Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 15
By Claude Salhani -Trend:
As the war against Islamist terror begins to gather momentum, forging new alliances and accentuating older ones while questioning others, now that the Obama administration appears to have a policy of sorts, some pundits are beginning to ask if this conflict qualifies as a world war?
Indeed, when does a war rank as a "world war"?
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines a world war as "a war involving many nations of the world."
Judging by the scope of the current conflict one could well argue the point that this war falls into the category of a world war. If nothing else due to the number of countries involved and the theatre of operations covered should be enough to justify calling this a world war.
The countries involved includes all 28 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and several others, who may not be NATO members, but are assisting the war effort in one way or another. These include former Soviet republics such as Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. In sum, this conflict concerns nearly every country on the planet.
Pope Francis said on Sept. 12 the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a "piecemeal" Third World War. The pope condemned the arms trade and "plotters of terrorism" sowing death and destruction.
"Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep," Pope Francis said in the homily of a Mass during a visit to Italy's largest war memorial, a large monument dating back to the fascist era where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried.
"War is madness," the pope said in his homily before the massive, sloping granite memorial.
"Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction," he said according to a Reuter's dispatch.
In the past few months, Pope Francis has made repeated appeals for an end to conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Gaza and parts of Africa.
"War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying," he said. "Greed, intolerance, the lust for power. These motives underlie the decision to go to war and they are too often justified by an ideology ... ," the pontiff said.
Last month the pope, who has often condemned the concept of war in God's name, said it would be legitimate for the international community to use force to stop "unjust aggression" by Islamic State militants who have killed or displaced thousands of people in Iraq and Syria, many of them Christians.
Indeed, quite a few voices are echoing that of the Bishop of Rome, calling for a "justifiable war".
It is perhaps a difficult concept to visualize that we might be on the verge of a world war, or yet still, well within one. There can, however, be no doubt that the perils represented by a culture of hate - irrespective of its name, uniforms, fancy banners, remains very real and that we are well on the road to WWIII.
The march to forge this new Islamic caliphate is not geographically limited to any single country, region, or state. The ultimate goal of such a group is to conquer, subjugate and dominate.
Many people were quite probably thinking along the same lines before WWII was officially recognized as such. Yes, regretfully, this is WWIII.
Claude Salhani is a senior editor with Trend Agency. You can contact him via Twitter @claudesalhani.
Has WWIII already started?
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 15