Clear and present danger.

Set the world to rights?
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Set the world to rights?

Re: Clear and present danger.

Postby Pondero » January 25th, 2018, 12:25 am

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Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa, The bookmark of Teresa of Ávila, [28]
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Re: Clear and present danger.

Postby GregB » January 25th, 2018, 8:10 am

Val wrote:
I have to disagree with Greg about a clear and present danger.
I do not think that we are any immediate danger of a war with Russia or China.
The four horsemen Trump, Putin, Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping are far too fond of their ill-gotten money to lose it by starting any shenanigans like a war.
Mind you Trump is most probably the poorest of the four.

The expression 'clear and present danger' doesn't necessarily imply an immediate threat or danger of war but one which is growing as a result of the policies and actions of the Russian and Chinese governments (North Korea is a distinct issue and any war with that regime would be localised and would not lead to a massive conflagration, still less World War Three, as I've pointed out elsewhere.) The fact is that the armed forces of both Russia and China have been hugely beefed up in recent years and both countries are engaged in constant acts of military provocation, the former in Europe and the latter in the East and South China Seas. Putin would prefer to weaken and dominate Europe by stealth means (already under way), but he has stated openly that he is prepared to go to war if necessary if Russian interests were threatened (how he perceives such a threat is the crux of the matter, but Russia has always felt surrounded and exposed to foreign conquest throughout its troubled history.) As the level of mutual provocation rises, the risk of war by accident increases exponentially and history is littered with examples.

The personal fortunes of these world leaders has nothing to do with the aggressive foreign policies they have espoused, largely fueled by rising ultra-nationalism. The likelihood of a nuclear exchange is, as yet, remote, but we're talking here about conventional warfare and, as said, the Russian and Chinese armed forces are getting further and further ahead of those of the West and clearly have a built-in capacity for aggressive warfare. I'm reminded tangentially of those who, on the eve of the First World War, asserted that a huge war was impossible given the interlocking economic interests of the major powers. The English economist, Norman Angell, wrote a book soon before the outbreak of the war in 1914, called 'The Great Illusion', in which he dismissed war as being totally implausible due to the trade links between the great powers and that such a war would be suicidal for Europe. As we know, however, the countdown to suicide reached zero in August, 1914...
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