Beyond the Cusp

July 2, 2017

Time is Ticking and Storms are Brewing

 

A couple of weeks back we wrote a fairly vague article titled Some Cataclysm This Way Comes where we wrote that something unpleasant is brewing and then spent time speaking of how wars start from the smallest of things and can become worldwide actions. Things are heating up as the Syrian debacle winds itself down and Iran takes control over much of the Syrian territory. The most important area in Syria is a triangle initially identified by Mark Langfan in an article here (map below). The area is marked by the three cities of At Tanf, Abu Kamal, and Ar Rusafah. The area was, and some still is, held by Daesh, also called Islamic State. It is important because it controls the Iraqi-Syrian border through which Iran is now able to pass any and all military and other equipment they require freely and without interference and far from prying eyes. Of course, everything is visible both day and night to the satellites and to their eyes in the stratosphere which can read the book left open in your lap while you watch the children play. Their sight is almost as sharp at night as in midday. These are owned by the major players who are currently both diddling in the same sandbox called Syria. As was in the good old days, they are not on the same side but at least they are not entirely opposing one another. While President Vladimir Putin is supporting Syrian President Bashir al-Assad, President Donald Trump has been backing the Kurds. Both sides are fighting against Islamic State while Bashir al-Assad and his Iranian allies are attempting to destroy every Sunni group backed by Saudi Arabia. It is hoped that President Putin has at least taken the precaution of telling his “friends” to leave the Kurdish troops, the Peshmerga and civilians alone even if they are apparently Sunni, after all the Sunni did not particularly like the Kurds either. Then there are the side players, which obviously includes the Saudi Royals as well as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who has already felt the wrath of Russian President Putin and thus has altered his target from al-Assad to the Kurdish civilians and their Peshmerga fighters. Soon he may hear from President Trump or perhaps President Trump would have President Putin make a polite request that Erdoğan simply pass on everything Syria if he would like to be on everybody involveds’ good side. The real mess in Syria includes Iraq which is also attempting to cleanse their nation of Sunnis one way or another. All of this is to realize the Iranian dream we have been mentioning for quite some time, the Shiite crescent from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. Iran has accomplished its objective over the past eight years with the blessings and condoning eyes of the Obama administration. All that is left is to clean the route up and secure it for the rest of time granting them free access to the Israeli border whenever they so desire. What is reassuring for Israel is that Iran has other fish they so dearly desire to fry first and that also gives the world time to wake up to what is coming as Iran wants to control the world. That is correct, we have one more contestant who desires world conquest and apparently, President Erdoğan appears to have signed on as he has been providing troops to Qatar, the possible flash point at the moment.

 

Syrian Triangle as Reported by Mark Langfan

Syrian Triangle as Reported by Mark Langfan

 

Currently Qatar has been playing a game of nerves using their media outlets to attack the Saudi Royal Family calling into question their religious observance and morals. They have accused the Saudis of allying with Israel and being the stooge of the United States. They have used Al-Jazeera, the print, on-line and television in these attacks. This started when right before President Trump made his visit to Saudi Arabia where he met with fifty Arab national leaders. There had been an agreement reached with Qatar, UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to purchase weapons and Qatar broke from the deal followed by Bahrain and UAE leaving Saudi Arabia holding the bag for the entire deal. Soon after the meeting with President Trump, Saudi Arabia led the Gulf States in pulling their ambassadors from Qatar and started to apply diplomatic and economic pressure on Qatar. Qatar has not even given the slightest sign of backing down. Additionally, one can be assured that Iran will back their friends in Qatar. Additionally, Turkey has chosen to side with Iran as well and has sent troops to Qatar. Where this will lead is anybody’s guess, and there are too many twists coming to even guess at this point. Iran is not likely ready to press too far quite yet as they have too many fronts, where they are facing opposition. They are not only stuck in the Syrian civil war but also the war in Yemen. Iran has their eyes on Saudi Arabia, and particularly the oil fields as well as Mecca and Medina, the Islamic Holy Cities. Their plan is and always has been to have two fronts, Iraq and Yemen. They also require such an attack to be made when they can apply their full force and all of this requires that they finish their wars in Yemen and Syria. The time to worry will come when the civil wars in Syria and in Yemen jump to a higher level of violence, and it will be a significant increase. When that increase brings the wars to a close, then Iran will begin their plans to replace Saudi Arabia as the main force within the Arab Middle East. That will be the start of the Iranian hopes to make Shiite Islam the dominant form of Islam replacing Sunni. After Saudi Arabia, the next target will most likely be Egypt, the most populous Arab state.

 

Obama wanted to have Iran take charge from Saudi Arabia and rule the Middle East. This will, at some point, run directly into President Trump and his backing of the Kurdish communities. What is the saddest part is the Kurds are pawns in a far larger game and they only desire one thing, their own land and to be left in peace. Unfortunately, and this is something Israel knows all too well, peace in the Middle East is a luxury bought with eternal vigilance and a very competent and well armed military. The only thing the Middle East respects is the ability to use and dispense force, and it will spread to North Africa if not stopped early. The coming struggle for the Middle East will likely be sparked through Qatar using some border infringement, real or falsely started just as the war with Poland was initiated by the Nazis which led to World War II. This all rolls back to another of our themes, there are still national leaders who have the concept of world conquest as an achievable goal and that they will be the ones who will finally accomplish the feat. Yes, I know that the nations of the Western World have long given up on world conquest while many leaders in the remainder of the world have not yet surrendered on that concept. Among the nations which still consider world conquest as something they believe could be in their future in the recent times have included Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkey, The USSR, China, who may still have that idea, Iran, which definitely believes the world will become their oyster, and we are sure that there are or will be others as also in the recent past include, please do not laugh, Venezuela. The nations believing they should rule the world are a slightly longer list, but there are some crazies out there who believe they will conquer the world and we would be remiss if we did not mention our favorite certifiable dictator in North Korea, Kim Jong-un. We will need to wait and see but for the safety of the world and sanity’s sake, could somebody please change the leadership in Iran before they cause some growing conflagration? Please.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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 13, 2017

Trump Sunni Middle East Plans to Crash and Burn

 

President Trump has planned this wonderful little arrangement for how to counter and defeat the Iranian menace hegemonic ambitions whose launch was assisted by President Obama and currently is assisting miring Russia in Syria. A quick aside, this Trump plan has very little if anything further to do with Russia, sorry kids. Trump’s master plan would be wonderful from a tactical viewpoint as it would add the Saudi Arabian money and weapons systems sold to them by the United States with the manpower of the Egyptian military and have them directed and assisted by the Israeli technical, intelligence, coordination and military superiority in an allied effort to oppose Iran. The Iran side is augmented by North Korean nuclear and missile technology, Chinese military plans and technical assistance, Iraqi military, Houthis and Alawite civil wars for expanding their spheres of influence, Hezballah terror infrastructure which spans the globe, and a recent influx of billions upon billions of American dollars with some in pallets and pallets of hundred dollar bills freshly minted and which were likely still warm when arriving. Iran and North Korea ally in coordinating their testing and development between their respective technical and physical abilities. On paper or in a game of Risk, President Trump’s policy might appear ideal. Unfortunately, in the real world it will run into some obvious and some not so obvious difficulties which will blow it to pieces. So, let us delve into the deep underbelly of this beast.

 

We will start with the obvious and work our way to the ridiculous in his perfect Middle East plan. First, no plan in the Middle East lasts more than thirty seconds from when it is attempted to be implemented. Second, plans which try to ally Arab nations with Israel, the Jewish State, or as they call it, the Zionist Entity, are guaranteed to be blown apart and possibly lead to a war to prove that there never was any such plan as soon as it hits general knowledge. Fortunately, or not so fortunate for us, BTC does not lead directly to general knowledge. The American mainstream media does and would more than happily place such an agreement made in secret very public while claiming that President Trump was out of his mind making this agreement public while they scream it from every newspaper front page and six and eleven o’clock news casts and radio news on the hour and at the halves. But this aside, they would wait until such a secret alliance of these abilities was most needed before making everything public, providing they could actually contain themselves that long. But Israel is more an inconvenience to blowing this plan apart. Allying Saudi Arabia and Egypt for any long-term agreement which requires their sharing responsibility and each allowing the other operational independence in command leaves large holes in any planning as each will assign the most dangerous and difficult field assignments to the other nation. Neither nation cares to take the more difficult upon themselves or place their soldiers at risk in an agreement with anyone else, as risking other nation’s soldiers is always preferable to risking your own. This was instrumental in their alliance against Iranian forces fighting in Yemen despite both nations having tactical and financial reasons to defeat that threat. Saudi Arabia has Yemen on their southern border which would provide Iran with a southern front against them in Yemen and a northern border with them in Iraq which would be intolerable and pose a difficult threat to address in any conflict with Iran. For Egypt, having Iran control the Bab-el-Mandeb strait at the southern exit of the Red Sea, this could make the Suez Canal useless to any ships Iran prefers to prevent passage. This would cause Egypt extreme financial difficulty as passage through the Suez Canal is one of the major inflows for funds to the Egyptian economy. Still, the two nations were incapable of coordinating and continuing an allied effort to fight the Houthis and prevent the Iranian efforts. Egypt pulled from the alliance without comment, normal in the Middle East, as they thought their losses were excessive for the effort share they had assumed. So, just getting Egypt and Saudi Arabia to play well together is enough of a difficulty and adding Israel to the mix is the same as throwing lighted Zippo lighters into a pool of gasoline while standing in a central island in order to remove the gasoline, it appears to work on paper but explodes in ones face in reality.

 

Trump in Saudi Arabia

Trump in Saudi Arabia

 

But let us assume for the remainder of the article that threats of being exiled from the military assistance of the United States will be sufficient to keep these three nations and the ancillary nations necessary to complete the alliance together. For the inquiring minds, the ancillary allied nations include the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, with some North African states whose addition is mostly inconsequential adding little military power but providing the appearance of a large coalition. So the alliance is rumored to have a number of Arab nations with reports that Israel is a silent ally though being crucial to the operational ability of the entire alliance as the Israelis have the critical command and control ability and experience as well as the intelligence capabilities and assets necessary for operational planning. The point of critical and highest contention would be the days immediately before any actions were required. This would be the absolute worst possible time for it to become common knowledge that Israel would be making decisions on where and against whom Arab forces would be fighting and that the Jews would be sending Muslims to fight other Muslims for the Zionist Entity’s benefit. Just imagine the destructive force a headline stating “Zionist Entity to Command Muslims Forces Against Muslims” would read as the one-inch print on the top half page of the New York Times (NYT). Exactly how long after that morning in New York and the NYT hits the streets and its news alarm gets around the world in seconds after 5:00 AM. That would be the absolute end of that coalition as every Arab and Muslim nation in the alliance officially announce their not knowing about the Zionist Entity’s inclusion in the coalition and demonstrably screaming they would never work with the forces of the Devil. That is why initially the mainstream media would be silent or even denying reports from Iran and their allies about the Israeli efforts as a part of the efforts for as long as such knowledge was not critical. Destruction of any Trump plans are best served when they will do the most damage to Trump and his Administrations even if doing so places the entirety of the free world at risk. Destruction of all that is good is but a small price to pay if Donald Trump can be brought low. The end of all President Trump attempts to accomplish is the main reason for having the mainstream media. News and accuracy are secondary to the deconstruction of all things Trump, that is the new call of news desks across the United States and much of Europe where Germany leads the anti-Trump charge.

 

The efforts by President Trump were almost completely ignored as he made his first foreign tour stopping in three critical points on the globe. Only the final stop was more photo opportunity than anything else, as the Pope has already made his disgust with President Trump more than adequately obvious. The work was completed by the time President Trump hit Rome and made coverage safe again. What was completely not newsworthy was that President Trump was presidential and had much success in his first two stops, Riyadh and Jerusalem. In Saudi Arabia President Trump met with fifty heads of Arab nations, all ruled by Sunni leadership. There was an agreement reached which simply placed a price-tag on President Trump’s visit and that was presumed to be shared between the three wealthiest nations, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia. The agreement was struck and the arrival of President Trump imminent when suddenly Qatar backed out of the agreement which immediately led to the UAE exiting right behind. This left Saudi Arabia footing the entirety of the bill but also will provide all the American weaponry to the Kingdom. President Trump made his disdain for the two nations reneging on their agreement as unprofessional and of causing extreme displeasure. President Trump was not overt but showed his disdain subtly through giving a cold rift to the defaulting leaders. Trump gave them the idea that business rules now applied to the dealings with the United States and any actions would be taken as insult and treated as serious affronts. President Trump made evident to all, there is new leadership and the taking advantage of a weakened United States Presidency was past and that toeing the line was now expected and nothing less was acceptable. Still, President Trump was honored by participating in a sword dance and was awarded the top Saudi honors all while the women in his entourage remained with their hair uncovered. This too was a statement that wherever the President of the United States visited, the rules of conduct of the United States take precedence. President Trump stated in clear protocols and conduct of his people down to the woman who carried his briefcase with hair to the winds, the United States has resumed her position of leadership and the world take note. This was not meant as insult to the Saudi Royal family or the other Arab leaders, this was a political statement meant to claim the highest seat in the yard. This was very possibly a lesson which was taken hard but accepted as reality has returned to normalcy.

 

President Trump may have set up the initial structure with the Saudi Royals and Egyptian President Sisi. Presidents Trump and Sisi were reported to have held a cordial and warm talk during the Riyadh summit. Now, on to Jerusalem and President Trump in Israel where the President made all the regular pilgrimages to Yad Vashem, the Prime Minister’s house for dinner, the Knesset and on. President Trump also made a first when he prayed at the Western Wall. Whether President Trump left a note in the crevasses will remain a secret as that is the nature of such notes, they are not meant for us here to know, they are meant for a higher force. There was another notable event which showed that President Trump is growing in the high office. He was shown evidence which should have come from his advisers, but they too are learning that they are in a whole new game with its own rules and atmosphere. Somebody, we all assume it was Prime Minister Netanyahu, introduced President Trump to some of the delicious realities on You Tube showing the real education of incitement and the actual incitement by Mahmoud Abbas personally. This led to the dressing down in Bethlehem. President Trump was apparently very perturbed and let Mahmoud Abbas know that lying to President Trump, and especially doing so blatantly with the truth so readily attained, was unacceptable and only earns one a place of scorn in the President’s circle. President Trump read Abbas the riot act making it very well known that further financial assistance from the United States would be pinned to the ending of financial rewards for terrorists and their families and an end to incitement. This should become evident in a complete loss of funding by the Palestinian Authority and perhaps also UNRWA as Abbas will not change nor will their education of hatred and murderous desires against Jews, not just Israeli Jews, but all Jews. This dressing down and allowing it to be known publicly is a new precedent setting act by President Trump. Apparently being on his bad side can become costly.

 

Should the rumors that President Trump desires setting up a secret alliance where Saudi Arabia and Egypt, begin working together again under the direction of the United States which also will have them working in some manner with the Israelis, on the qt; this has all the intricacies of a good spy novel. We have seeming enemies being allied by an overseeing superpower with a new leader who is unlike any other previous leader. The contrast with the previous holder of the office makes Trump a complete game changer. The meetings in Riyadh were likely the most dramatic and far reaching in that President Trump was speaking to fifty Arab leaders and laying down an entirely new set of rules for his time as President. We can bet that many of these rulers long for the previous leader or a close facsimile. Unfortunately for those leaders, for at least four years and barring any surprises, this is what they have to work with. At the other extreme, the Israelis thought they had the change of a lifetime. The reality came up somewhat short as they did not exactly get the complete and total reversal as hoped. On the other side, there were few who were not pleasantly surprised with the public dressing down of Mahmoud Abbas by President Trump. Still, everything is still in the potential phase where there can be many a slip between the bowl and the lips. It remains to be seen how much of what was displayed and what the reality will be once the State Department gets their input and inflict their anti-Israel bias. This is where there needs to be much swamp draining. The lack of moving the embassy was presumably an upsetting bit of news, though if honesty is permitted, this was actually accepted. The news that moving the embassy would very probably become used as the bargaining chip used as a threat against Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority and as reward for Israel is extremely distressing as it makes the whole move questionable. The reason this was no surprise here at BTC was because, something we had previously reported as being the mistake by Prime Minister Netanyahu pressing Iran as more important than all other issues. Prime Minister Netanyahu had stated that Iran was the only Israel problem and refused to discuss any and all other issues until the Iran threat would be settled. Some, including us at BTC, thought this emphasis was used too strongly and that these other issues are equally important as the defensibility of Israel depends on having a defensible depth at the middle of the country. The nine miles which the Green Line offers is not acceptable and Abbas and the Arab world realize this and that is why their demand is for all the lands. Somewhere in the near future Israelis will need to wake up and find new and inspired leadership. We hope that day comes soon as the new leadership has already made themselves known and obvious, now we just need everyone else to catch on and see the light. Hopefully this will happen before another anti-Israel President is elected in the United States and the threat to Israel become unbearable.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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