The Rules of the Game

I was thinking about wars. I often do. It has become a part of the way we think. But the thought about war is never necessarily based on fear. It is even based on what life really is. On what human beings are and what the meaning of their existence is.

But talking about wars should not necessarily make you grim. Well the most you can do is to stay alive and stay out of the way of danger, like taking shelter from the storm. That is the sane thing to do. People die, like animals are slaughtered, and there is nothing much you can do about it, can you? Or maybe you can.

Nobody chooses to be in the path of war. We take a lot of things in life for granted, for example our homes. It makes sense but it is hard for people to leave their homes and settle elsewhere if you tell them that living in a coastal city is dangerous due to the ever-increasing threat of hurricanes.

The truth is that most people can barely make both ends meet, let alone the idea of relocating for survival. It is even harder for people to get out of the path of the storm called war, then the ones sent by nature. It is hard to find shelter when no one is prepared to offer you one. Not everyone is so lucky and politicians around the world thrive on spewing venom against immigrants and refugees.

The Fischer-Spassky Chess Games

Alright, everyone has their geographical, economic and political restrictions. But I was just wondering. Since we are the most intelligent species in the Universe, or so we think, can we not avoid casualties for something that is decided in the end anyway?

Why do we wage wars? For land and for money, and for power, the rest of the things are pretty much nonsense of course. Can we not settle that on a game of Chess (remember the Fischer v Spassky games in the Cold War years), or even better on a game of Diplomacy. Diplomacy, a “board game” created by Allan B. Calhamer based on the pre-World War I scenario in Europe involving seven European powers “fighting” for domination. The game is the best that I know of when it comes to geopolitical strategy among games.

The Standard Diplomacy Map

And it does not use dice like Risk, so you can be sure that it is not a game of luck. It is more suitable to decide wars than Chess, because it literally allows you to control the map as a Head of State, fight with other countries, make allies and enemies and use your Diplomacy skills to dominate the map.

The best thing about the game, like Chess, is that you can really make your enemy feel bitter and defeated without actually killing anyone.

We could decide which country gets what province over a game of Diplomacy, or Chess, whenever a war is declared. If only it were that simple. But states have fallen without any bloodshed whatsoever in the past.  It all depends on what your priorities are.

Yes, go ahead, call me an idealist, or insane.

But it nevertheless is an idea, which someone can take if they want.

I know it is unlikely to happen, but the possibility of its occurrence is as great as the possibility of someone being willing to do so.

If we ever wanted to avoid all those casualties I think.

Because She Needs to be Heard

Posting an Asma Jehangir interview on a news channel talk show. I must say we need more citizens like her to put the things in order in Pakistan and she has been known to bravely speak her mind. The video is in Urdu and is strictly for Pakistanis, and sorry no translations available. If you consider people speaking like her as “traitors”, as she put it, then think about it yourself. If you are wondering what she is saying, she is only telling people to do their jobs. Not much comments needed, the video covers everything, with an interesting title too.

Speaking the truth is patriotism,  if it is such a good thing, not worshiping idols.