Archive for 5 Oct 2006

I have yet to read any of his books, but it is on my to do list.

He is an exceptional writer on Pajamas Media and at National Review Online.

I have enjoyed reading his comments and columns.

I have added links and the starting paragraphs to several of his PJM comments here.

After which, I’ll link to some other juicy tidbits…

Enjoy.

The Will of the President

Victor Davis Hanson

When Winston Churchill was ushered in as Prime Minister after the invasion of France in May 1940, the consensus was that he alone had correctly seen the real Hitler, and that he alone would stand fast in the face of calls for negotiations for a peace offering the status quo, and that he would rally the nation for the horrors ahead—and they were plenty from Dunkirk and Tobruk to the fall of the Singapore and catastrophe in the Asia.

Five Years and Running
Victor Davis Hanson

More Whining From Osama

I watched bin Laden’s commemorative tape released shortly before the fifth anniversary of the attack today. All the usual stuff was there: mention of lost honor, the same pathological lying about taking credit for mass murder that he once denied, more gripes about Kosovo, Chechnya, etc.

Do any Americans finally see through these killers? On Monday they are mad about East Timor, on Tuesday Kosovo. Wednesday they wake up and shout about Israel, while on Thursday it’s American troops once in Saudi Arabia. Does anyone see a pattern here, especially when they talk of lost “honor” and “humiliation”? War-torn Rwandans are humiliated. There is no honor in Serbia. But what in God’s name is the complaint of radical Islam, when billions of windfall profits accrue to the Middle East, to countries like Iran or Syria or the Gulf States, who pump oil someone else found at $5 and sell it at $60, and can’t make or mend on their own any of the apparatus needed to profit?

Wars, Books, and Democrats
Victor Davis Hanson

Good and bad wars?

The death toll of allied and American soldiers in Afghanistan these last few months is nearing those of coalition losses in Iraq, and may well rise at a greater rate. For now, this has not affected too much the argument of the Left that Afghanistan is the “good” war, and Iraq the “bad”.

In the former we went after the base where the 9/11 attacks were planned, involved a coalition of NATO allies, and saw the emergence of some sort of consensual government follow the wreckage of the Taliban fairly quickly—and at only about 60 American combat death per year in the first three-years of postbellum occupation.

Depressing Times
Victor Davis Hanson

Oriana Fallaci, RIP, the Pope, and a Sad Age

Rarely has the death of a public intellectual affected me as much as the passing of Oriana Fallaci. I never met her, and only received a brief note once from her accompanying a copy of The Rage and the Pride. The story of her career is well known, but her death, at this pivotal time, was full of paradoxes and yet instruction as well.

Radical Islam is, among other things, a patriarchal movement, embedded particularly in the cult of the Middle-Eastern male, who occupies a privileged position in a society that can be fairly described as one of abject gender apartheid. Islamism is also at war with the religious infidel, not just the atheist—and, in its envy and victimhood, fueled by a renewal of the age-old hatred of the Christian.

But so far, with very few exceptions other than the lion, Christopher Hitchens, the courageous William Shawcross, and a few others, the Left has either been neutral or anti-American in this struggle. And few Christians in positions of influence and respect have publicly defended their faith and the civilization that birthed it.

Drawing the Line?
Victor Davis Hanson

It has been a parlor game of sorts to guess when—but even more so if—the Europeans (Britain included) will sigh, “Enough is enough,” and so get tough with both their own unassimilated angry Muslim minorities and the radical Islamic world at large. There will never be liberal values in the Middle East, no change, no future—as there would not have been in Hitler’s Germany, as there is not today in Cuba or North Korea—without the defeat of Islamic fascism, in its latest Islamic incarnation, as an ideological force.

Wars, then and now
Victor Davis Hanson

The Hate-America Industry

When bin Laden praised William Blum’s Rogue State, it soared to the top of Amazon’s sales charts. So too now has Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival—as soon as the semi-literate Hugo Chavez held it up at the United Nations. The Left sees it as McCarthy-like to even suggest that our own are the ideological godheads of the enemy. But it is true.

I am going through the rough draft of a new Al-Qaeda reader this morning, translated and edited by Raymond Ibrahim, soon to be released by Doubleday. What do Dr. Zawahri and bin Laden complain about from their caves in Pakistan? Why, of course, the American failure to sign Kyoto, our desecration of the environment, George Bush reading a goat story on the morning of 9/11, Halliburton, and—that critically-important concern of radical Islam— the lack of campaign finance reform in the United States. Much of their rants are simply jottings and notes taken from watching Fahrenheit 9/11 and killing time in hideouts by listening to talking heads on CNN.

We are all very lucky to live in the Civilization of the West
Victor Davis Hanson

Clintonian and Cartesian Angst

I just arrived back to California after a wonderful five-week teaching stint at Hillsdale College in Michigan—to blue skies, raisins safely in the roll, the farm in good shape thanks to the renter and my son, and constant televised clips from Bill Clinton’s embarrassing, but staged rant.

Why when leaving office did we hear little, if any, second guessing—much less criticism of their successors—from Gerry Ford, Ronald Reagan, or George Bush, Sr.—but lots of self-serving revisionism from Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton? Ford and the elder Bush, after all, were both defeated at the polls and might have voiced hurt at their fates?

America and its Discontents
Victor Davis Hanson

Clintonian Neuroses

In the last post I suggested that Clinton needed a thorough psychiatric analysis—and then was apprised that a Pajamas Media contributor, Gagdad Bob, had offered a fine portrait of his narcissist tendencies. Clinton’s furious outburst illustrated a fundamental Democratic fear: even when events favor popular unease—an unpopular war, rising gas prices—contemporary Democrats are not sure that they can still capture 51% of the electorate.

Democratic Paranoia

And why, if not a deep unease with who they are, do Democrats wheel out an Ike Skelton, John Murtha, or Robert Byrd? Is it for no other reason than these supposedly middle-of-the-road crusty types offer a veneer for the ‘real’ Democratic party that drove out Joe Lieberman, and is best represented by Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy, and Barbara Boxer?

The War and Its Critics
Victor Davis Hanson

Pseudo-footnotes

Most genres don’t require footnotes—the memoir, the essay, the journalistic dispatch. I’ve written histories that had too many footnotes—The Other Greeks had citations to ancient sources in the text, explanations with asterisks at the bottom of the page, and formal endnotes at the back of the book—and memoirs like Fields Without Dreams and Mexifornia with no citations.

But when you write history, and especially history of a contentious nature about Iraq, in which so much is at stake, it is incumbent to identify primary sources. The last three books about the supposed mess in Iraq—Cobra II, Fiasco, and now State of Denial—violate every canon of intellectual courtesy. Check who said what in Cobra II and you find the following: “Interview, former senior military officer”, “Interview, former senior officer”, “Interview, former Centcom planner,” Interview, Pentagon Officials,” “Interview, U.S. State Department Official,” or “notes of a participant.”

And now for more juicy tidbits…

This is from FOX News:

CBS News Allows Conservative Point of View and All Hell Breaks Loose
Thursday , October 05, 2006
By Bill O’Reilly

CBS News allows a conservative point of view and all hell breaks loose. That’s the subject of this evening’s “Talking Points Memo”.

As part of its new evening news format with Katie Couric, CBS now has a “free speech” segment where folks deliver commentary. But when the comments come from the right, the reaction’s fascinating.

Brian Rohrbough’s 15-year-old son Daniel was killed in the Columbine massacre. Ever since, Mr. Rohrbough has been thinking about just why his son and 11 other children were murdered without reason. After seeing the same thing happened at the Amish school a few days ago, Brian Rohrbough said this on CBS News:


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN ROHRBOUGH, FATHER: I am saddened and shaken by the shooting at an Amish school today and last week’s school murders. When my son Dan was murdered on the sidewalk at Columbine High School on April 20th, 1999, I hoped that would be the last school shooting.

Since that day, I tried to answer the question why did this happen? This country is in a moral free fall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing Him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak without moral consequences. And life has no inherent value.

We teach there are no absolutes, no right or wrong. And I assure you, the murder of innocent children is always wrong, including by abortion.

Abortion has diminished the value of children. Suicide has become an acceptable action and has further emboldened these criminals. And we are seeing an epidemic increase in murder/suicide attacks on our children.

Sadly, our schools are not safe. In fact, we now witness that within our schools, our children have become a target of terrorists from within the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)