WWii did start in my opinion in Spain during the civil war there where a number of fractions (Communists, Anarchists, Nationalists and a number of regional separatists, including several families aspiring for a throne) where backed by the Russia or Germany. Everybody tried out new weapon systems in the field. So it was a power struggle and had little to do with the ideals that brought in volunteers, many of which gave their life.
Based on these interesting field trials Germany could start WWii with some confidence by invading all countries around them with then superior weapon systems and trained troops.
The similarity of the Spannish Civil War to the complicated jungle of fighting fractions in Syria, each hating each other to the death, is chilling. No goodies (white hats) vs. baddies (black hats) here, although the spin doctors on USA and Russian/China sides will think of simple stories to tell the public otherwise.
Michael Ignatief has described the situation in the following blog http://bit.ly/17t3ehm
His advice is the carve Syria up into smaller countries, each with its own ethnic/religious identity. Just like was done with Jugoslavia after the binding power, strongly enforced with ruthless violent suppression, fell away when Tito died. Everybody was starting to shoot at everybody else, even former neighbors. NATO intervened in the Balkans to prevent further escalation into civil war killing like happened in Spain.
Now the binding force of Assad has fallen away. The combattants seem to be intent to kill eachother at whatever cost and under any pretext of righteousness. So carving up Syria may be the only solution now. Sooner or later these smaller countries of former Syria will find out that they need each other to survive and will inter-link again as a Network for synthesis and the blinding tribal selfcenteredness (and hatred of others) will fade away, I hope.
Jaap van Till, connectivist.