Opinion

‘The Trump Prophecy’ includes troubling parallels for American democracy

President Trump has been compared to Cyrus the Great, left. Images courtesy of Creative Commons

(RNS) — This week witnessed the release of the Liberty University-produced film “The Trump Prophecy,” in which it is claimed that Donald Trump’s election in 2016 can be attributed to divine intervention.

It is striking enough that the evangelical Christian leaders who supported the film believe they are in a position to discern and proclaim God’s will. This is some serious chutzpah — a word, and concept, apparently unknown to those who made the film.

At the heart of the movie, however, is a particular claim that Trump is the King Cyrus of our times.

Cyrus the Great was the king of Persia in the second half of the sixth century BCE, given his impressive title by virtue of having conquered the mighty Babylon, along with most of the rest of the ancient Near East. He ruled over the greatest empire the region had ever seen.

The Bible gives him an even more significant title: messiah. For when Cyrus conquered Babylon, he allowed the Israelites who had been exiled there some 50 years earlier to return to their native land, to govern themselves according to their native laws and to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, the center of their religious life. For this, the book of Isaiah declares that Cyrus was anointed — the original meaning of the word “messiah” — by God to deliver the Israelites.

For the creators of “The Trump Prophecy,” the comparison with Cyrus has obvious appeal. It emphasizes the global power of the U.S. presidency. It implicitly condemns the previous administration: the exile from God that Trump is now reversing. And it makes Trump out to be the savior of God’s people, permitting them to live and worship as they please. (Cyrus may have claim to be the inaugurator of the concept of “religious freedom.”)

But there are some rather strange aspects to the comparison as well. The most apparent is the fact that Cyrus was an external conqueror, a foreigner. There is an admission here that though he may be beloved of the Christian right, Trump is not in fact one of them. Trump, like Cyrus, is a pagan: not a worshipper, but a tool of God.

This is often admitted by Trump’s “court evangelicals,” as historian John Fea has termed them. But it does undercut the equally common claims that Trump is a real man of God.

It is easy enough to see why the biblical prophet saw Cyrus as divinely sent: The return of the Israelites and the rebuilding of their temple could hardly be other than providential.


RELATED: New film highlights belief that Trump’s election was God’s plan


But why would Cyrus do it in the first place? Here is where the equation with Trump becomes most interesting, and potentially revealing.

This is a depiction of the biblical character Cyrus the Great of Persia, by Jean Fouquet, created circa 1470. Image courtesy of Creative Commons

The restoration of peoples to their lands, and the permission for them to self-govern (with Persian imperial oversight), was a broad policy under Cyrus. It was not just the Israelites he treated this way. The policy had administrative payoffs — it is easier to supervise a relatively self-governing group than it is to enforce Persian laws in a foreign and resistant land — but also, and perhaps predominantly, was a remarkable coup of propaganda.

When Cyrus conquered Babylon, he did not declare that he and his gods had defeated Babylon and its gods, as would have been typical at the time. Instead, he announced — not without his own brand of chutzpah — that it was the gods of Babylon who had brought him there.

By appropriating local religious beliefs, Cyrus was able to authorize his imperial domination and curry favor with the conquered peoples.

This is what happened in Israel as well. The declaration in Isaiah that Cyrus is God’s anointed ruler is not Israelite prophecy; it is Persian propaganda. The biblical writers bought what Cyrus was selling, and elevated him to the level of a David or Solomon.

The parallel with Trump and his evangelical prophets is so close that one might be tempted to believe it was foretold long ago. Trump too has effectively spoken the language of the religious right, promising them a return to their cherished customs and beliefs. (They’ll be able to say “Merry Christmas” again!)

Like Cyrus, Trump seems for all the world not to care about the actual religious beliefs he is supporting. What he wants is free rein to do as he likes — with the support of those whose local authority he is propping up. He has offered them access to the halls of power — though not to the real power itself. And they have bought what he is selling, and declared him, quite literally, to be a messiah figure.

It may all seem a bit ridiculous, of course. But there is an important historical lesson here. For though Cyrus restored Israel to self-governance, there would never be another Israelite king. The ceding of power to Cyrus marked the end of Israel’s native form of government. Proclaiming Trump to be a modern-day Cyrus is, implicitly and perhaps even unconsciously, to suggest that our own native form of government may have come to its untimely end.

(Joel Baden is a professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of Religion News Service.)

About the author

Joel Baden

72 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • A more fitting parallel with Cyrus, would be with George Washington and the Framers Constitution. Trump is more like John the Baptist and the parallel here is the Left can’t wait to have Trump’s head on a platter.

  • If “Trump is the King Cyrus of our times”, then God must surely have said the following about him without actually believing it Himself! Unless, of course, God is a Christian Right Nationalist Himself! A Christian Right Nationalist Idol, in other words.

    (1) “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, … ‘It is I who says of [Trump], “He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.”‘”

    (2) “Thus says the Lord to [Trump] His anointed, whom I have taken by the right hand, to subdue nations before him and to loose the loins of kings; to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut”.

    Source: (1) Isaiah 44:1, 28. (2) Isaiah 45:1.

  • I never met Cyrus, but I went over the Hill with Jonah. We took a trip to Ezion-Geber and back a few years ago. Jacob’s Ladder is the Conduit you use to go up and down in time. It’s no myth, it’s right there in the Bible.

  • Calling the Groper-in-Chief their latter-day “King Cyrus” is awfully convenient for the Religious Right. It allows them to worship a guy who, had he campaigned as a Democrat, would never have passed muster by their professed standards. I can’t think of a more blatant rationale for hypocrisy.  

    The R.R.’s problem, of course, is that their own Jesus explicitly and unambiguously forbid them ever to be hypocritcal — for any reason or at any time; e.g.: 

    “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Mt 7:5)

    “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” (Lk 6:42) 

    They’d better stop, because if they continue, they’re going to hear these words: 

    “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (Mt 7:21-23) 

    But until then, I guess they’re happy to inflict their raging sanctimony and irrational hypocrisy on everyone else — because they can, I guess, because they don’t really have any other good reason. 

  • I would rather Trump serve the entirety of his term than that a theocratic extremist like Mike Pence have his finger on the nuclear button.

  • Except that at Trump’s White House, people are no longer discouraged from openly praising or praying to the Lord Jesus Christ. That has not been the case in previous administrations and that seems to have gone over this author’s head. Such a witness is incredibly powerful, going beyond the academic musings of the literati and into the realm of the spirit.

  • Please stand by for another six years of frustration. Economy is gangbusters. NAFTA has been successfully modified and China has been called out as our predatory enemy. I would say things are just right.

  • Things are going just fine for the wealthy and businesses. The rest of us … not so much. I agree China is an enemy, but so too is Russia — but your GiC won’t do anything to them, now, will he? 

  • If Gay Goliath don’t wanna surrender to Mike Pence, then Gay Goliath better surrender to Donald Trump.

    Better yet, how about surrendering to BOTH Pence and Trump? Combo platter!!

  • Modified with mostly all of the modifications that the Obama administration had already negotiated in the final year of his tenure.

    I can’t see your paisanos reelecting the Spicy Cheeto of Hate for a second term!

  • Yes, Trump will invite evangelical leaders to the White House, and they’ll surround him and lay hands on him and pray on him, and he close his eyes and bow his head obediently for the cameras, because it plays well to his base. But anyone who thinks that Trump is anything close to a God-fearing man is hopelessly naive.

  • Well, I don’t know if anyone in the history of the White House has ever been “discouraged from openly praising or praying to the Lord Jesus Christ.” But I think you have been conned by Trump’s feigned piety. It’s all for show.

  • “…people are no longer discouraged from openly praising or praying to the Lord Jesus Christ. ”
    Then I’m correct when stating to the churched up folks in my community that the book of Matthew is void. According to your devotion to King Trump.

    Matt.6
    [1] Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
    [2] Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    [3] But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
    [4] That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
    [5] And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    [6] But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
    [7] But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
    [8] Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

  • Yes, the Russia card! Boo hoo hoo, little baby! To be clear, the Russians are just as much enemies of the US as the PRC. But, on the one hand, you praise the Apricot Wonder for defying China, while on the other you ignore that he’s done nothing to Russia. He’s even letting Little Vladdie Poisoner wipe out whole swaths of Syria just to satisfy his bloodthirsty, sniveling puppet, Assad. 

    You’re looking at the world through the same lenses as your infantile GiC. What he does is best, because he does it … or something like that, as you and the rest of the seething, sanctimonious masses of Groperphiles see things. On the other hand, I prefer looking at the world as it is, and am willing to call your GiC out when he’s offbase. You aren’t. 

  • We are all supposed to be “using God” as our reason, our excuse, our justification, our rationale, our calling, our mission ——-to be kinder, more respectful, more generous, more gracious, more forgiving, more uplifting, more balanced, more tended to fair play than we otherwise would be if mere competition in life is all there is and all that counts. Jesus and Machiavelli are not supposed to be advertised as the same things and interchangeable for all occasions.

    Trump has discovered that church is a bit like youth sports. Some of the sports parents still hold with the idea of “hey, this whole thing is supposed to be about growing good kids”. To their dismay, we have learned that many of the youth sports parents have degenerated to behaving (behaving) as though “This is ACTUALLY about winning and vanquishing other teams”. Trump found that latter group’s mindset for politics at church and they found him as an ideal spokesman for their world view. Together, by the slimmest of voter margins or approval margins, they are goading each other into very bad behaviors and dragging the whole country down into a regrettable mental/emotional gutter.

  • Take a look at the gay pride flag, dearie.

    🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈

    It’s not white, and never will be.

  • “Today, we celebrate the magnificent glory of our risen Savior. . . I pray that we will live up to His example. I pray that I will live up to His example. I fall short so often. Every day I try to do better. I pray that we will be strengthened by His eternal love. I pray that we will be worthy of His many blessings.” — Barack Obama, America’s Final President, Post-Easter Prayer Breakfast, 2015.

  • There’s no such thing as “Gay Goliath”. Black people need to find new ways to get attention, besides lynching LGBTQ+ people in their own communities. You people are doing the KKK’s dirty workfor them, so they don’t have to lift a finger.

  • Wow, your lies just keep coming, don’t they? I have NEVER said anything, positive or negative, about Trump’s China policy, so you claim that I “praise” him for it is a patent lie, no doubt pulled – like most of your ideas – straight out of your a$$.

    If you think Isis is better than Assad, you’re seriously nutzo. Both are bloodthirsty, but at least religious minorities have been safe under Assad -unlike under Isis. But I am hardly surprised you would favor the side that wants to wipe out those pesky Christians (as well as other minorities).

    I most certainly do not believe that what Trump “does is best, because he does it”. Not by a long shot! I think he has been too squishy on immigration, wrong in bombing Assad, and wrong in moving our embassy to Jerusalem, just for starters. You really don’t know squat about my views.

  • Dear Mr. Trump,

    You like most of your followers need a good dose of the Great Kibosh. Once again:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

  • WRONG. So false, that, what you claimed; that “Jacob’s Ladder is the Conduit you use to go up and down in time.” Not at all. For according to Genesis 28:10-17, “Jacob dreamed, and beheld a ladder … Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place [which] is none other than the house of God, and … the gate of heaven.'” Meaning? Not some dumb “Conduit”, but what exactly? Read the words of prophecy again. The meaning is exactly what God had already prophesied it to be in Jacob’s “dream”. I.e. something about “the land where you lie, [which] I will give it to you and to your descendants … [in whom] shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” What God didn’t reveal, however, is how all that, still being prophecy and all, was going to be fulfilled. Jacob would have to be one Nathaniel way in the future in order to see all that come true before his eyes. For only in the gospel of the Christ Jesus, in John 1:43-51 to be precise, would he find the fulfillment of the so-called Jacob’s Ladder Prophecy of Genesis 28:10-17.

    “Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. … Come and see.’ Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and … said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.'”

    You see that now, don’t you? Or are you still puffed-up blind? Don’t you get it?

    “Jacob’s Ladder” is none other than – tada! – or duh! in your sorry case – THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation! How kewl is that, ‘yo!

  • Nothing wrong with having an able bodied soul work for a living. If you aren’t doing so well neither did I under the Carter administration, thankfully Reaganomics came through with little help from a Democratic Congress, sounds like you could work enough to ease your own suffering in an America where a big screen TV size below 65 inches means you are suffering.

  • Re: “Nothing wrong with having an able bodied soul work for a living.” 

    Did I say otherwise? If so, please show me when and where I did. 

    Re: “If you aren’t doing so well neither did I under the Carter administration …” 

    Ah. So Carter personally harmed you. Got it. 

    Re: “… sounds like you could work enough to ease your own suffering in an America where a big screen TV size below 65 inches means you are suffering.” 

    Did I say I didn’t work? Or that I didn’t have a big screen TV? If so, please show me when and where I did. 

    Bottom line: I have no idea what you’re even trying to say, other than you want to whine about Democrats and praise “Reagonomics.” None of that is relevant to what I said, however. 

  • Re: “Wow, your lies just keep coming, don’t they?” 

    I’ve never lied to you. You, on the other hand … well, let’s just say you’ve obviously learned from an inveterate, compulsive liar: Your Groper-in-Chief. 

    Re: “I have NEVER said anything, positive or negative, about Trump’s China policy …” 

    I never said you did. I was contrasting how your GiC deals with Russia, vs. the PRC. He’s willing to take on the latter, so it’s fair to wonder why he refuses to take on the former. 

    Re: “If you think Isis is better than Assad, you’re seriously nutzo.” 

    I never said they were. ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh/whatever-the-hell-one-wants-to-call-them are medieval savages. But so too is Assad. Both need to be destroyed. 

    Re: “Both are bloodthirsty, but at least religious minorities have been safe under Assad -unlike under Isis.” 

    Those religious minorities you think Assad treats well, have something else to say about how he treated them, you know. Besides, that he (may) be nice in one particular way doesn’t make him anything other than a bloodthirsty tyrant. There’s an old canard about how Mussolini wasn’t so bad, because he made the trains run on time (or something like that) … but really, that doesn’t matter, he was still a violent, raging fascist, who deserved his final fate. That he made the trains run on time — assuming he did — had no bearing on the matter. 

    The same goes for Assad. He’s a bloodthirsty, infantile tyrant. No wonder your GiC loves him so. 

    Re: “I most certainly do not believe that what Trump ‘does is best, because he does it’. 

    Riiiiiight.  

    Re: “I think he has been too squishy on immigration, wrong in bombing Assad, and wrong in moving our embassy to Jerusalem, just for starters.” 

    OK, so you’re even more of an Assad fanboi than your GiC. Well done! You must be sooooooo proud! 

    Re: “You really don’t know squat about my views.” 

    I know you’re a Groperphile. That’s pretty much all I need to know about you. 

  • If you are going to lie, you should at least keep your lies straight. But that is clearly to much to ask of you.

    “I never said you did [say anything positive…about Trump’s China policy]”.

    And yet you previously said, and I quote: “You praise the Apricot Wonder for defying China…”

    BUSTED!

    How’s your soul mate Pinoocchio doing?

  • Re: “And yet you previously said, and I quote: ‘You praise the Apricot Wonder for defying China…'” 

    So, you disapprove of him taking on China? Really? Explain. Or admit you do approve … ! 

  • You can’t wriggle out of your lie THAT easily!

    Your lie is that I praised his policy. PROVE that I did, or you are shown to be a LIAR.

  • I didn’t bring up China. Another of your avatars at Агентство интернет-исследований did … saying that China was an enemy that your Groper-in-Chief had dealt with. Do try to keep up. 

  • So you not only lied about my saying it, you are now desperately trying to cover up your initial lie with a second lie about me having avatars at some site I’ve never been to?

    You are not even man enough to own up to your lies. Sad!

  • Re: “… about me having avatars at some site I’ve never been to?” 

    You’re a Russian troll working at Агентство интернет-исследований, known in English as the Internet Research Agency. So are all your “buddies” (probably just you, using other IDs) here, who post the same crap over and and over and over. 

    The jig is up. 

  • I don’t like Trump (any better than Kil… I mean Hillary) and these “people” of his, but you’ve got my vote. Hang in there. WC smell from your opposition here tends to go away in just 3 … 2 … 1

  • Yes and uh check my car tires pressure & oil level too please, Arsebusting. Pronto! I’ve got a Cyrus/Trump Rally to catch. Shalom.

  • Bwahahaha! You’re really deluded, boy. No doubt a sucker for all sorts of conspiracy theories, too!

    As for one who posts “the same crap over and over and over” that’s a perfect description. of your M O, isn’t it?

    I see you have reverted to form by using your favorite ploy of an ad hominem attack (“Russian troll!”, “Homophobe!”, “Bigot!”) when you want to divert attention from your lies and failed arguments. Don’t you know it never works, cupcake?

  • And flown stand up high up in the air in hundreds of countries. Impressive. My people of faith gotta respect that; I do. But they don’t. They’d rather do some flag-burning and call it evangelism.

    Yup, the world rejects Jesus, and the church is dead. Mutually justified, this.

    Oops I wet your shoulder pad there.

    Don’t cry for me, Christendom.

  • I’m not deluded at all. You’re one of several people saying the same pro-Russian and pro-Groper-in-Chief stuff. You’re a Russian troll. 

    BTW I never called you a “bigot.” Ignorant, yes. A Russian troll, yes. Both of those are demonstrably true, based on what you’ve posted. But “bigot”? Nope, I never called you that. I did ask why you’re all worked up over transgenders to the point where you demanded that I condemn them, but never called you a “homophobe” either. 

    Yes, you’re a troll from О́льгино who works for Вячесла́в Ви́кторович Воло́дин. Undoubtedly. 

  • PsiCo: “The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!”

    Don’t forget to check under your bed, and in the attic!

    ROFLMAO!

  • The venerable professor had nothing to say when OBAMA was explicitly declared to be “THE ONE” and the “MESSIAH we’ve been waiting for.” Leftist Hypocrisy

  • Rage on, you sniveling тролли из Ольгино. Waaaah wah waah, little baby. Waaah wah. GO cry to your Poisoner-in-Chief. Maybe his agents will track me down and introduce me to a little новичо́к. You’d sure love that, wouldn’t you? 

  • This has to be one of the most blasphemous films to be supported by evangelical christians. Especially the firefighter prophet who gets visions from God. I’m pretty sure the Bible specifically stated that there would be no more prophets. Even Liberty University students called the film heretical.

  • Hope you’re not driving too far. Gas just hit a national average of $2.88, highest it’s been in three years. Everybody tired of winning yet???

  • Duh, why do you think I capitalized the word, Conduit? What you missed, is that ascending and descending is a reference to time, not a place.

  • APOSTLE JOHN: “The angels of God shall be ascending and descending on the Christ Jesus” (John 1:43-51).

    BRUCE PATTERSON: Right you are, Johnny, “The angels of God ascending and descending on the Christ Jesus” – “is a reference to time, not a place.”

    CHRIST JESUS: “[Woe] to you, Bruce Patterson, you will [never] see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on [Me]”!

  • Too late, been there done that; somebody needs to be “washed by the water of the word” tsk,tsk. Hey, have you checked the global warming clock to see what time it is?

  • “[Obama] sang at the service mourning those killed by Dylan Roof in S.C.” with the following lyrics by John Newton – but why, and with sincerity, how?

    Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found;
    Was blind, but now I see.
    ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed.
    Through many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;
    ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.
    The Lord has promised good to me,
    His Word my hope secures;
    He will my Shield and Portion be,
    As long as life endures.
    Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
    And mortal life shall cease,
    I shall possess, within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.
    The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
    The sun forbear to shine;
    But God, who called me here below,
    Will be forever mine.
    When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’d first begun.

  • Another important historical lesson is that the might of the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander the Great. His personal didn’t last as long of course. Rising civilizations need to gain power; once they have it they need to retain it; as they begin to lose they fight to regain it. But they do end up getting is: the war they are trying to avoid. The pattern of history is clear. Power (manifested as interest) has been present in every conflict throughout history – no exception. It is the underlying motivation for war. Other cultural factors might change, but not power.
    Interest cuts across all apparently unifying principles: family, kin, nation, religion, ideology, politics – everything. We unite with the enemies of our principles, because that is what serves our interest. It is power, not any of the above concepts, that is the cause of war.
    It is the one thing we will destroy ourselves for, as well as everyone else. When core interests are threatened and existential threat looms nations go to war. There can be no compromise on these. As a result every civilization/nation eventually gets the war it is trying to avoid: utter defeat. This applies as much today as any other time in history. Deterrence doctrine, made for the 20th century Cold War, for which it arguably worked, is irrelevant in the 21st and will ultimately fail us. Deterrence can no longer prevent the scenarios where Mutual Assured Destruction will be resorted to. We will soon face the scenario that (unlike the Cuban missile crisis) one protagonist will not be able to step back from the brink, blindly stumbling into a situation they cannot de-escalate. All that is left is Deterrence’s fall-back position – annihilation.
    Leaders and decision-makers delude themselves, thinking they can avoid their fate – they can’t. If survival is threatened, there is no alternative to war, however destructive.
    http://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

  • Another important historical lesson is that the might of the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander the Great. His personal empire didn’t last as long of course. Rising civilizations need to gain power; once they have it they need to retain it; as they begin to lose it they fight to regain it. What they do end up getting is: the war they are trying to avoid. The pattern of history is clear. Power (manifested as interest) has been present in every conflict throughout history – no exception. It is the underlying motivation for war. Other cultural factors might change, but not power.
    Interest cuts across all apparently unifying principles: family, kin, nation, religion, ideology, politics – everything. We unite with the enemies of our principles, because that is what serves our interest. It is power, not any of the above concepts, that is the cause of war.
    It is the one thing we will destroy ourselves for, as well as everyone else. When core interests are threatened and existential threat looms nations go to war. There can be no compromise on these. As a result every civilization/nation eventually gets the war it is trying to avoid: utter defeat. This applies as much today as any other time in history. Deterrence doctrine, made for the 20th century Cold War, for which it arguably worked, is irrelevant in the 21st and will ultimately fail us. Deterrence can no longer prevent the scenarios where Mutual Assured Destruction will be resorted to. We will soon face the scenario that (unlike the Cuban missile crisis) one protagonist will not be able to step back from the brink, blindly stumbling into a situation they cannot de-escalate. All that is left is Deterrence’s fall-back position – annihilation.
    Leaders and decision-makers delude themselves, thinking they can avoid their fate – they can’t. If survival is threatened, there is no alternative to war, however destructive.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

  • It must be catching. Now Hillary proudly says that we have no call to be civil to Republicans anymore. We don’t have any obligation to act civilly until we (the Democrats) have retaken the House or the Senate. Then, only then, do we need to act civilly again. Whatever happened to Michelle?

  • So you question someone’s faith? Have you met Trump personally? Do you honesty believe he is faking it like your woman fakes it during sex? Yeah It’s easy to fake an orgasm.

ADVERTISEMENTs