The democratic peace theory, which claims that democracies don’t wage war on each other, championed by pro-censorship “freedomist” R.J. Rummel, is littered with problems, perhaps most notably its shifting of definitions to the point that “democracy” seems mainly to mean “the United States government and its allies.” Since, categorically, the U.S. does not wage war on its allies or itself, and the favored way to get into the “democracy” club is to be assimilated by U.S. intervention, the “democratic peace theory,” at least as is advanced by interventionists, is really a formula for perpetual war. In making the world safe for imperial democracy, the U.S. government is more than willing to pressure, sanction, invade, bomb and occupy other countries in the world whose regimes the current administration does not like, and turn them into “democracies” – that is, governments about which our government feels comfortable, and, thus, will no longer wage war against.
To be a “democracy,” the regime must play ball with the U.S. (kind of like the Taliban did when it was a U.S. drug war ally and Saddam did when he was a U.S. anti-Iranian ally), and so R.J. Rummel considers Afghanistan to be one. “I’m willing to call it a democracy now. In any case, surely, the country has been liberated.” Call me cynical, but if the Afghanistan regime ever morphs into an enemy of the U.S. – as have former allies in virtually every major country in the Middle East, at one time or another, mostly thanks to U.S. interventionism – I very much doubt it will be praised as a “democracy” any more.
To the War Party, “democracy” may entail the warlordism of Afghanistan and is perfectly consistent with censorship, both here and abroad. But how do the democratic war theorists define war? Looking at Rummel’s Q&A, we see an obvious question with an interesting answer:
Q: During the Cold War, did not the U.S. intervene in many countries, some democracies such as Chile, Guatemala, and El Salvador, support death squads murdering rebels, and help behind the scenes mass murder, such as in Indonesia?
A: Even if true, none of the events you mention was a war. No collection or list of international wars would include them. They are therefore irrelevant to the proposition that democracies do not make war on each other, and cannot be used as evidence to disprove it. Now, dealing with the events, in each case there appeared to be a communist revolution/overthrow in the making. They should be looked at as part of the Cold War and the American attempt to contain communist expansionism, particularly in Central and South America.
So, you see, funding murderous killing squads isn’t war. And even if the U.S. did this, it was during the Cold War, so what can you expect? When we’re at war, sometimes our government simply needs to engage in clandestine, covert arms deals, funding of guerillas, and other interventions – but none of them are war, no, no. Sometimes, war requires that you kill people and call such killing not an act of war – democracy, and therefore peace, depends on it.
So don’t worry, France. We’ll never go to war against you, unless you stop being a “democracy.” But if the U.S. starts funding armed guerillas or death squads in your neck of the woods, don’t consider it an act of war. Besides, it’s probably just a necessary part of the ever-lasting war on terror.