Are We On the Brink of World War III?

Monday, June 3, 2013
By Paul Martin

2014 may be a replay of 1914

by Justin Raimondo
AntiWar.com
June 03, 2013

Several commentators have pointed to the similarities between the pre-World War I era and our own. While every historical analogy is, by definition, inexact, they are right to raise the alarm.

In 1914, Europe was divided into two camps: the Entente, consisting of Britain, France, and Russia, and the Central Powers, predominantly Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Italy was formally a member, but went neutral when the war started, eventually joining the Entente). While this division had its roots in the long history of inter-imperialist rivalry over the acquisition of colonies in Africa and the Far East – with the “haves” being Britain and France, and the “have nots” being Germany and Austria – by the turn of the century the conflict began to re-focus on the European theater, where the breakup of the Ottoman Empire in Southeastern Europe – the Balkans – put the rival camps on a collision course.

Intent on penetrating the region and promoting its pan-Slavic agenda, Russia was fanning the flames of Serbian nationalism in the region, and the Kingdom of Serbia was the logical launching pad for this campaign. Serbia was a cauldron of ultra-nationalist sentiment, where – at the instigation of Russian agents – secret societies sprang up militantly agitating for a “Greater Serbia.” A pseudo-mystical ultra-nationalist narrative was elaborated for popular consumption, based on the idea of restoring the old “Greater Serbia” of the pre-Ottoman era, a supposedly glorious chapter in the history of the race that ended with the defeat of Prince Lazar on the famous Field of Blackbirds: Lazar died heroically, fighting off Turkish Janissaries. The great problem of the Serbian nationalists, however, was – and is – their expansive concept of what “Greater Serbia” consists of: every spot on which a Serbian Orthodox church or monastery ever existed is, today, considered Serbian territory by these radicals, and back in 1914 they were far more numerous – and powerful – than they are at the present moment. Indeed, as Ralph Raico points out:

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