Wednesday, July 23, 2014

For huge losses and massive victimization of your people, use violence!

There is violence everywhere in the world. Obviously, there is no hope for nonviolence. Not now, not ever again. Give it up, get your guns, and get something done for once! It's working for Syrians. Um, well, it's working for Ukrainians. Hmmm--it's certainly working for Gazans.

OK, so maybe it's working for those who currently have the power and not working so hot for those fighting for freedom. That's it! If you are Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, or the Israeli Defense Force, keep being violent--you're winning! See? Violence works Just Fine, thankyouverymuch. It all depends on who you are. Works well for everyone worth mentioning.

If you are the despot, stay the course and keep shooting. If you are the insurgency, well, man up and take your losses. Keep your dignity and your big guns. You will lose in most cases (Chenoweth & Stephan, 2014), but you'll show your cajones, and that's all that counts in the end, dead or alive.

On the other hand, if you are one of those wussies who likes to win and keep most of your people alive, alright, you can use strategic nonviolence, but don't expect to get on the cover of Ultimate MMA or 1st Freedom.
How can you worry about the costs? Hamas doesn't, and they've lost about 600 so far, including at least 125 children. Libyans didn't and about 20,000 of them died. The brilliant Free Syrian Army has made sure that the violence is constant and more than 150,000 are now dead, mostly civilian, including thousands of children.

The girly types in Tunisia did their revolution, toppled their dictator of 23 years using no violence at all and so only lost about 320 civilians, the Egyptians ended the 29-year rule of Mubarek using almost all nonviolence and approximately 900 civilians were killed. Ukrainians ousted Yanukovich and it only cost them about 100 dead. Where's the glory? Where's the chest-thumping testosterone in those measly body counts?

Stick with the manly way to resist. It's what we know and the costs are acceptable.

Reference List

Chenoweth, Erica, and Maria J. Stephan. 2014. "Drop Your Weapons." Foreign Affairs 93, no. 4: 94-106. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed July 23, 2014).

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