Early Days of World War III?
Are we in the early days of World War III?
That's what former US House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich has been arguing over the weekend.
And he is calling for President Bush to speak out and "connect the dots" so that people see the nature of the conflict that is emerging. When people realize that we are in the early days of World War III, Gingrich believes that people will immediately see that the key question is who wins that war.
But talk like this risks making things - bad as they are - even worse, since it will concentrate all thinking only on the military measures that allegedly are the only ones of relevance in a war. Political measures, not to speak about agreements, are mentally ruled out once it is all seen as "the early days of World War III".
So there is reason to be concerned over the effects of talk like that of Newt Gingrich.
It risks increasing the risk of everything spiralling even further out of control.
It risks becoming a self-fullfilling prophecy of the worst sort.