Great Powers are those nations that throughout history have shown themselves both able and willing to order the population of the globe by slicing and dicing territory and nations to their desired ends, or by keeping the peace through treaties and trade, or both, depending on the time and one’s view.
Rome was the first such. In the Age of Exploration, Portugal and Holland led the way, Britain and Spain ultimately dominated. Following Spain’s demise as a Great Power (due exclusively to her internal-only, closed market system of trade rather than Britain’s free trade and open markets), Britain and her empire set the world on the path to the longest sustained growth of trade, wealth and liberty ever known.
From 1945 to 1970, the Great Powers were the USSR and America, and the pretenders Britain and France. With Nixon’s opening of China to use as a strategic pawn against the USSR, and China’s economic and nuclear advances, China became the third Great Power.
Four Great Powers exist today.
Two have the nuclear capability to reduce the globe to ashes, or to absolutely achieve destructive ends and/or regional hegemony they deem necessary to advance their ideals: Russia and America. Neither seem to have the sustained willpower to achieve their ends, whether recombining an expired empire (Russia) or sustaining liberty around the world (America). Both lack also the demographics (personal preferences) and economy (leadership preferences, whether the leader is chosen through moderate fraud (America) or extensive fraud (Russia)) to mount the serious and sustained conventional campaigns necessary to those ends.
In short, two of today’s four Great Powers are perfectly happy to initiate regional misery in half-measures toward stated goals, rather than bite the bullet, re-order the world, and enable a return to peace and prosperity.
Half measures, throughout history, have never worked. They leave behind more misery than before. Iraq, 2014, is a case in point; Afghanistan, 1989, is another. The leadership of the early 21st Century shows no awareness of this.
One Great Power has the ability to make a strategic attack on Russia and America, and a moderate ability to adjust their region and to attack – but not control – regional opponents: China, though China, too, seems to lack the willpower to act as a Great Power to either establish peace between nations, or to intervene to bend them to her will. At least thus far. As America retreats from strategic alliances, as we are implicitly doing across the globe, the world will see how China will respond to the invitation and will see a test of her willpower v. Japan, and no one knows what she will do, perhaps not even China.
Or perhaps the goals of the Great Powers are not what they seem to most of their residents.
Obama, for example, is destroying the Middle Class through economic policies proven always to fail in achieving prosperity, widening the income gap and further impoverishing the people, as these policies always do. Whether he is doing this purposefully, as all dictators have throughout recent history (no dictator wants a Middle Class, whether it be Stalin (Kulaks), Mao (Cultural Revolution), Pol Pot in Cambodia or the Kim family in DPRK, killing millions, or tens of millions of their own), or because he’s an incompetent fool (which is denied by his electorate, leaving only purposefulness) is an open question.
These are unfortunate situations for the world’s population.
Absent the will of Great Powers to establish a peaceful order, disorder and violence reign until another power grows to fill the vacuum created by this absence. This new power fills the gap through willpower alone, as it takes generations to build competent modern armies. As this new power rises, it becomes the only power demonstrating the will to use its power – either hard or soft – to become not only a Great Power but the only power bending the population of the world to its will.
Today islam has become a Great Power, perhaps THE Great Power.
Islam is the ONLY power with the demonstrated willpower to achieve its ends. Willpower it is displaying in the 50-odd shooting wars around the world today which involve islam as the aggressor. Willpower it has exercised – successfully – in kicking the much larger and militarily more powerful USSR out of Afghanistan, and the US out of Afghanistan and Iraq, because both lacked the will of their islamist opponent. Willpower it is exercising by using the barbarism of whipping, stoning and beheadings to march across the Third World to bend these once- (but no longer-) developing States to islam’s will.
Willpower that is NOT being opposed by the civilized world in any meaningful way.
Islam always has advanced by the sword; it is inherent in its worldview and theology to do so. A refusal to recognize this does not negate it.
Islam gives a theocratic blessing to the illiterate masses for the pre-modern ‘Might makes Right’ worldview. It gives pre-modern men the ultimate power over the weaker members of society, women and children, including the power to murder them at will.
Islam is tailor-made for illiterate barbarous men. Unsurprisingly they take advantage of it, from covering their women with tents, to killing their own daughters, to throwing acid in the face of any woman trying to advance herself, to strapping bombs on their 3-year-old sons.
If you want to watch a real “Thousand Year Reich” forming – you are, and you are watching it NOT being opposed.
Europeans condescendingly complain that Americans don’t know history. European voters and leaders – closer to the problem of islam that their forebears created in 1919 and 1979 (when France let Khomeini loose), seeing a greater impact by muslims on their cities today, and having experienced the brutal destruction of the last major power allowed to grow unopposed as Western leaders talked – don’t seem to know their history, either.
Or, perhaps, a voluntarily and quickly-depopulating Europe simply does not care about a future in which they won’t be participating.
Not only was islam not recognized as a growing Great Power when Carter enabled its rise, it is not recognized as such today. Whether listening to the inane mutterings of America’s stupendously ignorant and boorish Secretary of State, to the entire EU leadership, or to a majority of the voters of a Western Civilization under an existential attack, islam’s rise as an aggressive Great Power determined to achieve its goals is blithely unacknowledged by Western leaders who should know better.
Islam is a pan-national power rather than State or empire. But make no mistake, islam has become one of the four Great Powers. It is achieving its will not through huge trained armies and the threat or use (yet) of nuclear weapons, but through untrained, illiterate masses and small arms. But it is achieving its will.
Who overthrew Rome? A bunch of illiterate peasants with small arms.
Who overthrew the British Empire in America? A bunch of illiterate peasants with small arms.
Who overthrew the Czars? A bunch of illiterate peasants with small arms.
Who overthrew Louis XIV? A bunch of illiterate peasants with small arms.
Who overthrew the modern armies of both France and America in Vietnam? A bunch of illiterate peasants with small arms
Who is overthrowing the post-war order, peace and the civilized world? A bunch of illiterate peasants with small arms.
See any trend?
To fantasize that we are stronger than they so we need not take them seriously enough to annihilate didn’t work for Rome, King George, Czar Nicholas or Louis XIV any better than it worked for LBJ in Vietnam.
What was it Einstein said about doing the same thing and expecting different results?
History is a hard teacher. It is good to understand its lessons: You annihilate your enemies or they annihilate you. Why do you think China’s leadership reacted as they did to Tienanmen Square? They know their history.
Islam represents an unrecognized (by the ruling elites across the West) upheaval and rejection of the Westphalian, post-Enlightenment world in the name of a pre-Westphalian, pre-Enlightenment worldview: “Allah said it, I believe it and that settles it, and if you don’t agree you will be killed.”
Overturning our Westphalian world will cause carnage not before experienced across the globe. Pretending words can stop it, or that it can be stopped by hard power available but not used, nor even seriously threatened, is fantasy.
The “leader of the Free World,” the American president, not only is presiding over the forced unilateral strategic decline of American power, the power that has kept global peace for 70 years, the longest sustained Great Power peace in history, but seems to many not even to be on the side of liberty. In saying “islam was revealed” (a statement that, had it been made about Christianity, would have gotten him kicked out of any major university in America or Europe, but that went unchallenged after he said it in Cairo), and, “I will stand with them [writing of muslim immigrants] should the political winds shift in an ugly direction,” and who quickly sent billions of dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, seems to many to be on the side of the enemies of freedom and Civilization. Yet Americans fantasize his words do not parade his intentions.
Islam is a real – not an imaginary – threat to the liberties and freedoms taken for granted by the entire West for over a millennia. Yet we neither recognize nor fight it.
Islam has grown so large that it is more than likely only the strategic destruction of its homeland can stop it, much as the strategic destruction of the homelands of NAZI Germany and Imperial Japan were required to stop them, both of which were far less barbarous than sharia islam.
This strategic destruction not only is necessary, it can be, and must be, accomplished at the push of a button. No Great Power today can, let alone will, assemble the millions of men that annihilated NAZI Germany or Imperial Japan, nor should we. Productivity counts in warfare, too; irreplaceable lives are lost unnecessarily when combat is undertaken with lower productivity than possible. We have sacrificed too many of our educated kids – our future – to this barbarous ideology; to sacrifice more when it is unnecessary to do so is a moral abomination.
There is nothing guaranteed about the survival of Western Civilization. Civilizations have come and gone throughout history. American hasn’t won a war in 69 years, regardless of the unmatched physical capability of our military or all of today’s “thanks for serving!” rah-rah. This is not the fault of our men. It is the fault of our leadership.
We, like Russia, lack the will. We talk loudly but carry no stick we are willing to use, not recognizing this behavior can impact affairs only negatively.
Those on the Left proclaiming that a dying West is good for the world are intentionally ignorant that their very proclamations come only because of the freedom of that West, along with rights for the interest groups they hold so dear – women, gays, the environment, etc.
Not to trivialize, but when Judy Collins sang, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,” the parking lot was only a metaphor.
Now we are talking about the civilized WORLD, and it isn’t a metaphor.
It is time to pay attention to the kind of world in which we live, and to the kind of world we want to leave to our children.
Islam as a Great Power willing and able to achieve its barbaric ends is NOT THAT WORLD.