Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Our Strange War
http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200506030807.asp ^ | June 3, 2005 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 06/03/2005 5:09:21 AM PDT by mal

The three-year-plus war that began on September 11 is the strangest conflict in our history. It is not just that the first day saw the worst attack on American soil since our creation, or that we are publicly pledged to fighting a method — “terror” — rather than the concrete enemy of Islamic fascism that employs it.

Our dilemma is that we have not sought to defeat and humiliate the enemy as much as wean a people from the thrall of Islamic autocracy. That is our challenge, and explains our exasperating strategy of half-measures and apologies — and the inability to articulate exactly whom we are fighting and why.

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: gwot; islam; jihad; jihadists; koran; oif; september12era; vdh; victordavishanson; waronterror; wot; wwiv

1 posted on 06/03/2005 5:09:21 AM PDT by mal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: mal

BTTT


2 posted on 06/03/2005 5:13:12 AM PDT by Chgogal (Pinging 72 virgins. Pinging 72 virgins.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mal
From the article:

Still, most in the Middle East wish simply to embrace the human desire for prosperity, freedom, and security...

OK, I understand the theory.

Where's the evidence?

3 posted on 06/03/2005 5:13:46 AM PDT by Jim Noble (Nixon and Mitchell better start shakin'-Today's pig is tomorrow's bacon.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mal
From the article:

Still, most in the Middle East wish simply to embrace the human desire for prosperity, freedom, and security...

OK, I understand the theory.

Where's the evidence?

4 posted on 06/03/2005 5:14:38 AM PDT by Jim Noble (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mal; MeekOneGOP; USF; jan in Colorado; Fred Nerks; All
LOLO

Oh Lord. VDH is gonna catch Hell for this one!

Imagine VDH trying to come out and say that we are actually at war with Islam!

That is what he said isn't it?

An American Expat in Southeast Asia

5 posted on 06/03/2005 5:21:23 AM PDT by expatguy (http://laotze.blogspot.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expatguy
Yup, or we could say that Islam is at war with the world.

Wherever there are Muslims, Non-Muslims die. I think I will make that my new tagline. :)
6 posted on 06/03/2005 5:31:38 AM PDT by Chgogal (Pinging 72 virgins. Pinging 72 virgins.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble

Yep, the come to the west for prosperity, freedom and security, then plot to make their adopted countries into the image of the sh**hole they just ran away from.


7 posted on 06/03/2005 5:48:33 AM PDT by Americanexpat (A strong democracy through citizen oversight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: mal
VDH's article makes clear two things:

1) The Bush Administration is pursuing the only course they can.

2) The Left will never, ever get it. They are psychologically incapable of understanding Administration strategy in the Middle East, because the actions necessary to carry out that strategy push all of their hot buttons, and they stop thinking the moment those buttons are pushed.

Short of Joe Lieberman delivering a harsh STFU speech to his fellow Democrats (which would get him branded as "another Zell Miller-type crank" by the Kennedy-Clinton Axis, but might convince some of the voting base) nothing is going to stop the Democrats from slandering and misstating Bush Administration policy for the next twenty years, regardless of whatever results are achieved.

8 posted on 06/03/2005 5:51:06 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("Violence never settles anything." Genghis Khan, 1162-1227)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mal; neverdem; Lando Lincoln; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; yonif; SJackson; dennisw; monkeyshine; ...


    Victor Davis Hanson Ping ! 

       Let me know if you want in or out

9 posted on 06/03/2005 6:06:15 AM PDT by Tolik
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expatguy; PhilDragoo; devolve; Happy2BMe; yall
buuuuuuuuuummmmmp! :)

10 posted on 06/03/2005 6:16:47 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble
Still, most in the Middle East wish simply to embrace the human desire for prosperity, freedom, and security...

OK, I understand the theory.

Where's the evidence?

Yeah.... I wonder the same thing. We've gone from drawing the line in the sand and saying your on our side, or your on the side of the terrorists.... to planting democracy as a way to defeat terrorism.

11 posted on 06/03/2005 6:19:20 AM PDT by kjam22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: expatguy
Thanks for the ping.

For now Islamic fascist strategy is to make such horrific news in Iraq that America throws up its hands and sighs, “These crazy people simply aren’t worth it,” goes home, snoozes — and thus becomes ripe for another September 11. Hmmm, in my mind, the word "fascist" after "islamic" is pretty much redundant.

He's on target again with this article... if America shows any weakness, or gives into any terror, it will serve to teach the jihadis that terrorism pays, and encourage its use even more in the future. The next generation of would-be Bin Ladens need to unlearn the ideas about the US being some kind of "paper tiger" (Binnys remark on the US involventmet in Somalia) who will run, or if you start killing a few of us, you can change US policy in your favor.

Let 'em choke on my tagline, or bring out their holy warriors so we can fill them with more holes.

12 posted on 06/03/2005 6:24:31 AM PDT by USF (I see your Jihad and raise you a Crusade )
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: kjam22; Jim Noble

This seems to be the one thing that VDH simply does not get.


13 posted on 06/03/2005 6:24:38 AM PDT by expatguy (http://laotze.blogspot.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble
Where's the evidence?

To most it is self-evident. It is the basis for the founding of this country. If you need an explanation or if you need convincing then you missed it.

To expect a country that has been brutally suppressed for 30 years and is presently under covert attack by the oppressors to suddenly turn into that Shining City on a Hill is either naive or dishonest.

14 posted on 06/03/2005 6:31:14 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not everything that needs to be done needs to be done by the government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Mind-numbed Robot
To expect a country that has been brutally suppressed for 30 years and is presently under covert attack by the oppressors to suddenly turn into that Shining City on a Hill is either naive or dishonest.

But sir, you wrong me.

I don't expect any such thing.

In fact, if we wait 8000 years for it to happen, I don't expect it to happen.

Who are these "oppressors" of whom you speak? Are they, or their behavior, any different from the long and unhappy history of that barbarous region?

15 posted on 06/03/2005 6:38:28 AM PDT by Jim Noble (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: mal

BTTT


16 posted on 06/03/2005 6:39:33 AM PDT by varon (Allegiance to the constitution, always. Allegiance to a political party, never.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expatguy
Imagine VDH trying to come out and say that we are actually at war with Islam!

That is what he said isn't it?

No.

He made very clear statements that we were at war with radical Islamicists, and that our strategy is to empower moderate Islam.

Quite a significant difference.

17 posted on 06/03/2005 6:42:12 AM PDT by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Mind-numbed Robot
To expect a country that has been brutally suppressed for 30 years and is presently under covert attack by the oppressors to suddenly turn into that Shining City on a Hill is either naive or dishonest.

I think it's been more than 30 years. This is Babylon. This region is basically like it has been for 3000 years. I think it may be naive to think that it will EVER turn into a shining city on a hill.

18 posted on 06/03/2005 6:42:45 AM PDT by kjam22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: mal
Our dilemma is that we have not sought to defeat and humiliate the enemy as much as wean a people from the thrall of Islamic autocracy. That is our challenge, and explains our exasperating strategy of half-measures and apologies — and the inability to articulate exactly whom we are fighting and why.

IMHO I think the above says it all!

19 posted on 06/03/2005 6:43:34 AM PDT by varon (Allegiance to the constitution, always. Allegiance to a political party, never.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble

I think you and I see this very much the same.


20 posted on 06/03/2005 6:43:47 AM PDT by kjam22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
and that our strategy is to empower moderate Islam.

Quite a different strategy than was articulated in the post 9-11 days.

21 posted on 06/03/2005 6:46:40 AM PDT by kjam22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Jeeves
The left gets it. You don't give them enough credit. The goals of the left are, at this point in time, similar to Moslem's. Both groups are interested in the defeat of western capitalist economic and social system. These people are dedicated to the implementation of a socialist state in America as a first step towards world wide socialist state. They believe they will eventually convince everyone of the moral, social, spiritual and economic superiority of this system.
These are some extremely dangerous people, because they have no ability to see any object viewpoint.They are dedicated to defeating traditional american values and freedoms
22 posted on 06/03/2005 6:55:44 AM PDT by photodawg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: marktwain; All
He made very clear statements that we were at war with radical Islamicists, and that our strategy is to empower moderate Islam.

He didn't really make anything clear.

He used an anology with the Nazis and then went of on a rant about Islamic fascism.

He fails to recognize that the ideology is "Islamic fundamentalism" and not "Islamic fascism".

There are no "moderates" in Islam. Failing to follow the tenets of Islam does not make one a "moderate".

Using VDH's analogy could we have said that there was a "moderate" Nazi and that by empowering "moderate" Nazism we could defeat ideologues such as Hilter?

Don't ever underestimate the affinity that all Muslims ultimately have for each other.

An American Expat in Southeast Asia

23 posted on 06/03/2005 6:58:48 AM PDT by expatguy (http://laotze.blogspot.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble
Still, most in the Middle East wish simply to embrace the human desire for prosperity, freedom, and security...

OK, I understand the theory.

Where's the evidence?

All around. I wouldn't have believed it either, but I've been in the Middle East for almost a year and a half now. What he says is true. The majority of the people are not hate-filled madmen. They're actually very warm, generous people and they frevently desire peace and freedom. They hate the violence and they're tired of war.

The media hunts for the ones who spew hatred and negativity and puts them on the air to reinforce their agenda. The stories coming out of the Middle East are horribly distorted. You never hear any of the good things and they far outweigh the bad, really.

24 posted on 06/03/2005 7:04:13 AM PDT by Allegra (It's Hotter'n A Whorehouse on Nickel Night)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble

You might look at the elections in Iraq, the demonstrations in Lebanon, Too name two.


25 posted on 06/03/2005 7:06:48 AM PDT by Valin (The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: expatguy
Using VDH's analogy could we have said that there was a "moderate" Nazi and that by empowering "moderate" Nazism we could defeat ideologues such as Hilter?

No, we could have said that there was a "moderate" German that we could have used to defeat ideologues such as Hitler.

There are "moderate" ideologies within Islam. To claim that there are none is similar to claiming that all Christians have to be supporters of the Spanish Inquisition.

Our strategy is, in part, to help create an Islamic reformation. To claim that we are at war with all of Islam is exactly what Osama Bin Laden wants. It empowers our enemies and is counterproductive.

26 posted on 06/03/2005 7:07:56 AM PDT by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble
But sir, you wrong me.

I don't see how a disagreement can wrong you but if that is your take, fine.

Either you believe that man innately seeks and prefers freedom or you don't. If you don't, case closed. If you do the fact of historic oppression and conflict does not negate that. What has been missing in the past in that part of the world has been the opportunity to be free. They now have an opportunity to achieve that.

There will always be conflict between good and evil, freedom and oppression. We see it right here at home being played out between the Democrats and the Republicans. Ben Franklin famously warned of the difficulty in keeping our form of representative democracy, or republic. I believe the desire for freedom is universal. If you don't then your perspective is different from mine and that colors our opinions.

27 posted on 06/03/2005 7:08:51 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not everything that needs to be done needs to be done by the government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Allegra
NO NO NO As all real Freepers and red white and true blue patriots know all Muslims are homicidal maniacs who live for only one thing too kill us. And anyone who doesn't believe that is a pinko traitor.
/worldclass sarcasm
28 posted on 06/03/2005 7:11:40 AM PDT by Valin (The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Valin

I like your tagline as much as mine.


29 posted on 06/03/2005 7:20:05 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not everything that needs to be done needs to be done by the government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
Our strategy is, in part, to help create an Islamic reformation. To claim that we are at war with all of Islam is exactly what Osama Bin Laden wants. It empowers our enemies and is counterproductive.

First of all, it is not use who can help create an Islamic reformation.

Any reformation needs to come from within Islam and to have the most effect needs to come directly from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is the caretaker of Islam's holiest shrine and much of the Islamic world finds themselves following Saudi Arabia's lead.

And secondly, as I said before, don't underestimate the affinity that all Muslims hold for each other.

Blood (for lack of a better word) is always thicker than water.

Despite the millions of dollars in reward money, don't you find it a bit strange that these Muslims who want peace aren't falling all over themselves to turn in OBL?

30 posted on 06/03/2005 7:23:23 AM PDT by expatguy (http://laotze.blogspot.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: expatguy
Despite the millions of dollars in reward money, don't you find it a bit strange that these Muslims who want peace aren't falling all over themselves to turn in OBL?

Not at all. Osama is unlikely to associate with those that he classifies as apostates and unbelievers.

Much of the area he operates in has very poor infrastructure and communications.

You have to know that it is Osama to turn him in.

As for your comment that we cannot help an Islamic reformation, we are already doing so.

31 posted on 06/03/2005 7:33:48 AM PDT by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Mind-numbed Robot

Not everything that needs to be done needs to be done by the government

Not according to a certain junior senator from NY. :-)


32 posted on 06/03/2005 7:37:50 AM PDT by Valin (The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

I hope you don't take this discourse as argumentative, but I honestly don't see things the same way as you do.


33 posted on 06/03/2005 7:42:55 AM PDT by expatguy (http://laotze.blogspot.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: mal

bttt


34 posted on 06/03/2005 7:52:39 AM PDT by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain; Allegra

"Our strategy is, in part, to help create an Islamic reformation. To claim that we are at war with all of Islam is exactly what Osama Bin Laden wants. It empowers our enemies and is counterproductive."
and
"What he says is true. The majority of the people are not hate-filled madmen. They're actually very warm, generous people and they frevently desire peace and freedom. They hate the violence and they're tired of war."

Very, very true --- and all this and more are foundations of President Bush's Liberty Doctrine: a definitive statement describing what is occurring, and laying out how this next century will progress (unless we succumb to terrorism).

For motivational material, look at:
President Bush Delivers Graduation Speech at West Point
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/06/20020601-3.html

The whole strategic approach FReepers ought to be at least somewhat familiar with is here:
The National Security Strategy of the United States of America
http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html

I've printed the PDF and bound it for studying and to show friends.


35 posted on 06/03/2005 7:56:28 AM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: AFPhys
Well, hi, Stranger. How are you doing? :-)

I passed back through Reagan Airport again in April. Didn't eat at TFI Friday's that time around, though. No FReepers to hang out with and it was early morning anyway.

Take care.

36 posted on 06/03/2005 8:05:00 AM PDT by Allegra (It's Hotter'n A Whorehouse on Nickel Night)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: mal
This, in my view, would be a disaster and guarantee another mass attack.

IMO, I expect another major attack is what it will come to. Even if Al Qaeda is destroyed, something else will crop up. On the one hand, a policy of war against the terrorists becomes more difficult to sustain as the will of the American people (not just posters on FR) wanes. It's better to not fight a war at all than to go halfway then quit. On the other hand, the policy of appeasement or ignoring reality won't work. It shows the U.S. as weak. Military strength is meaningless without the will to use it, even as a last resort. We need a bipartisan strategy that will be continued even if Democrats regain power. Consistency and perseverence over the long term are probably more important than short term victories.

37 posted on 06/03/2005 8:18:20 AM PDT by nosofar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expatguy

I don't see your comments as argumentative. A discourse is informative to all. Most of what we post is, after all, for the vast majority who are lurkers.

There is plenty of room for honest disagreement.

You and I have an honest disagreement.

Most liberals have a dishonest disagreement with us. While claiming to support the troops and the U.S., they hope for a U.S. defeat, and support our enemies.


38 posted on 06/03/2005 8:29:32 AM PDT by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: kjam22

Even if it is, is that a problem? How?


39 posted on 06/03/2005 9:24:16 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Official Ruling Class Oligarch Oppressor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: FreedomPoster
I think it's a problem. For one thing... when our president drew the line in the sand and said you're on our side,or you're on the side of the terrorists. And our country will make no distinction between those who support, aid, or enable terrorists and the terrorists themselves. That approach had literally 90% of the American public behind it. I realize that over time that percentage would drop, even if the approach hadn't changed. But our current approach has a 40 someodd percent backing. I think that's a problem. I think that our citizens were ready, willing, and able to exterminate terrorists. And I think that once our leaders started buying into the arab reasons why we can't just go in there and kick butt... that the american people realized we weren't serious. We'll only go so far in this battle. And we're not willing to do whatever it takes to win it.

Furthermore, we've taken the approach that we're going to "change" the that culture from what it's been for the past 3000 years. I'm not sure that can be done. In fact, I think a pretty average reading of the bible would say that it won't be done. That this approach will fail.

This has become a matter of politics and surely we learned from vietnam that a highly political approach which places such value on the global community .... to fighting a war was not a winning strategy. WE went into Iraq against the global community's wishes. And we were very successful. But then we decided to listen to what the arab world had to say about shuch things as Fallujah.... and we began this descent that leads us to having Cheney saying we should be out of Iraq by 09???

We've approached this similarly in the past. We installed a "friendly" regiem in Iran (The Shaw) and that didn't work well. I'm not sure why we think we can do it better now. I understand that we're trying to install democracy in Iraq, yet we've got a puppet government that we're trying to prop up in Pakistan, a country that by-in-large does not support this puppet government. We all know this can't last. Eventually the wheels will fall off of that, and we're hoping it's a democrat in power then so we can blame it on their administration.

Does that about cover it??? :)

40 posted on 06/03/2005 11:12:23 AM PDT by kjam22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble
OK, I understand the theory. Where's the evidence?

Tens of millions of Iraqis and Afghanis turning out for elections despite threats of violence against them for doing so might be labeled "Exhibit A".

41 posted on 06/03/2005 11:14:49 AM PDT by kevkrom ("Those who stand for nothing fall for anything." -- Alexander Hamilton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: kevkrom
These tens of millions of people have lived their lives with terrorists in their midst. They have had generations after generations to govern themselves. Sure they voted, but I'd be surprised if 30% of them were "on our side" in this war against terrorism.

Maybe I'm pesimistic... but that's my opinion.

42 posted on 06/03/2005 11:21:59 AM PDT by kjam22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: kevkrom
Here's Jaap DE Hoop Scheffer right now on Fox saying how well this war on terror is going (from Nato's perspective). How important it is for success that Nato and european integration is very important. The enlargement of the european union has not been suciffently internalized to catch up with the mood of the european people. That it's about values and prevnting armed conflict. (oh yeah... this will kill terrorists)

Question "prsident Bush is supportive of lebanon". What do you think of Syria testing missles. A) Nato does not try to find solutions for the middle east. I like others am worried about what we've heard. We're reaching out to Jordan, Saudi, Egypt and other countries in gulf region to see how we can find added value for nato.

Q) But what do you specifically say about Syria testing these weapons..

A) I do not think this is in the interest of security, it is clear that nato has a great steak in stability and peace and everything that threatens that stability should be appaled.

And we wonder why most of the American public doesn't support this stupid war.

43 posted on 06/03/2005 11:30:33 AM PDT by kjam22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: All
In WW2 did we say lets no declare War on Germany, Italy and Japan because we are not at war with all those people just a few Fascist extremists.

The majority of Muslims around the world support terrorism.

We must cut off all immigration from Muslim countries, and become energy independent.

Once we become energy independent, we dont have to support or give aid to any Muslim country and we can just watch them sink back into the $hithole they came from.

Another important step is removing nuclear capability from all Muslim countries such as Iran and Pakistan.

Of course too many American even Freepers this seems extreme, so you all could continue drinking the Kool Aid and thinking that we can actually win the War by not fighting this as a War, and maybe Muslims will be our friends.

The only problem with that is their Holy Koran forbids it and we all know how important that is, we saw Condi Rice tremble before Congress about how much we respect the Holy Koran. A few more 9/11's might wake this country up, and more Americans will have to die unfortunately before we see the enemy of Islam and our own inner enemy of cultural relevatism.

The next 911 I fear will be a nuke, as long as we allow Muslims to harbor and create more of the.

44 posted on 06/03/2005 1:13:38 PM PDT by Evolution (Tolerance!? We don't need no stinking Tolerance ! ! !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

no=not declare War


45 posted on 06/03/2005 1:14:28 PM PDT by Evolution (Tolerance!? We don't need no stinking Tolerance ! ! !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson