Blog Republication Completed

July 10, 2009

I have now republished all the old blogs that were destroyed. See the introductory explanation ”Why A New “Democratic Peace” Blog?”. The list of all destroyed blogs is in the Universal Archive. Republished ones are in green and linked.

Dated blogs or those irrelevant to current events have not been republished. If you wish to see any of them here, please email me (Rummel at Hawaii.edu) with the title .

I also have another blog ”A Freedomists View” that deals with the international and domestic perils to freedom.

I will add to this Democratic Peace Blog if I have something more to say about a democratic peace foreign policy and the progress of democracy in the world. Stay tuned.


It’s Only Mass Murder, Not Like A Disaster

July 9, 2009

Reuters (link here)—“The global death toll from the Asian tsunami shot above 226,000 Wednesday after Indonesia’s Health Ministry confirmed the deaths of tens of thousands of people previously listed as missing.. . . The Staggering death count . . . .

”Darfur Mortality Update: January 18, 2005” by Eric Reeves— “[E]vidence strongly suggests that total mortality in the Darfur region of western Sudan now exceeds 400,000 human beings since the outbreak of sustained conflict in February 2003. In other words, human destruction is more than twice that of the recent tsunami—and has now surpassed the half-way mark for the most commonly cited total for deaths in Rwanda during the genocide of 1994 (800,000).
“Moreover, as international humanitarian aid continues to stream abundantly toward the various areas devastated by the tsunami, the threat of massive secondary death from health-related causes has begun to diminish. By contrast, in Darfur the current mortality rate from genocide by attrition is approximately 35,000 per month and poised to grow rapidly. . . .
“Simply to juxtapose these two human catastrophes is to raise implicitly a series of deeply troubling questions about the priorities of news coverage, the commitments of the international political community, the responsibilities of humanitarian organizations, and the nature of our response to distant human suffering and destruction.”

Yes, what about Sudan? In 1989, Lt. General Umar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir and the Arab-led Sudanese People’s Armed Forces overthrew the democratic government in power at that time and imposed strict Muslim law and faith on the whole country. The South had a protected and special constitutional status under the democratic government, but with its overthrow and especially with the effort of the new regime to impose Muslim law throughout the country, the South revolted and a bloody civil war resulted with the thug regime murdering tens of thousands, outright enslvement, widespread rape, and refugees in the hundreds of thousands, with an overall death toll of possibly 2,000,000 people.

Because they live under a fundamentalist Muslim regime, even northern Sudanese far from the civil war or Darfur enjoy no human rights. For example, the government harasses and monitors women for correct dress, forbidding even slacks. Women who dare to defy the law risk arrest, conviction by an Islamic court of immoral dressing, and flogging, as recently happened to nine women students. Women also cannot hold any public office that would give them authority over Muslim men, nor can they marry a non-Muslim.
All must accept the Muslim faith. To further religious rule, the government appoints only Muslims to the judiciary. Police can arrest and imprison any commoner for up to six months without trial, and while detained, suspects can expect officials to torture them as a matter of course. Worst of all, a Muslim dare not convert to another religion, for the punishment for doing so is death.

But, of course, Sudan is a member in good standing of the international community (you know, the “community” we must consult and get approval from), the United Nations, and the UN Human Rights Commission.


Link of Note

” Abu Gharib: Inexplicable Arab Silence” (5/4/04)

By Linda S. Heard

This journalist was asking why there is not more outrage in the Arab world over . . . not what Sudan was doing to its people, not the mass murder, slavery, and deaths . . . but, the way Abu Gharib prisoners were treated by American guards. But then, it was the Arabnews.com that published this piece.


Idealism vs. Realism

July 4, 2009

[First published January 24, 2005] Enough time has gone by since president Bush’s inauguration speech that called for fostering democracy everywhere to appreciate the major media’s reaction, including commentators and foreign policy experts. One of the most frequently used characterizations is that the speech was idealistic: John F. Harris writes in The Washington Post: “The immediate question, presidential scholars and foreign policy experts say, is the same in Washington as it is in other capitals around the world: What to make of such idealistic and uncompromising language from an incumbent president? (link here) As used currently, “idealistic” is what one says about an idea while rolling one’s eyes skyward. It means, in effect, that one has a good heart, good intentions, but is naïve or simplistic about the real world.

A little history. After World War I, there was a concerted effort among the nations to create a lasting peace such that another world war like that would never happen again. The best way of doing this was thought to be through international organizations like the League of Nations that would serve as a forum for negotiation of international differences, act to prevent the escalation of conflict to violence, and even sanction aggression. Democracies also thought that an emphasis on international law, and especially disarmament treaties would also serve the peace. It all failed, profoundly, with the outbreak of the SinoJapanese war in 1937, and Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939.

After World War II, nations created the United Nations in a way they believed avoided the mistakes of the League of Nations, and emphasized collective security. However, a new school of thought arose among students of international relations and specialists in foreign relations, which still dominates thinking today about national security and peace. And that is, peace is best assured by a balancing of power between actual and potential adversaries, and good diplomacy. This is called realpolitik. Practitioners of this art—called realists—emphasize real assessments of other nation’s capabilities and intentions, and what can be done in practical terms to improve the balance of power, and maintain stable international relations.

One of the fantastic applications of this was during the 1960s when the United States actually held back developing its nuclear capability, such as furthering the accuracy of its ICBMs, to let the Soviets catch up. Then, the idea was, we would have a balance of power (of terror), and better stability in Soviet-American relations. This was realism at work.

Now, the bete noir of the realist is the idealist. The idealist is a nice fellow, but unrealistic about the real world. The idealist has all these marvelous ideas and plans, these solutions to war, these beliefs about the natural good behavior of states, the belief in democracy, but you know, he hasn’t yet been mugged by reality.

Today, the major intellectual conflict is not between libertarians and Bushites, or what I will now call freedomists, on democracy and peace. The libertarians simply don’t count. Both realists and freedomists see them as irrelevant, a cult of isolationists. Nor are the leftists in the ring. They are seen as, you know . . . leftists. They will side with anyone they see as anti-American. The realists see the freedomist’s emphasis on democracy as unrealistic and dangerous, as creating an unstable world in which more war may be the outcome, and our national interests endangered. The freedomist see the realist as adhering to dogma that no longer applies to the new post-Cold War world, and that fostering freedom is the best way to protect the nation in the long run, and promote a peaceful world.

Most of the media people and commentators have been educated into realism—it is the dominant set of ideas in political science and international relations—and to be suspicious of any highflying proposals. They naturally see the call for ending tyranny as idealistic. Thus when you read that Bush is idealistic, understand that this is a complement with the back of the hand.

However, the most thorough research that any idea in international relations has ever received shows that the realistic one is Bush and his forward Strategy of Freedom, and that the realists if they have their way, will not free us for the historical cycle of war and peace. Realism, which has been practiced in Europe since 1648 and the creation of the modern state system and up until all Europe became democratic and unified, was in practice nothing but war by other means until the next round of war.

Realists much come to understand. The real realists are the so-called idealists, and the real idealists are the realists. You know, the realists have their heart in the right place, but . . . (eyes rolling skyward). In other words, get real.


Link of Note

”Debate on the ‘Democratic Peace’—A Review” (3/3/04) By Steven Geoffrey Gieseler

Introduction by AmericanDeplomacy.org: “Democracies do not make war on each other, and the more democratic, the less violent nations are in general.’ This theory of war avoidance is the subject of much peace literature published in recent years. The author provides an overview of the field and addresses the question of its continued validity in light of the war in Iraq.”

Gieseler’s conclusion is that, “There will always be honest and well-meaning scholars, indifferent moral relativists, and self-interested tyrants who will for different reasons dismiss the idea that democracy is inherently just and peaceful. Adherents to the ‘Democratic Peace’ in whatever future incarnation it might take must not give the floor, so to speak, but dictate the terms of the debate.”

So, this blog.


Democide Vs. Other Causes of Death

July 1, 2009

[First published February 1, 2005] A question I often get is how all the murder committed by governments, virtually all by criminal dictatorships (sorry, that was redundant—I need only say dictatorships) compares to other causes of death, such as war and diseases. So, below I present such a comparison chart for the world’s average annual democide rate 1900-1987 to the world’s annual death rate from other causes (this is one of a number of my attempts to visualize the world’s democide toll— link here).

Tears all around

Note that governments murdered more people than all deaths combined due to traffic accidents, war, homicide, and alcohol.

The total murdered by governments over 1900-1987 was 170,000,000; a less systematic update of the toll brings it to 174,000,000 for 1900-1999. [I have had to update this democide to 262,00,000] Shocking, yes? Now, think about how little is said about democide in textbooks and the media. Even more astounding, isn’t it?

For a chapter long dissection of the meaning and definition of democide, see this link.

And so, democide goes on in North Korea, Sudan, the Congo, China, Laos, Liberia, the Ivory Coast, and dozens and dozens of other dictatorships, mainly not some big episode of murder that would make the news, but as the day-by-day operation of government agencies. In other words, murder is a normal daily operation of these thugdoms.

How do we account for this continuing carnage? In these post-Cold War years, it’s the bloody success of immoral noninterventionism and obsolete realpolitiks.. Stability trumps stopping the murderous thugs, you know.


Link of Note

”Congo death toll up to 3.8m” (12/10/204) Guardian Unlimited Special Report

“Six years of conflict in Congo have claimed 3.8 million lives – half of them children – with most victims killed by disease and famine in the still largely cut-off east, the International Rescue Committee said yesterday.

“More than 31,000 civilians die each month as a result of the conflict despite peace deals, the group said, citing mortality surveys prepared with the aid of on-site medical teams. The association has for years produced the most widely used estimate of deaths in the country.”

Much of this is democide. And it goes on. And on. And on.


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