Deepak Chopra, on the Dennis Miller Show, just blamed all war on nationalism. This view is prevalent in Europe, where the last two centuries were consumed by nationalistic wars.
Let me go out on a giant limb with steel support beams and suspension wires here, Europe will have wars, if they are not involved in a war right now. Mr. Chopra does have a point in that Germany and France are unlikely to fight a war in the near future. If one looks at history through the blinders of WWI and WWII, this could constitute the end of all war.
Mr. Chopra has conveniently forgotten wars of religion, ethnicity, trade disputes, those caused by a sudden change in leadership, and more. This list could stretch for pages and pages, of small print.
A good argument can be made that Europe is involved in a war right now, against militant Islam. The radical Muslims (Osama, Takfir, Wahhabi) desire a global Islamic caliphate, regardless of national boundaries. This caliphate is to be accomplished through political divide-and-conquer, immigration, terrorism, propaganda, political activism, and targeted assassination of those who dare to speak out (Theo VanGogh being a good recent example). Critics of Islam from Robert Spencer to Coptic Christians in New Jersey are under the constant threat of death. If wars require armies wearing uniforms flying the colors of their nation-state, then the global jihad does not qualify as a war. On the other hand, if this is the case, it's time for the mainstream media to quit referring to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as wars, examples Mr. Chopra uses himself. French Muslims are fighting and dying in Iraq, but not under the French flag. These semantic distinctions might make the Europeans feel better. Once again, Europe has achieved "Peace in Our Time".
Wars are dependent on group identity, otherwise violence is just a fight between two people. One might identify with a nation-state, tribe, gang, religion, political party, ethnicity, economic interest, and many other human phenomena. Wars need not be large-scale set battles between armored divisions funded by nations. Sometimes we refer to social policy as warfare: war on drugs, war on poverty, war on illiteracy, and so on. Senator Barbara Boxer recently termed the dispute between Democrats and Republicans as war. Howard Dean is the cheerleader for such militant demagoguery when he said he hates Republicans and everything they stand for.
Bomb-throwing rhetoric brings to mind one other sort of war which I haven't mentioned: civil war, or "The" Civil War in the United States. Mr. Chopra, perhaps you can fit the Civil War of the United States into your nationalism-is-the-root-of-all-war meme, but it will require a great deal of intellectual elasticity, not to mention heroic disingenuity.
As the EU tries to force the Israelis into national suicide, per EU Middle East policy, and to counterbalance the power of the United States, for the first time since the Roman Empire Europe may find itself in a war fighting on the same side. Perhaps this is what Chopra means. Europe, represented by the EU, is unlikely to fight a civil war in the next 20 years. Mr. touchy-feely Chopra might do wonderful things for troubled minds, but he should stay far away from geopolitics and military history.
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