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What Elon Said About World War III: Update
Is it too late to stop?
Yesterday’s news included two tweets from Elon Musk. The second of the two re-introduced the idea of moral reasoning to a culture whose greatest intellectual battles had devolved into Coke vs. Pepsi. The first mentioned something everyone seems to be talking about as casually as tomorrow’s weather forecast: World War III.
And, just like the tweet focused on yesterday, the last line is the keeper:
“But we will not enable escalation of conflict that my lead to WW3.”
The statement makes Musk the highest-profiled person to actually oppose global nuclear war. Unlike Boomers and Gen Xers, a lot of the younger generations seem to view such a war as a welcomed break from the monotony of Netflix and influencer videos.
Well, perhaps those seeking the “thrill” of war have gotten their wish.
French historian Emmanuel Todd says World War III is already underway. In an interview with Le Figaro, Todd, who correctly predicted the fall of the Soviet Union a decade in advance, drops some serious truth bombs, via Summit News.
“It is evident that the conflict, initially a limited territorial war, has evolved into a global economic confrontation between the whole West on one side, and Russia, backed by China, on the other. It has become a world war.”
“The resistance of the Russian economy is pushing the U.S. imperial system toward the abyss.”
The United States is “fragile” and about to collapse.
The US-dominated global financial system is on the brink because the world has seen Russia’s economy survive without it.
The US has no exit strategy.
War will continue and intensify in either the US or Russia-China collapses.
This is akin to what many have been saying for several years, at least regarding the petrodollar and US-backed debt. Once the world peeks behind those curtains, the incredible debt-driven wealth—and the distractions that wealth allows—will vanish. The United States will suffer a great economic downfall, if not total conquest by a foreign power.
And, yet, no one seems to care aside from a handful of prominent Republicans and Elon Musk. Most of the GOP and Democrat leadership want to put US combat troops into Ukraine, as the Washing Post reports this morning, via Zero Hedge:
“The Pentagon is urging Congress to resume funding a pair of top-secret programs in Ukraine suspended ahead of Russia’s invasion last year, according to current and former U.S. officials,” writes the Post’s Wesley Morgan. “If approved, the move would allow American Special Operations troops to employ Ukrainian operatives to observe Russian military movements and counter disinformation.”
With the observation:
US special ops forces “employing Ukrainian operatives” to “take apart Russian propaganda” and “tell the true story on blogs” is just US special ops forces administering US propaganda online. Whether or not they actually see themselves as “telling the true story” or “taking apart Russian propaganda” does not change the fact that they are administering US government propaganda. A government circulating media which advances its information interests is precisely the thing that state propaganda is.
I believe that the US once sent such military advisors to assist Diem in South Vietnam. And that worked out great. What could go wrong?
All of this reminds me of something I noticed several years ago: American culture feels worn out, like suburban lawns in August. For two decades, the surest way to produce a profitable movie is to remake a past hit. Popular music is mostly covers or former great pieces. So bored are many with 21st century life they pretend to be a different sex—or a different species.
The internet has removed all the mystery from life. Facebook made people believe that online friendships are the same as, even superior to, real life contact with other human beings. That has extended to everything. Virtual has replace real.
But our souls long for what is real. We substitute spurts of dopamine for the hormonal effect of being in the presence of others. If you were to measure oxytocin levels of a large number of people and compare them with a similar group from 20 years ago, I bet today’s sample would produce nearly zero oxytocin—what research Paul Zack calls “the love chemical.”
In other words, our culture seems prepared for collapse, for something totally new. But the people are not prepared for the transition or the new reality. While the decades of online life as a substitute for living prepared us to disengage from the world, Covid lockdowns seemed to cement this artificial life. What happens when artificiality—America’s number one export—is forced upon us? Is that why 30% of high school girls “seriously” considered suicide in the past year? Maybe they see, at some level, what is coming and don’t want to go back to living like humans.
Before 9/11, Reagan speechwriter, Peggy Noonan, wrote a column titled, “There Is No Time; There Will Be Time.” It was, perhaps, the pinnacle of her incredible writing career.
But: We know such comfort! We sleep on beds that are soft and supporting, eat food that is both good and plentiful. We touch small levers and heat our homes to exactly the degree we desire; the pores of our bare arms are open and relaxed as we read the Times in our T-shirts, while two feet away, on the other side of the plate glass window, a blizzard rages. We turn levers and get clean water, push a button for hot coffee, open doors and get ice cream, take short car trips to places where planes wait before whisking us across continents as we nap. It is all so fantastically fine.
Lately this leaves me uneasy. Does it you? Do you wonder how and why exactly we have it so different, so nice compared to thousands of years of peasants eating rocks? Is it possible that we, the people of the world, are being given a last great gift before everything changes? To me it feels like a gift. Only three generations ago, my family had to sweat in the sun to pull food from the ground.
By September 12, 2001, people were calling Noonan’s column “prescient.” They thought she had seen 9/11 coming. But, in retrospect, 9/11 didn’t send us back to sweating “in the sun to pull food from food from the ground.” To the contrary, it accelerated our surrender to comfort and distraction. Bread and circuses. In World War II, Americans were asked to buy war bonds, grow a victory garden, work overtime, do without. After 9/11, we were told to shop. Literally.
Maybe Noonan’s article was prescient, just not immediately. Maybe we misread the timeline. She didn’t see 9/11 coming; she saw 2023 coming. She saw debt spiraling upwards and resilience spiraling down. She saw comfort increasing to the breaking point and faith catching the last train for the coast. She saw the US military, not heroically as we all did on 9/11 and immediately after, but pathetically, as we do now.
Yesterday, we learned that an F-22 pilot failed to blow up a helium balloon with a sidewinder missile fired at close range. Imagine what our woke, diverse, and inclusive military would accomplish against actual enemy aircraft? While some blamed our humiliating evacuation from Afghanistan as a failure of leadership, promising themselves that our troops would perform well with proper guidance, I wondered then and now if that is true. How long have military leaders been training their troops to take a knee instead of bashing skulls? Was Afghanistan an anomaly or an example of the US military has become?
Maybe World War III has begun, and maybe it has not. Maybe it’s inevitable, and maybe it’s impossible. I’ve noticed, though, that when many people simultaneously and independently begin contemplating something previously unthinkable, the thing is already upon us. Most don’t see it because they’ve been trained not to see it. But it is there. In the sci-fi novel, The Hamburger Stand at the End of the Universe, these things were called “S.E.P.s” “Somebody else’s problem.” S.E.P.s are things so removed what we expect to see that our brains simply blot them out.
But some of us do see them. Some of us, perhaps by the grace of God, lack the S.E.P. gene. And those he see try to warn others. Others scoff and laugh. “Conspiracy theorist,” they say.
I see a war, and I see its aftermath. You have been warned.
I thought I had Noonan’s piece memorized, more or less. I was wrong.
I read the whole thing after I posted this, and I realized that my observation about simultaneous, independent awakening is not my idea at all. It’s Peggy Noonan’s.
Here goes: It has been said that when an idea’s time has come a lot of people are likely to get it at the same time. In the same way, when something begins to flicker out there in the cosmos a number of people, a small group at first, begin to pick up the signals. They start to see what’s coming.
Something’s up. And deep down, where the body meets the soul, we are fearful. We fear, down so deep it hasn’t even risen to the point of articulation, that with all our comforts and amusements, with all our toys and bells and whistles . . . we wonder if what we really have is . . . a first-class stateroom on the Titanic. Everything’s wonderful, but a world is ending and we sense it.
This is what some of us know, the way we know a promised, hyped up snowstorm will end with a few lame flurries and a refrigerator full of milk and nine-dollar eggs.
I urge you to read There Is No Time; There Will Be Time, for the time is at hand.