Monday, June 16, 2008

Thar he blow(viates)

Professor Victor Davis Hanson hands Pat Buchanan (Windbag Extraordinnaire) a rather complete refutation of Buchanan's ill-advised sortie into the Professor's area of expertise.

My comment on a comment there:
“Matt S: Certainly the results of the Second World War were good for the emerging United States on the world stage. But I think most of us in the States, because it has been our time in the sun, fail to see the indescribable pain and suffering of the scores of millions who are at the bottom of the heap.”

Yeah, like our defeated foes from WWII, Germany and Japan. Oh, the woes they’ve suffered as a result of our continued support and friendship in the four decades since that conflict ended.

I think a great number of countries in the world would rather be our defeated foe–given how we treat those we have defeated–than the ally of our enemies.

Far from causing the suffering of “scores of millions” (whatever that means), we have rebuilt and continued to support our erstwhile enemies even after suffering scores of thousands of dead in conflict with them. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan will also prosper and benefit from our assistance and friendship, just as Germany and Japan have, if they but embrace a flavor of democracy.

I personally believe that in The Shield of Achilles, Philip Bobbitt is correct in counting WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War as chapters in an epochal war to determine what form of government is to replace the previously dominant form. However, I also believe that in American Jihad, Emerson has identified a profound connection between our current foe as represented by al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood and the fascists of WWII. Namely, that the Muslim Brotherhood was formed as the Middle Eastern “branch” of fascism–an answer, and ally, to the Italian and German versions of it. Therefore, this “Long War” has not yet ended and we are in a fight to determine whether the democratic republic or fascist theocracy will prevail.

As to our “moribund empire,” what is it that we get out of imperial “outposts” like Germany and Japan versus the benefits they reap from our association? Some empire. If our nation’s imperial ambitions are so overwhelming and all-consuming, why is it we haven’t added more stars to our flag in the past 40-years? Germany? Make it a state! Japan? East Hawaii, I say!

What a curious way to build a hegemonic empire when compared with the historical exemplars.

Professor Hanson? Thanks for wielding that sharp instrument and letting the air out of the windbag. I look forward to the next installment as I am sure you will have a surfeit of targets in the months to come.