A democracy vs. autocracy war

FROM FAR AND NEAR - Ruben Almendras - The Freeman

If you are still reading, watching and/or listening to the current conflicts all over the world in the main and social media, you have to agree that a cold and hot world war is already ongoing and escalating. The Ukraine-Russia war, the Israel-Palestine war, the Sudan and Cambodia civil wars, and the civil strife in Haiti, Lebanon, and other countries seem to be never-ending. Add to these, the economic confrontations and other cold war tactics between Western Europe and Russia, the US-China confrontations in the Asia-Pacific and the saber-rattling of North Korea with South Korea and Japan, and the aggressive military encroachments of China on Taiwan, it seems the world is already at war. Technically, as the major world powers are already involved in the cold and hot wars, there is already a World War III.

The significant issue of this ongoing conflict/war is the alignment/alliances of the protagonists as it determines the underlying causes and justifications of these wars. If we look back 20 years ago or even 10 years ago, it would seem that the objectives/motivation of these conflicts were territorial, like Russia getting back some of the USSR territories, or China annexing Tibet and parts of India, and getting Taiwan; or North Korea uniting with South Korea. But in the last five years, it has become obvious that the territorial ambitions are secondary/consequential to the main objective of autocratic governments to maintain and perpetuate the strongman undemocratic governments that have been diminished since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of people power in many parts of the world.

The breakup of the USSR and the emergence of independent democratic prosperous countries in Eastern Europe rankled the Kremlin. The economic and military rise of India and other developing countries constricted China’s invasion of Taiwan and other hegemonic ambitions. It is important for Russia and China, the two largest autocratic governments, to flex their economic and military muscle to counter the trend/drift of more countries to Democracy and democratic form of governments. The Tiananmen massacre and the takeover of the government of Hong Kong illustrate that autocratic governments will not allow any dissent. So does the prosecution/jailing/eliminating of all opposition in Russia.

Russian allies Hungary, Armenia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, are run by autocrats. North Korea and Iran are also with Russia. China always sides with Russia in the UN and Vietnam maintains relations with Russia. On the other side, the US is allied with Western Europe NATO countries, Great Britain, France, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korean, Taiwan, Philippines, and other democratic countries. The clear divide is really in the form of government and the freedom the people. Straddling are countries which are democratic or autocratic but have leaders who are populist strongmen with autocratic tendencies. These are India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, many Middle Eastern countries, and some Latin American countries. However, recent election results in these countries, particularly India and Chile have shown active opposition to autocrats, that when push comes to shove, these countries will side with the democratic alliance.

The alliances and alignments are getting clearer every day that it may eventually look like the Allied forces versus the Axis powers in World War II, but with a defined ideological delineation for a better appreciation of the people who will support each side of the war. A full-blown war will be disastrous to all, we should all know and understand what we will be dying for.

History and the rise of freedom and liberty is on the side of Democracy. The scientific and technological advances on information dissemination and artificial intelligence also favors democracies, that the world may still be able to avoid a war that will kill us all.

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