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The medieval worldview and its marriage to financial and political power may be archaic in the modern world.  Faith in God and religion may be good things, but as demonstrated by the Islamists, by the Saudi Royals and their spreading of Wahhabi madrasas, and by related clerical wealth dependent on subscription plus political repression, too much of that kind of “religion” suffocates creativity, freedom, and economic exchange.

I believe the modern world wishes not to be dragged back into the “medieval mode” — or your nation should have a new King with his legitimacy validated by Bishops and the Pope.

Yours has also a different kind of contest going with archaic systems: the tribal systems (with chiefs) are absolute and often worlds unto themselves, and they may well be discomfited by seeing their children yanked into mines and (perhaps) abused.

The Third World War seems to me quite healthy and under way as regards barbarism and the most cynical and evil worship of money by those encouraging horrific acts worldwide.  

Thank Putin who has been most visible in relation to the barbaric horrors of Syria, the creeping warfare ongoing in Ukraine, numerous “frozen conflicts”, which become transfer points for smuggling, potentially on a nearly unimaginable scale, and today the support of al-Qaeda-like Taliban in Afghanistan.

When, and since we woke up sixteen years ago this day, has the modern world — the civilization of open democracies — not been at war with barbarism?

My South American correspondent counseled the various forms of “sword” against the evils wrought by bankers who sought deregulation that invited the 2007/8 financial meltdown, by the godless forces of still nominal and virulent communist and socialist politics, and by indigenous either living in older worlds or lost in this one.

Since 9/11, a curtain in time has come up on the world that surrounds all of us as we have come to casually and commonly access cultural activities and political news around the world via Internet.  Perhaps the community of foreign affairs and international relations enthusiasts as well as professionals has been grown as a consequence of access to . . . the online universe of media, political institutions, and, of course, fellow travelers — and, perhaps, we have become or started on the path toward greater cognizance and sophistication about the world’s myriad conflicts and their true underlying drivers.

For brevity, BackChannels will leave this post “airy” — short on specifics — but note that we — “the west”, “EU / NATO”, “the open democracies of the world” — may be more at war today with feudal despots and medieval illusion and “The Terrorists” — the global network of clerical power bound to media production and incitement and transnational crime (arms, diamonds, drugs, for a start) and related and active cells than was the case before this day sixteen years ago.