Barbarians At The Gates

Victor Davis Hanson takes down so much of what’s wrong. with the Obama Administration in this post.  You need to read the whole thing.

But it’s this part that stuck me; this was the bit that had me nervous even before the election.  Democrats – I was about to write “liberals”, because there used to be a distinction when it came to foreign policy, but I’m not so sure anymore – have a certain “style” about fighting wars.

And Obama might as well be Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Ted Kennedy or Algore:

Here is our anti-terrorism policy.

1) Euphemism: hope that words can change reality—“overseas contingency operations” aimed at “man-caused disasters” (this will mean there is no more terrorism as our enemies are no longer demonized)

Remember when critics – mostly liberal, many of them correct – used to barber on about how crazy some military terminology sounded to civilian ears?  Now “Neutralized” sounded so much nicer than “Kill”?  How “Prep Fire” was so much more clinical than “hose the entire area down”?

“Man-Caused Disaster”?

As a language geek, I suppose I can say it’s accurate enough.

But if you’re a 20 year old kid being asked to go over seas at some considerable risk to fight for this country, how do you think the idea of losing an eye or a leg or a life in a “man-caused disaster” sounds?

Like your leaders are clueless?

2)   Apologies to Islam: boast that Muslims fueled the Renaissance, invented printing, pretty much gave the world our present civilization, while we offended them after 9/11 (this will mean no more plotting inside the US to kill us all, as they sense our newfound empathy)

Societies go through peaks and valleys.  Germany gave the world Bach, Beethoven, Goethe, Schiller, Nietzche, Wagner and the Hamburger (and, to be fair, Marx, Freud and Nietzche); then, there was the little matter of the Nuremberg Laws, World War II, the Warsaw Ghetto and Treblinka. German society had to see to a few touch-ups.

Islam has a great history, indeed.  In some places – most of India, Indonesia and the Balkans – it has a history of getting along just fine with its neighbors in pluralistic societies, just like Germans live next to Poles and French and Danes in Europe and, for that matter, in the US.

And as with that unfortunate stretch in the thirties and forties with the Germans, it only takes a few million bad apples to screw it up for the rest; as with the Germans, there’s the little matter of that sect that wants to kill the Jews, have a big piece of the world to rule for itself, and destroy its enemies.

3)   “Bush Did it”: a) blame Bush the Impaler for our unpopularity and shredding the Constitution to pacify the Middle East and Europe; while stealthily keeping in play most of his protocols like Predators (more attacks in last 9 months than Bush did in 3 years); tribunals, renditions, intercepts, wiretaps, and Guantanamo, etc.); (this will mean that we copy Bush, but blame him for our failures and claim success as our own).

Mr Hanson, I believe you’ve got it.

4)   Reach-out: Become socialist at home, and UNish abroad, to convince an Ahmadinejad, Assad, Chavez, Putin, and others that we are a declining, 1950s British-like socialist state, a threat to no one, exceptional in the manner that Greece is, and becoming, as Pravda boasts daily, more like them than they like us (this will mean, why hate us when we are one of you?)

And you’ll note how well that worked in keeping peace between Nazi Germany and the USSR, who were functionally pretty identical…

5)  Declare victory and leave: there is a reason why Afghanistan and now Iraq have flared up since Obama took office, and it may well have to do with the fact that radical Islam, defeated in Iraq, stalemated in Afghanistan, suddenly bets that with a little push here and there, Obama will declare victory and leave, with something like “We can’t win Bush’s wars.” If I were a terrorist, I might think, “One or two more big death days, and this American government will Mogadishu its way home”).

They’re already making those noises.

In a year or two, al Qaeda will begin to suspect we are the weaker horse. They hated us when we were strong, but they will hate us even more when we appear weak.

Not just Al Quaeda, mind you.

15 thoughts on “Barbarians At The Gates

  1. “Democrats . . . a certain “style” about fighting wars.”
    It is called winning. Your style is called losing. As in you lost Iraq and you lost Afghanistan.

  2. Um, Rick, ya think that maybe, just maybe, we might be looking at the data AFTER FDR and Truman? Say Clinton’s refusal to treat repeated acts of war by Al Qaida as such (USS Cole, Khobar towers, WTC bombing 1, etc..)? Or perhaps Obama’s campaign promise to put emphasis on Afghanistan, followed by nearly ten months of …..ignoring his generals?

  3. Rick – didja catch the part where I mention “there used to be a difference when it came to foreign policy?”

    FDR, Truman, JFK and LBJ were Americans first and foremost. They knew right from wrong when it came to this nation’s foreign policy (although LBJ certainly executed badly – thank the late Bill McNamara, the quintessential leftist on defense, for that).

    There is no rational way to compare Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter or – so far – Barack Obama.

    I certainly distinguish between the two. And I was going to say your “case” might make sense if you did, too…

    …but then, if you observed the obvious distinction between Democrats before and after 1972, you would probably not write anything at all on the subject.

    Oh, and by the way? The trail of bodies from the Tokyo to the Elbe? It was Americans of all political stripes who put them there. Just like the people who serve today. I don’t recall a single infantryman describing their political beliefs in combat.

    Although I have no doubt you’ll find an example on “ThinkProgress” or Wikipedia or somewhere.

  4. I’m not sure if telling anything to a trail of axis corpses would really accomplish much. I imagine it would look a lot like Hamlet holding up Yorick’s skull.

  5. I’m not sure if telling anything to a trail of axis corpses would really accomplish much

    …although in Chicago, they’d all be perfectly legit votes!

  6. I think we all can condemn Delano’s racist war of imperilistic agression on the indiginous peoples of Germania. Anything for his pals in Big Beer.

  7. The way the second point is worded, Hanson is implying that failing to draw a distinction between Islam and Terrorism is bad foreign policy. To argue that all terrorists are Muslim is one thing (it’s a faulty argument, but inconsequential) but to argue that all Muslims are terrorists is another completely.

    Is Hanson accusing all Muslims of being terrorists? Absolutely not. But equivocating Islam with terrorism has the effect (intended or not) of accusing all (or at least a significant majority of) Islamic organizations of being terrorist organizations.

    I think there are valid arguments for an against religious profiling when it comes to Homeland Security, but if Hanson’s point was in regards to that issue I did not infer it from his post.

  8. I think that Hanson’s 2nd point went to the fact that bowing down to the Saudi King or grovelling to Islam has never been productive for the West. Strong horse/weak horse, after all.
    That’s why Pakistan is erupting in violence as we speak.

  9. Remember when a democrat congress forbid the US from giving military aid to South Vietnam when the Commies were at the gates of Saigon?
    Freakin’ back-stabbers.

  10. Tell it to FDR and the trail of Axis corpses from Casablanca to Nagasaki.

    Tell it to FDR and the trail of Allied corpses in Eastern Europe, RatioRinkyDink. I see history is not your strong suit either.

  11. To argue that all terrorists are Muslim is one thing (it’s a faulty argument, but inconsequential)

    Fine, change “all” to “most”. Now it becomes a very valid argument indeed. The fact that terrorist acts are done in the name of Islam does make anyone following this religion a suspect. Unless proven innocent, of course.

  12. Pingback: Verbing, mistake, or what? « Arnold Zwicky's Blog

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