As I watch the lamps of the post-WW2 world order go out, one tiny, flickering light at a time, I am compelled to remember something that happened more than a century ago: When Sir Edward Grey, Great Britain’s Foreign Secretary at the time, remarked that “the lamps are going out all over Europe”.
We are not quite there yet. There is hope that sanity will prevail.
Yet I feel that that hope is fading, that time is running out.
In 1914, the point of no return, the trigger was Germany’s decision to attack neutral Belgium. It compelled Britain to declare war, and ultimately widened that war into the world’s first (or maybe second — I think the Napoleonic wars might qualify as World War 0) global conflict.
What the trigger will be this time, I do not know. I am reacting in part to the announcement that the West warned Hezbollah to stay out of Israel’s conflict with Hamas. But chances are it will be something else.
But it is coming, of that I am near certain, even as I dearly hope that I am dead wrong, that my pessimism is unwarranted, my concerns grossly misplaced.