Monday, 25 April 2011

Fighting for Freedom & Democracy, But Only Elsewhere!

The picture says it all. Are Western countries actually fighting for freedom and democracy when they wage wars in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya?
Well, probably not....

Of course, we have to paint someone or something as bad, so we can keep going and beat them up to get what we want. The US attacked countless countries during the Cold War because they were claiming all of the domino's might fall down if just one does. The war in Korea is just one example of a fight for the good of the West and its values. A 60-year long war, isn't that great ?

In the past 10 years several wars have been fought by or with the aid of many different countries - as they were in the past 50 or a hundred years too. The last few big examples would be Afghanistan, Iraq, Georgia, Libya. 
Some people think that things have changed a lot since 1989 and the official end to the Cold War, when Russia and the US buried the hatchet (mostly due to the collapse of the old Russian union known as the USSR), but I don't think much has actually. Several parallels:
- When the US wants something, then Russia is against it and vice-versa. Example: When Kosovo was filing for independence - with a pro-Western government - then all of Western Europe (EU) and the US were supporting Kosovo's independence. Russia, was against it. Example 2: When Abkhazia, a Georgian province wanted to become independent - with a pro-Russian government - Russia supported Abkhazia, but the Western countries did not.
- When the NATO (Western) countries and the Arab League signed off on helping the Libyans, the Russians and the Chinese were against it and are now voicing concerns of French soldiers actually going to Libya.

Do Western Countries Actually Bring Democracy ?
Iraq has been in a state of war for approximately 8 years now and apart for the fake WMD the other idea was to finally bring down an oppressive dictator and make Iraq into a new democracy in the Middle Eastern (or Persian) region. One that might counteract all of the other dictatorships in the other countries in the region. Instead, what we got was several hundreds of thousands of deaths, a corrupt startling of a democracy like some of the early African democracies, and a country where almost nowhere is safe.
Afghanistan is in a similar state.
Apparently you can't just make a country into a democracy. It just doesn't work. The European democracies have had a few centuries to actually become what they are now. It didn't just happen overnight, but one thing is that they became democracies over time and by the will of the people, which makes a lot of sense, especially since democracy literally means : "The rule of the people" in Greek. Democracy does not mean : "The imposed rule of foreign countries". 

It is unfair and unwise to try and impose another view on people who are not ready for such thoughts yet. An example that might not appeal to all of you, but in several sci-fi shows, more advanced civilizations do not want to share their technology with more primitive societies and this is usually because that can too easily lead in someone using the technology for their own good and make life miserable for the others.
In real life most examples of more advanced civilizations meeting less advanced civilizations have resulted in dramatic consequences too:
- Europeans going to Africa resulted in millions killed or enslaved.
- Europeans going to the Americas resulted in millions killed from superior firepower (and disease).

There would certainly be other examples too, but those are the ones that pop into my head right now.

Should We Just Leave Them Alone Then ?
It begs the question then, doesn't it ? Are we supposed to let a madman and his family run over civilians with tanks in the case of Libya ? As these enlightened and free people that we are, it does not make sense for  us not to intervene ? But might it be better not to ? 
By intervening we have made Libya into a war which might kill tens of thousands of people or more in the end. By intervening in Iraq and Afghanistan we have already made a war which has killed several hundred thousands of people.
It seems like coming in with our superiority complex makes it worse at every turn. Living inside a democratic country is very nice, but being forced to be democratic defeats the purpose, doesn't it ?

Well, too many questions to answer right now, but worth thinking about...

No comments:

Post a Comment