It seems a common assumption by the Adminstration and its supporters that democratic governments are peaceful governments; once most of the world's nations are democracies then we will live in a time of peace and harmony, the lions will lie down with the lambs, swords will be beaten into plowshares, the millenium will have arrived through our efforts at spreading democracy.

Now, I do not think the U.S. should spread dictatorship; and I think that God favors liberty over tyranny or license. But I challenge the thesis that democratic governments necessarily will be peaceful governments for the following reasons:

Historical. The U.S. expanded through warfare when we were also a functioning democratic republic. Ask the Indians. Ask the Mexicans. Ask Spain. The British Empire also expanded under a functioning Parliament.

Philosphical/Theological Our nation's Founders feared democracy because they feared the passions of the masses. One aspect of our humanness is that we are killer apes.

Reason/Experience. In a democracy the government and national policy reflect the desires of the electorate. Therefore the peacefulness of a democratic nation will depend on the nature of its electorate. If the electorate believes in Manifest Destiny, then Pacific Ocean here we come regardless of who is in the way. If the electorate believes in the superiority of its racial identity, then others beware. If the electorate believes in the final supremacy of its religion through expansion by any means, then vote for the jihad candidate. If the electorate puts an absolute premium on economic wealth and comfort, then nations with resources beware.

We should not have been surprised when Palestinians elected Hamas or when Hizbollah became part of the Lebanese government. For enough of the electorate, the ideology of jihad determined the vote.

Farmer may be correct in his assessment--we will win the "War on Terror" not so much by spreading democracy as by spreading the culture of comfort and corruption that produces and reflects an electorate that just wants to be comfortable and entertained.