Welcome to World War III, My Friend

By Gary Kimsey 

Part I of a series for Writers With No Borders

I’m not a philosopher, a scientist, politician, or deep thinker. I’m a guy from middle America who likes beer, pretzels, Sunday football, and naps.

On one specific topic, I’m a fellow who has plenty in common with the observation Butch Cassidy made when he announced to the Sundance Kid: “Boy, I got vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals.”

Gary Kimsey is a writer and editor who lives part of the year in his hometown of Independence, Mo., and the rest of the time in his family’s ancestral home along the Poudre River in the northern Colorado Rockies. Learn more about him...

My vision: We’re in World War III and most Americans don’t know or care. The few average Americans aware of the global conflict don’t know what to do. This isn’t a war where we enlist, donate blood, or manufacture tanks, cannons and ships.

This war is being fought with computers instead of guns. Combatants rely on the sophisticated technology of bytes, bots, worms, Trojans, malware, viruses, and 010101s, the coding upon which computer language is based. Most Americans don’t even begin to understand the crucial inner workings of such technology.

During the last few years, the Internet has been crammed with news articles and opinion columns focusing on “when” or “if” World War III ever comes about. The general consensus: the war will be cyber attacks on such infrastructures as power grids, banking and financial systems, communication networks, voting systems, airlines—you know, the stuff of the culture and lifestyles in America and the countries of our allies.

While issuing such predictions, almost every expert qualifies statements by couching their thoughts in the future tense, as if they believe a cyber war may or may not happen in the future. Bifocals they wear; the war is here.

We have yet to witness a cyber Pearl Harbor or a cyber event with the magnitude of the assassination of an archduke that set off World War I. This is a war we’ve slipped into mostly unnoticed by Americans. We continue on with our lives in a state of denial or the bliss of ignorance, save for the inconvenience of having to change passwords now and then.

Some leaders are playing politics at a critical time when wisdom and action are needed much more. The most recent example occurred June 13 when Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about the extent of his knowledge of Russia’s intrusion into the 2016 presidential election: “I know nothing but what I’ve read in the paper.”

Does anyone really believe that ignorance constitutes a valid excuse from our nation’s top prosecutor? My opinion: Sessions pirouetted away from the issue because his boss is under investigation in the matter of Russian cyber warfare. Even Sessions himself is under suspicion.

Cyber attacks come almost daily: hacks that steal millions of IDs and supposedly protected information from banks, credit card companies, Yahoo, political parties, hospitals, and even the CIA and Department of Justice. The list is long, detailed and depressing.

The newest revelation came June 13 with the news that Russia’s incursion into the 2016 election was more widespread than previously believed. The attack targeted voter data bases in 39 states, twice as many and more viciously waged than initially identified. The attack upon Illinois, for instance, attempted to delete or alter voter data. These were attacks on the basic core of democracy, on our way of life. Not a single gunshot was fired or bomb exploded.

The cyber weapons reflect the evolution of warfare. World War I had its new technology: tanks and airplanes. World War II: jet propulsion; self-propelled missiles and nuclear bombs. The weapon now is intellect, the ability to arrange a mass of electrons so they go forth in an almost magical way to cause havoc and destruction.

Today’s combatants aren’t the 400-pound guys sitting on their beds, as Donald Trump proclaimed in trying to lay blame for the 2016 hack of the Democratic Party’s computer records. Rather, the combatants are Russia, North Korea, England, France, Iran, China, the Baltic countries, and other nations, including the U.S.

We must not forget ISIS. We frequently see TV news footage of bloodied ISIS battlegrounds. Yet, seldom do we hear that ISIS has a covert “hacking wing” which has the potential to be more dangerous than any other cyber warriors.

The basic purpose of World War III’s technology: espionage and sabotage. They—whoever they are—are trying to take us down. We—our computer geeks—are trying to stop and take them down. Sound familiar? Opponent against opponent. Warrior against warrior. It’s a war scenario.

At the risk of sounding like a hopeless doomsayer, I think what we witness now is tame compared to what we’ll see in the future. The current flexing of cyber warfare muscles is merely a toning and strengthening—like young athletes training for the Olympics. The gold medal represents a discernable shift in the order of the world.

Next in this series: Ted Koppel and the darkness.

Welcome to a new blog that maps a positive course through America’s perilous times

Concerned American writers have joined together to create this new blog, Writers With No Borders, to offer their thoughts on how to steer our nation through perilous times.

The writers aren’t the media elite who receive so much criticism these days. Instead, they are your neighbors, the person you might meet in a coffee shop or tavern, the guy who drives an old car, and the lady who frets over trying to be the superwoman that society claims should be able to do everything. They are like you.

The author of this blog post is Gary Kimsey, a writer who lives in Missouri in the winter and Colorado in the summer. Learn more about him…

Solve problems: These writers have several things in common: They see danger now and ahead for our country and the world. They like to write about current issues. What they have to say is important. Their views will focus on challenges faced by Americans and action that can be taken to solve problems. logo_fina_150pixels

I’ll be one of the writers. I picked up my pen—well, that is, I sat down at my computer—because it’s my view we have plunged into dangerous times politically, environmentally and socially.

Danger for the United States has existed at various levels since 1776, but now the perilous times have been incredibly heightened by Donald Trump, his tweets and his controversial orders. Regardless of whether you voted for him, you surely must be concerned, too, about what has happened since the inauguration.

As a rule, I’m apolitical. I believe everyone has a right to vote as they believe and that all of us should abide by the results. I’m a registered independent and I vote for the person, not the party. I follow news closely. I prefer to watch and read about answers rather than problems. Nonetheless, and I dislike pointing this out, here’s what I’ve seen and what I think:

After spending less than two weeks in office, the president has lied about the size of the inauguration crowd, committed to building a wall of questionable value that will cost taxpayers billions of dollars; muzzled the EPA; tried to bully Australia, one of America’s longest and most faithful friends; angered Mexicans to the point where they are boycotting U.S. goods embraced Putin, ignored Russia’s new military thrust againt Ukraine; alienated countries around the world by banning Muslims; enhanced the recruiting capabilities of ISIS; threatened a respected university where protests occurred on February 1; insulted the CIA and other intelligence agencies; and harshly warned the sovereign countries of the United Nations not to take views that oppose the U.S. Don’t believe this last point? Consider the message offered last week by Nikki Haley, Trump’s United Nations ambassador: “For those that don’t have our back, we’re taking names.”

A couple of days ago one of my friends posted a link on Facebook that went to a USA Today article with this headline: Analysis: Trump’s start creates chaos by doing what he promised. My friend added this to his post: “By doing what he promised. Were people not listening?!?” He meant, of course, when they voted for him.

To get worse: I replied back to my friend: “People were listening, but I suspect many didn’t believe he actually would do such insanely dangerous things. And we’re only days into his administration. Listen to this: It will get worse.”

Millions of people have already marched in protest of Trump. Thousands demonstrate daily. Peace is likely to give way to violence, unfortunately. On January 31, in what I suspect may be an opening salvo to more violent protests, police used pepper gas to disperse unruly protesters in Ohio.

Listen to this: It will get worse. I pray that I’m wrong.

Look for diverse views and topics from Writers With No Borders

In future posts of Writers With No Borders, writers will at times focus on Trump, but they will also venture into such topics as global warming, women’s rights, religious freedom, health care, jobs, the economy, public education, immigration, renewable energy, oil, hacking, congress, terrorism, nuclear weapons, and, among others, political swamps.

Diversity of views is good thing for our society. It’s a large part of the foundation upon which America was built upon and is nourished. That’s what this blog is all about: diversity of views. It is the reason we’ve asked a variety of writers to offer their opinions and solutions.

Time for regular folks: This blog was also developed as a way to step over and beyond the power elite, the political elite, the economic elite: They can’t agree on any ideas or feasible solutions. It’s time for regular folks to take the lead.

Regardless of where you on the proverbial political aisle, now is the time to stay abreast of issues. Join political groups. Join environmental organizations. Speak your views. Look beyond Facebook and Twitter headlines. Stay peaceful.

Read news, editorials and analysis offered by quality news organizations. Research to find the truth. Verify information by going to reputable sites like FactCheck.org and Snopes.org.

Keep track of what your local and national politicians are doing. Email them. Tweet them. Call them. Go old style: Write them letters. Better yet, visit their offices. Take your views to them. Send us your views, too. And, again, stay peaceful.

Now is the time.

Follow Writers With No Borders by email by clicking on the follow icon at the top of the right column.

 

 

Welcome to a new blog that maps a positive course through America’s perilous times

Concerned American writers have joined together to create this new blog, Writers With No Borders, to offer their thoughts on how to steer our nation through perilous times.

The writers aren’t the media elite who receive so much criticism these days. Instead, they are your neighbors, the person you might meet in a coffee shop or tavern, the guy who drives an old car, and the lady who frets over trying to be the superwoman that society claims should be able to do everything. They are like you.

The author of this blog post is Gary Kimsey, a writer who lives in Missouri. Learn more about him…

Solve problems: These writers have several things in common: They see danger now and ahead for our country and the world. They like to write about current issues. What they have to say is important. Their views will focus on challenges faced by Americans and action that can be taken to solve problems. logo_fina_150pixels

I’ll be one of the writers. I picked up my pen—well, that is, I sat down at my computer—because it’s my view we have plunged into dangerous times politically, environmentally and socially.

Danger for the United States has existed at various levels since 1776, but now the perilous times have been incredibly heightened by Donald Trump, his tweets and his controversial orders. Regardless of whether you voted for him, you surely must be concerned, too, about what has happened since the inauguration.

As a rule, I’m apolitical. I believe everyone has a right to vote as they believe and that all of us should abide by the results. I’m a registered independent and I vote for the person, not the party. I follow news closely. I prefer to watch and read about answers rather than problems. Nonetheless, and I dislike pointing this out, here’s what I’ve seen and what I think:

After spending less than two weeks in office, the president has lied about the size of the inauguration crowd, committed to building a wall of questionable value that will cost taxpayers from $15 billion to $40 billion, muzzled the EPA, stuck a spike in the heart of America’s friendship with Mexico, embraced Putin, alienated countries around the world by banning Muslims, enhanced the recruiting capabilities of ISIS, and threatened the United Nations. Don’t believe this last point? Consider the message offered last week by Nikki Haley, Trump’s United Nations ambassador: “For those that don’t have our back, we’re taking names.”

A couple of days ago one of my friends posted a link on Facebook that went to a USA Today article with this headline: Analysis: Trump’s start creates chaos by doing what he promised. My friend added this to his post: “By doing what he promised. Were people not listening?!?” He meant, of course, when they voted for him.

To get worse: I replied back to my friend: “People were listening, but I suspect many didn’t believe he actually would do such insanely dangerous things. And we’re only days into his administration. Listen to this: It will get worse.”

Millions of people have already marched in protest of Trump. Thousands demonstrate daily. Peace is likely to give way to violence, unfortunately. Yesterday, in what I suspect may be an opening salvo to more violent protests, police used pepper gas to disperse unruly protesters in Ohio.

Listen to this: It will get worse. I pray that I’m wrong.

Look for diverse views and topics from Writers With No Borders

In future posts of Writers With No Borders, writers will at times focus on Trump, but they will also venture into such topics as global warming, women’s rights, religious freedom, health care, jobs, the economy, public education, immigration, renewable energy, oil, hacking, congress, terrorism, nuclear weapons, and, among others, political swamps.

Diversity of views is good thing for our society. It’s a large part of the foundation upon which America was built upon and is nourished. That’s what this blog is all about: diversity of views. It is the reason we’ve asked a variety of writers to offer their opinions and solutions.

Time for regular folks: This blog was also developed as a way to step over and beyond the power elite, the political elite, the economic elite: They can’t agree on any ideas or feasible solutions. It’s time for regular folks to take the lead.

Regardless of where you on the proverbial political aisle, now is the time to stay abreast of issues. Join political groups. Join environmental organizations. Speak your views. Look beyond Facebook and Twitter headlines. Stay peaceful.

Read news, editorials and analysis offered by quality news organizations. Research to find the truth. Verify information by going to reputable sites like FactCheck.org and Snopes.org.

Keep track of what your local and national politicians are doing. Email them. Tweet them. Call them. Go old style: Write them letters. Better yet, visit their offices. Take your views to them. Send us your views, too. And, again, stay peaceful.

Now is the time.

Upcoming: In the next post of Writers With No Borders, Bear Jack Gebhardt, a writer in Colorado, will focus on how to nourish your life and your soul while putting up a resistance to today’s tangled problems. Watch for his post on February 1.

Subscribe to this blog by clicking on the “Follow” button in the right column.