Yesterday The Wall Street Journal ran an article titled "In Russia, Cold War is Hot" (Grove, 10/25/2016, p. A9).
The article begins: "Russian authorities have stepped up nuclear-war survival measures amid a showdown with Washington, dusting off Soviet-era civil defense plans and upgrading bomb shelters in the biggest cities."
This article represents these efforts as political theater aimed at boosting Putin's domestic approval ratings.
Reuters is reporting today that Clinton's Syria policy could lead to WWIII:
Steve Holland. October 26, 2016. Exclusive: Trump says Clinton policy on Syria would lead to World War Three. Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-exclusive-idUSKCN12P2PZReuters, like the WSJ, is representing these remarks as political theater.
U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Democrat Hillary Clinton's plan for Syria would "lead to World War Three," because of the potential for conflict with military forces from nuclear-armed Russia.
In contrast, social media sources, such as Anonymous, are representing escalating tensions in relation to a very real risk of war:
Although I find it unlikely that any world leader would seriously contemplate launching WWIII, it is possible that current rhetoric and events will take on a life of their own.
The World War III assemblage needs only an Archduke Ferdinand moment to spark nuclear Armageddon.
A dramatic de-escalation is needed before stage craft mutates into war.
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)THE SECOND COMING
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity....