Are we in the midst of World War III?

Posted 3.17.18

SHAWVILLE, QUEBEC | While we await, certainly with trepidation, for the US President's next Twitter threat against North Korea (or Iran, Venezuela, Yemen, Somalia, Niger ... ) it's worth considering that America's "War on Terror" is actually a third World War. Add to Trump's crazy threats, his threats to end trade agreements that don't favour America, and it seems hard to say that we are not there.

The world wars we are familiar with have been combinations of military and trade conflicts. This comparison holds.

Another is the scope of today's warfare -- it's "world" war, for sure, with a large part of the planet, multiple nations, all pulled into the conflagration. Scope -- that's another characteristic of a world war which today's battlelines meet.

Scope includes time as well. The War on Terror has been going on for at least sixteen years, and that's a conservative estimate.

Sixteen years of war, involving military destruction in nations as far apart as Afghanistan to Libya, Philippines to northern Nigeria, Korea to Syria, Iraq, and Kurdistan. Considering that "the enemy" has counter-attacked in New York, Brussels, Paris, London, Madrid, even Ottawa and St Jean Richelieu -- this not a world war?

Consider the millions of refugees across the world, the huge waves of migration, and the destabilization this has caused almost everywhere - - isn’t this a world-wide event?

Add the number of aggressors or military actors (not victims) -- legitimate governments to non-state actors, paramilitary groups, guerrilla warfare -- looks like a world-wide conflagration to me.

And, finally, the true test: a world-wide arms trade growing richer every hour. These corporations and government-run corporations have, in most cases, captured their native states and now effectively make the decisions.

Doesn't it seem that in the future, assuming there is one which includes human beings, historians will look back at our times as World War III?

World War III is not just guerillas battling robotized armies from the wealthy nations. It involves all the "best practises" of a world war -- political game-playing to brinksmanship, subterfuge and covert ops, aircraft carriers and cruise missiles, at least one MOAB, and the threat of "limited range" nuclear weapons. There are drones in Pakistan and Yemen, B-52s in Afghanistan, missiles in Syria, and so on. All weapons are on the ready, as in any world war.

"So what?" you ask. This does matter, if only for honesty's sake. It also leads us to consider the efects of a world war. World War I resulted in the most radical shake-up of government -- the Soviet revolution. WWII might have followed this trend had there been no Marshall Plan to build a buttress Europe against revolutionary expansion (even so, much of Eastern Europe did get a new form of government).

If we add today's incredible wealth/income disparities, we'd be justified in wondering just what is going to result from today's state of war. Certainly, not "the good old days" over again.


Copyright © 2018 Fred Ryan/Log Cabin Chronicles/3.18