What If: Episode 4

A couple days later, Don invited the friends over for supper. “As some may have noticed, I’m not usually the first to grab hold of a new idea, even if it started in Texas. However, I’ve had some time to ponder what Ben was sayin’ to us, and I want to hear what else he has found that kinda’ ties his whole idea together. Especially that part about the whole world going through some big changes, that might favor us.”

“Don, I’m touched by your hospitality, and the food is pretty good too. Your pondering took you in a key direction. What is possible today would not have been conceivable 100 years ago, or even 50.

“The 1800’s were dominated by powerful nations trying to gain a bigger piece of the pie, and the pie was Territory. Big naval ships to carry soldiers, and availability of gunpowder, allowed big nations to conquer lands far away from their homeland. Some were looking for gold, some for glory, and others just wanted adventure. But back home, the rulers had bigger ideas. Now, Rome had done similar colonializing and empire-building two millenia before, and had tribute payments flowing into Rome faster than the rulers could spend it. All that excess wealth in the hands of selfish rulers, brought about the Fall of Rome.

“The 1900’s brought even more destructive wars of conquest, weapons of mass destruction, and abhorrent atrocities against innocent human beings. The End was near. But God moved some thinking men and women to re-evaluate the whole idea of War. They saw that if it kept getting worse: Nobody Wins — We All Lose. So gradually, they conceived the idea of War Crimes, and Rules of War.

“As early as the 1870’s thinkers from various European nations met in Brussels, and hammered out some basic Rules, that rulers of their nations could agree on, and sign on to follow. It helps us to grasp this if we realize that those national Sovereigns didn’t want to blow all their revenue on wars, and some even wanted to be remembered for better things than killing the most people. God moves in mysterious ways.”

Chuck was scratching his head again. “I never heard that before, and it makes sense. But how does it help us, Ben?”

“Okay folks, let’s just cut to the chase on this”, Ben agreed. “The hidden key is, Rulers of Nations had finally agreed to limit their expansionist ambitions and tactics by specific Rules, and even their successors in power were obligated to obey those Rules. That is eternally significant, probably because the Mind behind it is the Eternal One. And if even one Ruler breaks the Rules, all the other Rulers can gang up on him and bring him into submission. You could call it ‘Honor Among Thieves.’ Even the Mafia adopted their version of it!

“The ultimate test of it came to our world, compliments of Adolph Hitler in the early 1900’s. Yes he was a mass murderer, but the whole world saw it on movie screens, and said Enough is Enough! Then the Rules of warfare, colonializing, military occupation, genocide and others were clarified, strengthened, and ultimately enforced as a result of the Nuhrembourg War Crimes Trials.

“A ruler might intimidate people in his country into not speaking out, but now the whole world was watching and all the nations were his judge. Television became the great Leveler of the playing field. He had no monopoly on power any longer.

“So, what does this all trigger in your own minds? I’m going to get a cold drink in the kitchen.”

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