There are several public thinkers who do serious research and also write for the wider culture. One such writer, who almost universally stirs me to think beyond my box is classicist and military historian, Victor Davis Hanson. If you do not know Victor Davis Hanson I would strongly urge you to read some of his work and absorb his basic ideas. Even if you disagree you will be better for reading him I promise. His Web site is valuable and a Google search will bring up all kinds of blogs and articles by and about him. Hanson is a senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institute in California, and the author of numerous books, his most being: A War Like No Others: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.
Hanson produced an article this week that is so clear-headed that I could not miss the opportunity introduce some of you to this amazing man and his succinct and clear thought about the world in which we now live.
Immigrants from the Middle East, as least as we determine their sentiments in the media and the universities, complain about current U.S. policy, but rarely voice sustained appreciation of our system they fled to in rejection of their own. Opposition leaders bash Bush as preemptive, unilateral, and incompetent, but do not adduce any alternative peace plan for the Middle East, a new innovative strategy for Iran, a better way of handling Pakistan, new directions in Afghanistan, or something other than quick withdrawal from Iraq. What little we’ve seen and heard — Obama’s worldwide Muslim peace conference and call for an armed incursion into nuclear Pakistan, Pelosi’s visits to dictatorial Syria, Joe Biden’s trisection of sovereign Iraq — are more frightening than novel.
Abroad, the European public is more schizophrenic. It wants to make no sacrifices to stop the jihadists, but fears them terribly. It damns the U.S. as responsible for the tense, unpleasant global environment, but then — apparently in private — votes to ensure it has leaders favorable to us. Europeans offer moral lectures to Americans who are paying a great price in blood and treasure for constitutional alternatives in Iraq, even as their own elites in shameful timidity mortgage the Western Enlightenment to two-bit thuggish Islamists.
Afghanistan is not seen as a line in the sand to stop the spread of
jihadism, but an embarrassing entanglement that can be blamed on George Bush’s inordinate anger following 9/11. The European attitude toward America seems to be “you must intervene in the Balkans to lead us in the fight against the twilight, but we won’t follow you into Afghanistan to battle against abject darkness.”
For those who thought that the level of European appeasement could not be surpassed following the Dutch murderers, the opera and cartoon fiascos, the pope’s remarks, or the Iranian kidnapping of British sailors, we now are to listen to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s admission that the implementation of sharia law in Britain is “unavoidable” and probably useful as well. Never was so much surrendered by so few to so many.
The new multicultural and relativist British elite in just a decade or so has managed to make in comparison the 12th-century England of Thomas Becket seem humane. In the last analysis, the real worries about the survival of the West in this war are not with America and its courageous twenty-something suburban kids in Anbar trying to offer something better than the sharia morality of the seventh century, but with the likes of sanctimonious and cowardly churchmen in England trying to spread it.