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Chapter 10

Help from abroad

1.     If a democracy is having trouble with internal political divisions the easiest way to fix the problem is an external enemy

2.     America loves the saying that we owe our freedom to military action but it isn’t true

3.     Democracies are generally as strong militarily as they are weak internally.

o   A citizens army is superior to the army of the despot

o   This is what allowed Greece to defeat the Persian empire, it allowed Rome to conquer Europe

o   Oliver Cromwell’s take-over by parliament from the king resulted in a highly dysfunctional government but Cromwell never lost a battle

4.     We owe our veterans thanks and respect but we owe our freedom to many who, in the past, chose to compromise with their political opponents.

o   This is not as attractive an answer

5.     The combination of being good at it and needing it to heal the internal division can lead to a conflict addition that will eventually bankrupt the treasury.

o   Israel serves as an example where it has a deep religious-secular divide

o   This divide is held down by being surrounded by hostile people

o   It may however be the reason Israel can not make peace.  The minister that helped Ahud Barak in his failed negotiations with Yasir Arafat said that the most important thing he learned from the experience is that war unites and peace divides.