War, war, war

The recent theory among those who know is that democratic countries dont fight wars with one another. Really?

Well, my history may be weak, but it is not about history. It is more about political science - about what you call a democratic country. Also, about statistics - score keepers are not always engaged in sports fields. There are other things too, but let's keep the big thing until later in the discussion.

So, if you really start tabulating, you may not find a democratic country attacking another in recent history. Well, yes, count out the Greek City States, they were different types, and there were no newspapers [or electronic media]. Also, dont talk about remote islands and Africa and Asia - you dont know which is a democracy and which is not.

Yes, at the outset, it looks like a credible theory. Not set in stone like the free market monetarist staff, a bit woozy-fuzzy like Bible, but will pass. So, Britain wont fight an war with America, or France, or Italy. Germany .. well, Germany is a bit suspect, as George Bush says that it is a big job to bring democracy in Germany!!

And, these neo-con days [I learnt the word 'ex-con' from tabloid newspapers and 'neo-con' from the editorials of the most hardnosed types], theory means practise. So, the application of this theory means that democratizing middle east will eliminate all wars from the region. Or, for that matter, Korean peninsula. Or, Germany - okay, that was a 'bushism'!

So, how do you democratise Middle East? Not by throwing out the sauds, but by.. another Bushism - bringing it on! Fighting an war! This is the mystery of sorts - if democratic countries dont fight wars with democratic countries, why does democratic countries fight war with other types of countries?

The reasoning that it is always the undemocratic types which start it sound very feeble. Well, no reasoning - at least the human ones - apply to Israel, as you would notice they have even violated the mother theorem by attacking Lebanon, another democratic country. But even counting them out, it is America who started wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan and Iraq!

Well, The Economist will say - it is america's responsibility to fight wars for democracy. And, it is - yes, you get it now - more about economics than about politics. War now has a pure economic logic - if we say that countries which has strong economic ties, with companies going cross border, banks having businesses, investors investing in respective stock markets, dont fight each other, it will be more appropriate. In fact, this is rather counter-historical, as a prosperous country doing trade with other countries used to be 'takeover' targets. Today, if the country is part of global suppply chain, and as long as it plays by the rules, it is unlikely to be attacked.

Playing by the rules is the difficult part though. Even democratic countries may make mistakes here. Even democratic countries - if they dont follow the rules, it will be quite like old times, a witch-hunt in the international media for the 'coercive' country, a war-crimes trial and some hangings and death sentences.

Gandhi, in a rare moment of humour, said - western civilization will be a good idea. The whole modern civilization stands on this principle of war - the rightness of strength, the freedom of the powerful. It is about these well-spun myths about democracy, and the callous remote-control wars, it is about the unjust violations of rights of innocent people - that propels our cars and keeps our lives running. If one's concerned about blood diamonds, half of every dollar is blood dollar! Every truth is a half-truth. And, in the backdrop of this whole economic and political confusion - the only living half-hope comes from History - the cookie always crumbles!

Yes, always.


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