I'd say that is in line with my thinking Weisshaupt, but I severely loath a slow death...and as far as the light that blows that powderkeg goes, secession and civil war are the only remedies that offer the hope of rooting out the cancerous tumors that led us down this dark path! WWIII will just kill everybody, the few survivors may wish they weren't. All other options leave the cancerous tumors in place. No, in the end there is no easy way out. Nor should there be, we brought this on ourselves, we failed to fight back when fighting back was possible...our sloth, laziness, ignorance and stupidity were all the enemies of liberty and sanity needed to have their disease take root. Unrooting it piecemeal is futile and yanking it out all at once impossible. Other than that all is well.
I don't expect WWIII to kill everyone - or even most of us. Putin seems smart enough to not get directly involved, and will just supply the enemy under the table. The Russians will take effective economic control of Western Europe but may not bother with actual military control - since Obama will flexibly give them the codes to shut down the missile defense systems and they will have credible threat without actual use of force. I wouldn't expect the Europeans will fight- All too sissy -Frenchish now, and their economies can't cope. They will accommodate. China will similarly just gain effective economic control over most of the Pacific and South America - and the sheep will be glad of such a nice effective dictatorial regime vs that messy democracy stuff. I expect the real conflict and fighting will be in the Middle East, with the big players helping the enemy under the table. Of course America will get directly involved - thus we get the most patriotic and capable out of the country and being shot at, while we implement the police state for our "safety" back home, and new rationing laws to ensure adequate supplies for the war effort. Limited nuke exchanges are certainly possible, but I don't expect a total exchange between the US and Russia.
UPDATE: or maybe Russia isn't smart enough to stay out of it. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/11/world/middleeast/russia-sends-warships-on-maneuvers-near-syria.html?_r=1
All that is plausible, but it still relies upon more comon sense and rational restraint than I think is possible once large populated nations like China and India enter the fray, if there is a battle over scarce resources like food and fuel the stakes get really high, and then throw in old grudges and genuine dislike and hatred then events cvan spin out of control. And Russia could have a lot more to fear from an encroaching China going after thieir natural gas supplies in the east than anything we might pose, and India and China could be waring for oil and food. Way too many variables to see much opportunity for happy endings...happy endings meaning more people are left alive than not.