I was talking with a friend yesterday, and we got on the topic of Georgia, and the recent conflict with Russia. In case you don’t know, South Ossetia broke off from Georgia quite some time ago. Georgia decided they weren’t putting up with this independence attitude anymore, so they attacked. The Russians decided that the Ossetians needed some protecting, so they, um, invaded. So Georgia invades Ossetia/Russia. So now the people of Ossetia are being bombed from two sides. A pox on both Georgia’s and Russia’s houses.
Anyway, back to my friend. World War III i/ii (that’s three and a half, we’re giving the cold war a half credit) may be coming. Take the world conflict analysis into account. China has a reputation as an international dick, despite efforts to make us think otherwise. Israel has fooled the world about its true nature, but acts as a belligerent military dictatorship at odds with every other nation in the middle east-the world’s favorite powder keg. The US is bankrupt, with it’s military exhausted and preoccupied with Iraq and Afghanistan. That equals three problem areas: eastern Europe, the middle east, and Oriental Asia (my personal favorite, cause it’s the most powerful/interesting).
The world was similarly tense at the beginning of WWI. The murder of Franz Ferdinand shouldn’t have started a world war, but it was the catalyst that sent the Europe into conflict.
Sure things are different now. WWI was a European conflict, and since then Europe combined it’s economy so that no individual nation could use it’s resources to wage war on the others. European cultures have managed to stay distinct while finding common values that allow for peace and prosperity. But that’s not the world situation, not by a long shot. Developed nations thrive off the resources of the third-world, without reinvestment. Fundamentalism has gained a political foothold in many governments in the muslim world, standing in direct opposition to the tolerance and secularism found in Europe. In our own country, the status of world power is quickly slipping away, and at least for the time being, the US is in no position to bail any other nation’s out.
So how does mutual invasion between a tiny nation and a gigantic one escalate to world conflict? Well the United States is already lining up behind Georgia. If it becomes militaristic, then you have a cold war hawk’s wet dream, war between Russia and the states. Neither nation is in any position to take this very far, but the US loves to bring in allies. In this case, that means NATO (Which at this point pretty much means the UK, and the rest of western Europe telling us to stop being jackasses). China already doesn’t like us, and would likely take this opportunity to call in our debts. Let’s be clear, this would wreck our economy-the US would be ruined, and recovery would be decades away.
Unless, of course, America goes back to it’s original cold war debtor, Japan. So Japan loans us enough to keep us afloat, because it’ll mean they’ll be filthy rich, but they’ll also be setting themselves up opposite of China.
Ok, a couple of things could happen here. China could become militarily involved, which would really make this the biggest war ever. That would prompt North Korea to invade South Korea. Or, Iran could take advantage of decreased scrutiny and finally invade israel. That would make the other mid-east nations fall in line behind Iran. Conceivably, both could happen.
So let’s add this up. Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and maybe Jordan would be the new “axis” powers, with Georgia, America, the UK, Japan, South Korea, and Israel forming the new allies. Iraq and Afghanistan descend into chaotic anarchy. Other big unaffected nations like India, Australia will feel pressure, but would be smart to stay out.
take a look at those line-ups again. Who are the biggest powers on either side? China and the US. China is currently the biggest and fastest growing economy in the world, a huge investor in new technology, and has the worlds largest population of sexually repressed males. The United States has…a slowing economy, falling education and technology investment, and a strained and battered military. China wins this one hands down guys. The other nations aren’t powerful enough to sway things one way or another. WWIII i/ii is going to suck ass, and we don’t even get to come out on top when it’s over. This may be a rather dramatic way for China to assert itself as the new big dog in town, and to pick Russia up from its current poverty.
So I’m just sayin’, we ma be fucked. Royally.
The only way that America doesn’t ‘lose,’ that I can see, is with nuclear arms. And we all know that nukes are the last thing that anybody ever wants, but the US government is stubborn, and if it can’t win, the order may come down to make sure that China sure as hell can’t win either. So we get nuclear war, and we’re even more royally fucked.
This path of conflict may be limited in terms of logical sense, but that’s the point. WWI made no sense, no one benefitted, and it should not have happened. But the tensions were tight enough that a single gunshot brought out the worst in everyone. That’s what I fear may happen now, with Ossetia. Of course, maybe if Franz Ferdinand was alive today, we’d be mature enough to let him live, or at least lie in peace. Here’s hoping.
UPDATE: Ok so they signed a cease fire right after I posted this. I’m hoping it lasts. Still, there’s lots of regional pressure cookers out there, and I’m not taking down a post just cause the world didn’t end, so view the rest of this as a commentary on how things can blow up in today’s age.
UPDATE II: fuck. Ok so for reals, I doubt it will be world war 3, but the US can only do so much dumb shit before it blows up in our faces.