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Beyond the Rhetoric


It doesn’t seem believable but we may be on the verge of nuclear war. You look at all the continents on this earth and you will find unrest. There are many reasons causing this conflict and uneasiness.  Perhaps the main reason is the failure of the United Nations. Before the UN there was the League of Nations which was formed after World War I for ending any future wars. It was impotent. Germany evolved into a racist war machine right in front of the League’s face. Japan walked out on a formal hearing and prepared for international conquest.  Those major transitions led us into World War II.  The death toll was horrific. Many millions of soldiers were killed with many times that for civilians.

When World War II finally ended, the United Nations was formed to provide peace to the world.  Almost immediately violent conflict started popping up everywhere. The Korean War, Indo-China War, the Soviet Union land grab of various eastern European nations and other conflicts led the way for the making of an unpeaceful world. The Korean War ended in a stalemate.  The Indo-China War turned into the Vietnam War which lasted over 20 years (1955 to 1975), with North Vietnam (Communists) claiming the final victory.

The biggest opponent of peace today is Islamic Terrorism. It was first thought this uprising would be targeted for the Middle East. But the religion Islam is practiced all over the world. This means that we can have an outbreak wherever or whenever a terrorist faction is formed. Let’s look at the religion of Islam. It’s premise is that there is “No God but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet”. Therefore, all other religions are falsehoods and shall not be tolerated. As Islam grew so did slavery, genocide, civil and regional wars. At the same time, so did Christianity but they both soon subsided after the great Crusades (starting with the Arab – Byzantine War in 634 AD to the Ottoman Wars ending in 1922).

Osama Bin Laden was one of the most successful leaders of Islamic Terrorism. He formed the group Al-Qaida which evolved mostly within the nation of Afghanistan which was being controlled by the Taliban. The Taliban does not respect any borders. They are mainly found in Afghanistan but that does not preclude them from seasonal travel to Pakistan where they find safe harbor. It was not surprising that when Bin Laden met his demise it was well within the borders of Pakistan. Al-Qaida is still quite alive today with cells acting basically throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Like its terrorist rival, ISIS, it is a fluid operation which could have followers anywhere in the world. Al-Qaida and ISIS are the main war mongers throughout the world with sub-cells like Boko Haram and Al Shabab in Africa, and others throughout the world such as Canada, Australia, Philippines, etc. They don’t seem to be going away.

No nation has ever dominated Afghanistan.  Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, the British Empire, Soviet Union etc. have failed throughout the ages. We may also add the United States to that list of  failed ventures in Afghanistan. Our conflict in Afghanistan is our longest war in history. When will it end? It is indeed depressing that with all the above happening at a growing rate, we still have new challenges.

North Korea, a nation that cannot feed all its own people, has become a nuclear power. How did they do this? Certainly, with the help and encouragement of major rivals such as Russia and China but also with that “silent” trouble maker—Pakistan.  Pakistan has been all too willing to share its atomic technology with any nation that will pay them. It’s biggest customer right now is not Iran, but North Korea which has always been a great “student” of its technology. North Korea is moving at a rapid rate to become an owner of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.

Harry Alford is the Co-Founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®.  Website:  Email: