Friday, September 19, 2008

Democracies at War

Tony Blair in The Daily Show makes a great deal of the statement that no two democracies have ever gone to war with each other. Georgia and Russia?


  1. Russia a democracy? I think there is a little bit more to it than putting bits of paper in boxes. As for Georgia they still have some way to go.

  2. Democracies are pretty good at waging war though when it suits them. I strongly suspect, if push came to shove, democratic credentials would be a very weak deterrent.

  3. Russia isn't a democracy, their elections were brazenly rigged and political opponents have the life expectancy of a "Last of the Summer Wine" cast member.

    There's a good summary of wars between democracies here:

  4. Au contraire Ross- Garry Kasparov and Edward Limonov, the leaders of the Other Russia oposition movement are very much alive and active if not exactly thriving, but that could be because part of Limonov's ludicrous platform involves the legalisation of polygamy to boost Russia's dwindling population.

    Saakashvili's main opponent (and former ally in the Rose 'Revolution') Irakli Okruashvili is also very much alive. However after delivering the following soliloquy on the charms of his boss Misha-

    “The style of Saakashvili’s governance... has made dishonesty, injustice and oppression a way of life. Everyday repression, demolition of houses and churches, robbery, ‘kulakization’, and murders, I would stress, murders, have become common practice for the authorities.”

    He was spirited away to Isolator #7 a popular spot for the torture of Georgian dissidents since the start of independence in 1991. He emerged recanting all the charges, then fled the country to the UK where, safely out of the reaches of Saakashvili's agents he immediately repeated them.

    This was around the same time that Saakashvili sent in the riot police with clubs and rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse a crowd of protestors against his rule and shut down a TV station that was critical of him.

    Oh yes, and prior to his suicidal assault on South Ossetia he was spending 70% of impoverished Georgia's GDP on 'defence'- and we all saw how effective that was.

    And those election figures- 96% of the vote for Misha in 2003 allegedly- make Putin look like a thoroughly modest election rigger, lurking way down there in the low 70s as he does.

    Everyone knows about Russia of course, but reports of Georgia's democracy have been greatly exaggerated.

  5. Imperial Germany had universal male suffrage from 1870 onwards. Italy was also a constitutional monarchy when it went to war with Turkey over Libya. Britain also had a parliamentary system when it fought innumerable colonial wars. Democracy may make leaders more cautious in going to war, but it surely doesn't guarantee they won't happen. Very good duffing up Professor Higgins on the wireless this morning Appleyard. Most academies do everything to prevent heterodoxy- that's what they are there for- communities of the likeminded.

  6. "Russia isn't a democracy, their elections were brazenly rigged..."

    Same as the USA (see Florida 2000).

  7. Bush won florida in 2000, not one news agency who got to ballots through freedom of information put Gore in front of Bush.

    Interesting that Hillary Clinton is in the same position as Gore was then, winning the popular vote but losing the collage, no outrage from the Obama camp as yet/

  8. I remember reading something about the mob doing a bit of vote rigging to give JFK the presidency. And then we had that postal voting scandal a year or two back. Did they bother to ban postal voting?
    And to add insult to "democracy" all three parties have morphed into the same one big party with image and good looks driving the opinion polls!
    The one good thing about dictators is you don't have to hear the word "change" over and over again.