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The Obfuscating Nature of World War III

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World War III, the causes and the future prospects for the labeling of wars

(5th edition - February 2009) by A.O. Kime
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While perhaps predicting the destructive nature of World War III should be left to Nostradamus, nonetheless there seems a fair chance it won’t be overly destructive, so far it hasn’t been. Yes, it appears World War III is already underway... although it is still in its initial stage, its embryonic stage.

While this developing ogre can still be aborted - an otherwise complicated situation full of contradictions - but if it isn't, it could prove quite different than the previous world wars. For one thing, it would be a battle, perhaps the final battle, between two combatants which have been at odds for more than 1,200 years. However, over the ages the matter has become extremely complex and thus has obfuscated itself. It became a shapeless glob of new issues entwined with the old and therefore subject to countless points-of-view.

Points-of-view, of course, shape opinions... of which this complicated matter cannot escape. Surrounded by so many facts they can't be assimilated, it's left to the mercy of historians, temperaments and judgmental attitudes.

The fight effectively began over the domination of Spain in the 8th century as a ethnic-cultural-racial matter but religious ideologies soon became the primary issue. As a result of their mutual dislike for 12 centuries, if not hatred, it is the longest running confrontation on earth. While it might not be a 'race war' per se, in a sense it is... generally speaking westerners are suspicious of anyone who 'looks Arab' and, undoubtedly, Arabs distrust 'European-looking' people.

Yet, this is largely a happenstance situation due to their close proximity since it is not inherently ingrained that these two peoples should be at odds. It is an unnatural circumstance which has been, and still is, religiously-sponsored.

On the bright side, not all people hate, hate the same, or hate the same people. Further, there are a growing number of 'moderates' in the world who prefer peaceful coexistence. Their involvement would cause future historians to chronicle World War III as either a 'near-miss' or 'puny'.

The passing centuries made identifying these two combatants also a problem... countries appear and disappear, alliances change, peoples intermix, intermarry, migrate and are identified differently. As a result, this war could be considered as being either (1) the West versus the East, (2) western civilization versus religious fanaticism, (3) Christianity versus Islam, or poetically (4) the 21st century versus the Middle Ages.

Would this qualify as a world war though? Well, there are enough countries involved if you factor in the terrorist attacks worldwide. It seems only the continent of South America is being spared so far… although odd because it is largely a 'Catholic continent'. The Catholics were the first involved having fought the Moors over the aforementioned possession of Spain and the two have been enemies (effectively) ever since. Of course the 'Moors', a mix of Arabs and Caucasoids from North Africa, is a term no longer used but their descendents, however diffused they might be today, could be referred to as simply 'Muslims' for this purpose. The Muslim religion is Islam... its roots going back to the 7th century.

While early-on Islam subscribed to Judaism and Christianity, then to later believe itself the fulfillment of these two, that didn't seem to have made any difference. Distrust and tension still exist. It's as if both sides - however these 'sides' can be described - haven't forgotten their losses due to each other's brilliant military campaigns even though they occurred long ago. The capture of Constantinople (Istanbul) by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 could be described as the last major battle. If to keep score, one could say this monumental Islamic victory 'evened things up'.

Comparing world wars

Before addressing the tragic aspects of this conflict and it's potential, it should be prefaced with a little background and a curiosity about the 'nature of world wars'… although only two have occurred so far. While it seems certain we’ll have more, it may have been presumptuous to think it was a good idea to call them 'world wars'. As soon expanded upon, while the term 'world war' may have made perfect sense in the 1940’s, it created a dilemma for the know-it-all psychologists who came along later... they prefer labels with a psychological 'spin'.

Actually World War I wasn’t called that at first, rather ‘The Great War’. It was renamed shortly after hostilities began anew (World War II). Before it got its name changed, 'The Great War' was also referred to as ‘The War to End All Wars’. Obviously, its second name was a hope dashed.

As opinions stand, if a worldwide conflict is proving itself not nearly as destructive as the first two world wars, people may not think it should qualify. The Cold War was a conflict involving enough countries but since there was little associated collateral damage, it wasn’t called a world war. Perhaps it was only because the regional conflicts which the Cold War spawned weren’t considered (added in).

Since World War II was more destructive than its predecessor, most people believe World War III will be even worse… but that shouldn't be expected necessarily. In other words, two world wars aren't enough to make a projection. If the case was reversed and the first was worse than second, we might be inclined to think the trend looked promising.

While looming today is the wherewithal for even greater destruction, countries have since learned 'wherewithal' is a double-edged sword. There will be great pressure not to use atomic weapons but even if it does happen, most likely it will be limited. If say, only a few dozen H-bombs were used, the death and destruction still wouldn’t equal World War II. It would probably take a hundred or more. If World War III won’t be pitting the major powers against each other at some point, the damage could be fairly limited. Even if they were, that doesn’t mean atomic weapons will be used.

During World War II neither side used poison gas like they did in World War I for fear the enemy would follow suit. As insurance however, both sides kept poison gas in their arsenals just in case. The ghastly business of poison gas warfare during World War I was a no-win situation for everyone. Therefore, one could conclude, it is possible we could have several more world wars before H-bombs are used.

Calling them 'world wars' a bad idea?

Despite whatever truth there is, we should expect an unwillingness of governments to call this conflict World War III. It stands to reason there is psychological value not to do so, both politically and strategically. To call it a world war would have the effect of pointing out the seriousness of the conflict and would increase the pressure on leaders to make choices. If it isn’t called a 'world war' then leaders can waffle and it's often better that officials do nothing. By calling a conflict by the least egregious-sounding term possible should help contain the conflict and keep it from getting worse and spreading.

That’s probably why countries don’t officially declare war on each other anymore either… it takes away their elbow room. They'd rather just fight without calling it anything. The grandiose declarations of war during the first half of the twentieth century had the effect of boxing in the leaders... often forcing them into making on-the-spot cataclysmic decisions without benefit of due diligence.

Likewise, treaties which proclaim mutual assistance in the event of war seem to have lost their appeal as well. After all, history has shown treaties aren’t exactly something you can take to the bank... although NATO still has faith in the concept. At any rate, not until this conflict is over will the authorities and media begin to admit it really was a world war… which may always be the case.

While governments will name a conflict in a manner of their choosing (if they do at all) and keep officially referring to it as such, that's the extent of it... they haven't yet found a way to force the public to likewise use it. So far, it appears we Americans haven't liked any of our government labels. Apparently, we prefer forthrightness over 'cuteness' and thus are rebelling against their audacity.

The subbing began with the one for the Korean War, the first conflict to be psychologically labeled. While it was being fought, it was officially called a 'police action' but nobody liked that label... in fact, despised it.

Currently, the war in Iraq is most often called just that… simply ‘the war in Iraq’. Of course, that means nobody likes the official name 'Operation Iraqi Freedom'. Similarly, in the first Iraq conflict (1991), instead of the official label of 'Desert Storm', most preferred ‘Gulf War’. Surely some don't like any of those labels... considering the first conflict merely the 'extraction' of Iraqi forces from Kuwait (not really a war) and the second conflict merely an 'invasion'.

While most labels probably have the desired psychological effect to some degree, some either don't or fail in other ways and are destined to be short-lived. With the spin being too obvious, 'Desert Storm' and 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' won't last any longer than ‘The War to End All Wars’. Exemplifying arrogance like no other event in history was the ill-conceived pre-publicized televised attack billed "Shock and Awe".

With 'war' not part of the 'official' U.S. labels anymore, we can be certain this one won't be called a 'world war'. Whatever titles other governments might be using is unknown. Yet, divisive or not, if avoiding the term 'world war' helps contain the conflict then it's a good idea. Whether it is effective enough remains to be seen.

Muslim fanaticism and war

Since the caldron of World War III in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan has other 'aspects' such as worldwide terrorism and the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and while the matter may not yet be considered a world war, one would have to be naive to think it isn't developing or that the potential isn't there.

While not the official reason given, the ultimate reason for the conflict is due to the radical nature of Muslims in the Middle East. For good reason, Islamic teachings which promotes violence is viewed a threat to western civilization. With the ability of religions to wreck havoc on the rational mind, any religion, Islam has created a dangerous mentality amongst many Muslims.

The radical Muslim mentality, infected with a religious ideology reminiscent of the Middle Ages, in effect being the vestiges, of late exemplifying 'fanatical' to the utmost degree, hasn’t evolved with the times like other religious mentalities. Although not the case anymore, at one time the Catholic mentality was equally fanatical, equally narrow-minded, equally evil, but that began to change after the horrible days of the Spanish Inquisition. In the last century or two the Catholics developed a live-and-let-live attitude. Radical Muslims haven’t yet subscribed to that and thus are still fighting Charlemagne.

It is unclear what made the Catholics less fanatical but it happened nonetheless. Perhaps they finally saw the light. So what is the holdup with the Muslims? Aside from their religion, perhaps it is also the cursedness of a long memory. Memory played a major role in the Serbian-Bosnia conflict, wrongs from centuries past were never forgiven. Perhaps then, it was forgiveness which helped Catholicism evolve... finally to practice what it had preached for centuries. In order for those tenets they espouse to be credible, apparently it was felt they had to begin forgiving people for having a different religion.

Whatever the case, the Catholic-sponsored Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834) is an example where unchecked fanaticism will go. Meanwhile - as if an Inquisitionist still on the prowl - Islam is knocking on the door… everyone’s door.

While religious fanaticism is a danger in itself, of an insane and self-destructive nature, the Middle East lunacy of today isn’t just because of their religious fervor but also because of a nationalist fervor... similar to Nazism, Stalinism and Maoism. Infected in two major ways, it is a multidimensional mental illness. Not only are many Muslims a danger to the world but a danger to themselves as well... exemplified by the fighting in Iraq between the Sunnis and Shiites.

While the fighting has ebbed of late, it's hard to trust a positive sign in a negative situation.

Otherwise it is Muslims vs. Kurds, Muslims vs. Hindus, Muslims vs. America, Muslims vs. Israel but to sum it up, at their own choosing it's Muslims versus everyone else. In their bombsights are even kindergarteners who don't subscribe to their brand of Islam. It is total madness... beyond words.

It is imperative the Islamic hierarchy isolate these perpetrator as individuals and publicly disavow them and their activities. If they don't, then World War III will surely become full-blown. If they don't, all Muslims, even the 'moderates', will be forced to choose sides. While not likely by government decree will they be forced - but by the general public.

It is unfortunate Muslims do not see religious fanaticism as being nothing more than a spiritual 'road-to-ruin'... a manmade path leading away from God. In any quarter, under any banner, religious fanaticism begets nothing but evil.

It is especially unfortunate because 3,000-5,000 years ago the Arab countries were highly advanced. This is evidenced by the Sumerians who, in 3000 B.C., developed the art of writing. Further, they once had the best mathematicians in the world. It is also believed much of the knowledge the ancient Greeks obtained came from the Middle East. What happened? Their religion, that’s what… and furthering their decline has been their religious fanaticism. Fanaticism is clearly the worst scourge ever to befall mankind. As the destroyer of reason and righteousness, it has convoluted and thus made a mockery of the 'will of God'.

The war of wars to stop Inquisition II

Since inquisitions are highly intrusive and thus a great threat to freedom, the mindset of western civilization simply will not allow a repeat to occur. Not on this planet they won't, no matter the cost. Radical Muslims should recognize the West's resolve in this and also realize it will lead to a war they cannot win. Gains can only be accomplished through peaceful intellectual competition which translates into the 'good life'. After all, they are potentially capable, in ancient times they had proven it.

Yet, there is another red herring... Arab monarchies inflaming Arab passions by promoting the idea that all their troubles are the fault of the West.

Even though World War III has already lifted its ugly head, although in most places having only drawn lines in the sand, the Arabs can easily stop it by simply renouncing violence and adopting a live-and-let-live attitude. They need to see the hellish abyss into which fanaticism is leading them. It's time for Muslims to ditch medievalism and incorporate rationalism; it is time because the patience of the West is measured and won’t last.

Of course these sentiments will largely fall on deaf ears... inflamed passions only heed the dogs of war.

American blunderers and Muslim complicity

But hold on! Is the West therefore innocent? Most assuredly not. Has the West taken advantage of the Middle East? Absolutely, especially in the early days of the 20th century highlighted by the British invasion of Iraq in 1917 and The Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 (which dismantled Kurdistan).

Taking advantage of a situation is nothing new among men however, a common habit even among Arabs. Throughout history, it has amounted to the strong taking advantage of the weak. Over the ages, the urge to 'conquer' or flex one's muscles has been irresistible. Political innocence has proven impossible to achieve.

Yet, those realities seem to be changing.

The attitude of the West regarding national sovereignty has transformed in the last 50 years and Muslims should take that into account. Colonialism is now history. Unfortunately that doesn’t undue the damage already done.

It doesn't end there however... the Arabs have recent reasons for their hatred of the West, more particularly the tactics utilized by the U.S. during the Bush administration and even previously. In a nutshell, it's been over the habit of American leaders telling others how they should run their counties. Furthermore, this interference was conspicuously arrogant. The obtrusive nature of U.S. foreign policy was apparent in other parts of the world as well - most notably in South America.

Since intrusiveness is nothing new for U.S. citizens, we know it's true... for decades we've been told how to live our lives and run our businesses. We can also relate to this arrogance. Such an environment is clearly counterproductive and largely to blame for America's current and growing financial setbacks. Comprised largely of smoke and mirrors, it is also threatening the rule of law. While Americans are blessed in many ways, hopefully Obama can eliminate our curses.

However unfortunate the realities of human nature - including the capacity to blunder - intellectual competition with the U.S. is a far better than killing innocents for political gain. While not all Muslims are terrorists, their silence condones it. To condone is to encourage... where is their outrage? While their outrage directed towards the West is often warranted, nary a whisper is heard about Arab atrocities or wrongdoings. Muslims are effectively saying to the world... "we're all one-in-the-same".

Religions off the hook?

Even though Islam deserves the bashing it's getting over its complicity in terror attacks, a commonly-held view of victims and on-lookers outraged and incensed, of a mind it makes no difference whether it overt or covert, or whether it is direct or indirect (aiding and abetting), or whether it is just condoning, it seems strange the U.S. government has been conspicuously silent. Even the media has been silent. Why? Are they really of the conviction individuals should be held responsible, not their religion? Or is it a facade? In believing it is a facade, one might conclude there are political reasons, a matter of political correctness or they're just trying to keep a lid on things. If it isn't a facade, then it's letting religions off the hook (where they most assuredly belong)

If nobody is supposed to be above the law, then religions which preach violence are co-conspirators and should be held accountable. Since one can't throw a religion in jail, there is another remedy... civil lawsuits. As brick-n-mortar institutions, religions are not judiciously immune... and judgments can attach the assets of that religion. With just a little imagination, one could see it could lead to the most interesting court case since the "Scopes Monkey Trial" of 1926.

Although Islam is in the spotlight today, damned by many, we can't forget other religions have been, or still are, agitators as well. While it could likely be proven many were even complicit in murders, the Catholics were once brazen enough to be directly involved (Spanish Inquisition).

In the end, there is overwhelming evidence mankind would be far better off without organized religions. We should sue them into oblivion... send them back to the Dark Ages where they belong.

Since the wrongs committed throughout history seem to linger, one always wonders at what point they should be written off… forgotten. Nothing seems to be forgotten though. In light of this, it is surprising Egypt isn’t contemplating war with Iran because the Persians once conquering them 3,000 years ago. Or perhaps Iran should contemplate war with Greece for taking Egypt away in 332 B.C.

If that's going back too far, then perhaps the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) who conquered Iraq in the 16th century should be able to keep it. At some point we should forget Kuwait was once carved away from Iraq by the British. Or was this dastardly deed done to the Ottoman Empire? Maybe it was Mesopotamia. At some point we should forget the American southwest was carved out of Mexico. The Indians should forget Mexico took it from them. God only knows who the Indians stole it from.

A.O. Kime

Last modified: 03/08/16