense pacts with the United States. North Korea, when they say destroy, they mean they would use either overwhelming conventional weapons or nuclear weapons alone or in combination with conventional weapons in order to annihilate the entirety of the lands leaving the ruins relatively to completely uninhabitable. They do not mean conquest in the normal sense, they honestly mean to completely eradicate the cities and thus strip the remains of any and all wealth, which remains to continue the rule of the Kim family.

 

Should the violence erupt to the point that the world sits up and takes attention and every eye turns to Washington D.C. to watch for the coming action of the United States, one must wonder how the world would react if the Congress demanded that the President sit this war out or face impeachment and the President decided not to test the Congress and ordered the Pentagon to stand down. This is the big question, what if when World War III breaks out with everybody pointing their weapons at everybody else and only a select few nations are spared threats, direct or otherwise, and the United States is not under threat or targeted directly. This was the case at the beginning of World War I where the Austria-Hungarian Empire, Germany and the Ottoman Empire went to war against the Empire of France, British Empire, Russian Empire and Japan, yes, Japan. That pretty much was the entire world outside of parts of the Americas and much of Asia outside of the areas under control of Japan. The United States sat back watching as the continent of Europe drew lines in trenches across the Eastern and Western fronts and fought across the lands included in MENA controlled by the Ottoman Empire against the French and British colonial holdings. Even Arab tribes broke from their Ottoman Turkish overlords to fight with the British, as did the Jews of the British territories in the Middle East, all for promises from the British and the French. They were double-crossed as the British and French had already made arrangements reaching an understanding known as the Sykes-Picot Treaty, which divided up the entirety of the MENA lands, as well as redrawing the lands that were the Austria-Hungarian Empire. Also reached was the San Remo Agreement, which formalized the Balfour Declaration.

 

World War I, the Great War, began on July 28, 1914, and it was not until after the sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915, that the United States first considered entering the war as they finally declare war on Germany on April 6, 1917, and later on the Austria-Hungarian Empire on December 7, 1917. World War I ended on November 11, 1918. The United States entered World War one three years after it began and the war ended a little over a year and a half later and only about a year after they declared war against all the entities engaged in the war. World War II was not all that different as it began on September 1, 1939, and ended on September 2, 1945, while the United States only entered the war after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The odds were a little better this time around, as the United States entered the war two year and two months after the start and the war concluded just under four years later. One can only wonder whether the United States would have ever entered World War II at all or how much longer had it taken had they not been attacked, another year, two, three, when the Nazis and Japanese closed in on the Americas? That is the question, when would the United States enter the next World War? Even the wars with the Barbary Pirates was only entered by the United States after their shipping had been under attack and the price paid for protection was raised too high that war was the more affordable option. That was the first time the United States warred with Islam. There were two Barbary Wars. The third war the United States had with Islam was in 1911 in the Philippines fighting the Morro Tribes as a result of the Spanish American War; their descendants are the ones fighting the Philippine government today on Mindanao.

 

So, what does the world do if the United States decides not to react to an attack on one of their allies? The one thing we can believe is that should the Americans sit any such attack out that every enemy of the United States will feel free to attack whomever they please and the world will erupt into complete and total chaos with nobody looking over their shoulder for the United States to act. They will have shown a total lack of concern and that will be taken as a go signal by every aggressor worldwide. Eventually the Americans will enter, but how many will have died before that happens. These are unpleasant considerations which must be addressed by a world on the edge, a world threatening to fall beyond the cusp.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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June 22, 2017

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Al-Jazeera and the Gulf States

 

One of the places where that fabric of the world is stretched the tightest is along the Persian Gulf with the Straights of Hormuz being at the near breaking-point. The fabric was ratcheted even tighter right before United States President Trump’s recent visit when Qatar backed out of the deal made which made the Trump visit possible. Following right behind Qatar were both Oman and Bahrain, who also backed out of the deal, leaving Saudi Arabia in a predicament which has its problems and its rewards. The problem is now Saudi Arabia must foot the entire approximately four-hundred-billion dollar deal over three years. The good side is Saudi Arabia will be arming themselves to parity if not exceeding the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The next problem is that Saudi Arabian Military is great at marching and wearing fancy dress and intimidating mostly unarmed protesters and putting down any aspirations for the Arab Spring within Saudi Arabia, which took almost five minutes after the Friday launch date when protesters were outnumbered by Saudi Troops in the streets. Then there was the Shiite Arab Spring uprising in Bahrain which was appearing as if they might overthrow their Sunni rulers until, you guessed it, Saudi Arabian armored columns used all six lanes of the connecting causeway sending troops to end the uprising (pictured below). The Arab Spring ended in Bahrain with just the show of force and not one person was killed. Overwhelming force has its place and advantages. So, the Saudis will be the eight-hundred-pound-gorilla with sufficient armaments for two such gorillas. In case these arms are required to defend Saudi Arabia, which includes Mecca and Medina being in Sunni hands, the excess armaments owned by the Saudis will be distributed to well-trained Egyptian troops. Believe it that if the Saudis are in danger from outside forces that Egypt will provide manpower and, if necessary, Pakistan is in agreement to provide the technology to produce along with, some claim, as many as a dozen nuclear weapons. Now we have the chess table set with only a few other necessities which will be revealed as we follow a possible story-line, a scarily possible story line.

 

King Fahd Causeway is the bridge between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

King Fahd Causeway is the bridge
between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

 

Currently, Saudi Arabia is less than thrilled with Qatar for their pulling from the deal. There are some who believe they did this as a means of financially testing or even injuring the Saudi Arabian Royal Family who are not as affluent with money overflowing coffers as many in the West believe. Of course, it goes without saying, that Iran was behind this idea for their friend and sometimes, more often than not, ally, Qatar. There are many, ourselves included, who believe that Iran not only asked forcefully that Qatar pull out right before President Trump arrived such that the Saudis would have no recourse but to take up any needs. Then it is thought that Bahrain and Oman were also requested under threat by Iran to also pull from the deal. This has set up a very tense situation in the area around Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and the length of the Persian Gulf with the Straits of Hormuz the shortest distance between the two rivals (see map below). Qatar is using their control over their news service, Al-Jazeera, which combines television, radio, cable, internet and print media. Much of their electronic media is transmitted via satellite making it next to impossible to block. Qatar has been using their visual media to almost constantly show the visit of President Trump and particularly his visiting sacred and sensitive Islamic areas with women not wearing hair cover or burkas. The women were modestly dressed but not to the strict demands of Islam. These pictures are being accompanied with charges that the Saudi Royal Family are not real Muslims and they have disgraced Islam with their reception of President Trump without forcing the women to be properly covered. These accusations and the near constant flow of the pictures are on order from Iran attempting to insult the Saudi Royals before the Islamic world. The divisions as they currently appear to be are as depicted below.

 

Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Gulf States and the Length of the Persian Gulf with the Straits of Hormuz

Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Gulf States and the
Length of the Persian Gulf with the Straits of Hormuz

 

The problem, and even possibly the intent, is the media assault on the Saudi Arabian rulers by Qatar can only end one of two ways. The first is that Iran orders an end to the constant attempts of insulting and defaming the Saudi Arabian Royal Family and Qatar along with Al-Jazeera move on returning to often broadcasting Iranian attacks on the United States and Israel with occasional mention of Saudi Arabia or Egypt, i.e. regular broadcasting. The other is the attacks on the Saudi Royals leads to their demand they stop or they will be considered as a declaration of war on Saudi Arabia and her allies. The stress of her allies is important. This could result in the Saudis sending troops into Qatar to close down Al-Jazeera and that could result in a reaction from Iran at the request of the rulers of Qatar. This has been the Qatari Ace in the Hole by which they are able to continue to attack their larger neighbor, Saudi Arabia, through their manipulation of their control of the media in the Arab world using Al-Jazeera. This has been their means of bludgeoning the Saudi leadership and governance in service of their Iranian sponsors. The problem is should there begin to be unrest and calls for the end of the rule of the Saudi Arabian Royal Family and things start to become close to a point where the Wahhabi clerics might believe they could take control directly through a popular revolt, the Saudi Royals would act before that point could come to be. This would force their hand and an assault on Qatar, and on the Al-Jazeera headquarters in particular, might become the most viable option.

 

Should things reach the point that Saudi Arabia uses their military superiority to squelch the media assault originating from within Qatar, this might be the flashpoint leading to a far larger military confrontation. Such an attack could result in an Iranian response attacking Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates and counter the Saudi Arabian assault in Qatar. This might not even be the worst result. Should Saudi Arabia respond to such an attack with strikes inside Iran, the response could become a general attack by Iran across the Middle East on the heart of Sunni Islam striking towards Mecca and Medina from both Yemen and western Iraq using Houthis as their shock troops out of Yemen while they strike across Oman to Yemen and possibly land amphibious troops in Yemen for a pincher movement striking Oman from both ends and using Hezballah as their shock troops striking down out of Iraq getting a running start from Syria southward. There might be one feel-good side-effect; the Iranians may find it easier to simply eradicate Islamic State in the process. Jordan may or may not be amongst the targets of an Iranian first strike against Saudi Arabia, but they will be a target if for no other reason as they would allow Iran to surround Israel and Jordan has tens of thousands of Palestinian Arabs who might just join Iran if they were given the right promises. This would be the definitive war between Sunni and Shiite Islam with the winner taking all of Islam or at least a huge step towards that goal if Iran wins and the end of Shia Islam if Saudi Arabia proved triumphant.

 

The truth be told, if Iran were to defeat Saudi Arabia, their number one rival and quite possibly the top of the Iranian bucket list ahead of the United States and even Israel, they would control the two most important cities in all Islam, Mecca and Medina, and gain a treasure trove of weaponry. With the good relations that Iran has with the Sudan and the natural enmity between the Sudan and Egypt, almost a sibling rivalry between the two former British colonies and still Arab colonies, truth be told, Iran would have a natural front with Egypt, the sole power between Iran and total domination of all Islam. This would place Iran a stone’s throw from establishing the Shia dream for the past thirteen-hundred plus years, the defeat of the accursed Sunnis who murdered their leaders and actual descendants of Mohammad and true leaders of Islam, or at least that is their story. Of course, the Sunni will tell a different story about renegade Muslims who are merely apostates.

 

This is one of those pressure points upon which the world may turn upside down, or right-side up, depending upon how you view the world’s current state. Where this is but one of the far too many breaking-points where the stretched fabric of the world is measurably thinner than average and which makes it a point where even the smallest disruption could punch a hole in the fabric from which a tear would soon start if the violence spread leading to a series of events insuring an ever larger ring of violence. Leading to World War I there was an assassination which led to a state of war that even before it was declared began tearing the world apart. Each side began calling in their promises of mutual support and before you knew it, most of the world was engaged in a struggle which after the lines settled simply stagnated with intermittent slaughters when one side or the other sent their troops into no-man’s-land rushing from their trenches attempting to reach the other side’s trenches. Both sides had this little invention, though under separate contracts and differing names, known as the Maxim machinegun (see image below). Maxim became wealthy and by the time the war ended and all the treaties were signed and borders established with the movement of populations, the resultant death toll exceeded fifteen-million.

 

Maxim Machinegun Trenches and No Man’s Land

Maxim Machinegun
Trenches and No Man’s Land

 

Making matters worse, the impositions, including and specifically monetary, placed on Germany were all but directly responsible for World War II and another approximately eighty-million deaths. All told, an assassination of an Archduke and his wife led to close to one-hundred-million deaths and the toll is still being counted as the Sykes-Picot Treaty is responsible for much of the trouble and dissolution of the Arab world, where things are sensitive and reaching a critical mass. Even if the current crises are calmed, the entire situation will simply rise to another similar point of overt pressure in the future unless a permanent solution which recognizes the individual tribes and allegiances. Even then, who knows, and who can even believe they can know. Until humankind learns to live one with the others despite their differences and when the concept of world conquest is forever laid to rest, we will simply live from one crisis to the next until one ultimate crisis ends the existence of humanity leaving so few humans that all knowledge is lost within two or three generations and humanity has to begin again from square one. Who knows how many times we have come to this precipice and fallen, once, twice, one hundred, how many? There has been evidence found of a former cataclysm and there are the ancient Indian texts telling of weapons with unprecedented destructive powers. The world once again has such power, the power to end all civilized life on the planet and cause an unprecedented extinction event exceeded only once or twice in all of Earth’s history. In the famous T. S. Eliot poem, “The Hollow Men” ends with the following two lines, “This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but with a whimper.” He was close as the last sound will be a whimper but all but immediately before that there will be a series of Earth-shattering bangs of near unprecedented destruction in all of human history combined as all the secondary nuclear powers release their destruction on all who are not fit to live by their definitions, which will be against the others and each other ending all, then the few who survive for a short period will finish with the whimper.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 17, 2017

Some Cataclysm This Way Comes

 

The feelings always come before the dark clouds and the increasing wind where the storm is filled with steel rain and exploding hail. How far in advance we can never say, but the storm is a brewing. The question is, are you sensitive or equipped emotionally and spiritually to recognize the problem. To figure this out, there are other items about ourselves we need to understand, and the question is how we can reach this understanding. Is there such a thing as evil? Can a person be evil? Can a group of people be evil as in a tribe or club or gathering? Can a society be evil? Can a religious group be evil? Can the entire world be turning towards evil? You have probably noticed that the recognition of what makes something evil is required to see coming disasters, and that is basic. Evil is fairly recognizable when witnessing an act or judging one from the past, especially when the evil is overt. Jeffrey Dahmer opening his freezer and pulling out dinner reveals obvious evil. But Hitler offering the German people jobs, the right to be proud of the Fatherland, rebuild their military as in Europe a military meant safety, return them to having the basic rights of pleasure every human being deserved, freedom from false civil moralities, freedom from the conscience (that annoying little voice in your head that tells you not to do something you really want to do), to free them from the Judeo-Christian ethic and to return everyone to the age of the barbarians when Germany defeated Rome and its false Christian idea was less detectable as evil. Evil brought into a society slowly and using words and phrases which everybody knows and each time corrupting their original meaning just slightly can bring an entire people, an entire country, an entire continent or even a significant and possible majority of a religion to do and practice horrific evils all because they couched everything in pretty frames and used the words from their holy books in selective order choosing those phrases which supported their ultimate goal. And if your nation, religion, sect or any other civil group has written somewhere in their liturgy the need to spread the culture, religion, dominion or whatever defines the intended audience to the entire world, that can be stated as conquer the world and make all like ourselves or they must die if they refuse as your central tenet which is another evil.

 

To put it as an analogy for the lighting of several billion tons of high explosives, the fuse has been lit and we know not its length nor do we know if it is cannon fuse or fast fuse. The fuse could be five-hundred miles long and be the slowest cannon fuse burning about a foot per day or it could be three-feet of fast fuse which once lit we would not get to turn, let alone run. The coming conflagration could start between the writing and the posting or it could wait a decade before boiling over and igniting, or even longer. That is the ways of such things. Still, looking around the globe and the problem is not seeing the growing chaos but picking where the world is unravelling the fastest. Figure that out, then you might believe you have found the flashpoint, not true. The world is tricky with such things. Often the trigger comes from the most unexpected places and other times it becomes so obvious to all only in hindsight. Take the two world wars, the first the trigger is obvious but only after the event while the other built upon pressures put in place to prevent such but instead guaranteed another war. On the other hand anyone studying the world and conflict would have been concentrating on the splits occurring in Islam and been blindsided by the Mongols. Then, looking back you can only shake one’s head and wonder, what was the Caliph thinking when he sent back the severed heads of the emissaries sent by Genghis Khan attempting to set up trade relations. Well yes, we know he believed he had the strongest forces in the known world, which was the problem; they knew nothing about the Mongols and underestimated their strength. It would have been wonderful to see the look on his face as the Mongols road in from over the horizon. Their reaction must have been similar to the Germans on the defenses at Normandy when the fog lifted and they saw the invasion fleet (see picture below). This was amongst the largest of any invasion fleet in human history in numbers of men, ships and definitely in tonnage of equipment, manpower and supplies.

 

Small Part of Allied Invasion Fleet off Normandy Beach on D-Day

Small Part of Allied Invasion Fleet off Normandy Beach on D-Day

 

Looking around our world today and the obvious flash points are the crumbling order of the Middle East and North Africa and the expansions of China; yet a closer inspection also brings in Iran and North Korea. Still, the bet is that whatever is coming will come from elsewhere with one safe bet being out from Europe yet again. But Asia has its history of conflicts with China central in most of them either as conqueror or as victim. One of the longest but least studied in Western schools are the many wars between China and India. Then there are the conflicts which included Japan, the Koreans (they were not always split), Vietnamese, Siam, Philippines, and the Mongols. China was the ten-ton nation in the center and thus a major part of any conflict. Interestingly, within the next decade it is predicted that China will have to surrender its title as most populous nation to India. India has played a part in much of Western history despite it barely getting notice in modern classrooms. India with their sheer numbers formed the eastern wall denying the Persians expansion forcing their thrusts westward where they made their most fateful enemies, the Greeks. After Alexander had handed the Persians their revenge from the Greeks and then struck the same wall, the Indian army and sheer numbers. Perhaps India might be credited with dividing the world between Asia and Europe with the Middle East the fields where the wars would be fought because attacking India was suicide. The Middle East was once the starting and ending place of uncountable wars but two most devastating wars such that they are remembered as World Wars I & II. These were the final two wars between the powers of Europe where, in some combination or another, France, Spain and Britain fought for centuries. The warring between these three nations spread world wide as they conquered the New World and much of Asia becoming empires. It was once boasted that the sun never set on the British Empire. The British had India as a colony and shared the oppression of China during the Opium Wars. The Opium Wars were two wars in the mid-19th century involving Anglo-Chinese disputes over British trade in China and China’s sovereignty. Then there are the largely unstudied wars between the Native American tribes as well as the tribes of Central and Southern America. Where will the next great conflagration originate is anybody’s guess? We need to remember that World War I was started in what has to be one of the most convoluted series of events. Yes, there was an assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Duchess of Hohenberg Sophie, who were assassinated in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian patriot fighting for Bosnian independence. He sat waiting in a position which was not supposed to be traveled by the Archduke as the main ambush was set on the planned route but this young and overly excited youth demanded a part and those planning it placed him in this out of the way spot to end his constant demands to be included, or so the rumors put it. Archduke Ferdinand and wife Sophie ended up on the alternate route as their driver, unfamiliar with the winding roads, had taken a wrong turn and was attempting to find a turn to return to the desired route which likely led the driver to drive at a slower speed than usual which probably made the shooting easier than had they been at speed. From this intricate entanglement of events came World War I.

 

This accidental conclusion of missteps brought two people into the path, though unintended, fatefully resulting in the shot that started one of the most devastating wars in human history. This was the first mechanized war where the machine gun ruled the early battlefield only to be outdone by the first land dreadnaughts, the early tanks. These tanks were undependable but would usually function just long enough to reach the opposing trenches free from the slaughtering horizontal hail of machine gun bullets. The machine gun made the war stagnate until the German and Austro-Hungarian troops introduced poison gas into the conflict. The Allied powers of Britain, France, Italy, Russia and Japan responded with the same and these toxins proved a double-sided sword as a change in the winds could turn your side’s gas attack right back onto your own troops. Both sides responded with gasmasks making the gas attacks mostly irritants and mildly dangerous as troops learned how to survive these attacks. The tank was the final weapon changing the battlefield and its introduction brought the war closer to its end. The final shot to the heart was the entrance of the United States whose troops proved to make the difference in the end. The treaties ending World War I gave birth to the Arab states, and a Christian nation, Lebanon, and a Jewish nation, Israel. The Christian nation is in conflict with a series of civil conflicts which has caused much of the Christian population to flee. Christians were over 60% of the Lebanese population in 1970 and that percentage fell to under 35% by 2010. The Jewish nation is unfortunately also in conflict but with a different outcome (see timeline below). The History is a bit longer and more twisted with two exiles, one the Babylonian Exile of seventy years followed by a return to the land but ruled from outside as a tax paying province of successive empires followed by the seriously long exile of approaching two-thousand years caused by the Roman Empire destroying the lands, spreading the Jews throughout their kingdom and some even ejected to the foreign states beyond, renamed the region to erase the name of the Jews, something the Palestinian Arabs are attempting to do today, all in an attempt to erase the Jews as a people from the world. There are historians who claim the Roman Empire had done this to a number of other peoples but there is a problem, the Romans succeeded in erasing those tribes and peoples from the world and their names are forgotten with the exception of the Carthaginians whose names is remembered but who as a people have disappeared (they were originally called the Phoenicians it is believed but they were forced to move after wars with the Israelites under King David). Somehow, the Jew managed to retain their oneness and their identity and have started to return for hopefully the final time never again to be uprooted. The series of treaties ending World War I shattered two empires, the Ottoman Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire. From the Austro-Hungarian Empire we have the Balkan States as well as Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia and, of course, Austria and Hungary (see map below). Germany lost much of their eastern and western lands to Poland and France respectively. Losing a war has consequences but Germany was so financially crippled that the Weiner Republic was unable to maintain or even establish a functional economic core which led to the rise of a disgruntled population, especially the so-called underclass who were the largest segment of the unemployed. This led to the rise of a leader who promised to tear up the treaty, build a renewed and strong Germany and end the domination of the French and the British and repel the Communists from taking over Germany, as the Soviet Union replaced Russia as one of the most detested and suspicious of countries by whom Germany felt threatened.

 

Jewish Historic Timeline

 

Austro-Hungarian Empire Break-up into Independent Nations

Austro-Hungarian Empire Break-up into Independent Nations

 

Now, let us return, if you will pardon the witticism, back to the future. From our little jaunt through some diverse history and statistics, we hopefully learned that wars have been the norm over the entirety of the planet and human history. It started way back when one tribe saw some women, cattle, stored grains and good land which only had one small problem; they belonged to this other tribe. The one tribe decided to alleviate the other tribe of their land, women, crops, cattle and other belongings so they killed all the males over the age of around nine or ten and any women who proved too resistive and all of the tribe’s people too old to be of any productive service which would make up for the food and other provisioning they would require. This has progressed such that the wars we wage in modern times are not claimed to be to take the other tribes’ women, but that may not mean that is not part of the equation which we purposely refuse to mention. The one other thing we have learned from history is that as war has progressed they have become more and more efficient killing machines. War deaths had been constantly increasing in lethality until World War II and the newest ultimate weapon (see below graph). The weapon was the atomic bomb which convinced the Emperor of Japan to end the war rather than see his nation destroyed. Despite the deaths and effect over time by their use, it is estimated that by ending the war without the need to invade the Japanese homeland saved as much as one-million American and Allied lives and potentially far more Japanese lives including potentially hundreds of millions of civilian lives as the Emperor had demanded that Japan fight to the last person, initially believing the allies would rather surrender to his demands than take such losses. The other thusfar lasting effect over time of the destructive power and lethality of nuclear weapons has been a decline in war related deaths. The one problem is that there exists no weapon, no matter how lethal, which once invented did not become used generally in war other than poison gas and nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are witnessing the dawn of a resurgent power which did not suffer or be included in the war where poisonous gasses and nerve agents were utilized nor the one where nuclear weapons were used and thus are not intimidated or bothered by their effects nor the suffering which they cause. This could lead to these weapons both becoming weapons of choice in a war in the future. Imagine a war where cities are leveled with thermonuclear weapons and the battlefield is reeking of dead animals and people, mostly civilians trapped without the necessary protection while soldiers move about in hooded coverings, gloves, boot-covers and gas masks seeming to skulk and lumber from position to position with sporadic gunfire dulled by the deadly heavy gaseous smoke permeating the battlefield lying thickest in the gullies and trenches. This could be a coming future were these weapons to become used commonly across a wide battlefield covering every continent. That is how civilizations die.

 

Estimated War Deaths per Year 1916-2006

 

This is not what is feared to be on the near horizon. Still, the signs and tensions in the world keep climbing with hardly ever any sign of relief. Things can only be stretched so far before they break. We can only hope that the leaders of our world continue to inspect their areas and assure that nothing reaches a breaking-point. Leaders must keep the peace but that can become difficult to the point of impossible. Would that all leaders of the world desired peace more than expansion and seeking some intractable, uncompromising goal then the problems could be resolved peaceably and through negotiations and not through violence. Problems arise when some have visions of greatness and a world which by right belongs to them and only them. Such visions and beliefs allow for no compromise. The unfortunate reality is that not every civilization, not every group in the world has forgotten their goals of world conquest. The developed world once believed in world conquest which drove their colonialization, a period which was surrendered decades back and all the colonies returned to local rule. There are those in this world who still believe in conquest and expansion and that can only increase tensions very possibly to the breaking-point. The recent elections in Europe we saw resurgence of nationalism and saw the far left demand that they be granted control of all media so they could prevent any further strengthening of the nationalist camps. Such distrust could result in even more strife in an already stressed environment. It does not matter where violence starts, it only matters where it leads and how it ends. Avoiding violence is preferable whenever possible. There are points for every society beyond which there will be no retreat and those are dangerous places. There are already those in places around the world who are starting to feel pressured and pressed already. There are others who care little who they press and one has even taken to making new land on which to place military sites. In a time when we should be talking and treading lightly, we have some who are charging forward ignoring those they may be threatening. We need to find compromises but in order for this to occur there needs to be reasoning and compromise, not threats and demands. The world is too full of threats and demands and far too short on talk and compromise. Where it leads right now appears frightening with little promise and that can be intimidating. Intimidation causes mistakes and mistakes leads to worse. I wish we were more perfect a creature, but we still act more like beasts than intelligent beings that are presumably civilized. These things frighten many of us and unfortunately do not frighten enough of us to make those who would utilize violence change. That is the unfortunate truth and that means that violence is inevitable. That will not end well with the knowledge and abilities human kind has for destruction, even against his own kind. But then, those who would use violence as their means of solving differences because they believe it is their right to claim superiority over all, that leaves everyone under threat as weapons have gone well beyond limited usage. Let us hope everyone knows that war no longer produces winners, it can only send us all back to the stone age, if we survive, if we survive.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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