World Coalition

President Barack Obama briefs European leaders following a multilateral meeting at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2009

President Barack Obama briefs European leaders following a multilateral meeting at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2009

The Age of Aquarius is the age of world coalitions. Our world has become a global village, which creates problems and instabilities greater than what one nation can cope with. From climate change and pandemic outbreaks to terrorist networks – our modern connectivity makes us more vulnerable to these threats. More than the actual immediate damage, the psychological effect on the entire world through the media and social networks is even larger. That is why the solution to these issues must be on a global scale and cannot be worked out by a single country.

The locations affected by the 2014 Ebola Outbreak as of mid-October (image by AmericanXplorer13).

The locations affected by the 2014 Ebola Outbreak as of mid-October (image by AmericanXplorer13).

Never before has the world been so connected. Air transportation is so prevalent and far-reaching, that a virus could be carried to the other side of the world within hours. The news about an outbreak travel even faster, and fear is carried with them to even larger populations. The 2014 Ebola outbreak started in Western Africa but leaped quickly to Europe and the US through health workers. At the time of the writing of these words, the epidemic has not spread to the general populations in Europe and the US. The world has been slow to react, but by now a group of nations is mobilizing people and funds to help fight the epidemic. Among these are the US, China, India, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, Canada, Israel, Cuba, Turkey, and Brazil. Many of these countries are making these efforts in order to prevent the virus from getting into their own borders. Both the risk and its mitigation are stemmed from the same global environment that is coming with the Age of Aquarius.

Spread of the 1918 flu pandemic (image by Yug).

Spread of the 1918 flu pandemic (image by Yug).

One of the famous pandemics of our times is the AIDS/HIV which infected and killed tens of millions. However, there are tens of millions that still live with the HIV virus. It is an outbreak of another virus that occurred at the dawn of the 20th century that shows how globalization is a leading factor in the creation and spread of pandemics. The so-called Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 hit every continent on the planet, killing tens of millions of people. It is an example of an uncontrolled virus spreading due to a global driver, namely the mobilization of people and armies across the world during the last stages of World War I. Other factors of the civilization awakening to a global reality contributed to the spread of the deadly disease, including urbanization and better transportation combined with the still low level of aseptic techniques. For example, the most ill soldiers in the tranches of the war were sent back in crowded trains to crowded hospitals, which led to a second, much deadlier, wave of the pandemic. Interestingly enough, World War I is an example of one of the first world coalitions that was created to deal with other issues. But the very creation of this coalition brought about the unexpected global spread of the deadly virus. Globalization has its disadvantages…

U.S. jet fighters prepare to launch from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Arabian Sea to conduct strike missions against Islamic State targets, September 2014.

U.S. jet fighters prepare to launch from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Arabian Sea to conduct strike missions against Islamic State targets, September 2014.

Here is another example of an unintended consequence of an international intervention – the Islamic State, the radical group that is gaining grounds both in the physical landscapes of Syria and Iraq, but also in the hearts of other Muslims around the world. Following the 2003 invasion to Iraq and the deposition of Saddam Hussein, this vicious strain of Al-Qaeda in Iraq participated in insurgency against the invading coalition forces and evolved over the last decade to what it is today: an extremely fundamentalist group using all sorts of horrifically violent methods to either convert people to join them or destroy these people in the most unspeakable ways. Using social media, this group succeeds in recruiting Muslims that have Western citizenship to travel to Iraq and Syria and join their cause. It also succeeds in spreading a tremendous fear in growing circles of populations around them, starting with the Iraqi army, the neighboring countries, and across the world. Again, it was a world coalition of 40 countries (with four that had a leading role in the fighting on the ground), that came together in order to resolve one painful problem – Saddam Hussein – but creating a new problem, perhaps more complicated than the original one. Instability was created as part of the process of globalization, both political globalization – a great number of nations trying to discipline a rogue ruler, and economic globalization – the Western World trying to secure part of its oil resources. A new coalition is now at work to fight against the Islamic State.

Countries served by Peace Corps Volunteers as of 2009 (dark purple) and countries formerly served (light purple). Image is by Valio Vitanov (license CC-BY-SA 2.5).

Countries served by Peace Corps Volunteers as of 2009 (dark purple) and countries formerly served (light purple). Image is by Valio Vitanov (license CC-BY-SA 2.5).

At its height, in a few centuries, the Age of Aquarius world may be a unified healthy and peaceful world. But the way towards that end is still long, full of opposition, setbacks, resistance, and hostility from the old age powers of religion and nationalism. The way is still long and harrowing, but the wheels of the heavenly influence cannot be turned back.

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