Seventy one years ago today, on December 11, 1941, a madman named Adolph Hitler declared war on the United States of America. By the time the armistice was finally signed in 1945, seventy million human beings perished, half of all the Jews on earth were exterminated, and the horrors of nuclear destruction rained down on two Japanese cities. World War II took organized death and destruction to a new height of madness, yet we have learned nothing from the carnage. It is now 2012, there are 26 armed conflicts raging around the world, and peace is still an elusive dream.
We have come a long way from trench warfare, sacrificial infantry charges into lethal machine gun fire, and massive tank battles. Nations have turned modern warfare into a psychotic technological ballet of killer drones, laser guided bombs, and silent submarines lurking in the ocean’s depths, waiting to unleash an atomic Armageddon at the push of a button.
Everywhere we look, the bullets and bombs are flying. Africa is being ripped apart by a sectarian religious war between Muslims and Christians that has the potential to erupt into genocide. Boko Haram is terrorizing Nigeria, and Mali is being demolished by the fanatics of al-Qaeda.
The great ancient library of Timbuktu, one of the true wonders of the world, faces obliteration, and the human race may lose the greatest repository of early Islamic history on earth. Tribal warfare, famine, and crazed warlords have killed millions in Somalia and Darfur, and now, even modern Kenya is being dragged into the fight.
The Arab spring has slowly turned into the winter of death and discontent. Sudan and Libya have fallen under the control of extremist butchers, who took a moment from killing each other to murder Christopher Stevens, the United States Ambassador to Libya, and three other American diplomats. Syria’s Assad has killed thousands of his own countrymen to cling to power and the ranks of the opposition are filled with Jihadi militants who will kill anyone that gets in their way.
Egypt, once America’s most dependable ally in the Arab world, has fallen under the control of a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood determined to establish a new Caliphate. President Morsi is threatening to make Sharia Law the new Constitution of Egypt, and huge angry crowds of Egyptians are ready to overthrow the man they are calling the “Modern Pharaoh.”
The same pro-Democracy forces that removed Mubarak from power are ready to return in force to Tahrir Square and do it all over again. Cairo witnessed a week of violence and massive protests against Morsi’s Islamist agenda. Word on the street in Egypt says the level of anger against Mr. Morsi has seriously alarmed the religious faction that now rules Egypt, and they are preparing to take drastic action.
Raymond Ibrahim, a respected authority on the Middle East and Egyptian politics, reported on the rather alarming plans of the Morsi government to put an end to the protests in Egypt:
“The title of a recent Al Akhbar report declares: Morsi summons 3,000 jihadis from Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia, Somalia and Iran to be an Islamic army to strike the police and army forces of Egypt.”
“According to the report, Ibrahim Ali, a lawyer of various Islamic groups, said that 3,000 leaders and members of the Jihad Groups and the notorious Islamic Group—including the brother of Khaled al-Islambouli, the army officer who planned and participated in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat—will arrive in Egypt in a few days. Ali added that most of these leaders are coming from Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Somalia, Kenya, Iran, and even London. Similar reports had appeared earlier, in November: these seasoned jihadis may already be in Egypt. “
There is a potential for an unimaginable bloodbath in Egypt. The Nile may run red with the blood of secular protesters, Democracy advocates, Coptic Christians, and peaceful moderate Muslims who don’t wish to live under the yoke of Sharia Law.
This dangerous situatiom may lead to another, even more frightening possibility. If Morsi starts to lose his grip on power, he may try to draw Israel into a military confrontation to shift the focus to an external enemy. This is the same fear that military analysts have about Assad in Syria, who may unleash a war against Israel if he is about to go down to defeat to the Syrian Rebels. We may see the situation devolve into a major regional conflict growing out of the internal struggles of Morsi and Assad.
Our modern world refuses to learn the lessons of history. Despite all the films about World War II, the horrifying images of the piled corpses in the death camps, and the vast fields scattered across Europe covered with the graves of thousands and thousands of fallen Allied and Axis soldiers, we are still none the wiser and no nearer to ending the plague of war.
What will it take before we finally wake up? Will it be a lone lunatic setting off a dirty radioactive device in a European capital that finally convinces humanity to stop the killing? Will mighty America finally collapse under the weight of its own debt and insane military spending ? Will millions more have to die before we finally become sated with the blood of our neighbors?
Isolationist America was dragged kicking and screaming into a devastating world war on December 11, 1941. Try to imagine for a moment that every single day for the six years of World War II, 32,000 human beings were killed. Let us repeat that: Every single day for six years, 32,000 human beings were killed and yet we have learned nothing about peace. We have only learned to become more efficient killers.