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A Downed Jetliner, A World War?

I spent most of today traveling and unaware of events, so when my son piped up with the merry question “Are you read for World War 3?” I answered with a glib, “is it really scheduled for tomorrow? Good thing I didn’t bother with that haircut.”

Then I read the news. Cut the jokes; the downing of a passenger plane with a missile is serious and seriously complicated. 298 people are dead from an unknown but presumably large number of countries. The Ukraine, Malaysia, Russia are directly involved, a civil war is raging and the United States is talking about doing something. Is my son right? Does an incident like this spark a world war, pulling in nations that are tied to yet more nations with bonds of alliance? Epoch Times thinks so, but then again Epoch Times has also proclaimed that accupuncture is “proven”, that astronauts know about UFOs and that the dead are trying to place phone calls. David Ignatius at the Washington Post, on the other hand, suggests that the massive loss of life may spark a retreat from armed conflict.

What do you think happens next?

4 thoughts on “A Downed Jetliner, A World War?”

  1. Dave says:

    One hundred years ago Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated. No one knew who he was but the present stalemate of nations can be traced back to that day.

  2. J Clifford says:

    My guess is that the missile attack was a mistake, and will be exposed as such.

  3. Tom says:

    Ah, not unlike the rest of the human experience here – one mistake after another.

  4. Bill says:

    I’m hopeful (which is different than predicting) that this will be a watershed moment in which Putin’s horrifying devolution back toward the 50s is really driven home to Europeans and Americans alike. A world war isn’t necessary. If the EU suddenly discovered that, gosh, it needs 10% less natural gas from Russia this year than it had expected, and if NASA decides it can live without a lot more rocket rides from Vlad the Invader, and if (as seems likely indeed) international capital gets ever more nervous about being in Russian markets, then Russia can be prodded back toward 21st Century norms of statecraft.

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