Can you smell rain before one drop of water falls? Not me. I get my cue from dark clouds. But I wonder why some people have the ability to sniff out the future while others don’t. And I can’t help but feel there are people who sense we live in a year that smells like it’s about to rain. Not just rain, but a mighty deluge. When I read through the news I see dark clouds circling.
Are we living in the year where history will look back and refer to it as the opening scene of WWIII?
Where were the first shots fired in WWI and WWII? Of course, it isn’t of relative importance in the broader destruction and loss of life that followed for both world wars. But what was of great importance, were the accumulating events in the preceding months and years that put the world on a war footing.
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria sparked WWI. Germany backed its ally, Austria-Hungary against Serbia assuming it would be over in a few days. A few decades later it was Hitler’s invasion of Poland that started WWII, but the rise of nationalism and the Nazi party has been put down by many as rooted in the Treaty of Versailles, and later, the Great Depression.
In Syria, the ceasefire has been suspended; Syrian forces backed by Russia, and the rebels backed and led by the US. Two mighty adversarial forces standing behind relative small armies cast a long shadow, making those forces puppets of their much larger masters. Mistakes happen. What happens if the US shoots down a Russian jet by accident or vice versa? Will that be the spark that ignites WWIII?
Will there be any survivors to look back after the last nuclear bomb has fallen to ask why we got ourselves into this situation?
They say elephants have tremendous memories. I forgot who said it first, but unlike my poor memory, we pay politicians, diplomats, and institutions to have memories like elephants. To remember to do things, like dispose of rubbish, collect taxes to build schools and universities, pay police, and importantly, not to do things. To not get into a position where war is inevitable.
The current election might be a turning point. If Trump wins, with his dangerous cavalier rhetoric about nuclear weapons, we might be sending a flaming canary into the mine to see if the world has enough combustible tension to explode.
Also published on Medium.