World War III for Dummies

Posted: August 27, 2013 in Current Events
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An Israeli soldier helps a citizen fit a gas mask (File photo: IDF Spokesman)

World War III for Dummies

A key component for war comes from leaders who misjudge their opponent’s intentions and or capabilities.  Take Saddam Hussein, for example.  He simply could not imagine that self-indulgent Americans would be willing to spend the blood and treasure it would require to dislodge him from power.  Today we have leaders who, like Saddam, arrogantly think they are the smartest people in the room.  That would be great except that is just isn’t even close to true.  Arrogant American Progressives from both political parties continually misjudge the world and what wags it.

Only two years ago Progressives in the political elite circles of Washington DC and New York proclaimed how marvelous it was that the so-called Arab Spring was wiping away the brutal dictators of the “Cold War” era.  It was heralded as a triumph of American foreign policy.  George W. Bush, Mr. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and of course Mr. Obama, along with the progressively minded elite media all support the idea of unlimited democracy in the region.  Bill Kristol even remarked that those who disagreed with this assertion were “overly pessimistic.”  Currently, Mr. Obama is going out of his way to promote the Muslim Brotherhood, regardless of their threatening allies, or committing genocide against the Coptic Christians, who are approximately 10% of the Egyptian population.  Only when the images of these rapes, murders, and the destructions of hundreds of churches did Obama give a tepid admonishment.  For weeks now Washington DC has debated whether or not to cut aid to Egypt.  Now we are hearing from the media how Bashar Al-Asad has crossed Obama’s so-called “red-line” by killing a hundred people or so with a chemical attack.  Seriously?  This monster has killed ninety-thousand people and committed atrocities against countless others, and we are talking about a military response over one hundred more?  Perhaps, it is secretly Obama’s guilt that a chemical attack may well have utilized the disappearing chemical weapons that magically vanished from Iraq.

(Please ignore the convoys of semi-trucks that crossed the Iraq – Syria border on the eve of the Saddam’s fall from power.)

Well, here we are in late 2013 with close to if not already over one hundred thousand people dead across the region.  In Syria, Bashar Al-Asad – backed by the Russians and Iran is brutally murdering civilians in droves.  In Egypt, we have now come full circle, with Hosni Mubarak, out of jail and the Muslim Brotherhood pushed out of their democratically elected posts.  In Egypt, the old alliances are splintering.  Israel and Saudi Arabia, who have been traditional supporters of US Middle East policy, are now promoting the military coup by the Egyptian military.  Turkey and Qatar, on the other hand support the Muslim Brotherhood.  One might recall that Saudi Arabia and Qatar currently host US military bases.

My point, you ask?  My point is that it is my belief that the political class, although too arrogant to ever admit being completely wrong and is deeply misguided in their understanding of the world.  The United States has never exactly been popular in the region, but now we find ourselves to be a laughing stock.  Why should a Middle Eastern leader believe anything the US says?  Washington DC only cares about politics, what party will win the next election, and how political opponents can be discredited.   In this environment, do you think it is likely that leaders from the Middle East are more or less likely to misjudge American intentions?  Recall who the key players are in the Syrian conflict?  Russia, Syria, the USA, are facing off in a bitter civil conflict that is far deeper than whether a dictator will remain in power.  Russia wants access to Syrian ports.  Iran wants to eliminate Israel, and in my opinion, achieve a caliphate.  It will be interesting to see what Obama does here.  Who would bet against him believing he can lob a couple of missiles or implement a no-fly zone with little consequence?  How a horrific world war begins is simple, it starts by accident, because deeply rooted animosity comes to the surface because leaders misjudge each other.

My novel, Phoenix Republic tells a story about three sisters as they come to grips with economic disaster and turmoil overseas that changes everything.  Our ordinary world is so fragile, yet we are often so careless in it’s care.

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  1. Ken Hess says:

    I love that title. WWIII for Dummies is great. Great story too.

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