a difference of opinion

A: Have you seen this? Indian politicians are constantly threatening Pakistan with dire consequences and now Pakistan is threatening back. What is the point of this useless verbal war, getting votes, spicing up your ego, looking fearsome? This posturing is getting us nowhere. I’m as patriotic as they come but I dislike the way we are responding, it makes us no different from India, whose leaders have lost all sense and seem to be blatantly warmongering.

S: Yes, I’ve seen it; it’s like high school all over again. Shameful. But on a purely theoretical level, warmongering does serve a purpose. If you were a statesman, in charge of a large nation, maybe you will not see it as such a horrible thing.

A: Again with the ‘purely theoretic level’; why is it that whenever you say that all your argument turn out to be either too immoral or too divorced from reality. Anyway, I will humour you, please go on.

S: With pleasure. Warmongering, or any form of posturing or a rivalry with a ‘mortal enemy’ keeps the people united. When the nation is threatened by ‘others’ we forget our private tussles and unite in hating an enemy. Have you seen how warring factions unite when aliens invade in movies? It is the same principle. So a smart – immoral and unscrupulous – leader may just incite hat to keep his people together, its just good statesmanship.

A: It’s horrible statesmanship... to create a transient and subjective sense of unity the leader damages the long future ahead by making his people and the ‘others’ mortal enemies. Momentary unity; everlasting enmity. This hate not only does that it leads to conflict, actual lives are lost Sadiq. A smart leader would plan in the long term, not in the short term.