So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Saturday, February 27, 2016

World War Three and what Tom Clancy can teach us.

Interpretations of current events that assert trajectories which take into consideration the very real elements of human ambition and a proclivity toward unrestrained violence by as yet uncivilized peoples should be taken seriously.

Is there such a thing as a civilized people in this day and age? Behind a veneer of civility in the West hides the massive atrocity of the murder of millions of innocent unborn lives that makes the genocidal actions of ISIS seem miniscule by comparison. Though, by no means is that statement an attempt to diminish the seriousness of the horrors perpetrated against millions of people for which the militant islamist group ISIL/ISIS is responsible.

If one thing is highly likely among men, we can say that—given the 20th Century as the mirror into which we can clearly view human nature at its worst—little skirmishes fueled by human ambition can develop into massive battles. A former generation was so scarred by the Second World War that the collective memory of that conflict ensured the development and embrace of a psychological deterrent to vaporizing each other. Nuclear weapons multiplied and with them the fear of annihilation. Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD, was the Cold War policy which kept superpowers from ending billions of lives and sending the planet into a nuclear winter.

MAD. Never was there a more frightening nor more appropriate acronym. MAD might as well be a tattoo that trendy pop stars have inked on their bodies to identify their own nihilistic tendencies and the mentality of members of a generation who deny their own mortality but actively promote ideologies which are contributing to the demise of future generations.

How many atomic bombs does one need to convince one's enemy that one means business? Just one.

The policy that led to the stockpiling of thousands of nuclear warheads by several countries, most notably the USA and the former Soviet Union, and which grew out of a fear of the consequences of descending into another global conflict, i.e., utter annihilation, kept nations from 'pushing the button' and from creating the largest Fourth of July fireworks display ever. Nevertheless, what "the Bomb" failed to accomplish members of the culture of death are achieving with shocking efficiency: abortion; euthanasia; genocide; human trafficking. The list could go on and on.

So why this brief reminder that we live in fragile times? The signs are rapidly multiplying. Ambitious power-crazed hooligans ignite wildfires every day. The chances a more involved conflagration might arise between those nations fighting those wildfires grows because poor communication between multiple players in a crowded war zone enables accidents.

Peace in our time?

Temporary ceasefires come and go. Regarding the ceasefire negotiated by the USA and Russia to halt aggression between Syrian government forces and rebel forces—the words 'tentative at best' comes to mind.

The fairly recent incident involving the Russian bomber shot down by Turkish forces is one such collision between a major player (RUSSIA) and an ally of a major player (Turkey/NATO) which could have led to a rapid escalation of tension. If Russia had attacked an ally of the West, would the West have stepped in militarily to deter the Russians from further aggression? Chances are Obama would have just twiddled his thumbs and turned a blind eye to any military escalation between Russia and Turkey. If he hasn't lifted a finger to deter Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine, what makes anyone think Obama would do anything differently were Russia to roll tanks into Turkey?

Speaking hypothetically, a third world war could begin with an apparently unavoidable retaliation for an act committed against a big player or its ally by a smaller player that happens to be an ally of another big player. The two small players could drag their big brothers into a fight that neither big brother wants but must engage in to preserve whatever power or strategic allegiance they feel they must protect. The question is, between which two major powers will the conflict begin?
  • USA (Philippines) vs CHINA
  • USA (Korea, Japan) vs CHINA (North Korea): North Korea commits one of its typical provocations, possibly killing many South Koreans. The South, weary of decades of such attacks, responds with disproportionate effect setting off a chain reaction that the North uses to escalate the conflict. The US forces in Korea attempt to mitigate the viability of North Korea's claimed nuclear arsenal. CHINA defends its neighbour by attacking US maritime forces in the region under the pretence the US forces constitute a threat to CHINA's interests.
  • USA (and Ukraine) vs RUSSIA (Crimea)?
If ISIS or al-Qaeda was to play the big players against each other—perhaps by making an attack appear to be committed by one of the partners to the recent ceasefire against another partner—would it then be possible, once such a deception took hold, to halt retaliation in time to prevent an all out conflict between larger players?

A line from the movie The Sum of All Fears, based on the novel of the same name by Tom Clancy, comes to mind. The character Richard Dressler, a neo-Nazi played by Alan Bates (d. 2002) offers the following scenario.
Dressler: Most people believe that the 20th century was a death struggle between Communism and Capitalism, and that Fascism was but a hiccup. But today we know better. Communism was a fool's errand. The followers of Marx gone from this earth, but the followers of Hitler abound and thrive. Hitler, however, had one great disadvantage. He lived in a time when Fascism, like a virus... like the AIDS virus... needed a strong host in order to spread. Germany was that host. But Germany did not prevail. The world was too big. Fortunately, the world has changed. Global communications, cable TV, the internet. Today the world is smaller and a virus does not need a strong host in order to spread. The virus... is airborne. One more thing. Let no man call us crazy. They called Hitler crazy. But Hitler was not crazy. He was stupid. You don't fight Russia and America. You get Russia and America to fight each other... and destroy each other.—IMDB quotes.
Yes, followers of Hitler persist, but they are by no means in a position to carry out what Dressler envisioned. Yet.

Militant Islam and militant secularism sittin' in a tree... .

The groups with the resources to acquire and plant a weapon of mass destruction fall under another large umbrella. Today fascism comes in two forms, one of which has attached itself to Islam. The mainstream media call it militant Islam, ISIS, ISIL, Al Shabaab, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, or what have you.

Another form of fascism rising is the regressive left—secular or liberal progressivism, militant atheism, etc.—which is responsible for the return of the eugenics movement and the full-on enactment of the culture of death. A student of history will tell you that no one should be surprised that where one form rises—from the left—another from the right soon joins in a danse diabolique.

Dressler and his cohort planted a nuclear bomb in a football stadium during a game attended by the US President as part of an attempt to ignite his plan to pit Russia against the United States. Dressler wanted to provoke the superpowers into conflict by making the attack on the US appear to have been carried out by Soviet Russia. You will recall the relative ease with which Dressler acquired said bomb. Nowadays the threat of a nuclear detonation comes not from Russia nor the USA nor even China but from the one madman, known or unknown, with a bomb.

Frightening? Damn right it is! The world desperately needs our prayers for peace and God's mercy. If there is any occasion which merits our fasting and prayers of supplication to God it is certainly the current circumstances with which we as a people sharing the same planet are faced. If you aren't already, start fasting and praying for God's mercy—that we may be spared the devastation of another global conflict.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
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