As I write this we appear surrounded by possible international crises, and frankly I’ve been expecting it. Back in December I expressed concern that you don’t do your homework and believe yourself smart enough not to need to. My concern centered on the real possibility that another country will test you and you won’t know what to do.
Now I see that you are sabre rattling on North Korea, even to the point of lying about an “armada” heading their way. Even though Iran has complied with the terms of our nuclear treaty you insist that you will review it. In August of 2015 you called the treaty “terrible.” You ordered a bombing in Syria (using tomahawk missiles) after watching pictures of dying children. I could go on but I think you see my point.
Last month I wrote about the 100th anniversary of the US entrance into World War I. I didn’t write then about the reasons but it’s worth a look. Simply put, World War I resulted from a series of secret agreements, a push by crumbling empires to appear relevant, and a general disregard for the human cost of war.
Amazingly it all began with a small spark that ignited an immense powder keg. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was crumbling but still insisted on exerting influence on the nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A 19 year old Serbian named Gavrilo Princip (1894-1918) shot to death Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, next in line to the Austro Hungarian throne.
Austria-Hungary soon declared war on Serbia, and within weeks World War I formed between the Central Powers and the Allies.
On an autobiographical note, my wife’s grandfather was born in Austria-Hungary in 1882. When he was 20 his father put him on a ship to America to avoid his being drafted into the army for yet another war. It went well for him, and for me.
Don, my point is this: World War I casualties list 16,500,000 dead and 20,000,000 wounded. And it began with secret treaties and posturing between large nations. And the world went to war when a small spark from a 19 year hold hit a mountain of gunpowder.