In the world of the 1930's, two destructive European ideologies were accumulating an arsenal with which to obliterate each other.
Unlike today, when the world is polarizing along ancient religious divisions, the scenario of the '30s was moving Europe toward a death-struggle between two opposing Western economic ideologies--fascism and communism.
The rise of two masterminding evil geniuses--Hitler and Stalin-- enabled their respective war-making nation-empires to rise to their full militarily destructive capacities and impose widespread destruction upon the world. During that period, seventy or eighty years ago, the civil war in Spain became the puppetized proxy war. Militarizing fascist states--Germany and Italy--propped up Spanish insurgents led by General Franco, as he sought to run the Communist-leaning, Soviet-supported government of Spain out of Madrid and out of power.
Today, the hotspot is not Spain; it is Syria. The power-brokers are not the Allies and the Axis; they are the West vs. Islam.
The civil war in Syria, which is now spreading into Iraq, is becoming the proxy war for two opposing ancient strains of Islamic power--Sunni and Shia. Iraq is caught in the middle between Syria (mostly Sunni) against the Shia empire, Iran, on the other side.
This scenario is eerily similar to the European ideology-based polarization of eight decades ago. During the 1930's, Spain, Czechoslovakia, and Poland were caught in the middle between Hitler's bloodthirsty power-grab and Stalin's stealthy gulag death machine.
Today's version of human-powered depraved bellicosity is not exactly the same, of course, as what was taking shape in the '30's, but there are similarities. The student of history can dimly discern these similarities. In our war-bound world of today, Syria, Iraq and other Arab states are caught in the middle, as Spain, Czechoslovakia and Poland were in the former times.
ISIS radicals in Syria are the Islamic version of Franco's quasi-Catholic fascists in Spain in 1936-1939. They are hiding their heartlessly demonic destruction behind a facade of the indigenous religion.
Franco's insurgents were supplied by the emerging-under-VersaillesTreaty-radar Nazi-fascist German Luftwaffe, who shocked the world with their air-powered obliteration of the town of Guernica, Spain, April 26 1937.
Today, ISIS brutes are shocking the world with their brutality in western Iraq, as has happened in Mosul. Now the battle is getting more intense and bloodier between Sunni and Shia , as it was between Fascist and Communist in the late 1930s.
This showdown is one that the major powers, comfortable in their relative prosperity and peace, prefer to watch from a distance and get involved if it becomes absolutely necessary.
In Britain and France in the 1930's, capitalist power-brokers stealthily supported Hitler's camouflaged Nazi heathen militarism, because they saw it as a potential defense against Soviet Communism.
Little did they know what Adolf Hitler had in mind.
Is there an Islamic Feuhrer out there in the middle east somewhere now, waiting in the wings to make his big move?
In 1938, Prime Minister Chamberlain went to Munich and made a deal with Hitler. He came back to England waving a piece of paper that he thought represented peace. But a few months later, Hitler, having stalled the Allies off long enough to build up his wehrmacht, jumped on Czechoslovakia and Poland like a pit bull on a squirrel. You know the rest.
The world got sucked into a terrible war; millions were killed. Because the Allies were worn out with it all by 1945, Stalin took the scraps in eastern Europe that Hitler had failed to hold and therefore left behind for his former ally. Stalin, the fox, outsmarted and outlasted his ally-nemesis, Hitler. Stalin could not have done it without our help. War makes strange bedfellows.
Nowadays, it looks as though the United States, weary of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, is willing to turn the defense of weak Iraq over to the Iranian ayatollahs, so that ISIS will not take all of Shia-dominated Iraq. Hitler didn't want the Czechs/socialists to have Sudetenland either.
Those Iranian Shia will be doing the dirty work in proxy war as Franco did for Hitler and Mussolini in 1936-39.
Is this something like turning the protection of the hen-house over to the fox?
We shall see.