Contrary to the popular view of history, there have been three world wars. The Napoleonic War was the first, true global conflict. It was so massive that it involved a whole series of wars that spanned nearly 23 years. The massive epoch of violence consumed millions of lives, wiped out the treasuries of many countries, erased kingdoms, and changed geopolitical lines forever. Historians of the day considered it the greatest war humankind had ever seen.
Napoleon left behind a ravaged Europe; embittered and raw with emotion â€“ ethic and political â€“ that bubbled under the veneer of civil society and produced an era of stark nationalistic bluster. The great monarchs raised armies of burnished brass and terrible weapons as they fooled themselves and their compatriots into believing that their cause was the most righteous. One day, a match went into the power keg when a young Serbian assassinated a visiting Austrian archduke. Thus began World War I. More lives were destroyed as the conflagration drew an even wider swath of destruction than ever before. Once again, historians would come to call this the greatest war ever fought.
During the postlude of the â€˜war to end wars,â€™ the war dogs never quite went back to their kennels. Instead, they were allowed to corner the Germans and Austrians on the battlefield of international diplomacy and forced a so-called negotiated settlement that saw the vanquished nations branded as the â€œinitial aggressorsâ€ of the war and therefore culpable for its massive cost. Then they assessed an onerous economic legacy that lasted nearly two generations and helped breathe life into the Nazi movement. World War II, which was more massive the previous two put together, included the Japanese monarchy, which had a different purpose for expanding its territories and matched the other Axis nations with murderous fervor. Fiery battles ringed the civilized centers of the globe and nearly destroyed Europe and parts of Asia. It was, and still is, the most horrific war ever endured by humankind.
One of the not-so-brilliant solutions that came out of the WWII was the disposition of millions of Jews who were left homeless. Unable to reclaim their mother countries, the Jews sued a guilt-ridden international community for an Israeli homeland where defenseless Palestine then laid. Raw feelings of the displaced refugees â€“ who also now have no home â€“ have since spawned religious purpose and now fuels blind fanaticism and regional rebellion. Once again, people left with nothing and having nothing, vie for war and suck up the harsh rancor of destruction and death. Only one question remains unanswered, how much greater World War III will be in comparison to its harbingers?
N’est stupide que la stupiditÃ©, Bonaparte?