Archive for the ‘Victor Davis Hanson’ Category

THE RUSSIAN FARCE – VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

 

NATIONAL REVIEW
THE RUSSIAN FARCE
Victor Davis Hanson       March 28, 2017
Remember when Obama and Hillary cozied up to Putin? And recall when the media rejoiced at surveillance leaks about Team Trump?
The American Left used to lecture the nation about its supposedly paranoid suspicions of Russia. The World War II alliance with Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union had led many leftists to envision a continuing post-war friendship with Russia.
 During the subsequent Cold War, American liberals felt that the Right had unnecessarily become paranoid about Soviet Russia, logically culminating in the career of the demagogic Senator Joe McCarthy. Later, in movies such as Seven Days in May, Doctor Strangelove, and The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, Hollywood focused on American neuroses as much as Russian hostility for strained relations.
 In the great chess rivalry of 1972 known as “The Match of the Century,” American liberals favored Russian grandmaster Boris Spassky over fellow countryman Bobby Fischer, who embarrassed them by winning.
 In the same manner, Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev was often portrayed in the media as the urbane, suave, and reasonable conciliator, while President Ronald Reagan was depicted as the uncouth disrupter of what could have been improved Russian–American relations.
Senator Ted Kennedy reportedly reached out to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov in 1984 to gain his help in denying Reagan his reelection.
 In sum, the American Left always felt that Russia was unduly demonized by the American Right and was a natural friend, if not potential ally, of the United States. That tradition no doubt influenced the decision of the incoming Obama administration to immediately reach out to Vladimir Putin’s Russia, despite its recent aggressions in Georgia and steady crackdown on internal dissent, and despite Russia’s estrangement from the prior Bush administration.

(more…)

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VICTOR DAVIS HANSON – THE WORLD JANUARY 20, 2017

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

 

NATIONAL REVIEW
THE WORLD ON JANUARY 20, 2017
by VICTOR DAVIS HANSON March 14, 2017
 @VDHANSON
 Red-blue tensions at home, mounting dangers abroad. Most
 Americans are worried about our domestic crises. Obama
 left office after doubling the debt to $20 trillion. Near-zero
 interest rates over eight years have impoverished an entire
 generation of seniors — and yet remain key to servicing the
costs of such reckless borrowing. Over the last eight years,
 GDP never grew at 3 percent annually, the first time we’ve
 seen such low growth since the Hoover administration.
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DIVERSITY IS HISTORY’S PATHWAY TO CHAOS

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

 

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Diversity is history’s pathway to chaos

Nations that reject a community are torn apart

 – –

 Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Emphasizing diversity has been the pitfall, not the strength, of nations throughout history.

The Roman Empire worked as long as Iberians, Greeks, Jews, Gauls and myriad other African, Asian and European communities spoke Latin, cherished habeas corpus and saw being Roman as preferable to identifying with their own particular tribe. By the fifth century, diversity had won out but would soon prove a fatal liability.

Rome disintegrated when it became unable to assimilate new influxes of northern European tribes. Newcomers had no intention of giving up their Gothic, Hunnish or Vandal identities.

The propaganda of history’s multicultural empires — the Ottoman, the Russian, the Austro-Hungarian, the British and the Soviet — was never the strength of their diversity. To avoid chaos, their governments bragged about the religious, ideological or royal advantages of unity, not diversity.

Nor did more modern quagmires like Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Rwanda or Yugoslavia boast that they were “diverse.” Instead, their strongman leaders naturally claimed that they shared an all-encompassing commonality.

When such coerced harmony failed, these nations suffered the even worse consequences of diversity, as tribes and sects turned murderously upon each other.

(more…)

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WHY DISREGARD OF LAW IS AMERICA’S GREATEST THREAT

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

 

Why disregard of law is America’s greatest threat

Citizens may ask why they should obey the rules when illegals go scot-free

By Victor Davis Hanson – – Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Barbarians at the gate usually don’t bring down once-successful civilizations. Nor does climate change. Even mass epidemics like the plague that decimated sixth-century Byzantium do not necessarily destroy a culture.

Far more dangerous are institutionalized corruption, a lack of transparency and creeping neglect of existing laws. All the German euros in the world will not save Greece if Greeks continue to dodge taxes, featherbed government and see corruption as a business model.

Even obeying so-called minor laws counts. It is no coincidence that a country where drivers routinely flout traffic laws and throw trash out the window is also a country that cooks its books and lies to its creditors. Everything from littering to speeding seems negotiable in Athens in a way not true of Munich, Zurich or London.

Mexico is a naturally richer country than Greece. It is blessed with oil, precious minerals, fertile soils, long coastlines and warm weather. Hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens should not be voting with their feet to reject their homeland for the United States.

But Mexico also continues to be a mess because police expect bribes, property rights are iffy, and government works only for those who pay kickbacks. The result is that only north, not south, of the U.S.-Mexico border can people expect upward mobility, clean water, adequate public safety and reliable power.

In much of the Middle East and Africa, tribalism and bribery, not meritocracy, determine who gets hired and fired, wins or loses a contract, or receives or goes without public services.

Americans, too, should worry about these age-old symptoms of internal decay.

The frightening thing about disgraced Internal Revenue Service bureaucrat Lois Lerner’s knowledge of selective audits of groups on the basis of their politics is not just that she seemed to ignore it, but that she seemingly assumed no one would find out, or perhaps even mind. And she may well have been right. So far, no one at the IRS has shown much remorse for corrupting an honor-based system of tax compliance. (more…)

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THE NEW WORLD MAP – VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

 

townhall.com/columnists/victordavishanson/2015/06/18/draft-n2013813/page/full

Townhall.com

The New World Map

Victor Davis HansonVictor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.   | Jun 18, 2015

http://townhall.com/columnists/victordavishanson/

Adolf Hitler started World War II by attacking Poland on September 1, 1939. Nazi Germany moved only after it had already remilitarized the Rhineland, absorbed Austria and dismantled Czechoslovakia. Before the outbreak of the war, Hitler’s new Third Reich had created the largest German-speaking nation in European history.

Well before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese government had redrawn the map of Asia and the Pacific. Japan had occupied or annexed Indochina, Korea, Manchuria and Taiwan, in addition to swaths of coastal China. Attacking Hawaii, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia was merely the logical 1941 follow-up to more than a decade of Japanese aggression.

Fascist Italy, by the outbreak of World War II in Europe, had already been remaking the map of the Mediterranean region in imitation of ancient Rome. Strongman Benito Mussolini had annexed what is now Ethiopia, Albania and most of Libya. He promised Italians that the Mediterranean would soon be mare nostrum, “our sea.”

All of these hegemonies had arisen without triggering a global war. Had Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese just been satisfied and consolidated their winnings, there was no evidence that the tired Western democracies would ever have stopped them.

The contemporary world is starting to resemble the 1930s, and maps again must be redrawn.

The Islamic State plans to take Baghdad to make it the capital of a radical Sunni caliphate from what is left of Syria and Iraq. (more…)

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VICTOR DAVIS HANSON – THE FORGOTTEN REALITIES OF WORLD WAR II

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

 

Townhall.com logo

The Forgotten Realities of World War II

Victor Davis Hanson

5/14/2015  – Victor Davis Hanson

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  American war production proved astonishing. At the huge Willow Run plant in Michigan, the greatest generation turned out a B-24 heavy bomber every hour. A single shipyard could mass-produce an ocean-going Liberty merchant ship from scratch in a week.

In just four years, the United States would produce more airplanes than all of the major war powers combined. Germany, Japan, Italy and the Soviet Union could not build a successful four-engine heavy bomber. America, in contrast, produced 34,000 excellent B-17s, B-24s and B-29s.

May 8 marked the end of World War II in Europe 70 years ago — a horrific conflict that is still fought over by historians.

More than 60 million people perished — some 50 million of them in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and China.

The prewar Soviet state in the 1920s and 1930s had killed perhaps 20 million of its own citizens in purges, exiles, collectivizations, forced famines and show trials. Then it lost an estimated 25 million soldiers and civilians to the German army on the Eastern Front. Hitler’s Germany by late 1942 had occupied almost 1 million square miles of Soviet ground.

The Soviet Red Army would eventually be responsible for three quarters of Germany’s WWII casualties, but at a cost of approximately 9 million dead of its own combatants. Nevertheless, the Allied defeat of the Axis powers is more complicated than just the monumental and heroic sacrifice of the Soviet soldier.

World War II started largely because the Soviet Union had had assured Hitler that the two powers could partner up to divide Poland. With his eastern rear thus secure, Hitler then would be free to fight a one-front war in the West against the European democracies.

The Soviet Union only entered the war after it was double-crossed by Hitler in June 1941. Before the surprise German invasion, the Soviets had supplied Germany with substantial fuel, food and metals to help it bomb Great Britain into submission. For all practical purposes, Russia had been Nazi Germany’s most useful ally. (more…)

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WAR CLOUDS ON THE HORIZON? VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

Friday, December 5th, 2014

 

         
December 4, 2014 
War Clouds on the Horizon?
A large war is looming absent preventive American vigilance.
By Victor Davis Hanson

The world is changing and becoming even more dangerous — in a way we’ve seen before.

 

In the decade before World War I, the near-hundred-year European peace that had followed the fall of Napoleon was taken for granted. Yet it abruptly imploded in 1914. Prior little wars in the Balkans had seemed to predict a much larger one on the horizon — and were ignored.

The exhausted Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires were spent forces unable to control nationalist movements in their provinces. The British Empire was fading. Imperial Germany was rising. Czarist Russia was beset with revolutionary rebellion. As power shifted, decline for some nations seemed like opportunity for others.

The same was true in 1939. The tragedy of the Versailles Treaty of 1919 was not that it had been too harsh. In fact, it was far milder than the terms Germany had imposed on a defeated Russia in 1918 or the requirements it had planned for France in 1914.

Instead, Versailles combined the worst of both worlds: harsh language without any means of enforcement.

The subsequent appeasement of Britain and France, the isolationism of the United States, and the collaboration of the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany green-lighted Hitler’s aggression — and another world war.

We are entering a similarly dangerous interlude. Collapsing oil prices — a good thing for most of the world — will make troublemakers like oil-exporting Iran and Russia take even more risks.

Terrorist groups such as the Islamic State feel that conventional military power has no effect on their agendas. The West is seen as a tired culture of Black Friday shoppers and maxed-out credit-card holders.

NATO is underfunded and without strong American leadership. It can only hope that Vladimir Putin does not invade a NATO country such as Estonia, rather than prepare for the likelihood that he will, and soon. (more…)

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VICTOR DAVIS HANSON – MAKING HARDING LOOK GOOD

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

 

     
October 7, 2014
Making Harding Look Good
The Obama administration has tarnished nearly every major federal agency.
By Victor Davis Hanson NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Savior Generals.

Many have described the Obama departure from the 70-year-old bipartisan postwar foreign policy of the

United States as reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s failed 1977–81 tenure. There is certainly the same messianic sense of self, the same naïveté, and the same boasts of changing the nature of America, as each of these presidents was defining himself as against supposedly unpopular predecessors. But the proper Obama comparison is not Carter, but rather Warren G. Harding. By that I mean not that Obama’s scandals have matched Harding’s, but rather that by any fair standard they have now far exceeded them and done far more lasting damage — and without Obama’s offering achievements commensurate with those that occasionally characterized Harding’s brief, failed presidency.

The lasting legacy of Obama will be that he has largely discredited the idea of big government, of which he was so passionate an advocate. Almost every major agency of the federal government, many of them with a hallowed tradition of bipartisan competence, have now been rendered either dysfunctional or politicized — or both — largely because of politically driven appointments of unqualified people, or ideological agendas that were incompatible with the agency’s mission.

The list of scandals is quite staggering. In aggregate, it makes Harding’s Teapot Dome mess seem minor in comparison.

There is now no Border Patrol, at least as Americans have understood the agency whose job was enforcing federal immigration statutes. It died as an enforcement bureau sometime in 2013, not long after the reelection of Barack Obama, in a way that it could not have before the election. Instead, in Orwellian fashion, at a time of plague and terrorism abroad, it is now the Border-Crossing Enabling Service, whose chief task is facilitating the illegal entry of thousands from Latin America and Mexico, largely to further the political agenda of the Obama administration, contrary to the law, the will of Congress, and the wishes of the majority of the American people. Mention the phrase “immigration law” or “Border Patrol,” and Americans sigh that neither any longer exists. Yet such a perversion of the mission of a federal agency for political purposes has become thematic of this administration. Perhaps the end of border enforcement is emblemized best by Obama’s own uncle and late aunt, who in open defiance broke federal immigration law and did so with impunity, resided illegally in the United States, broke various state laws, and ended up either on public assistance or mired in the U.S. judicial system.

No one quite knows how to deal with the deadly threat of the Ebola virus. We can assume, however, that the Obama administration’s policy will be predicated foremost on some sort of predetermined ideological concern. Unlike many European countries, the United States still allows foreign nationals from countries with pandemics of Ebola to enter the country freely. What the administration has so far told us about Ebola — that a case here was unlikely, and then, after it happened, that probably only a handful of people had been exposed — was almost immediately proven false. (more…)

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OBAMA’S UNTRUTH, INC. – VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

 

        
September 9, 2014
Obama’s Untruth, Inc
.
Let us count the ways: bald lies, lies of omission, mythography, amnesia, redaction . . .
By Victor Davis Hanson

We can usefully view the Obama administration’s chronic untruthfulness as a sort of multifaceted corporation of untruth, with all sorts of subsidiaries.

THE BALD LIES OF POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY
Remember the al-Qaeda-is-on-the-run 2012-election talking point? It was mostly a lie. The administration deliberately released to sympathetic journalists only those documents from the so-called Osama bin Laden trove that revealed worry and dissension among the terrorists. Then it nourished essays by pet journalists trumpeting the decline of al-Qaeda. Disturbing memos that confounded that narrative, as Weekly Standard journalist Steven F. Hayes recently noted, were kept back. “On the run” was dropped after the 2012 election, when events on the ground made such an assertion absurd.

Recent disclosures by some of the combatants about the night of the Benghazi attack remind us that almost everything Jay Carney, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, and President Obama swore in the aftermath of the debacle was knowingly false. A video did not cause the attack. The rioting was not spontaneous. A video-maker, an American resident, was soon jailed, while one of the suspected killers was giving taped interviews at a coffee house in Benghazi. There were ways of securing the consulate and the annex that were not explored, both before and during the assault. Talking points were altered. Again, the catalyst for untruth was reelection worries by an administration that believes its exalted ends of social justice allow any means necessary for reaching them.

Has anything the administration said about pulling our troops out of Iraq proven true? Was it really the Iraqis’ fault or George Bush’s? Was our leaving proof that Iraq might be one of the administration’s “great achievements”? Was the Iraq that we left without any peacekeepers really “stable”? On more than ten occasions the president bragged on the campaign trail that he alone had ended American involvement in Iraq. When Iraq predictably blew up after our departure, he snarled to reporters that he was angry that anyone would dare accuse him alone of being responsible for our precipitate departure.

Was there any element of “reset” with Russia that was accurate? Obama came into office lambasting the prior administration for alienating Russia — when all it had done was adopt some rather moderate measures to punish Russia for invading Georgia. Reset, in truth, was a remission of punishments — from missile defense with the Czechs and Poles to cut-offs of some high-level negotiations — and thus served as a signal to Putin and his subordinates that Obama believed America had been wrong to react to Georgia. And we know what followed from that.

LIES TO HIDE WHAT WE DON’T LIKE (more…)

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THE NEW WORLD DISORDER

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

 

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE          www.nationalreview.com

September 2, 2014
The New World Disorder
To Obama, the retrenchment of the West was not only inevitable but to be welcomed.
By Victor Davis Hanson

In just the last five or six years the world has been fundamentally transformed. Instead of the old

accustomed Western-inspired postwar global order, crafted and ensured by the United States and its European and Japanese partners, there is now mostly chaos, from Ukraine to Syria to the South China Sea. Or, rather, there may be emerging new rules, given that we are still frozen in a Wild West moment, when everyone in the saloon has drawn his six-shooter, paused, and is wondering what happened to the sheriff — and wondering, too, who will be the first to dare start shooting.

The general cause of the unrest is that, fairly or not, the world senses that the United States is tired after its recent interventions, cutting back its defenses, and all but financially insolvent. We might scoff at Neanderthal notions like a loss of deterrence inviting aggression, but Neanderthals do not.

Barack Obama apparently believes that such a retrenchment was both inevitable and to be welcomed. He thought that most U.S. interventions abroad had been either wrong or futile or both; he questioned the world’s status quo and certainly felt, for example, that the widespread persecution of Christians in the Middle East was not nearly as much of a problem as Islamophobia in the West. He came into office believing that Iran, Hamas, and Russia had all been unduly demonized, especially by George W. Bush, and could be reached out to by a sensitive president whose heritage and attitudes might not appear so polarizing.

To Obama, old allies like Britain and Israel either did not need unflinching U.S. support or did not necessarily warrant it. The postwar world that the U.S. had once ensured was no fairer a place than is America at home, and certainly did not justify the vast investment of American time and money — resources that could be far better be spent at home addressing inequality and unfairness. A program of higher taxes, huge budget deficits, and enormous increases in entitlement spending did not have budgetary space for the sort of defense required to keep things calm abroad.

As a result, we now are witnessing a world in transition — a world of regional hegemonies that are filling the vacuum after the abdication of the United States. And we have no idea how it will eventually pan out. Barack Obama, for example, believes the chaos is only superficial. He thinks the reported universal warring is a sort of artifact of global social networking that too easily lets us know, for example, what Putin is doing in a way we could not with just radio and TV. But old-fashioned television lets us know perfectly well that Russia now determines the course of events in the huge area of the former Soviet republics — and from time to time steps into the Middle East to remind the U.S. that it is clueless. Putin just reminded the West that his nuclear arsenal makes it unwise to “mess” with Russia. (more…)

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