Who wins a bar fight? The person with the most friends at the bar.
Who wins a war? The country that fights alongside the most allies.
This simple intuition provides an overlooked explanation for an important academic controversy. Democracies win almost all of the wars they start and about two-thirds of the wars in which they are the targets. If we push the bar fight analogy a little farther, we can also understand why
being a democracy, and seeking a particular type of objective, is helping the U.S. build a large coalition to prepare for potential bar fights in places like Eastern Europe, the Middle East or the South China Sea
(For whole article click here)
You want them on your side in a bar fight? I don't. Somehow they don't look like the kind of guys who know anything about bar fights -- umm...much less anything else.
|My kind of guys|
The writers of the WaPo article are academics attached to the foreign policy and defense establishment. Pilot fish at the maw of the shark. Academic symbiotes and scavengers.
Their article neatly divides the world into "Us" (democracies, "Good Guys") and "Them" (autocracies, "Bad Guys". I think I saw this movie before. Avengers 19?
Remember High School? It was ever so important to be "in" with the "good guys" -- who were necessarily trendy. As I said before, everything begins in High School -- and our three erstwhile academics prove that nothing is learned there -- and even less afterwards. Why would anyone go into debt seeking "education" from the likes of these people with their eighth grade ideology?
The argument? We are "good guys" and everybody likes us, so we have a bigger, badder gang -- which means we will always win.
OK...now forget that we haven't really won any war since World War II, which was really won by the Soviets -- so there might be a flaw in this reasoning somewhere. Vietnam? Nope. Iraq? What a mess! Afghanistan? Oh...maybe Grenada?
Oh, I know...the war on drugs!
So, most of the world actually hates us. And our "gang" is formed the same way that Hell's Angels set up their gangs -- a lot of investment in chrome and shiny metal and black leather and looking badass. Drone strikes on wedding parties and hospitals.
Forget too that our problems int the China Sea have less to do with international law, treaties and agreements, all of which we ignore anyway-- and much more with maintaining imperial order.
Then there is that other question: are we really a "democracy" -- and is China really an "autocracy"? No, both the US and China are oligarchies -- with China, as often as not, more benevolent. They have a smaller percentage of their citizens in prison.
In any case, our "gang" favors alliances with headcutters like the Saudis over secular quasi democracies such as Gaddafi's and Assad's.
The article is cheap journalism. And its writers demean themselves as academics. "Higher" education? Your average hooker has more intellectual rigor.
Is that nasty ad hominem stuff? Well, yeah, but bar fights are nasty too. And if you can't take a punch, stick to cocktail lounges in the Faculty club.
|Academics wear gloves. Brawlers don't.|