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a note on VDH
Victor Davis Hanson has the right dislikes. His attacks on the American -- or at least the California -- university system are a pleasure to read. His hatred for those who are unfair to Israel, his general take on the universe endear him to all sensible people. But what is not endearing, what has been so disturbing and even maddening for the past 2 1/2 years, is his refusal, even though in his writing he has made much of the influence of "culture" in explaining the success of Western man as warrior (those free Greeks, those serried ranks of Persian myrmidons), to contemplate what the belief-system of Islam is all about, and how Islam so completely molds both its adherents, and the societies in which even those who are not full believers grow up, and drink in the atmospherics of Islam.
Had he done so, he would long ago have realized that in March or April, 2004, when I began setting out exactly what would happen and why it was inevitable (those sectarian and ethnic divisions that cannot be healed, that neither Sunni Arabs nor Shi'a Arabs will permit to be healed though both will play for Amercian protection, American military equipment and training, American fighting against their enemies under the guise of "protecting democracy") and furthermore, why it was in American and Infidel interests for these sectarian and ethnic divisions to be encouraged -- the first being a kind of Iran-Iraq War (which should have gone on forever), with repercussions in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Pakistan, Lebanon, and the second with repercussions in Algeria and elsewhere in the Berber-haunted Maghreb, and everywhree that non-Arab Muslims have been persecuted, or treated with contumely, or resented the linguistic and cultural imperialism of the Arabs, of which Islam is the obvious vehicle.
His refusal to see this, his ignoring of what his associate Bruce Thornton was writing in those "Private Papers," and his failure to see that the war in Iraq had been won, as far as Infidel interests were concerned, just as soon as Saddam Hussein was captured, his sons killed, the game of Fifty-Two Pickup successfully completed, and -- this is the main point -- the country scoured for weapons of mass destruction and for projects intended to produce such weapons, in the first case an effort of search and destroy, in the second case an effort of search and disrupt for a very long time.
All that was accomplished within the first year, and everything was then set inevitably in motion. It was time then to leave.
This is still somethiing Hanson has trouble with. But he's much more intelligent than the smug Kristols and all those others who will keep prating about what "needs to be done" in Iraq, and has no need to obstinately defend the Administration for its folly, its lack of low or high cunning, its miscomprehension that this "war on terror" stuff will not do, and the "war of self-defense against the Jihad" (Jihad standing in, synecdochically, for "Islam").
Incidentally, I realize now that setting all this out, declaring victory, as has been done here repeatedly since late March or early April, 2004, should entitle the author of that victory-declaraation, trying to halt the squandering of taxpayers' money (and the lives of soldiers), should be worth something, some kind of whistle--blower's award. A third of the avoidable hundreds of billions would seem like a lot. A million would do just fine.
Meanwhile, let's hope that Hanson, given his many admirers, begins to see the plans for Iraq as the hopeless -- and self-defeating from the Infidel point of view -- nonsense it is. It would help push the Pentagon and Bush and Rice into recognizing reality.