The world-war provocateur phenomenon

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In all of recorded history only three men have willfully provoked the planetary emergency known as a world war. At each of these pivotal moments humanity stood shocked as an upstart warlord struck out to conquer the world. Employing the modern-age capacity for globally projected political power, he launched a revolutionary military campaign across three continents. Scoring devastating attacks against the world’s most powerful nations, this suicidal emperor provoked a global war that plunged civilization into a crisis of unprecedented gravity.

During the pre-nuclear age, the rare distinction of world-war provocateur belonged solely to the two modern conquerors of continental Europe. During the post-nuclear age, this abominable designation befits only one man, the leader of the invisible empire that has waged a successful 15-year terrorist campaign against the 21st century's lone superpower.

This conspicuous parallelism between Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden underscores a far greater collective coincidence: the career timelines of history's three world-war provocateurs share in common a highly unique sequence of earthshaking milestones, constituting a parallel career that spans twenty-seven years.

(The chart below displays the abbreviated parallel career chronology followed by the corresponding historical dates in the individual careers of Napoleon, Hitler and Bin Laden. The names of all twenty-one of the major events included in this abridged historical comparison are indexed following the chart.)

Year 1

His career begins with the eruption of a great political

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