The new millennialists – for as long as it takes
Of F-16s, mushroom clouds, tropospheric interference, WW1 redux and fashions for nuclear winter in Argentina
“Public opinion was not a factor that caused WW1 because the mandarins running Europe made their decisions independently of popular feelings.”
From a review of “The Outbreak of the First World War”
The current moment in the US-led Western war against Russia in Ukraine seems to me to be eerily similar to the geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe in the months before the outbreak of WW1 in 1914.
On page one of his book, “The First World War,” widely considered the best one volume history of the war available, British historian Hew Strachan says without equivocation that WWI was completely avoidable in spite of the random assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie by a 19 year old Serbian nationalist on June 14, 1914. War was sparked less than two months later by intransigence and almost comically inept failures of diplomatic communication by European elites across the continent in response to the assassination. It led to a historically bloody debacle, with an estimated 37 million total military and civilian fatalities.
During the war, 4,500,000 Ukrainians fought in the Russian armies and about 300,000 in the Austro-Hungarian armies, a still relevant statistical statement.
Today, having evidently forgotten the lessons of his own historical research, Mr. Strachan is an avid cheerleader for the US-NATO regime change proxy war being waged against Russia in Ukraine.
In “The Sleepwalkers – How Europe Went to War in 1914,” historian Christopher Clark also spotlights the almost universal obliviousness endemic among political elites of the time. Clark opines, “There is no smoking gun in this story; rather, there is one in the hands of every major character.”
WW1 was billed by European elites as the “war to end all wars.” Instead, only 21 years later, it led almost directly to WW2, with an estimated 35,000,000 to 60,000,000 fatalities and the world’s first use of nuclear weapons.
With no peace negotiations in sight, a Western commitment to never ending “whatever it takes” escalation and Russia’s increasingly strident threats to use nuclear weapons, the Ukraine quagmire makes it seem that Western elites have learned nothing in the intervening century since WW1.
This is how WW1 started, with endless provocation by force in the powder keg that is Eastern Europe. The main difference today is that in spite of the potential for nuclear conflict with Russia, there is absolutely no effort to broker a negotiated peace to end the war. Among Western elites, a brokered peace agreement is not an option.