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Is World War III Around the Corner?

Reader comment on item: Convicting [Ali al-Timimi,] the "Paintball Sheikh"

Submitted by Matt Wilson (United States), May 2, 2005 at 14:41

Thank you for updating us on the Timimi trial. Radical Islam really is at war with America. Unfortunately, not enough people are taking this seriously. When viewed in isolation, the war against radical Islam does not appear to be that significant. However, as professor Niall Ferguson explains in the article "Sinking Globalization", this is one of the necessary sources of instability that can lead us into World War III. War against whom? Think about our rivals: Russia, China, Iran and the Arab countries.

Niall explains that, like today, the period before World War I was marked by imperial overstretch, great-power rivalry, unstable alliances, rogue regimes, and terrorist organizations. My brief summary of this article is below:

1. Imperial Overstretch - In 1914 it was the British Empire that was overstretched. Today it is America.

2. Great-Power Rivalry - In 1914 there was the Anglo-German rivalry and the German-Russian rivalry. Today it is the American-EU rivalry, American-Chinese rivalry and the American-Russian rivalry.

3. Unstable Alliances - In 1914 there were shakey alliances with Germany and Austria,and Russia and France. The United Kingdom's actions were impossible to predict. The associated insecurities encouraged risk-taking diplomacy. Today America has unstable alliances with NATO, South Korea and most so-called allies. The America alliances with Japan, Israel and Taiwan seem strong, but that's about it.

4. Rogue Regimes - In 1914 it was Serbia.A Bosnian Serb executed Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo (on June 28, 1914), which then started World War I about two months later. Today the rogue regimes are North Korea, Iran and Syria.

5. Terrorist Organizations - In 1914 it was the Bolsheviks in Russia who were committed to using violence to bring about world revolution. Today it is Al Qaeda,"Islamo-Bolshevists", who are committed to revolution and a reordering of the world along anti-capitalist lines.

World War I started after a series of world instabilities formed. The timing for the start of the war is determined by a catalyst. Unfortunately, this means that it is difficult to predict the exact timing of a war.

Here's the link to the full article: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/printer_031905I.shtml
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