How it started

I enjoyed history when I studied it in high school. But it's been a long time since then, and I should have done more than I did. And so my telling of any historical event is suspect.

These days I never get past what I'm sure are common misconceptions. If you asked me, I'd say World War I started when Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated. And World War II got started when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Both of which assertions are probably wrong in one way or another.

But I'm thinking along these lines as I look at the international headlines these days. Years from now, when the kids learn history from an AI robot, will they be saying that World War III started when Putin invaded Ukraine? Or did it not become a real world war until China started acting up? "It began with a balloon over Montana."

Then there's the crazy guy in North Korea. Somebody in the free world is going to get hurt by him before too long.

I'm glad Grampy Joe Biden keeps things as cool as he can most of the time. If all the current skirmishes become the ultimate throwdown, they will get there gradually. But they still might get there.

In the meantime, God help the people in Ukraine. And I wouldn't be putting a lot of money into Taiwan right now, either.



  1. I also have my head in the sand with grumpy Joes’s leadership

    1. He's not that grumpy, he's Grampy! Now, Earl the Pearl, that guy is grumpy.

    2. Grampy Joe is perfect. Assuming your grampy is a weird dude who likes to challenge people to push-up contests and tell stories about people with weird, indecipherable nicknames.

  2. WWII started when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Roosevelt was smart enough, and the American public was still war weary from the last one, so he wisely stayed out and let Europe fight their own fight. We helped with some ammunition and some weaponry, but despite Churchill trying to pull us in we stayed out.

    You notice that Germany is hemming and hawing about contributing to Ukraine, despite being much closer to the action than we are? Maybe they learned a valuable lesson from the last world war, and are wisely being somewhat cautious about getting too involved now?

    Nothing about this makes any sense from a geopolitical angle. Ukraine is not a traditional ally like a UK or France are. I really don’t see what we have to gain from this.......but I ‘can’ see how badly it could end up turning out if things get really ramped up.

  3. Yes...The incident of importance with WWII is the invasion of Poland, which triggered alliance agreements with France and Great Britain. The US did not enter until over two years later, thanks to the Japanese attacking Pearl Harbor and then their nominal ally, Germany, sympathetically declaring war on the US. One needs to remember that the Bund and 'populist' organizations, including native fascists, were active and politically significant domestically in the US during the interwar years.

    From geopolitical perspective, the whole thing makes perfect sense. The Russians got cocky and misjudged their own shortcomings. They thought they 'owned' Ukraine, that the natives would welcome them back with open arms. The Russians were, and are, delusional. The US has every interest in 'breaking' the grip which the kleptonomic autocrats of the former Soviet Union has on the Russian Federation and using the 'missed step' opportunity provided to take one 'near-peer' nuclear power entirely out of the lineup as we turn to face another looming threat elsewhere.

  4. How did the escalation in Vietnam get started?


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