If Real Wars Were Like Trade Wars….

by Don Boudreaux on October 13, 2010

in Not from the Onion, Trade, War

In response to this report at Reuters on the looming trade war between Uncle Sam and Beijing, [HT Andy Roth] I sent in this comment (which, as of 1:03pm EDT today, has yet to appear on the Reuters’ site):

If governments fought real wars like they fight trade wars, here’s how the transcript of the communiqués between the leaders of two warring nations would read:

Leader of Absurditopia (A): I say, leader of Stupidia – we demand that you stop occupying that contested strip of land.  If you refuse, we’ll have no choice but to shoot our own citizens.

Leader of Stupidia (S): You don’t scare us!  That land is ours.  And if you do kill some of your own people, make no mistake that we will immediately – and just as cruelly – commence to killing our own people.  Courage is our national motto!

(A): Ha!  You’re bluffing.  But I’m not.  I’ve just courageously ordered my troops to mow down in cold blood ten percent of my fellow countrymen.  Take that!

(S): How dare you attack you like that!  You leave us no choice but to attack us.  I am ordering the Stupidian army to slaughter 15 percent of innocent Stupidians here in Stupidia.  How do you like them apples?!

(A): You are cruel and inhuman to damage us by killing your people.  I hereby instruct all of my fellow Absurditopians to commit suicide!  Only then will you nasty Stupidians get your proper comeuppance and we Absurditopians the justice that we are due!

(S): You can’t beat us, you Absurditopian you!  Listen up.  I’m ordering all of my fellow citizens – Stupidians all! – to commit suicide.  We’ll see who emerges victorious!
….
Then a long, long silence.

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