Beyond the Cusp

May 19, 2019

Will World War III be Unavoidable?

 

The easiest answer is, of course it is unavoidable, it is simply a matter of time. Well, perhaps we should rephrase the question to read, will World War III be unavoidable in the near future? Social scientists actually differ widely on this question from those claiming it might come by year’s end while others have claimed that the human species has grown beyond such levels of conflagration. Then there are many falling between these two extremes. We fall within the group who fear that there will be at least one more conflagration which will rank as being another World War. It is even possible that Professor Einstein got the answer wrong when he reputedly stated, “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” World War III may not result in a full-blown nuclear exchange and sufficient amounts of the world will survive with their institutions remaining intact. Eventually, if the human race continues to have philosophies, cultures, religious beliefs, political theories and alliances, then the possibility of a world conflagration destroying all of human societies will continue to exist. Perhaps, what we need to understand is why is it that the world has already experienced two World Wars on Earth and why the probability of at least one more such conflagrations is still in our future. The reason behind the last two World Wars and any number of similar conflagrations throughout human history regardless of locations boils down to one simple theory which has appeared to be nearly universally, the belief that their concepts which are the base defining principles underlying their societies are superior and require universal application. What these wars all had in common was the desire to spread their civilization across all of the world in order to bring their perfection to those less advanced or sophisticated as their civilization. World conquest has driven some of the most destructive wars and still there are those who claim to have the secrets to the world which they feel must be spread until they become the rulers of the planet. This is the disease which infects those who believe theirs is the only truth which all the people of the planet must adopt as their guiding principles in place of any and all others. In reality, it is unfortunate, but there are as many people, if not more, who have such driving ideas as there are different ideas upon which to base civilization. So, our question boils down to which belief system will be the driving force behind the coming World War III.

 

All forms of governance, be they rooted under religious philosophy or political philosophy, hold a belief that they should be the universal model. The difference comes down to whether their system requires all to be under a single hierarchal system or they can be independently ruled coexisting with one another peaceably sharing similar basic core beliefs. One can tie all of these entities together by simply considering them all under their philosophical underpinnings. Throughout history there has been one consistency shared by all those entities which began world conquest which led to what would be considered a world-wide war of their period, this was the concept that their system of beliefs were the most advanced and admirable and their leaders divinely chosen and thus intended to rule all of their world. These beliefs originally were almost always religious where their gods and godly systems were the pinnacle of human endeavors. Eventually these driving philosophies also became purely political without the necessity of gods to ratify their beliefs, these beliefs were simply inherently superior. Some have reached points where their claims are so humanly oriented that they claim that there are no gods thus this belief adds to their belief that their political system is superior to any other system which is so primitive as to believe in a deity of any sort. Others claim to have the approval of the only real set of deities, the final rules which present that your religious beliefs replace all previous teachings as it is the most advanced to valid because it came later after the deity or deities decided to provide a corrected version of prophecy. Some even have two separate set of prophesies which can even contradict each other such that those who interpret the religion could potentially decide to completely alter the faith and that which is presumed to be the more important beliefs. Such interpretations can even alter the interaction of such a group from adversarial to accommodating. The basis which will often determine whether a group will be likely to initiate the conditions which lead to a broader conflagration is their ability to accept those who disagree with their own operating philosophy. Those collections of people sharing a similar overriding ruling philosophy who feel threatened by another separate overriding ruling philosophy, then the possibility for conflict between the two greatly increase. That is an unfair way to understand the differences between overriding ruling philosophies. What one need do is to measure the potential for violence by any overriding ruling philosophy without any threat from the outside. The more stable any overriding ruling philosophy within their own borders showing no desire to force their system or rulers upon any other group replacing their overriding ruling philosophy, the less likely such a group is of initiating a war without provocations.

 

World War III

World War III

 

This understanding can be used to decide how safe our world is and what are the leading opportunities to start the dreaded World War III. There have been numerous reports which claim that China has been arming to attempt to spread their form of Communism to the whole of the world. Their military build-up has been designed to counter the military abilities of the United States assuming that if they were able to defeat the United States in a quick war, an overwhelming attack, then the rest of the world would simply surrender. There are some who claim that the Chinese are and have been working with the Russians both as the Soviet Union and now as Russia, in their mutual desire to spread Communism. This has been the fear for initiating World War III over most of the past since World War II. Now there are those who claim that Iran might also be working toward initiating World War III and the current threat for hostilities between Iran and the United States or Israel if not both. Were we to take a quick trip back to the middle of last century, the main source for World War II was the United States and Russia with China and Iran not even on the horizon. As time moved closer to the present there was the increasing probability that China would be the threat. Along the way we were sold that Saddam Hussein was a potential threat for developing nuclear weapons and using them, that proved to be less accurate than was peddled. There is one means of minimizing the possibility for World War III, that would be to raise the level of the quality of life to meet the expectations which exist as they exist in each nation. This solution is not all that simple as different peoples under differing systems of governance, religious beliefs and the numerous of other influences upon each society would prove to make a disparate set of demands and desires which would lead to making the people content with their lives. The truth is decent healthcare, sufficient food, decent shelter and numerous personal needs which are universal would make a great start. This would be sufficient challenge that if the nations would work towards the ends of the betterment of humankind the world over, there would be little time or resources left for the making of war. If only the world would actually come together to provide for all humanity.

 

Well, enough for dreaming and back to reality. Where we may not know who will initiate World War III and may not even be assured as to what will be the full range of weapons which will be thrown between the adversaries, there are some things we can derive from history. One very disturbing truth is that there have been numerous weapons developed whose use was predicted would bring an end to warfare making it too costly for nations to engage. These were most often the weapons which were used by the very people who feared their destructive power in their next war. Greek fire was one of the oldest, the Maxim Machinegun was another and the latest are nuclear weapons. So, if we are to assume the teachings of human history, we can be assured, though we probably would rather not be so assured, that at some point in the not too distant future, nuclear weapons will be the initial weapon of choice, be they be used to generate a devastating EMP, used as a neutron bomb to leave the structures intact and remove the people and other living bodies, or simply used in their most devastating and destructive forms. None of these are very promising, but human nature is a hard teacher and it teaches that our leaders will opt to use the most definitive advantage possible. What this implies is that even if World War III does not resort to the use of nuclear weapons, there will be a war where they are the weapon of choice unless something even more destructive becomes available. The other reality is that humankind has never shied away from conflicts pitting belief against belief with both sides blaming the other for initiating the conflict. As history also teaches, the victor will decide which side was the evil side and decide that they, as the winners, must be the superior philosophy et al. Will we ever learn? Maybe, but we had best hurry and progress, all of us, before it is too late.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 17, 2019

Iran Pushing the Envelope

 

Iranian forces, including their fast-ships, have been striking and sabotaging oil tankers as they pass through the Strait of Hormuz. Thus far, they have yet to damage a ship such that it leaked oil, was disabled or sank. These attacks have technically broken past the level that President Trump stated could merit a response from the American forces in the region. That leads one to wonder if, when and what it will take to rise to the level where President Trump cannot any longer ignore these provocations. This leads to an entire series of further questions as to whether Iran will settle for renegotiating with the United States or push until they force a confrontation. The question which is most important remains whether or not inevitably there will be any actual meeting of the two forces, Iran and the United States. Guess we could say that is the billion-dollar question.

 

We can assume that President Trump would prefer to force negotiations which does not mean that he will ignore almost any level of provocation. That leads to what exactly are the intentions of the Iranian leadership, which boils down to is the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei set upon pressing matters beyond the breaking point. That is where this entire scenario becomes a nightmare. Ali Khamenei appears to be set on pushing this into a military conflagration between Iran and the United States and top that off by having Hezballah and likely Islamic Jihad and Hamas attacking Israel with a heavy missile and rocket bombardments just as their Supreme Leader, the heads of the IRGC and a number of other officials have promised will be part of any conflict in the Middle East. You may ask, why would Iran engage both the United States and Israel as doing so would only endanger Iran even more. What the Iranians believe is that by promising to target Israel, this would make it more difficult for the United States to actually engage Iran. This is unfortunate as threatening Israel will have little if any influence upon any decisions which President Trump will be forced to make should Iran continue escalating their strikes on shipping. Iran might even go farther and attack ground targets in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia or any of the other Gulf States. That would force a confrontation as such a threat to oil shipments and production would cause havoc with oil prices which would be another means for forcing the confrontation with the United States. The bad news is that things do appear as if the Iranians, specifically the IRGC, will not end their escalations until they force an American response. That could then lead to an ever-widening Middle East war.

 

Dr. Mordechai Kedar, one of the foremost Middle East experts, predicts with his article, “The Third Gulf War has already begun,” that the only item still undecided is the date when the unavoidable war will begin and how fast and far will it expand to the rest of the Middle East. We here in Israel have been trying to ignore the slowly heating of the Persian Gulf and instead watching the Eurovision being held currently in Tel Aviv. There is nothing like an entertaining distraction right when one is so badly needed. We, unfortunately, have little interest in the singing contest and far more interest in what our immediate future holds. One thing which cannot be said is that life is boring here in Israel. We just had ten-thousand screaming mad fire-, stone- and explosive-throwing rioters protesting Nakba Day along the Gaza border this past week. This was taken for what it actually is, just the next installment of the Arab attempts to make our lives unbearable. The vast majority of Israelis are made out of sterner stuff than folding before such threats. This is even more valid an argument when things could always be so much worse and the threats so much more frightening. Even then, the Israeli response is to simply respond as the situations require. Any attacks which are tractable to Iran, then Israel has promised that Iran would feel some part of the response. The truth is we would really prefer to live in peace allowing us to pursue making discoveries, treatments, inventions and other advancements which would advance and improve the lives of people around the world in the process.

 

Should Dr. Kedar prove correct, once the conflagration between Iran and the United States initiates, then we would hope that the Iranian threat to involve Israel was bluster and not an actual threat which they will follow through upon. If Hezballah were to initiate aggressions against Israel, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has promised a response which will bring the ability of Hezballah and Lebanon to conduct any further aggressions to a halt as rapidly as Israel is able. Fortunately, Prime Minister Netanyahu did not promise “shock and awe” type of attack as was the threat which was made by President George W. Bush against Iraq and Saddam Hussein. The initial attack proved to appear less shock and awe because the attacks were specific and struck only those targets desired thus limiting the collateral damage, additional suffering, and a less impressive display than what many expected. Simply put, it was a far cry that the bombings conducted during World War II in which cities were laid to waste. The most well known of such attacks was the firebombing of Dresden (see image below). That was the original shock and awe. Hopefully the world will never again know destruction such as Dresden as well as Tokyo and, of course, Hiroshima and Nagasaki of World War II. These are exactly the threats which Iran has threatened to unleash. We should all hope that, to use an old western America phrase, Iran is all hat and no cattle. The unfortunate reality is the Iranians may be dead set on causing a stampede unleashing as much cattle as they can lay their hands upon. May any actual exchange be short and cause the minimal number of casualties and end almost before it starts.

 

Image of Dresden Firestorm Consuming the City

Image of Dresden Firestorm Consuming the City

 

The best would be no conflict and a peaceful resolution. But we have two blustering leaders who both are very unlikely to be bluffed or pressured into backing down. On the Iranian side, their leadership from the Supreme Leader, President, IRGC commanders and others are all threatening maximum levels of force even to threatening to destroy the American fleet with a single missile. This has been interpreted as likely a threat to use an EMP device though a nuclear tipped missile would also fit the bill and should not be put beyond the Iranian intent. They have promised similar total devastating attack upon Israel which would instigate a similar response against all attacking forces as well as likely an attack on Iran. So, if the question is are the Iranian leaders suicidal? They have responded to this question already stating that they would consider the complete and total destruction of Iran a reasonable price to pay if that is what was necessary for the destruction of Israel and the United States. All we can assume is that this is probably the most dangerous threat the world has faced in years. The near future promises, as things currently stand, to be filled with threats which could lead to a war spreading beyond the initial borders, even beyond Israel. The Iranians are counting on Russia coming to their aid. Russian President Putin probably is not feeling as attached and ready to aid Iran as the Iranians believe which could prevent any conflict from spreading outside the Middle East, as if that is not horrible enough. Things could not stand to be much worse than they now sit, may the threats pass without incident.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 13, 2019

Threats of Another Great War

 

History, one would think, has taught humankind numerous lessons amongst which is never underestimate nor ignore the threats from tyrants, particularly tyrants who have been building arsenals and beefed-up militaries. One such modern-day tyrant is the Iranian Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei. He has made a few threats this past decade which should have received far more attention than they have. He has threatened Israel with annihilation, stated that he can and probably will destroy the United States, will attack Israel should the United States do anything to harm Iran, claimed that he was the chosen of Allah to cure the world of the cancer that is Israel and any number of other equally absurd claims of destruction should he be displeased by this, that or the other. We realize that the above are not direct quotes and really are not going to be bothered to find his direct words and are going to settle for the amalgam of quotes by him and any number of underlings who do not speak unless approved by the Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah. We guess we should be glad that, to the best of our recollection, not claimed to be the Defender of the Faithful. Much of the bluster coming from Iran would make for a perfect spoofing movie of a tinpot dictator of some insignificant place which never has, does or ever will perform great deeds yet he speaks demanding to be treated as if he actually could rule the world. The problem is Iran is not a small nation, has a pair of sizable militaries, one the Iranian Army and the other the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which has an offshoot called the Niruyeh Moghavemat Basij, often simply called the Basij Militia. This last group, the Basij, are mostly a home-front fighting unit used to keep order, threaten any groups or persons considered potential threats to the Supreme Leader or the government and have been deployed to put down demonstrations and anything else which may require “special attentions” for which this group is most suited. The IRGC also has a specific tasking which the Iranian Army does not have and is otherwise simply a second military with all the branches of the regular Army, Air Force and Navy. This task is to spread Shia Islam to the world as well as spread terrorism to anywhere on earth which are deemed to require special attention while providing special training and armaments to the terrorist groups who are aligned and controlled by Iran. Amongst these terrorist groups are Hezballah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Houthis in Yemen. The Houthis will attack Saudi Arabia mostly through launching missiles and rockets at Riyadh, the Saudi Capital City. Hezballah is almost a third military army under Iranian command who currently are assisting the forces of Bashir al-Assad along with IRGC forces, assisting the Houthis in Yemen, a training center located at the Tri-border region at the junction of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil plus support for cells awaiting their special orders to attack and destroy vital and vulnerable locations near which they have been placed, presumably with many such cells placed within the United States. This is just a taste of the presumed Iranian threats and assesses their ability to carry such out.

 

We hear much talk about bringing to an end the Iranian efforts to produce nuclear weapons. This hoax is centered around the mistaken idea that Iran has not yet reached the technical level required for producing nuclear weapons. Where this may prove to be a valid assessment of the Iranian drive to produce thermonuclear weapons (commonly referred to as the hydrogen bomb or fusion bomb) as these weapons require highly accurate machining with special materials as well as the production of deuterium and tritium, two isotopes of hydrogen, it is not likely true about fission bomb or simply nuclear bomb or warhead. The main assumption is that Iran has been unable, according to the oft wrong experts, to miniaturize their bombs such that they can be fit atop their ballistic missiles. Even were we to take the pessimistic assumptions that Iran has not produced a ballistic missile deliverable nuclear weapon and that Iran has only been working on nuclear weapons since the mid 1990’s, this would mean that Iran has been working at making a nuclear weapon without success despite the theory, schematics and detailed instructions on how both bombs were designed and produced and detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki are readily available on the Internet and in some physics books and other sources. Additionally, with little or no source other than the brains behind the Manhattan Project, the United States built their nuclear bombs in under four years and we are to believe that with twenty-plus years and uranium mines within their borders the Iranians have been unable to produce nuclear weapons. This is much behind our stating that we are quite certain that Iran has nuclear weapons, has miniaturized these weapons for mounting atop their ballistic missiles and very likely have already figured out the design for a miniaturized thermonuclear warhead. This is what we expect is behind the Iranian claim that they could destroy an entire carrier group with a single missile. Then again, they may be referring to their EMP device with which they could blind, at least temporarily, an entire carrier group but they would then require fast boats and anti-ship missiles with which to strike at the blinded and disarmed ships. There are some trusted old-style weapons on these ships which would not be affected by an EMP device such as the 50cal. Machine gun. That is not a replacement for the more advanced electronic systems, but it is still a very effective weapon in skilled hands. This article by Mark Langfan describes one scenario of the potential war with Iran along with evidence that this could happen sooner rather than later.

 

Why all of this presumably so suddenly and with little warning? Well, because it is not suddenly and there have been numerous warnings which have been all but ignored by the Western media. Their claim is that by playing these threats down, they are helping to prevent them from occurring because nothing can happen if the media does not cover the story. This was their attitude when Israel was recently (last week) attacked from Gaza with over seven-hundred rockets which cost Israel four souls with almost one-hundred-fifty people injured or treated for shock. Numerous of these rockets struck the ground with too many landing within the confines of inhabited areas. The vast majority of the rockets tracked to have trajectories bringing them within populated areas were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome system with each interception costing a minimum of fifty-thousand dollars, the cost of each individual anti-missile-missile. This latest barrage of rockets upon southern Israel was initiated by Islamic Jihad which means Iran as they do not make breakfast until Tehran tells them what to prepare. This brings us to the threat that should the United States engage targets within Iran or of any of the Iranian military vessels, then Iran will wipe out Israel. Fortunately for the United States, they have not threatened to destroy the United States should Israel attack any of their various military and terrorist units. Many experts have claimed that Iran is not capable of destroying Israel unless they were to resort to using nuclear weapons, which the experts love to point out that Iran has been incapable of producing a nuclear weapon. The horrific truth is that Iran has been regularly attacking Israel either from the north with Hezballah or from the south with both Islamic Jihad and Hamas, the sources of the seven-hundred rockets recently. The Iranian threat to wipe Israel off the map would most likely be referring to having Islamic Jihad and Hamas initiate hostilities refusing all efforts to restore peace forcing an Israel ground attack and then unleashing Hezballah complete with an invasion attempt backed by rocket artillery. These attacks could be further assisted by the IRGC and al-Quds forces staged in Syria. Only when Israel survives and possibly begins to rout these attackers would Iran resort to directly attacking Israel. The fear is that in such a scenario that Iran would launch their rockets and missiles with some having nuclear and chemical warheads, especially chemical warheads on anything launched from within Syria. What has prevented Iran from directly attacking Israel from their own soil is that while these missiles are taking flight, Israel would simply have to believe that many would have nuclear and chemical warheads and reply with nuclear tipped ballistic missiles of her own. Such is what would constitute an initial reaction to any engagement between Iran and the United States, simply because no matter which side engaged the other first or committed an incident which produce a confrontation, Iran would consider such as the United States attacking Iran without cause. The Iranian leadership believes that if they display any military threat that the United States would turn tail and run as they do not have the stomach for such a fight. This may be a valid point as the Iranian hardcore elements would never stop fighting unless liquidated and the citizens of the United States are not prepared to engage in this kind of total war for an extended period of time. The Iranian civilian and military leadership have trained in Vietnam where they have been told everything about how any determined enemy can defeat the United States simply by continuing the fight until the American people demand an end to the costly war. That is the secret behind much of the Iranian bluster and additionally they have all the proof they need as they have seen the United States leave Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria abandoning the Kurds.

 

Distance Between Israel and Iran Plus Nuclear Sites and Size Comparison

Distance Between Israel and Iran Plus Nuclear Sites and Size Comparison

 

Some might ask why would Iran attack Israel should the United States attack or engage Iranian forces. Well, they believe that the United States is controlled by some cabal of Jews who plan the foreign policies of the United States in order to have it serve Israel. The Iranian leadership actually believes the Jews control most Western countries and thus should any Western nation engage Iran, they are obviously doing so and sacrificing themselves and their people all in the service of Israel. Somebody should have informed them that “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” was a piece of fiction written by the Tsars of Russia to promote anti-Semitism to use as a means of explaining away their economic woes blaming, you guessed it, the Jews. Further, the Iranians believe that the Jews have some mystical abilities whereby they, quoting Ms. Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, hypnotized the world into doing their bidding. If the Jews really had this ability, don’t you think that they would have taken control of their enemies first with Iran and Ms. Omar near the top of the list, or are they the select few who have immunity to the Jewish mind control. What is frightening are the similarities between the claims of Ms. Omar and Ayatollah Khamenei.

 

As for what is most likely to result from President Trump calling Ayatollah Khamenei’s bluff that should the United States apply and enforce their final stage of isolating Iran economically by bringing an end to their exportation of oil, they would have crossed a red-line. Well, in theory that red line was crossed as of May 1, 2019, and thus far Iran has not attacked the United States or any allies they have, especially if they are backing President Trump. Another way the Iranians could attack the United States does not involve weapons but instead they would just need to interject items which might produce sufficient pressures that Trump does not seek reelection in 2020 or steps down before the coming elections. The Iranian feel buoyed by the Democrat claims that President Trump is a mere piece of evidence away from Impeachment. This has the Iranians believing that President Trump is vulnerable to the threats of Impeachment and all they need to do in order to take Trump down is provide the flimsiest piece of evidence. It can be expected for Iran to test President Trump. The Iranians honestly believe that they are the most advanced and more precious before Allah and no nation could possibly stand against them simply due to their resolve. They see themselves as the modern Persia and seek to reestablish the Persian Empire except this one will not fall to Greece or anyone else, well, not immediately. The Iranian ruling elite are convinced that they have the strongest military in the world and they are destined to be the ones who conquer the world and bring all the people to Islam, Shia Islam. They have a strong resolve that they will be given the world because the Quran stated that Islam will rule the world and everyone will genuflect towards Mecca and Allah.

 

Should Iran and the United States be engulfed in a War, as we have seen, it will engage Israel. Once Israel has been assaulted and they will then use the media to instigate anti-Semitic acts across Europe and elsewhere. Their hope is to have the people of the world turn against Israel blaming the war on the Jews and their manipulation of the various leaders into doing their bidding. Adding to this the sharp increases in the United States and the rest of the developed world of anti-Semitism, despite that these blood libels have been debunked, they still permeate much of the world being seen as valid reasons for destroying Israel. The Iranian leadership see the destruction of Israel as a potential tipping point bringing people to witness and even bring them into Shia Islam eventually Shia Islam the driving force of the Muslim world. Delusion can be a dangerous problem and when it becomes part and parcel of the ruling elite in a nation, it can only lead to ruin often taking many innocents with it. It is this ignorance which could lead to the next great war involving mankind and could be the final war where the world is bombed back to the Stone Age. This is the threat the world is ignoring insisting instead that Israel is a threat to world peace. There can be no rational reason for having such views, but apparently, they do not disqualify people and even parties from becoming leadership. That may well become the undoing of humankind, all as we came close to great wonders and leaps forward in our knowledge of the universe and other astronomical theories and our ability to reach for the stars. Perhaps that is the bane and ending note for all civilizations and explains why SETI never actually hears a verifiable signal. Maybe this will be how the human race destroys itself on the eve of greatness. Whatever, the coming conflagration is avoidable, but only if the world chooses to act as grown-ups rather than be petty little people all wound up in their own little world.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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