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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

War is Coming

In the opening scene of The Fifth Element (1997), a member of an alien race that is friendly to humans, known as the Mondoshawan, retrieve a series of stones meant to protect humanity. When a priest questions why the aliens would leave humans defenseless, an alien leader states, “War is coming,” and explains that the in-place protection is no longer considered safe.

In an unfortunate turn of events, the alien leader becomes trapped in a tomb without the ability to escape. Though the priest urges the being that there’s time to elude captivity, the alien states in broken English, “Time not important; only life important.”

When contemplating the applicability of this scene in contrast to the current sociopolitical climate of the United States (U.S.), I’m reminded of a conversation I recently had with a friend, “Moby.” During our discussion, my longtime confidant addressed the likelihood of the U.S. devolving into a civil or world war within the coming few years.

While I hope the predictions of both Moby and I are inaccurate, we agreed that it’s at minimal a possibility. The probability of such conflict remains to be seen. Nevertheless, what we concluded is that war is coming—if not already present in fourth-generation or fifth-generation warfare.

What precious stones do our nation’s citizenry have to protect us from the likely eventuality of war? Familiar with my prior service as a U.S. Marine, Moby asked if I thought I’d be called upon by the government to engage in armed conflict against foreign or domestic enemies—as was my sworn oath when enlisting.

Because navigating a discussion about civil armed conflict is a risky endeavor, I instead framed my discussion with Moby around the potential of World War III (WWIII). The Mondoshawan withdrew the stones with the approach of World War I, so discussion about what protection exists for WWIII is worth contemplation.

Since the conversation with Moby didn’t take place in the same manner I would input in a typical blog entry, I think the style of a back-and-forth dialogue may benefit the reader. Although the following chat isn’t verbatim, my discussion with Moby unfolded somewhat as follows:

Moby: Do you think we’re headed towards World War III?

Me: With the way our nation’s leaders seem to be provoking Russia and China, how could a reasonable person not conclude that we’re headed in that direction?

Moby: Damn, you think we’re ready?

Me: Do you? I haven’t served in quite some time, so I don’t know.

Moby: No, man, I really don’t think we are.

Me: Why do you think that?

Moby: Well, I mean, it could go nuclear. I don’t think anyone’s ready for that.

Me: Yeah, I agree. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Moby: You think you’d be recalled to fight if we went to war?

Me: I don’t know. All men from ages 18 to 25 are required to register with the Selective Service System, and you and I aren’t within that range.

Moby: You think you’d volunteer to fight, because of your service as a Marine?

Me: Fight for what? Concepts such as freedom, liberty, and populism are supposedly elements attributed to far-right politics. Kneeling during the national anthem, from wealthy athletes who protest so-called racism, is seen as patriotic. However, flying the U.S. flag is considered “racist.” Even the Gadsden flag—a symbol of early patriotism and one of the first flags representing the Marine Corps—is falsely attributed to racism. So, honestly, fight for what?

Moby: I hadn’t thought of all that. I guess, aside from politics, fight for the American people?

Me: You mean the same people who divided the nation during authoritarian COVID-19 measures? I recall law enforcement officers (LEOs) abandoning their duty to enforce laws—opting instead to unconstitutionally enforce stay-at-home orders. So many people wound up calling the police and snitching on one another that LEOs in some jurisdictions had to turn to the media to request people stop contacting the law about COVID-19 matters. Fight for those people?

Moby: I forgot about that.

Me: I didn’t. How about when people were disallowed from protesting lockdown measures, though to protest racism at the same point in time was deemed acceptable? I recall that something like 77% of the country was more divided in 2020 than prior to COVID-19. For the last few years, I’ve observed our nation’s citizens beg for oppression from the government with little concern for those who are oppressed from tyranny.

Moby: You’re right.

Me: And on the topic of our citizenry, we’ve opened the flood gates for others nations to occupy our country. Something like 2.76 million migrants crossed our border in 2022. Who’s coming across? I don’t know and neither do you. If world war does break out, do you think those who come for economic opportunity will remain and fight for this nation? Just look at the exodus of approximately 11.4 million people that fled Ukraine since their conflict began. Who would stay and fight on behalf of the U.S.?

Women who aren’t obligated to register for the draft? Celebrities from other nations who enjoy our system while regularly chastising us and pushing their socially propagandistic supposed art on us? Or, maybe it’s another class of people who will take up arms and fight the enemy. It’s been said, “The problem of America today is the problem of white men.” Am I to conclude that a nation that is openly hostile towards white men will call upon this demonized collective to fight?

Moby: Honestly, I never thought of it like that.

Me: Federal LEOs label parents who attend school board meetings as “domestic terrorists.” Protesters who didn’t engage in riotous behavior on January 6th are viewed in a similar manner. And regardless of your views on him, it seems as though lawfare is being used in regards to former President Trump. Would I be fighting in a world war to defend the weaponization of the legal system?

Moby: I guess not.

Me: Active and armed engagement with an enemy—to preserve a country that no longer appears to honor the Constitution and amendments thereunto—seems absurd. Fighting for feminists who devalue the very men tasked with doing the lion’s share of violence, all to conserve the bigoted rot that has eroded our system, seems ludicrous, as well. And after potentially millions of people die, with exception of those who fled the nation, to what standard would I return after fighting for my fellow U.S. citizens?

Moby: Considering all that, I don’t really know. I mean, I see it every day. I just don’t think about it all at once, as you’ve laid out here.

Me: I think war is coming. However, I don’t think the standard of our nation under which I enlisted in 1996 exists anymore. Even since my discharge in 2007, the sociopolitical landscape is unrecognizable from the system for which I was once prepared to fight. Keep in mind; I was kicked out of the military, so my oath has dissolved. Nonetheless, I think it would be foolish to support my own oppression by fighting to defend it.

Moby: Damn.

Because I practice unconditional life-acceptance, I don’t disturb myself about matters which are beyond my control or influence. Therefore, my assumptions about WWIII don’t cause fear within me.

Moreover, I don’t allow my beliefs about my fellow U.S. citizens or the state of our nation in decline to cause me needless suffering. I can tolerate and accept what simply is, and without demanding that it ought to be any other way.

Those of us who served in the military, people who are as forged stones to uphold the Constitution and defend against enemies, may be used to fight against an antagonist such as Evil in The Fifth Element. Currently, I can’t clearly identify who that enemy is.

At this point, who’s good, bad, or otherwise is of little consequence. I suspect partisan actors addressed herein could convincingly declare their righteousness or irreverence either way.

As well, the timetable of kinetic or cold warfare is inconsequential. As was expressed by the Mondoshawan in The Fifth Element, “Time not important; only life important.”

For now, I won’t allow my mental, emotional, and behavioral quality of life remain hinged on the possibility of protecting those who detest me. Nor will I erode the valuation of my wellbeing through use of irrational beliefs about such people.

Instead, I value individuals like Moby and his family, as well as others within my close circle. These are the people worth protecting if war is coming.

Dear reader, how do you deal with the potential of something as serious as WWIII? Do you allow your beliefs about the event, or those within your nation who would actively oppose you during such conflict, cause needless suffering in your life?

If so, I may be able to help you adapt more effective beliefs so that you may endure mild frustration, slight disappointment, or manageable annoyance—similar to my experience when contemplating matters described herein. I look forward to working with you.

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


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