If two nations, each with over 1 billion citizens and each with nuclear arms, were about to go to war, the American ruling class’s reflex would be to say that the U.S. must stop them. But would that really be the best decision?
You might think this is a far-fetched thing to think about. But based on current events, it’s not nearly as far-fetched as it might once have been. So here is a short (and it is really short) speculative fiction tale that examines this question. (RELATED: The Ottoman-American Alliance: A Short Story)
Smith maintained three points of contact at all times as they surged the final hundred yards to the top of the mountain. Once over the ridgeline, their chances of being caught were minimal . “Beautiful day. Isn’t it?”
“That’s what you’re thinking about right now?” Jones puffed from behind him. “I’m thinking about how we’re going to stop two nuclear-armed nations from going to war.”
“That’s above our pay grade,” Smith returned. “We report what we’ve collected and then the idiots above us make the important decisions.”
“You know what I mean,” Jones shot back. “Millions of people will die if America doesn’t do something.”
“Millions of people will die, including a lot of Americans, if the U.S. gets involved in it,” said Smith. “Let them go to war. It’ll be the best thing that can happen for America right now anyway.”
“How can you say that? What if they use their nuclear weapons?”
“What if they don’t use them?”
“Saying America should do nothing is barbaric,” Jones huffed.
“One of these nations is communist and about to be the sole superpower in the world. And it’s already running every corporation, politician, sports league, and every other major institution in America,” Smith told him. “The other is a typical American ally—a nation that hates us and is flooding us with immigrants. So if they go to war with each other? Suddenly they both lose focus on us. That in itself is good. But you know what else? It means maybe we can start addressing all the domestic communists that have taken over our country without the foreign communists taking advantage of our internal strife.”
Jones frowned. “That’s ridiculous . . . I mean, I never thought of it that way.”
Smith grabbed the trunk of a small tree and hopped up a few more feet. “I have. And after we make our report, I’m going to do everything I can to convince America to stay out of the war.”
“I thought you said that we wouldn’t have any say in it—that it’d be above our pay grade and in the hands of the idiots in charge,” Jones replied.
“I did. But I’m going to do what I can to convince the idiots I know to do the right thing,” Smith said.
“What happens if either one of these two countries attacks us?” Jones asked.
“I guess we’ll cross that bridge if we reach it,” Smith replied. “Right now, their war doesn’t concern us. And I plan to convince whoever I can that we shouldn’t make it our concern. Our existence depends on it.”
Top Image: Artwork by Paul Hair, © 2021.