The Fate of Humanity

The Near Term

By Paul Edwards

December 02, 2022: Information Clearing House — The fate of humanity in the immediate future will be determined by the undeclared but entirely real war between the American Empire and Russia and China. Both gigantic and exceedingly powerful nations are perceived and treated as enemies, one already engaged in proxy war with America in Ukraine, and the other menaced and provoked by American policy on Taiwan.

The risk of truly cataclysmic war is greater in Ukraine, as it has been contemptuous of peace negotiations, and The Empire and its EU/NATO allies have supplied great quantities of weapons that permit Ukraine to continue to fight despite horrific losses. From all indications, including bellicose official statements, it is clear that America and the EU/NATO want the conflict to go on indefinitely, and they assume that is possible when it isn’t.

Russia, having for decades declared its determination not to allow hostile forces to be stationed on its borders, offered a proposal for mutual security arrangements that would satisfy both itself and Ukraine, that was ridiculed and rebuffed by The Empire. It therefore forestalled a massive attack by Ukrainian forces on the Lugansk/Donetsk Russian ethnic areas they had bombed and damaged severely for eight years by mounting what Putin called a Special Military Operation to defend those areas.

The short term goals of that operation had some success but were answered by a great escalation of force by Ukraine, backed and funded by The Empire and its allies. This changed the game for Russia which then moved to retrench and augment its forces, and is said to be about to mount a massive offensive, assisted by the massive, widespread destruction of Ukraine’s electrical and power generation capacity, to end resistance and the war. 

Supposing this to be true, the question is how The Empire and its allies will respond. Two obvious possibilities are that they will assist Ukraine’s defensive retreat and capitulation, which would mean great loss of face and humiliation; or that America will enter the war and face Russia with NATO troops, and perhaps its own. This would mean an end to controlled proxy war, and escalation to a general one. It is at least possible that in the face of all-out Russian offensive, The Empire would fold at the prospect of the terrific cost in blood and dollars opposition would entail, but it seems unlikely, given its monomaniacal obsession to destroy Russia, and the stridency of its vow to see Ukrainian “victory”.

If, through raw stupidity or blinding hubris, the American Empire triggers a massive European war—which is what it would be, if American troops and weaponry were committed—it is impossible to predict how great a conflagration could result. Once war is initiated, it carves incomprehensible patterns, far beyond the capacity of man to fathom. The atmosphere of buried hostility that surrounded the complex knot of trivial miscalculations and resulting disasters that led to WWI provides a fine illustration of this. Nations, lost in their fog of propaganda and pride, can’t anticipate consequences, and they operate from an arrogance that is only much later drowned in blood.

There is no reason to expect the American Empire to learn from its many failures and defeats, particularly since all those appalling debacles worked to enrich the War Machine, which is the Oz behind the curtain of The Empire. None of the American Wars, from Korea on, was solely about winning on the battlefield. The larger purpose, behind the jingo propaganda, was to make huge amounts of money for the War Machine, the toxic brain worm that has run The Empire for all of our lifetimes.

In the event of open war between The Empire and Russia, which both will see as an existential battle for survival, there can be no upper limit to violence beyond which neither will go. That insures that if one side is suffering intolerable damage and is in mortal peril of losing the war for its life, it will almost certainly resort to using the most potent weapons it has, which are nuclear. 

The consequences of Nuclear War for humanity are incalculable, and there is no point in speculating about them. What is certain is that the catastrophe would be on a scale never experienced in the history of our species, and that the impact on mankind and the natural world could mean extinction of life on earth.

Nuclear War cannot be considered as a one-off event that, when terminated itself, has no continuing consequences. The end of a Nuclear War, regardless of what remains of life when war ceases, will be only the beginning of a cascading series of disasters it will have triggered. These, too, are unimaginable, but the principle of cause and effect means they are inevitable. If remnant human and other life persists after such a war, its effects on the physical world will efficiently complete life’s mass extinction.

It is possible that none of this doomsday scenario will occur. Governments, even empires, can be capable of sound, sensible decisions, particularly to avert their own destruction. The normal pattern though, as history shows, is for them to take such action after, rather than before, disaster. Yet, it remains possible.

History teaches that momentum in events has enormous power, the power of inertia, described in the Laws of Motion. The plans of men in power are hesitant, or impulsive, and usually poorly reasoned. There has often been a horrifying inevitability about the eruption of wars that shows how little control nations have over their destinies. This is as true for other governments as it is for empires. In the present case, that means that a resolution cannot be devised that does not involve some compromise by all parties, The Empire and Ukraine, and Russia. Whether this is a real possibility will depend on their capacity to comprehend what the refusal to find a solution acceptable to both parties portends.

Paul Edwards is a writer and film-maker in Montana. He can be reached at:

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