Saturday, July 22, 2006

Victor Davis Hanson

Who's that dude, Spotty?

That, grasshopper, is none other than Victor Davis Hanson. Who's that? Well, we'll let Werther explain:
Let us stipulate straightaway: Victor Davis Hanson is the worst historian since Parson Weems [link by Spot]. To picture anything remotely as bad as his pseudo-historical novels and propaganda tracts, one would have to imagine an account of the fiscal policies of the Bush administration authored by Paris Hilton. [Spot: actually that isn't so hard to imagine]

Mr. Hanson, Cal State Fresno's contribution to human letters, is the favorite historian of the administration, the Naval War College, and other groves of disinterested research. His academic niche is to drag the Peloponnesian War into every contemporary foreign policy controversy and thereby justify whatever course of action our magistrates have taken. One suspects that if the neo-cons at the American Enterprise Institute were suddenly seized by the notion to invade Patagonia, Mr. Hanson would be quoting Pericles in support.

Once we strip away all the classical Greek fustian, it becomes clear that the name of his game is to take every erroneous conventional wisdom, cliche, faulty generalization, and common-man imbecility, and elevate them to a catechism. In this process, he showcases a technique beloved of pseudo-conservatives stuck at the Sean Hannity level of debate: he swallows whatever quasi-historical balderdash serves the interest of those in power, announces it with an air of surprised discovery, and then congratulates himself on his boldness in telling truth to power.
After that introduction, Werther really gets critical! Spot recomments the whole post.

Why do we care about VDH? Well, we don't, but the Power Line guys do. One of them, Death Squad John as Spot recalls, recently gushed over a recent web article written by Hanson (do his friends just call him VD?). Johnny said it was perhaps the most important thing that Hanson has written, which is, come to think of it, damnation with faint praise.

What got Death Squad John so excited? Hanson wrote an op-ed piece in the online journal Real Clear Politics that the West's patience is wearing thin with those pesky Muslims. He muses about another way:
What then would be the new Western approach to terrorism? Hard and quick retaliation -- but without our past concern for nation-building, or offering a democratic alternative to theocracy and autocracy, or even worrying about whether other Muslims are unfairly lumped in with Islamists who operate freely in their midst. [italics are Spot's]

Any new policy of retaliation -- in light both of Sept. 11 and the messy efforts to birth democracies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and the West Bank -- would be something of an exasperated return to the old cruise-missile payback. Yet in the new world of Iranian nukes and Hezbollah missiles, the West would hit back with something far greater than a cruise missile.

If they are not careful, a Syria or Iran really will earn a conventional war -- not more futile diplomacy or limited responses to terrorism. And history shows that massive attacks from the air are something that the West does well.
What Hanson suggests is, of course, a war crime. That's probably why Death Squad John is so fevered about what Hanson writes.

Spot knows you guys are rilly rilly, like, frustrated, but you keep wanting to do things that will only make the situation worse. You also keep assuming that we are actually in charge. Silly boys.

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The warrior is from this Russian site.

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