With respect, that's an idiotic (if effective) stunt to carry out. It does not give the feeling of growing up during the Cold War (mainly because World War III never happened during the Cold War, and no similar events occurred). And it trivialises war, which is never a good idea. There is no need to frighten people like that; it's just crying "Wolf!".

Contrary to Hollywood's perception, wars don't start because of some isolated incident. Wars, like all other historic events, have a wide background. World wars have a somewhat wider background. Nuclear world wars would presumably have a long trail leading towards them. Much as I hate to say this, the described event (apart from being preposterous in my eyes) would certainly not be cause for war. History should concern itself not so much with this type of incident (although of course they are important and worthy of study) as with underlying trends. If you truly think war could break out as a result of such an act, you should be extremely worried -- it hasn't happened, but it means that you believe almost any anti-american incident in the middle east right now will lead to war.

I would find serious study of the causes of wars to be more aligned with historical study. Not to mention a positive effect on anybody's thinking, whether seeking peace or preparing for war (or both).

And I don't buy the scenario, either. The USS Cole is a destroyer, and it was attacked in harbour. The USS Eisenhower is a carrier; it will not dock everywhere that a destroyer will. The scenario even has the Eisenhower attacked at sea (it has planes in the air). Getting to a carrier at sea means going through about half of the carrier group. And the attack on Cole wasn't enough to sink it; a carrier is much much larger...