1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated by Serbian nationalist. Outcome: War between the Germans, Italians, French, English, Russians, Japanese and Americans.
2016: Russian Ambassador to Turkey assassinated by Muslim Nationalist. Outcome: ??
It isn’t the big things that kick off wars — sometimes it is the little things. I doubt the assassination of the Russian Ambassador will lead to all out war . . .but it is not inconceivable. The international arena is destabilized. The risk of miscalculation is high. American political leaders speak of Putin in the same way the spoke of Moamar Gaddhafi, Hosni Mubarak, Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad. Should he not fear the same end as they? Islam is on the march — they are invading Europe (again) and the Middle East is a cauldron of war. Chinese and Russian missile technology renders America’s conventional overmatch less intimidating.
The list of potential strategic miscalculations is not short.
Combine the unstable international situation with quasi-revolutionary fervors domestically. Britain voted for Brexit. Catalonia yearns for independence, as does Wallonia. France’s new Joan of Arc — French Nationalist Marie Le Pen — gives hope to millions of French who wants to be . . . French! (And are the Germans going to be German again?) Geert Wilders is convicted of “hate speech” and the Dutch are lining up behind him even more. Americans dumped every establishment politician from both parties in favor of Trump, whose opponents seriously compare him and his followers to the Nazi’s of the 1930s and are calling for the censoring of news sites and radio shows that helped him win. China is facing a economic catastrophe if they cannot re-ignite the economic engine that moved tens of millions of Chinese to the coast (and left those inland as destitute as ever).
Russia is caught between western pressure to “conform to international norms” on pain of economic sanctions and threat of war while facing demographic catastrophe and the collapse in the price of oil.
It is by no means sure that Saudi Arabia (rarely in the news these days) will emerge from this decade intact — they are at war with Yemen (and by proxy Iran).
North Korea is more intent on getting a nuke and missile than ever and Iran boasts of an advanced missile and nuclear program. Will nuclear Pakistan and India keep shadow boxing or will one of them overstep and land a punch that gets a response that leads to all out war? With nukes?
Wars are revolutionary — and we have been at war since the 1990s (Yugoslavia, the no-fly zone in Iraq, then Afghanistan, and then Iraq again).
I find myself, personally, accused of being a Nazi (nothing new there, actually) because I don’t buy into the Leftist agenda and never have. Helping elect Trump (but my single vote and one yard sign) is now a mortal sin in the eyes of my more “enlightened” fellow citizens who feel obligated to undermine this election and censor political views not their own. And when white children are called racists in grade schools, and white adults are forced to undergo re-education camps (mandatory white privilege seminars at college campuses) while the Left can burn and loot . . .then I think we have already arrived at something far bigger and more dangerous than we imagine.
This is only just beginning and it isn’t funny any more.
Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
Colorado Springs, CO