Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | November 11, 2018

1oo Years After the Armistice of WW I

The war wrecked Western Civilization.

100 Years After the Armistice

A Century of Certainty

One hundred years ago today, the “War to End All Wars” ended with an armistice, not a surrender. The ending all wars part didn’t work – after killing over 17 million people. The armistice set up the conditions for a new conflict so severe the estimates of dead vary from 50 to 80 million people. The killing was so great the “Great War” was demoted to merely a number – World War I. Then, World War II was followed by…well, everything. More wars. More killing. More evil.

Perhaps, the tragedy beyond the destruction, suffering, and sorrow is the certainty that another war would come. And another and another. Even, when the conflicts aren’t called wars according the laws of nations, the fighting and killing continues. Why? Because man is sinful and uses free will to choose war.   The inevitability of man choosing the evil that is every war gave certainty to the century to follow to this day. It gives certainty for the time to come. There will be war.

Yet, the decision to actually go to war is personal. Leaders at the highest levels of power decide “yes” or “no”.

World War I is a textbook example. When I was a boy, I read Barbara Tuchman’s masterpiece, “Guns of August”, link the decisions, one by one, to start the war that shattered Western Civilization to this day. Yet, it happened only because men made the avoidable become the inevitable.

The avoidable becomes the inevitable when all alternatives are rejected.

It’s happened throughout American history. As late as the Spring of 1776, even though the Army had been in the field since June 1775, a war of Revolution wasn’t inevitable. British concessions on representation in Parliament or autonomy on taxes could have prevented the Revolution.

In the Recent Unpleasantness, Lincoln could have removed the provocation of federal facilities after secession. Or, the hotheads in South Carolina could’ve not fired their guns on Ft. Sumter.  There were alternatives.

However, some conflicts require resolution, which may or may not mean bloody war. Only one culture at a time can guide the society – from tiny tribe to great civilization. Neolithic Indians couldn’t co-exist as they were with the colonies of the British branch of Western Civilization. One side or the other had to give way. The same was true with Spanish, French, and Dutch colonies and their Indians. The bloodshed varied, but the assimilation took place.

Likewise, once the dogs of war are released, there are no neutrals. Everyone within reach of a conflict will be touched, sooner or later, by war. America was a world power too powerful to be left alone by the combatants in World War I. The same was true in World War II.

The enormity of America’s power after WW II meant exercising hegemonic power wasn’t a choice. The options were when, where, and how to use all the sources of power. America chose wisely in Korea and with the Marshall Plan. America chose incrementally, ineffectually, and criminally in Vietnam.  The rest of the Cold War scorecard of tragic, epic competition was mixed.

At least five great conflicts can happen in the century to come. It’ll be up to humans to work hard to avoid war. Or, the make the avoidable become the inevitable.

  • ACW III. A third civil war in the US can be avoided, for a while, if America returns to the federalism of the Constitution and secures its borders. Some states can defined by the culture of Collective, Socialist, Human Secularist Totalitarianism while other states are defined by Individual, Capitalist, Judeo-Christianity. There are other alternatives too. The nightmare to avoid is a repeat of the terrible Spanish Civil War (1936-39)
  • Euro War. A “Jacquerie” of Europeans against their elites and Islamist Totalitarians can be avoided, perhaps, by many alternatives from a Christian revival and assimilation to stopping immigration and strong arming Islam to become as meaningless and impotent as Christianity is in European culture. Here, too, many alternatives can play out.
  • War Against Islamist Terror. The war between Islam (specifically the 20% Islamists) and the West (and everyone actually) which began with Mohammed’s first genocide against a Jewish village in 627 AD will continue until one culture collapses or converts to be harmless.
  • China Hegemony. When China can challenge the US across the globe and space, militarily, it can choose to confront or cooperate with the other Super Power. We’ll see.
  • Africa. If Africa’s population doubles from 400 m to 800 m, but fresh water and per capita income don’t double, there will be trouble. Great challenges accompany any future. Most portend great trouble.

The events which become crises which lead to war follow one of a few limited arcs of predictable outcomes. Along every chain of events decisions are made. By men and women in power. They can choose the open alternatives with a few exceptions. When the stop considering alternative decisions, the avoidable conflict becomes the inevitable war. That’s worth weeping.

A century ago, World War I was awful. Horrible. Tragic. And avoidable.

So, too, are many, many wars since and to come. Yes, we can honor the human courage and suffering of combatants and civilians. But, we should hate the wars for the evil they are.

November 11th, 1018-2018.  30 Army Divisions and 1 Marine Brigade in France.



  1. Reblogged this on sonofbluerobot.

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