May 14, 2011

Chaos, Confusion, and World War Three

The Second Coming
by William Butler Yeats

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

AP: Christian-Muslim Affair Tests Egypt's Revolution
WP: Egyptian Liberals Worry About Loss of Clout
IT: The Christian Predicament in Syria and Egypt
WP: Egypt Moves to Re-open 48 Churces Closed Under Mubarak
RS: Kamal Saleem, a Muslim Who Came to America to Wage Cultural Jihad

During the Summer Olympics of 1972, a group of Palestinian fighters who called themselves "Black September" took the Palestinian struggle global when they kidnapped and eventually killed nine Israeli athletes in an event that has since become known as the Munich Massacre. Although none of us realized it at the time, this was the opening battle of World War Three. Now, almost four decades later, this war has claimed millions of innocent lives and created powerful nation-states like Iran (dedicated to the creation of a new Islamic caliphate), Saudi Arabia (dedicated to spreading Wahabism through global creation of Islamic schools and media outlets), and Jordan (dedicated to modernizing their nation at any cost). Lebanon has become a permanent battlefield that erupts into violence on a regular basis, Turkey cannot decide if it wants to remain a member of the modern world or help build Iran's caliphate, while smaller states like Abu Dahbi and United Arab Emirates work hard to join the modern world only to find themselves gasping in horror when the entire region erupts in revolution. World War Three went fully hot a decade ago when the United States invaded first Afghanistan and then Iraq in response to 9/11. Pakistan (like Turkey) has spent the entire war trying to simultaneously join the modern world while helping to build Iran's caliphate only to find itself failing in both.

All of these conflicts along with the tumultuous politics that created them, the revolutions that many have dissolved into, and the economic struggles they are birthing, are front line battlegrounds in an ideological war that has been waged for a thousand years. It began with greed when merchants in Venice frustrated by their inability to gain direct access to spices, teas, and porcelains, convinced the Pope to launch a war against Islam. The Crusades ended in disaster for the European powers, but the ramifications, hatred, and resentments they created are still with us today. The problem that everyone in the modern media has failed to realize is that this ancient conflict was reignited at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Scholars like Samuel P. Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order) and Francis Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man) have tried to point it out to us, but we remain willfully ignorant of their message. Instead of dealing directly with the ideological underpinings of this global war, we celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden and weave intricate conspiracy theories about 9/11, neither of which addresses the very real issues of why Al Qaeda was formed in the first place and how they became so deadly.

America's huge deficit, the wave of revolutions sweeping the Middle East, and even the massive flooding we are experiencing here in the United States all share a common foundation. They are all the direct result of human meddling in natural forces in a vain, arrogant, and ultimately useless effort to bring about utopia. Our deficit is the result of social engineering programs designed to eliminate poverty. The revolutions sweeping the Middle East are the result of pouring massive funding into the coffers of corrupt leaders in order to manufacture a false stability. The flooding, massive thunderstorms, and other weather-driven disasters our world is experiencing are all a direct result of cloud-seeding in a dozen countries throwing the natural hydraulic cycle into complete disarray.

Last year I planted more than 50,000 wildflower seeds on my property. I got a dozen poppy plants and nothing more. So far this year I have a few hundred Devil's Paintbrush, a couple dozen Farewell to Spring, and two Johnny Jump-up. Next year, if everything goes as planned, my little hillside will be covered in colorful blossoms. This is how natural processes work. They take time, they build up, and then they explode. Right now the most important thing people living in democracies can do is stop voting for candidates who promise utopia. We must give up our dreams of perfecting our societies and recognize that the only way we can bring a better world is by increasing freedom to the point where the best and brightest among us rise to prominence while the least qualified drift off into obscurity to die from exposure or substance abuse beneath our bridges and hidden away in abandoned subway tunnels. We cannot control natural processes. We can work with them or we can work against them, but we cannot change them.

World War Three, with all its chaos and confusion, is the product of our search for utopia. The only way to bring this global conflagration to an end once and for all is to back off and stop trying to manufacture a paradise on Earth. Let the foolish starve. Let the violent burn themselves out killing one another. The role of government is to protect private property, isolate the violent, and prevent the successful from using their achievement to steal the freedoms of their fellow citizens. Nothing more and nothing less. The longer we continue trying to engineer a perfect society the wider the chaos and confusion will spread. It has already inflamed half the world and impoverished two-thirds of it. How bad does it have to get before we realize that we are failing and the reason we are failing is because we are fighting against the ebb and flow of natural systems that have always been, and always will be, outside our control?

Humans will never be gods. It is high time we realized it.