Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Are We in the Third World War?

Last night I attended a talk given by Professor Jeffrey Norwitz, a terrorism expert and an NCIS who, among other things, teaches at the Naval War College in Newport.

Jeff is a close colleague of MacKubin Owens who is a contributor to that other conservative RI blog (Anchor Rising) and on occasion for National Review.

Professor Norwitz raised an interesting question to a diverse audience of engineers.  Are we currently living through World War III?

Without directly answering the question he raised a number of analogies to the two previous world wars:

Ideologically Driven: both WWI and WWII were fueled by ideologues who had wild eyed views of a world under the domination of their likewise wild eyed ideologies.  Even the Cold War was obviously ideologically fueled.

Global: Battles are scattered all over the globe, from Bali to Baghdad, to New York and Kenya.

Unusual Alliances:  Norwitz pointed to the alliance of the Soviets with the US during WWII, and the current strange alliance between Sunni Syria and Shiite Iran.  You could also consider the Saudis and the US.

But, I asked, during WWI and WWII, there were propaganda campaigns that kept the nation involved with the war effort, today, apart from the daily body count, it is almost like war isn't going on.  Not many are lifting a finger for the effort.  All the work is being carried by the 120,000 or so troops in the Middle East.

Ah, he said, this was a major error of the Bush administration.  Soon after 9/11, the president seemed to say, "leave us to take care of this war and go about your business."


Suffice it to say, Norwitz raises a good question, and if we are in a war, and don't realize it, we are subject to defeat.  If we take heed, despite the cruelty of our enemy, we could prevail.

But will we take heed?

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