We are at the brink of war. You won’t find this being addressed in our current run of debates between Republicans and Democrats here in America. When I say “war,” I refer to major regional or world war, not the Global Long War on Terror. The black hole of world war is opening right now in the Middle East.
Allied countries, despite their angry rhetoric with each other, are lining up against other allied countries that also squabble among themselves. Common self-interests in the midst of extreme crises have a way of polarizing nations into opposing armed camps. This whirlpool of destruction will quickly pull in a succession of nations from all over Earth. Ongoing smaller wars around the world will likely merge into a planetwide conflagration as fast as news zips through cell phones and the Internet.
You will find little news of these urgent matters in the majority of the mainstream mass media, although tidbits surface now and then. I search through military and intelligence sources, scan news from both the far right and the far left, and sift through educated opinions from ivory tower pundits to conspiracy theory gurus. There is a lot out of detailed information out there, but so little for the public to readily see.
Why is something so vitally important kept out of the public discourse?
Several reasons exist. Primarily no one in power really wants all-out war and thus they seek to ignore or deflect attention away from its buildup. Why not inform the public? We can handle the news.
Many in the know understand such a war will crash the world economy during this Great Global Recession. An economic collapse will lead to greater environmental destruction and possibly famine. Survivors will ravage our environment even further for energy and resources in order to rebuild. We’ve not as a species experienced the collapse of a complex global economy on such a scale before. No one in their heart wants this in their legacy.
Because such a war will upend significant elections such as the American electorate voting for Obama or for Romney or other candidates. No candidate wants a war on their hands in a war-weary nation. Right? After all, we’re inundated with doom and gloom and jokes about the end of the world because it’s the year 2012.
Because political and military leaders don’t want to alarm their constituents into a state of panic over how ill-prepared we all are for such a foolhardy mess. For example, we Americans are prepared to refight Iraq “the right way” and have new legions of robots, but we cannot protect our obsolete, overburdened, and poorly maintained infrastructures including our energy grids, nuclear power plants, and transportation systems from the disruption of an attack. While the Russians and the Chinese are allegedly building large underground tunnels, for example, we North Americans and European Unionists are not, at least not publicly.
Who would have thought the First World War would be triggered by a Serbian terrorist assassinating the crown prince of a lingering Medieval empire? Few wanted war back in 1914. Once, however, a worldwide array of interlocking military and political alliances were triggered into automatic declarations of war against each other, many clamored for war from a naïve sense of nationalist idiocy and a misplaced lust for glory. Once the Great War itself ground to a bloody end it left revolutions and civil wars in its wake around Earth that ultimately led in part to the Second World War, which in turn spurned the Cold War. Damn bloody mess.
Now we have another system of entangled alliances humming tight on a hair stretched taunt over a razor’s edge. Another damn bloody mess.
Israel, Turkey, the United States, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, some of the Kurds, and the majority of Syrian rebels square off against Iran, the Syrian government, other Syrian rebels, other Kurds, Lebanon/Hezbollah, Gaza/Hamas, the Sinai rebels, and the Al Qaeda networks. Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Kashmir, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Congo, Nigeria, Mali, Libya, Yemen, North Korea, Egypt, the Caucasus, and some of the Central Asian ‘Stans continue to be violent messes with uncertain outcomes.
Venezuela supports Syria and Iran. India faces off against both China and Pakistan. And China squares off against its island neighbors as it expands economically in Africa and elsewhere. Jihadist terrorist groups fester in Europe. The numerous nation-states of NATO and related allies from Japan to Australia will be dragged quickly into this war, if it blows, on the side of the United States.
Wild cards are Russia and China. Both battle low-level Jihadist revolts inside their states. Their economies are heavily tied to the West, especially Russia with the European Union and China to North America. Yet it would also be their mutual opportunity to break free of the de facto Euro-American Global Empire and unite against it. Such a strategy will eventually unleash a nuclear exchange. Can you imagine that? Nuclear war between Pakistan and India or Israel and Iran will be bad enough, not to mention chemical and biological weapons.
The Russians move S-400 missiles up to their border with Turkey, the Turks and Syrians shell each other, the Syrians menacingly remind the world of its enormous stockpile of chemical humanicides, the Israelis roll out Patriot batteries, the Chinese and Indians build up their militaries in remote areas along their border, and the Americans stockpile massive quantities of weapons and move more troops, ships, and planes to the Middle East as Iran prepares to flood the Straights of Hormuz with oil, and Al Qaeda glides like a shadow into the Sinai and across West Africa. Whatcha gonna do?
Can you imagine the consequences of all-out war in the Middle East on energy supplies and the flow of oil? What do you think will happen when supplies of petroleum to manufacture dozens of items other than fuel halt overnight? Or when the price of gas skyrockets before supplies run out? What do you think will happen then?
Even non-oil sources of electrical generation and power distribution rely upon petroleum for many working components. Food, medicine, seeds, tools, spare parts, clothes, toiletries, office supplies, weapons and ammunition, construction supplies, industrial supplies, other components of manufacturing, fabrication, and distribution, even the digitalized world, will slow down and stop.
Imagine the resulting political instability in other areas of the world if the Middle East powder kegs explode and drag in the superpowers. Nation-states and stateless-nations in more remote regions of Earth will be tempted to settle old scores, seize territory and resources from their neighbors, revolt against current regimes, etc. etc. What do you think may happen in the United States and Canada with the spread of the Mexican drug cartel wars over the borders into North American gangs when most of the American and Canadian resources are spent on major combat overseas?
There are the unknowns; too, of emerging types of warfare we have little experience of, at least on a level of global conflict. We’re talking for a level of cyberwar, global surveillance, combat robots, space warfare, nanotech, weather war, lasers, and electromagnetic pulses on a scale unimaginable to the average person in the streets.
Of course we are only at the brink of world war. It is possible the nations of the world will step back from it once again, as had happened several times since 9/11 already. I used to feel that major warfare was unlikely despite so many close calls as all of the world’s leaders, including the crazies, avoided the ultimate showdown. This time, however, I feel the pressure may be too great.
It is possible that surgical strikes on Iran will cripple it enough and that subsequent terror attacks will be expected and thus absorbed as sacrifices, all without blowing up into a global conflict. It is possible China and Russia will sit on their hands, play both sides off against each other, and hope to step into the power vacuum. It is possible. And we have brushed and bumbled up against the hair triggers of major regional and world war several times before, each stepping back serving only to ratchet up the tension rather than diffusing it. Let’s hope and pray we don’t end up, as Einstein feared with only sticks and stones left.
So many people have no idea. They may even believe war is good for the economy.
One of the results of this disastrous war, should it happen, will be a sped-up process toward radical financial and political reform including world government. It would be easy to envision a global dictatorship cloaked in the trappings of democracy emerging. We already see the beginnings of it today among various consortiums of the military/security-industrial/corporate-intelligence/surveillance complex. Yet even with a de facto Euro-American Global Empire our Planet Earth remains a fragmented, multipolar world. Each regional power seems to want its own empire all over again, thinking they will “win” this time around. Our nation-state regimes are deluded and overwhelmed by details. Those who oppose the Empire at home in the streets turn blind and naive eyes to the atrocities committed in the name of (fill in the blank, right or left or both) by regimes elsewhere.
We need to pull together to reclaim our local democracies and build a constitutional, democratic world republic. Not a world empire or a nondemocratic republic. This war will also result in greater environmental destruction and premature termination of fossil fuel access before humanity can transition to a cleaner, greener economy.
And this war does not have to happen. And when it happens, each one of you will be forced to take sides. This war will not be way “over there,” but right here under your feet and over your heads. There won’t be any potato chips left to eat and TV to watch.
What are you going to do? Time is running out. Tensions are so high between Turkey and Syria and between Israel and Iran and between NATO and Syria/Iran with Russian, China, and Venezuela currently backing Syria/Iran that we can see full scale war break out at any minute from right now through the rest of 2012 into next summer 2013.
Some talking heads bobble that President Obama will even allow NATO to occupy Syria AND launch limited, surgical attacks on Iran to demonstrate his standing as a decisive president, a man of peace standing up to America’s enemies upon the eve of an election to steal thunder from his more hawkish Republican opponent Mitt Romney. It’s all crazy talk. One can say, “We’ll see,” but then you’re just waiting around.
In the meantime, the United States Constitution gets trampled on yet again regardless of which major party wins and the international bank cartels with their allies among transnational corporations tighten their power upon more and more aspects of our everyday lives.
Two famous, decorated American combat veterans remind us of what war is from our past. They’re quoted so often people rarely pause to reflect upon their meaning. I shall quote these courageous warriors once more. So pay attention.
“War is Hell!” William Tecumseh Sherman, U.S. General during the Civil War and Commanding General of the Army during the Indian Wars said that.
“War is cruelty.” General Sherman said that, too.
“War is a racket!” Smedley Darlington Butler said those words and wrote them down as the title for his book. He was a Major General in the Marine Corps, fought in a number of American imperial wars, and was two-time recipient of the Medal of Honor. He also blamed wars more on Big Business and Big Banks than on enemy regimes as he highlighted corporate influence in politics back in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries.
Yes, war is hell, war is cruel, and war is a racket. How many times do we need to learn these lessons, or are we collectively all insane?
NOTES from the Summer of 2016: Almost four years have passed since this was published. While some of the details have changed, the broader picture has not. We remain at the brink of war as tensions escalate between NATO and the Russian Federation and its allies in Ukraine and the rest of Europa, between China and its neighbors as well as the U.S.A., not to mention the morphing of the Arab Spring into new tyrannies and the rising spread of the Islamic State pseudo-Caliphate, the chaos within Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina, and intermittent hostilities between India and Pakistan, and again increasing volatility in places as diverse as Africa and Europa. North Korea continues to provoke all of its neighbors as it expands and improves its nuclear weapons.
At the same time whistleblowers continue to come forth regarding an incredible range of topics from deep state espionage to spying on the general public to financial manipulation and corruption at high levels to information regarding USAPs or Unacknowledged Special Access Programs, ETs, UFOs, the Inner Earth, and the SSPs or Secret Space Programs.
At times it seems unbelievable and alarming we remain at the brink of self-annihilation. The choices are in our collective hands, and each is an individual choice.
What do you choose?
William Dudley Bass
Wednesday 10 October 2012
Revised 18 October 2012
NOTES added Thursday 23 June 2016:
Copyright © 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.