by John Hawkins | April 19, 2002 5:37 pm
Victor Davis Hansen Does It Again: Victor Davis Hanson is my favorite columnist on the web. He has an incredible grasp of history, warfare, and logic and no one hammers home a point better. Here’s a few snippets from his latest column about the changes caused to American opinion by the ‘War on Terrorism’…
“…Palestinians cry massacre, but, in fact, they now at last have the fighting their leadership asked for. While the world rightly asks Israel to follow the accepted rules of fighting, it is slowly coming to the realization that men in jeans and sneakers who shoot guns from apartment terraces and blow up children are bona fide combatants of the worst sort — and in the past, combatants who were far more humane folk than these have died in wars. I gave a lecture the other evening at a local civic organization, and a questioner summed up the mood of the audience with, “Well, those Palestinians wanted a war, and now they pretty much got their wish. So let’s see how well they do when the Israelis shoot back.”
“…All the old worries and anxieties about our friends are slowly dissipating as well, causing not anguish, but a weird sense of liberation from the ancient dread. Jordan and Egypt are tottering? Let them totter. What are they going to do — send a deprived Egyptian with a hijacked plane into the World Trade Center to finish the work of an earlier fellow mad fundamentalist?”
“…I had a conversation not long ago with a European, who typically so, began with the pained look of someone who was methodically entering a long grandfatherly lecture about the American pathologies of “unilateralism” and “exceptionalism.” When I laughed and told him he should worry more about keeping us in NATO than threatening to leave, more about America turning its attention to Russia, India, Japan, and South America than to Paris and Rome, and expect pride rather than guilt that we stopped the Russians, fought the Gulf War, kicked out Noriega, and bombed in Serbia. In short, when I made it clear that Europe is irrelevant, he was shocked — and, mon dieu!, of all things, hurt! Europeans, I think, are going to learn that their real fears are not that we wish to control them, work with them, influence them, or corrupt them, but rather that we simply prefer to forget about them. They are rapidly becoming little more than an old windy Nestor — wordy, impotent, and full of empty advice about a glorious past in someone else’s busy present.”
Columns like this one are why I’m such a huge Hansen fan.
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