Sunday, January 14, 2007


Victor Davis Hanson responds to furious email asking, "War, what war?"
So one reoccurring topic is the controversy over just how serious is the threat of radical Islam. I get a great deal of furious mail, suggesting that Bush & Co. for a variety of reasons (fill in the blanks: oil, Halliburton, etc.) have created a bogeyman out of a few ragtag terrorists, and dangerously and gratuitously set us on a path of war in the Middle East.

Such critics are emboldened by the luxuries of relative world peace. Remember, we enter into year six without an attack on the United States homeland comparable to September 11. That fact, taken together with the absence of a clearly-identified enemy nation state, has suggested to many that there is hardly a present threat comparable to dangers posed by Nazis, fascists, Japanese imperialists, or Soviet and Chinese communists of the past.

But how true is that really?

I. -Isms and –Ologies Are More Deadly

Global ideologies pose greater threats than particular bellicose states. Nazism, for example, was more dangerous than Prussian militarism because it much more easily appealed across national boundaries.

The same was true of communism versus, say, Japanese militarism that was predicated on unique thoughts about racial superiority rather than Pan-Asian communitarian solidarity. Bushido appealed to few non-Japanese.

Jihadism, however, resonates with Muslims in Pakistan, the Arab World, the Philippines, or Indonesia. Race, language, landscape, or nationality are not always predictable in our enemies, only a certain shared derangement guided by the idea that the West and its modernization have eclipsed Islam and are in some way responsible for radical Muslims’ current sense of inferiority and lost entitlement.

Read it all.

Meanwhile, sharing the derangement--at least the portion where the West, i.e. America, and its modernization are bad for the world--the Democrats have developed a knee-jerk response that will serve as their take on all future speeches by the President (see here):

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