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Setting the Stage for World War III. History Repeats Itself.

By Justin Darr

January 8, 2006

For years the term “World War III” has been tossed about to describe everything from the international fight against poverty and disease to most recently the War on Terror. However, as anyone who actually lived through the World War II era can tell you, the battles of the past 50 years share little in common with that dark time.


We like to romanticize the World Wars today, looking at the past through the distorting lens of victory and decades of comfort. But the reality of a World War is far different. These are conflicts we could actually lose, requiring the marshalling of our total national resources and costing the lives of millions. Trusting in our wealth and power to make such large-scale conflicts things of the past has made us lackadaisical to the point that we do not see the seeds of the next World War taking root around us. This arrogance has made us blind as we repeat the mistakes of the late 1930’s and set the stage for the next World War.


There are numerous parallels between the now forming “Axis” of World War III and that of World War II. Both are composed of two ideological tyrants and one lunatic bent on his personal aggrandizement. Both developed their military power in violation of established international treaties. Both had their aggression initially met with appeasement policies led by an ineffective and corrupt international body distracted by a surrogate war. Both were emboldened in their aggression through the acquisition of territory simply through the threat of force. And, both were formed more out of strategic necessity than common goals.


The Axis of yesterday composed of the tyrannies of Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Italy are now Iran, North Korea, and quite possibly Venezuela under Hugo Chavez.


The first two partners in today’s Axis are easy to identify. Iran’s Islamic fundamentalism and North Korea’s Communism have replaced Nazi Germany’s fascism, and Imperial Japan’s Meiji nationalism.


Just as Germany and Japan built their military strength through blatant violations of the Treaty of Versailles and the 1922 Washington Navel Conference, Iran and North Korea are pursuing the development of nuclear weapons in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Led by the League of, now United Nations, these treaty violations have not been challenged forcibly by the international community, but rather through a series of conferences bent more on appeasing an aggressive enemy than stopping them. The results of this appeasement will be the same today as they were in the 1930’s; the new Axis will disingenuously participate in these negotiations as a delay tactic until they develop their military power to the point that the world has to choose between total war or total surrender to their demands.


The third member of the Axis is not as clear-cut as the first two. However, when you look at the reality of what an actual World War III involving the United States, Iran, and North Korea would look like, it is a bit more obvious.


As with all modern societies, the lifeblood of the United States is oil. In a large-scale military conflict, Iran would quickly move to choke the supply of oil from the Mid-East by controlling the narrow Straight of Hormuz at the southern end of the Persian Gulf. Even the full force of the United States Armed Forces could do little to prevent the oil flow through the 21-mile wide straight from slowing to a trickle, if not completely stop.


Seeing the United States’ economy weakening with the loss of Gulf oil, and American military forces stretched across the globe, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez could seize the opportunity to joint the new Axis, cut the export of Venezuelan oil to the United States, and thoroughly devastate the American economy with the loss of an additional 12% of its oil supply.


Chavez has already declared his nation’s oil exports a “geopolitical weapon” to be used against the United States, visited Iran four times in the last 18 months and voiced his support for the development of its nuclear programs, and while on a state visit to Venezuela, President of North Korea’s Parliament, Yang Hyong Sop, declared, “It is very necessary to further strengthen the relations…between our two people…and …face the conspiracies of our enemies.”


Would it make any sense for Chavez to take sides with the Axis against the United States? No more than it made when Mussolini joined against the Allies. But it would serve to placate the ego of Chavez who is desperately angling to make himself an international anti-American heavy weight and uniting all of South America in a larger “Bolivarian Republic” led by himself and Fidel Castro, just as Mussolini dreamed of recreating the Roman Empire across the Mediterranean with himself as Emperor.


Adding in the final few similarities between World War II and today and the picture is complete. In Iraq, the chief protagonists of Iran and the United States are already fighting and developing the tactics of the next war, and the international community is so preoccupied with criticizing and “preventing” another Iraq that they are making a far worse conflict inevitable, just as happened with the Spanish Civil War. Israel, under pressure from the international community ceded the Gaza Strip to Islamic fanatics in a vain attempt to buy peace with as much success as the Allies gained by permitting the “Anschluss.” And, growing antiwar and isolationist sentiments in the United States are making it more likely for America to avoid entering any conflict until a point in time where we are drawn into it unwillingly and unprepared due to a national catastrophe.


For decades people have spoke about the “Munich Syndrome” and about how those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. Now, as events continue to unfold, and history seems to be repeating itself, we must seriously ask our leaders and ourselves; what do we intend to do about it?


© January 2006 Justin Darr


Justin Darr is a freelance writer living in the Philadelphia area with his wife and twin children. He can be read widely on the Internet and in publications across North America and in Europe.


Justin Darr is a staff writer for The New Media Alliance, and a proud member of the MoveOff Network..


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