World War III Fears Are Overblown

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I’ve been meaning to say this for some time, and several e-mails have catalyzed me into action. There is a risk of dangerous confrontation over Ukraine that could conceivably spark a wider war. I do not like the hawkishness of Rasmussen of NATO or that NATO is now aiding Kiev. There are indeed some very foolish people in Washington and some rabid hawks like Samantha Power. Still, I am stating publicly that in my opinion there is too much talk about this possibility of World War III that takes it not as a warning but virtually a foregone conclusion. I say this because in these social-political matters, conclusive opinions can influence and help create reality. I think instead we should be talking about how to ratchet down the possibilities of war. Instead we should be recognizing that there are perils out there like ebola and volcanic eruptions that can threaten the entire human race or large portions of it, and that these perils are best reduced and insured against by people operating freely in free markets. As wealth rises, we are better equipped to find solutions. We have more wealth and capital to look for solutions. War and its preparations are a tax that should be reduced to a minimum in the same way that government itself with its failed policies and methods acts as a gigantic tax, cost and waste.

Even during the Cold War I never for a moment had a fear of nuclear war, and I do not have it now. It’s simply too irrational! Sure, mankind has some aggressive screws loose or wired in to our makeup. Sure, mankind has done many irrational things and had many destructive episodes, but the human race didn’t get where it is today by allowing these to become dominant or a way of life. We also have some wired in notions of justice and fair play. There are no gains from such a war of any significant or widespread nature to either side and there are huge costs. I do not think that Obama or Putin are thinking in terms of a war with one another. If McCain were president or some others who speak recklessly, I would not be as sure. There are some whose antipathies dominate their wiring. The war/peace decision and the nuclear potential of war remain as an extremely important input in choosing a president. This is an unhappy fact.

I got an e-mail from someone who is so wrapped up in the WW III scenario that she wrote “The Ukrainians(Kiev regime) did it. Anyone who says otherwise is declaring that they want WWIII to begin.” The first sentence doesn’t bother me; opinions vary on that. The second sentence is troublesome. It’s too certain about WW III erupting from the Ukraine scenario and sanctions or from a showing that the Russian hand was in some way involved, accidental or not. It’s acting as if this is another “Remember the Maine” moment or “Gulf of Tonkin” moment. I refuse to concede this kind of social-political power to the warmongers. I don’t think this way and I cannot constitutionally think this way. Logically, saying that separatists may have accidentally downed MH17 doesn’t mean one supports Obama’s actions. The latter doesn’t follow from the former. Truth is not a hostage to one’s political views.

10:21 am on August 9, 2014