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World War III

I don't know about the rest of you folks, but since Russia flexed its military muscle in Georgia 2 weeks ago, an unsettling, cautious sensation planted its roots in the pit of my stomach, and hasn't gone away since then.

The response from the USA, the EU and NATO haven't done much to ease my anxieties. Paternal-like threats from Bush and Secretary of State Condie Rice, stating that, "Russia is playing a very dangerous game with the US and must be punished," seem to me rather combative and unnecessary, especially since it's not entirely clear who initiated this recent conflict between Georgia and Russia.

May I remind Bush and Rice that Russia is not Iraq, nor Iran, nor Afghanistan. They are certainly capable and will likely hit back if threatened with any sort of American, or other military advances. Referring to, or dealing with them in a kind of subordinate manner certainly won't sit very well with Medvedev nor Putin. Surely we must recognize the hypocrisy of it all, given our invasion, occupation and subjugation of Iraq. Imagine if Russia and the EU voiced disapproval and vehemently stated that America must be punished for its war crimes in the Middle East!

But I'm not naive. Being the world's bully... I mean, being the world's "super power" certainly has its "privileges," if we can even call them that. However, a little less hubris and instead more humility are in order.

So, don't get too comfortable.

I walk the streets of New York, watching the movement of seemingly happy, pleased people, eating, drinking, shopping, living relatively uncomplicated lives, compared to those in other worlds, and I shake my head as I wonder if we all realize that there are wars going on - many that we are knee-deep in, as thousands have died, and continue to die, for causes that still haven't been clearly defined. I look around me and I think to myself, one wouldn't even be able to tell that we are at war.

The world might be a beautiful and radiant place, but it's infested with egomaniacs and megalomaniacs who are driven almost solely by greed, and unfortunately, they are usually the few in power, intent on keeping their constituents oblivious of the goings on behind the curtain.

I came across this piece by Simon Jenkins at Huffington Post:

We Tilt at Windmills as World War Looms
Is the world drifting towards a new global war? From this week the dominant super-power, America, will for three months pass through the valley of the shadow of democracy, a presidential election. This is always a moment of self-absorption and paranoia. Barack Obama and John McCain will not act as statesmen but as politicians. They will grandstand and look over their shoulders. Their eye will stray from the ball. Meanwhile, along history's fault line of conflict from Russia's European border to the Caucasus and on to Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, diplomats are shifting uneasily in their seats, drums are sounding and harsh words are spoken. The world is now run by a generation of leaders who have never known global war. Has this dulled their senses? Dan McNeill, an American general, was recently interviewed in Kabul on how to beat the Taliban. He was not the first to conclude that this could not be done militarily but only by "winning hearts and minds". The problem, he said, lay in the answer to the question, "Whose hearts and minds?" Was it those of the Afghan people or was it rather those of the American Congress and voters? Both Obama and McCain have claimed that the war in Iraq has been allowed to distract attention from the war in Afghanistan. This is different from the neoconservatives, who felt the war in Afghanistan was a distraction from the more important war in Iraq. America now thinks it has won in Baghdad and must return to Kabul - and possibly even Tehran. At the same time it must face the possibility that these conflicts may in turn be a distraction from the reemergence as world powers of Russia and China, who are already gaining the initiative in Iran and Africa. Moscow is also precipitating a nationalist resurgence in eastern Europe and among Russian minorities in the Caucasus. The question is critical. Has the West misjudged the fault line of an impending conflict?

The rest here:
We Are At War


  1. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...

    Russia, China, America, Britain...

    Cheers, Tambay. I've been quite happily trying to bury my head in the sand but you just won't let me, will you...?


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