Victor Sharpe
Rumors of war
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By Victor Sharpe
April 20, 2014

I was reading a recent copy of one of Britain's popular newspapers, the Daily Express, when a particular item caught my eye.

The highly respected writer, Niall Ferguson, warned that, "President Obama's policy of non-intervention, or, as he puts it, his being "resolved only to avoid being George W Bush," resembles the incoherent foreign policies of British Liberals a century ago before the First World War."

Ferguson was opining that despite the swirling tensions in the ever perilous Middle East and the current hostilities between Russia and the Ukraine, the real powder keg that could ignite a potential World War Three lies in the Far East as Japan and China fight over ownership of five uninhabited islands and three barren rocks.

Japan calls the territory the Senkaku Islands, and is using an ever increasing number of naval ships and warplanes to guard them while at the same time trying to involve the US.

On the other hand, China views the "nationalisation" of what it calls the Diaoyu Islands by the Japanese in 2012 as a serious provocation and will do whatever is necessary to assert its sovereignty.

The real danger is that if war were to break out between China and Japan, the US is bound by treaty to come to the aid of Japan. This would be another red line for Obama but following his experience with Syria, it is unclear how he would act, if indeed at all.

Brad Williams, a professor of Asian and International Studies at the City University of Hong Kong, made comparisons of the Sino-Japan tensions to those that led to the First World War; known as the Great War.

"Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzi Abe," Professor Williams said, "probably sees China as a modern-day imperial Germany that is prone to aggressive behavior. That, of course, could trigger conflict despite the deep economic inter-dependence between the two countries."

Indeed, Japan has stated that the tensions are similar to those between England and Germany before World War One – the war to end all wars.

China is feverishly increasing its military might. Enormous defense spending has already resulted in Chinese naval patrols becoming ever more assertive, which has led Shinzi Abe to rethink Japan's post- World War Two non-military posture and consider Chinese actions as a direct and existential threat. Indeed, Communist China's muscle flexing in the East China Sea includes making territorial claims even upon Okinawa.

Obama has already reaffirmed his recognition of Japan exercising its administrative rights over the Senkaku Islands but Shinzo Abe, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, took the occasion to make a highly public condemnation of Chinese military expansion in Asia and particularly in the maritime territory Japan believes it owns.

The perceptive journalist, Caroline Glick, has pointed out in a Jerusalem Post article that, "since Obama entered the White House in 2009, the Chinese have responded to his appeasement with intensified aggression against the US's Asian allies and against US warships." In fact, China, like many other nations is treating Obama with contempt.

We should remember that in 2012, China seized the Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines. Obama again shrugged his shoulders despite America's defense treaty with the Philippines. And so Beijing is striking again, threatening the Second Thomas Shoal, another Philippine possession.

All this US weakness led to the Japanese Prime Minister claiming:

"If peace and stability were shaken in Asia, the knock-on effect for the entire world would be enormous."

Meanwhile another fear now racking the world is the de jure annexation by Russia of Crimea and the potential for further Russian annexations in the eastern half of the Ukraine. In this dance macabre between Obama and Putin, the Russian leader has danced all over a stumbling and bumbling American president and left US foreign policy in tatters.

Ukraine is a buffer between Europe and Russia. It has a population of some 45 million. If Russia invaded, the resulting conflict would most likely spread to nearby European countries. It is unlikely that World War Three would break out but, as in all conflicts, nothing ever goes to plan.

It should be remembered that dire warnings of a new world war were issued during the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis and in Bosnia where the First World War broke out with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914.

Obama's response to Russia's annexation of Crimea reveals a shocking disinterest to the existing American alliances and treaties with Eastern Europe. The almost pathetic visit to the Black Sea by a US naval craft was on show to the entire world – to both our friends and enemies – when for 90 minutes a Russian jet buzzed the ship without any response. As Charles Krauthammer noted on Fox News: "the Russian action was not a provocation. It was a show of contempt."

Another US retreat from the battle to defeat Al-Qaida has now allowed that terrorist group to grow in power and metastasize throughout more and more territory. Again, as Caroline Glick points out: "The terror group is flaunting its immunity from US attack. This week, jihadist websites featured an al-Qaida video showing hundreds of al-Qaida terrorists in Yemen meeting openly with the group's second in command, Nasir al-Wuhayshi. In the video, Wuhayshi threatened the US directly saying:

"We must eliminate the cross," while explaining that "the bearer of the cross is America."

And this has come after President Obama claimed that Al Qaida was now powerless as a major threat. According to a Debka Intelligence Report, the Jordanian air-force has attacked an Al Qaida raiding party crossing from Syria into Jordanian territory. This highlights Al-Qaida's growing strength.

Simmering all the time is another tinder box, this one with potential nuclear tipped missiles. Despite the relaxation by President Obama of the sanctions that were beginning finally to work against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the fanatical mullahs are now emboldened to ratchet up their aggressive stand.

Instead of cooperating with the US, the EU and the UN, their obsessive quest to build nuclear arsenals in order to destroy America and Israel – what they impudently call the Great Satan and the little Satan – continues unabated while evidence mounts that there is no let up by them in building their doomsday weapons.

Ms. Glick adds that," ... thanks to the US and its interim nuclear deal with Iran, the Iranian economy is on the mend. The interim nuclear deal the Obama administration signed with Iran last November was supposed to limit its oil exports to a million barrels a day. But, according to the International Energy Agency, in February, Iran's daily oil exports rose to 1.65 million barrels a day, the highest level since June 2012.

"Secretary of State John Kerry said that the US would suffice with a situation in which Iran is but six months away from acquiring nuclear weapons.

"In other words, the US under the Obama Administration has now defined failure as success. It is because of this that the world is more likely than it has been since 1939 to experience a world war of catastrophic proportions."

This is taking place while Obama is slashing the US military to levels not seen since before World War Two and shriveling our nuclear deterrent.

All the 30 or so current wars afflicting humanity, and the dire threats of major wars breaking out, be it in the Far East, the Middle East, or on Europe's doorstep, recently led Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, to warn that the world "stands on the brink of conflict, the consequences of which are not foreseen."

© Victor Sharpe

 

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Victor Sharpe

Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer with many published articles and essays in leading national and international conservative websites and magazines... (more)

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