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Limbaugh Letter Interview: Victor Davis Hanson - May 2003
EIB ^ | May 29, 2003 | Rush Limbaugh

Posted on 05/28/2003 9:52:03 PM PDT by JudgeAmint

Rush: Dr. Hanson, I’ve admired your writing for as long as I’ve been exposed to it. My wife and I both watched you on the History Channel, “Rise and Fall of the Spartans.” That was just tremendous. I’ve wanted to talk to you ever since, and this war gives us a perfect reason. So thanks for your time, I really appreciate it.

Hanson:
I’m happy to do it.

Rush: As a scholar who has specialized in the study of the history of war, do you think you could assess the military strategy we’ve employed in the war in Iraq?

Hanson:
It’s very unusual to have a column of soldiers move some 400 miles and be self-supplied, maintaining those supply lines, not being parasitic on the countryside, and lose so few troops. I can’t think of an Alexander or even Sherman, Rommel or Patton who was able to move like that. Then the multi-faceted nature of the forces engaged — that you would have Special Forces, traditional armored division, traditional carrier pilots, Air Force and Marine crews — it’s really a new phenomenon when you have Marines who fly and Navy people who fly and Air Force people who are on the ground. I don’t think the world has seen anything like it since Alexander the Great's multifaceted new army.

Rush: You’ve written that this kind of inter-service cooperation is unique, in fact.

Hanson:
It really is. It’s almost as if instantaneous communications and relationships make the old idea of a separate Navy, Air Force and Army redundant. They don’t really exist as we knew them in the past.

Rush: What’s been the catalyst for that change? We’re seeing an amazingly mutually cooperative effort here, though rivalries between the different branches of the service have been difficult to overcome. Is this because of the Commander-in-Chief? Is it the plan? What has led to this?

Hanson:
You’re right, there’s a new realization that they all benefit by mutual cooperation. But there’s also the demise of the Soviet Union, which removed that traditional enemy. And we have these strange opponents — whether a rogue state, or terrorists, or North Korea — that sort of forced us to not define the American way of war in one particular classical battle group or approach. Now we have to be so versatile because we could be fighting with armored divisions in North Korea one day, and with Special Ops in Afghanistan the next. We even have bombs that have concrete in them so they don’t cause extensive collateral damage when we drop them in the City of Baghdad.

Rush: For those who are neophytes, what would be a pretty good definition of Special Ops? Most people think Delta Force and groups of that nature. But I know Special Ops were on the ground in Baghdad and throughout the country for months. Who are they?

Hanson:
The thing to remember is they’re a natural elite. They’re people who are selected and trained, not on their tribal affiliations, as is true in the Arab world, nor on their money or their race. They exhibit certain physical and mental capabilities that make them so rare among a population of 300 million. They’re the best people that we can produce. In return, they’re given a lot of independence and leeway. They’re highly educated.

So I’m not sure whether they’re spies, soldiers, cultural attachés, diplomats, or assassins. They’re all those put together. They’re something out of a novel. And the very idea that we would turn them loose in the Northern Front and basically say, “Okay, start up a whole front on your own, galvanize 70,000 Kurds, and do it in such a way that does not offend the Turks,” demonstrates that they have prerogatives and abilities that even the State Department doesn’t enjoy.

Rush: We heard they marked targets for precision-guided bombs. You mentioned that they organized Kurds. But what else would Special Ops do, and how do they get away with doing what they do without being spotted and captured?

Hanson:
Some wear uniforms, some wear Westernized civilian clothes. Some wear traditional Arab dress. They’ve been in places like Baghdad and Basra and sort of blended in. Some have probably been Western photographers, would-be journalists. What they do is get the GPS coordinates of particular houses, particular Ba’athist headquarters, particular people. And then a person who rented an apartment in Baghdad or is staying with a friend in Baghdad might be looking out the window, get the GPS coordinates and get a cell phone and say, “So-and-so is at this location.” So they sort of helped to destroy the fabric of the regime from the inside out.

Every once in a while somebody in a moment of incaution said something like, “Well, we’re doing it from the inside out.” What I think they meant is that we destroyed with precision weapons individual houses. That has a powerful psychological effect. Machiavelli said if you want to get a man mad at you, don’t kill his father; destroy his patrimony. When we destroyed a home, that left a message for other people, who said, “Look, his house is gone and mine’s not, why is that?” Then they said, “Oh, yes, he’s a Ba’athist.” So it was very multi-layered approach to war.

Rush: There were many critics who advocated the Powell Doctrine: you’ve got to have massive force on the ground in place before you go. That seems to have been discredited. This plan had numerous critics after that first week when there were so-called “setbacks.” On balance, was the plan executed as designed? Or was it flexible enough to accommodate problems and challenges that occurred at the time?

Hanson:
It was flexible, but I’m still impressed. I wrote on Day Three, I think it was, that I was just impressed by the idea. Because it was so sophisticated that you really didn’t want to bomb 40 days like we did in Gulf War I. Remember, we had 608, I think it was, oil wells that were torched, an oil slick, missiles into Israel. And we were not taking Baghdad then. We were punishing Baghdad for an aggressive act.

This time, the challenge was much more difficult: How do we stop this madman from destroying his own infrastructure, and how do we protect these allies from being attacked? And I suppose the thinking was, if we bomb for 40 days, we might limit his offensive potential, but in that period, that window, he’s going to destroy his resources or attack his neighbors. So the idea was: Let’s go on the ground almost simultaneously, even before the air campaign really started. That was brilliant, I think. Especially with one very narrow front. I can’t think of a campaign in history where the enemy knew where we were, when we had to go, and where we were going. By necessity, they lost the element of tactical surprise. And they still pulled it off.

Rush: That is amazing. Everyone in the world knew what the target was, what the objective was, where we were going to stage it from. We lost all strategic surprise, but yet we did manage to come up with some tactical surprise.

Hanson:
We did. As a historian, I racked my brain as the thing unfolded. It was audacious, daring, risky to take that long a column. Usually what happens, a column that goes that far from its base of operations either eats itself up as it gets longer and longer — the supply train has to use its own fuel to supply the tip of the spear — or it has to shed contingents off to guard places it bypasses. The result, either way, is that the enemy gains, if the tip of your column stalls or it’s too weak to have any impact. But that simply didn’t happen.

Rush: What about the criticism that well, Saddam didn’t really put up a fight, this wasn’t really a first-class army, let’s not get too excited. Some of the people who opposed the war want to avoid further embarrassment by claiming it wasn’t that big of an achievement. It was a striking accomplishment, but let’s face it, we didn’t face an air force, we didn’t face much anti-aircraft fire. If the Iraqis had a fighting force committed to the cause, or they didn’t run away like this one did in part, if they had an air force, if there had been even a half-baked effort to try to shoot down some of our jets, would we have been able to have accomplished as much in as short a period of time?

Hanson:
It might have been more difficult. But we have to look at this as a continuum. In July of 1991 the Iraqis had, by any fair standard, the most sophisticated air defense system in the Middle East. Some people thought its hardware was on par with the Israelis. It was the Gulf War that ruined it, in part. But then we’ve had these 12 years of no-fly zones, where American pilots have flown a third of a million missions, and that helped us. Enemies don’t just give up those assets. Saddam Hussein didn’t just snap his fingers and say, “I don’t have an air defense.” They were destroyed by American pilots over a decade.

There are also, remember, shoulder-fired missiles that everybody can get on the open market. The question is, Why didn’t they use them? And why didn’t they turn on their radars? It wasn’t just that they couldn’t: it was that they didn’t want to die. Our pilots have the skill to lock onto them and kill them very quickly.

So I don’t quite buy the idea that this was not an accomplishment. We destroyed the Middle East’s greatest military. We dismantled it in ’91, and then destroyed it a little later. No other military could have done that. Remember when Russia went into Grozny? I think nearly the first 100 tanks were destroyed, and they killed 1,000 Russians. These were Chechnyans, who didn’t have any of the resources of Saddam Hussein.

And in Iraq the strategic landscape was, I felt, really foreboding. We had duplicitous allies with Turkey and Saudi Arabia, overt enemies like Syria and Iran, and then sort of quasi-friends like Kuwaitis and Jordanians whose terrorists have been killing Americans on their soil. So it was not a very nice place to operate in.

Rush: Saddam Hussein also knew for a year we were coming. He had a year to prepare. Maybe he didn’t have the wherewithal to rebuild the air defense system, but there’s something about the way Iraq dealt with this that makes me think some of them really didn’t believe we would do this.

Hanson:
I think putting their Republican Guard divisions out on the periphery of their major cities was a big mistake. But there were indications, as you point out, that their strategy wasn’t all that wrong. Because they had created these irregular fedayeen, these criminal gangs, that were imbedded in specific areas and in theory could cause problems.

Rush: The Mogadishu strategy: they thought we’d cut and run with casualties.

Hanson:
Exactly, just like Mogadishu. “Black Hawk Down” was a popular movie among the Ba’athist elite. So their idea was: We’ll just start killing these Americans, 10, 20, 30, 40 a day, drag it out six weeks, and the demonstrations by groups like Not In Our Name and A.N.S.W.E.R. will get up to a million people, we’ll get the Arab street going, France and Germany will have all sorts of petitions and threats, and we can get a negotiated armistice. That, for them, would have been an astounding victory. So there was a logic to it.

They didn’t realize we were not going to bomb for 40 or 50 days, that we were going to go in on the ground and would take casualties, and that we would decapitate the apparatchik very quickly in these cities. They had no idea that warfare has advanced in geometric not incremental levels, even from 1998. I went out on the USS Kennedy and they remarked of the past times when they used to take 24 hours, 36 hours for bomb damage assessments. Now it’s almost instantaneous. Even the pilots can see the results in their cockpit. Now there are anywhere from 20 or 30 jets just circling above a proposed target, almost as if they’re on patrol, and somebody embedded within these cities is guiding things down on individual houses and adjusting, adapting, rejecting to the targets. It’s so flexible. They thought they were still fighting an army in the early 90s.

Rush: You talk about our geometric progression. Critics, including columnist Matthew Miller, have claimed that this was “Bill Clinton’s military.” He writes that Bush didn’t have time to rebuild and invent and modernize all these weapons, so this was Bill Clinton’s fighting force. Clinton deserves credit for this, though the column does not cite any of these new weapon systems that Clinton proposed. What’s the answer to that?

Hanson:
No, that’s not true at all. These things go in cycles. World War II was a cycle of expansion, then there was a brief disarmament, then there was the Cold War, then there was the repulsion against nuclear weapons and the Carter Doctrine and disarmament. Everybody knows that the Reagan Administration, the first Bush Administration, is where the whole military dynamism started again. Mr. Clinton cut a third of the forces. If we had to fight this Gulf War in the same way that we fought the first, we wouldn’t have been able to do it, because he’d cut so much of those traditional forces. One of the things I’m worried about is that people believe that this was just a war of technology. If you look at the caliber of this particular generation of Marines and airborne and infantry divisions, this is a very strange, very impressive generation of young kids.

Rush: When you look at the pop culture, the MTV-ization of the country, people are surprised we’re able to find this caliber of kid.

Hanson:
I don’t want to be too optimistic or naive, but there’s sort of a revolution going on with students and young kids. As a professor of 20 years, I’ve noticed it. I see these 60s-retread professors who are very disappointed that their students are not “politically aware,” which means ideological. The students are not on the same wavelength as the professors; journalists are not on the same wavelength as TV viewers; ministers are not on the same wavelength as churchgoers. It’s almost like a cultural gap across America.

The elite didn’t realize there was a revolutionary transformation going on in American society. We’re starting to see the military dividends of that in this generation, who are not afraid of the things that terrified their parents. They have sort of a pop-culture casualness about them — Ray-Ban sunglasses, big muscles, dyed hair — but a deadly seriousness. And there is not that Letterman-Seinfeld cynicism of that smart-ass urban elite.

Rush: Don’t leave out Maureen Dowd in that. She went after you.

Hanson:
Yes, she did. I’m afraid that I went back after her. She’s a part of that same mindset: there’s no such thing as good or bad, it’s all a relative construct, depending on one’s degree of power. This generation has been so indoctrinated with all of it — cultural relativism, cynicism, no real truth — that to their credit, they don’t like it. It’s been a terrible blow to the Left, because when you see kids on the battlefield, black, brown, Asian, and there’s no consciousness of race, and you see a brilliant black general briefing people, then stop and think about when you go to the university, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, and you have black students eating in one corner, La Raza studies over here, Asian people alone, theme or really segregated dorms, separate graduation ceremonies: the military is almost the revolutionary catalyst for American ideals, and the universities are reactionary.

Rush: Speaking of universities, the first thing that comes to my mind is this professor at Columbia who wished for a million Mogadishus. Has there been a time in American history when there was such opposition from the citadels of learning and the mainstream media to an obvious mission of good? The United Nations should have long ago undertaken the liberation of the oppressed Iraqi people. I mean, Kofi Annan should have been able to see in one trip to Iraq that all the money from the Oil for Food program was going to Saddam, and that the Iraqi people were basically in jail, prison, torture chambers. Here comes a President who wants to right this, oriented around his determination to avert a new September 11th attack. And yet there’s so much elite opposition to it. Was this kind of thing present in World War II? I know it existed halfway through the Vietnam War. But the amount of opposition Bush faced seems to me to be greater than usual.

Hanson:
I think you’re right. I think all Western societies that combine capitalism, individualism, and freedom have a tendency to create a cultural elite that’s insulated from the realities of nature and struggle. That was true of Rome and the postwar French. But starting after World War II, we developed this cultural overcalass in the State Department, the universities, the media, celebrities, that, for example, didn’t really believe the Soviet Union or China was the culprit of 30 million dead under Stalin.

And with the expansion of the universities — given the concepts of a three-class load, summers off, lifetime tenure, the granting of a million B.A.’s a year — we created an entire industry of people who are divorced from reality and pretty much safe from what bothers most of us. They look at every historical event through the lenses of Vietnam. Now they’ve made their way up to deans, department chairs, university presidents, and they’ve set the tone. It’s going to take a while for that generation to pass.

This war is not only going to have positive effects on the Middle East, but it’s going to create a whole generation of young people with shared sacrifices. People admire those who risk their lives to protect the security of their fellow Americans. It’s a marked contrast to the “vomit-ins” in San Francisco or “die-ins” in the streets of Washington. But it’s going to take a while for those people to pass through the institutions and leave us in peace.

Rush: Do you think one of the objectives of the Administration is to remake the Middle East?

Hanson:
I think the Administration has been unfairly caricatured as wanting perpetual war, of trying to be a puppet master to an entire region. They’re not at all. They just had a simple observation that, whether you backed anti-Communist autocrats in Saudi Arabia during the Cold War or you failed to promote more pluralistic government in Turkey, or whatever you did in narrow strategic parameters, you have problems. They came to a realization that the Arab world — the 21, 22 countries of the Middle East — is not democratic.

They allow a sexual apartheid. They don’t have any freedom of the press or expression. Their economies are socialistic, and they’re failing. They tell their people and media, “You’re free to attack Israel or the United States who are the problems, not us.” We would never be in Iraq if it hadn’t been for 9/11. The question is, how do you end the conditions under which people are manipulated to kill Americans?

And I think that’s what they came up with, that you can’t have a rogue nation with access to weapons of mass destruction threatening its neighbors. But you just can’t put in a proconsul either; you’ve got to encourage a democratic consensual government. It won’t be perfect; it won’t be a New England township. Let’s hope we bypass these corrupt intellectuals and elites in the Middle East and appeal to people’s grass-roots aspiration for freedom.

Rush: Opponents argue that this is only going to create more terrorism, that we’re only going to make these people angrier. I don’t know how much angrier they can get, looking at September 11. But it seems to me that victory and a show of strength, of resolve, is key. I don’t remember us ever being attacked because we’re too strong.

Hanson:
No, for me the watershed event was when Carter allowed the Iranian hostage situation to go on. Then you had the Hezbollah bombings of the Marines in Khobar Towers, the mess in Somalia, the Sudan, the first World Trade Center bombing. That and more still is what endangered our national security. And it’s going to take a while to recreate the image and the reality of deterrence, that it’s a very dangerous and stupid thing to kill Americans. The message that comes out of this victory in Iraq is, I think, three-fold.

One, we have a conventional military that’s very powerful, and we’re not necessarily predictable. We have emotions, too, and we can lash out if we have to, so if you are rash terrorists you’d better be careful of our anger. Two, when leaders like the Assads or the Khadafis look at what we did to Saddam Hussein, blowing up individual homes and rounding up killers, we almost reinvented their own military dialectic. They always threatened us with these random stealthy killers; now in response we’re saying, “You may have a suicide bomber, but we can target you as unpredictably and suddenly just as much as you can target us.”

Three, it’s a powerful message to the unfree Arab world to have this liberation; when they see people waving American flags and saying they love Bush, it’s almost as if they can’t trust their own corrupt leaders anymore. We can unleash military power for a just cause consistent with our values. This is what the Left wanted, Rush. In the 60s they always said they wanted us to be national liberationists. If you look at Noriega and the Taliban, and if you look at Milosevic, the United States military is removing right-wing, authoritarian dictators and implanting democracy. So they should be ecstatic.

Rush: This is the thing that’s so amazing to me. Such is the left’s hatred for Bush that the militant Democrats in this country, the peace movement, oriented themselves around protecting Saddam Hussein. There was no greater human rights violator than Saddam Hussein in the modern world. And yet their movement was oriented around protecting him.

Hanson:
Yes, I couldn’t understand that. Every time I saw a professor who would tell me that he came back from a peace march, I’d say, “How did you feel to support fascism?” The people who organized those marches were mostly World Socialist Worker’s parties, out-and-out Communists, anti-Americanists. People would say, “Well, I didn’t know who organized it.” That would be like going to a rally against affirmative action and having David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan run it. It’s no excuse that you were being led and used by those duplicitious people. They did a lot of damage, because I think they empowered people in Iraq to be emboldened and to resist the efforts to solve that crisis diplomatically.

Rush: That’s absolutely true, but they don’t want to be saddled with that. Here’s a historical question. When you look at the Arab world today, and particularly the militant Islamic world today, it is a world that seeks to live in the Middle Ages, the 12th century, 14th century. They are surrounded by modernity. The Arab world does not have one major university. It doesn’t produce one exportable product. It doesn’t have anything of its own that it can say it created. What it has is an accident of geography, living over oil.

What’s in store for the Arab world, ultimately? They’re not going to achieve a worldwide lifestyle that they seek, to return to the 1300s. As they are now, they can’t co-exist with the world around them. If the mullahs and the ayatollahs and the bin Ladens, who control these people today, are defeated, what will result, given the natural yearning for freedom? Something’s going to give here. What do you think, based on history, it will be?

Hanson:
I think they’re going to be forced to join the modern world. When somebody has an eye disease in the slums of Cairo, he does not want to hear chants from a mullah, he wants antibiotics. Or when a rich Saudi sheik wants his Viagra, he’s not going to go to a local herb doctor. So there’s no choice but the modern world — for freedom and technology and, yes, materialism. Remember this is a place that translates fewer books into English than does Greece, even though Greece has a population of 10 million and the Middle East has 350 million. So you’re absolutely right that they’re backward intellectually and must discard the old way of looking at the world and blaming others.

But this was also a war for their hearts and minds. Perhaps 10 percent of the people in the Middle East wanted to Westernize and modernize, and then 10 percent, the Islamic fascists’ wanted to take them back 1000 years. But most people were just watching to see which side was going to win. The fascists, and the Islamic fundamentalists’ argument was based on one simple principle, that the West is so wealthy, so suburbanized, that it suffers from license and decadence, that its citizens would never, never send their children over here to deal with us terrorists, because one-on-one, we’re unconquerable medieval warriors.

That’s just been proven just absolutely crazy, when you see the casualty and kill ratios of one to 1,000, one to 500, that went on in these theaters in Iraq. Their only currency to appeal to the masses was: “We may not be as smart, we may not have the technology, but we’re pure, we’re more religious, we’re stronger in a moral sense, and these guys are decadent and can’t fight.” Turns out that an American with sunglasses and listening to rock music, naming his tank “Anger Management” is a much, much deadlier guy than a suicide bomber.

Rush: So they don’t survive, but what is it that sends them away? Will it take force? Or is it just the evolution of time?

Hanson:
I think so. Rush, if we asked somebody in July 1941, “What do you think about the Nazi ideology?” From France to Moscow to the Arctic Circle to the Sahara, most of South America, most of Mexico, everybody would have answered, “Oh, yes, Hitler, that’s the wave of the future.” Suddenly in ’46 you couldn’t find a person in the world who thought Nazism was any good. The same thing with Communism. Where did all these Communists go? They haven’t had any “Truth-in-Reconciliation” committees in Eastern Europe or Moscow. A few, but not very many people say, “I love Stalin, I’m a hard-core Communist.” They may feel that, but they won’t say it, because in fact Stalinism was repudiated and was defeated and lost the Cold War in the same manner that the Germans lost. War brings with it defeat. And defeat brings humiliation. And humiliation finally brings caution, and eventually wisdom.

Rush: How long do you think this will take?

Hanson:
It’s happening as we speak. From what I’ve been reading, and you probably can confirm, there are people in the Middle East who are just stunned. They really believed Baghdad Bob was telling the truth. They believed there were going to be hundreds of thousands of American casualties. It wasn’t just that they lost; they were completely humiliated. So once somebody stands up in a village in Syria or Libya and says, “The Americans are devils and weak and I’m going to lead a jihad,” it won’t fly. Remember, all the Pakistani jihadists wanted to go into Afghanistan. And then about 10,000 of them got bombed, and suddenly they were scrambling back over the Khyber Pass with a message to their friends, “Don’t go over there, you’ll get killed.”

Rush: Some critics are carping that we’ve won the war, but we’re losing the peace.

Hanson:
It’s a constant drumbeat. We’re going to lose in Afghanistan, no, we won Afghanistan. So we’re going to lose in Iraq, no, we won Iraq. So then the next thing is, well, then we’re going to lose the peace. People like Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Norman Mailer really do believe that Afghanistan is no better than it was under the Taliban. We know that’s false. So it’s a way of trying to rationalize a worldview that can’t take into account the revolution that’s happening right before their eyes.

Rush: It’s almost a religious view that does not allow for challenge.

Hanson:
It requires 100 percent faith in something that’s not demonstrable, and has proven false almost every day. It represents a strange desire, mostly among elite and highly educated people. They really do believe that they can justify their elite lifestyle by professing these abstract worries about problems all over the world. Just write a fax or go to a march, and then go have latte and you can still feel good that you’re so wealthy.

Rush: You wrote that a gradual improvement in Iraqi opinion will allow us in a year or so to establish a legitimate government. Do you think we only have a year to do that?

Hanson:
Well, there are certain forces there that are going to be unleashed. We’re going to have the radical Islamic people, we’re going to have the Europeans, we’re going to have the U.N., we’re going to have the American left. And we have to show tangible results. The mission’s almost surrealistic — we have to make life better very rapidly and then have to find a way to not take credit for it. If we do that, the message gets out powerfully. But we’re going to have about a year to do it. That’s why I’m very scared that somebody will be stupid and allow the French or the Germans or the U.N. in. We could just imagine a Frenchman on TV saying of a detainee, “Who is to say that he’s a Ba’athist murderer, when an F-16 pilot may be just as culpable?” We’ll have that nonsense if we let the U.N. in.

Rush: The president has said that he envisions a role for the U.N. in Iraq, which sounds like a role of distribution. They’re going to pass out food and medicine. I know Tony Blair is pressuring him for a bigger involvement. Do you have reason to doubt that Bush might cave?

Hanson:
I don’t other than let the UN feed people. But I don’t think any of us realize the pressure he’s under. When you unleash the Washington Post, the New York Times, the State Department, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, the European Union, NATO and the Atlantic bureaucracy, it’s very hard for him to withstand that. All I can say is that I don’t know where he came from, but he’s a man whose family was part of that Eastern establishment.

And for some reason, he made a conscious choice to be skeptical of the cultural elite, even though he’s an Ivy League graduate. He wanted to identify with Texas. He wanted to identify with Middle America. It’s something in his makeup. He has a gut instinctive distrust of these people who may be highly intelligent and educated, but they have absolutely no common sense. That’s rare for a person who came out of that world, to have that grasp of reality and that moral fortitude.

I can’t think of a more difficult time to wage war, given the political and domestic ramifications. And yet, where do these people like Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush and Wolfowitz come from? I can imagine that we might have had one of them; but we have all of them. And that’s what’s been astounding: The leadership.

Rush: What if we don’t find any weapons of mass destruction? What is the political ramification? Even though there’s great liberation to celebrate, what if he’s gotten them out of there, if they’ve been hidden, what if we don’t find them?

Hanson:
Yes, I think that will be more difficult. But I think that it’s almost like taking a hammer and hitting a vase so many times that it finally cracks. There’s been so many reports, chemical weapons suits, atropine, high radiation levels, that we’re starting to uncover the skeleton of this corpse. I think that even if you don’t find barrels and barrels, most people are going to get the picture that he had a lot of WMD, and they’ve either been destroyed or they’re in Syria or they are widely dispersed in precursor forms. We have no idea in the West the past capital and energy and manpower involved in creating these weapons and hiding them. So I think we’re going to find some things in the next month or so, I really do.

Rush: I know we can define victory with the fate of Saddam Hussein still being a mystery. But will the Iraqi people themselves always be worried that Saddam is operating from some distant location, directing Ba’athist survivors to continue to seek revenge?

Hanson:
Just as Germans were afraid about Hitler, I suppose. But I think that each day it’s sort of like a balance, and each day the weight starts to work in our favor that they’re going to arrest more and more Ba’athists who really have nowhere to go or hide.

Rush: Look, I appreciate your time. This has been fascinating, worth a college semester.

Hanson:
Thanks, Rush, I enjoy it, I’m a big fan of yours.

Rush: By the way, I have to ask you before you go, in that show on the Spartans, who was the figure in that series sort of a similar character and personality to Bill Clinton of that day?

Hanson:
Ah, Alcibiades no doubt.

Rush: That’s right, kept changing his alliances and getting away with it.

Hanson:
He did. It was almost uncanny, because he was a triangulator. He started at Athens and he went to Sparta, then he went to Persia, then back to Athens. And he triangulated all three of them. But then, when he was just about the age of Bill Clinton, in his mid-40s, it all blew up, and he was wasted by women, wasted by duplicity and lying, wasted by drink and late hours and then he ended up being irrelevant before passing on. It was a great tragedy, because he had natural ability, but he also had no character.

Rush: (Laughs) Fascinating. I hope to meet you some time, Dr. Hanson. But I read you religiously. Whenever I can find you, National Review online and elsewhere. I really appreciate your time.

Hanson:
Thanks, Rush, nice talking to you.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: middleeastterror; victordavishanson
GOOD STUFF!!
1 posted on 05/28/2003 9:52:04 PM PDT by JudgeAmint
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To: spectre
PING...
2 posted on 05/28/2003 9:52:19 PM PDT by JudgeAmint (from DA Judge!!)
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To: MizSterious
Ping...long read, but good stuff..
3 posted on 05/28/2003 9:52:45 PM PDT by JudgeAmint (from DA Judge!!)
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To: JudgeAmint
BTTT -- for reading tomorrow
4 posted on 05/28/2003 9:54:40 PM PDT by onyx (Name an honest democrat? I can't either!)
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To: JudgeAmint
Great interview! I laughed out loud at this line:

Turns out that an American with sunglasses and listening to rock music, naming his tank “Anger Management” is a much, much deadlier guy than a suicide bomber.
5 posted on 05/28/2003 10:00:59 PM PDT by July 4th
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To: July 4th
Now, here is an even more interesting take on the Middle East Sit-Rep!!

Stay Tuned - The Action Is Just Beginning

Some believe the war on terrorism is coming to a climax with the air and ground war in Iraq coming to a close, discussions underway to form a new government, and American troops being pulled out.  However, believe me friends; this is just the beginning of what is to follow.

Some dear friends of ours that are natives of Iran stay in contact with their family members still living in Iran.  As you know, President Bush placed Iran on his “Axis of Evil” list.  According to Iranian sources seventy percent of the population is under 30 years of age. The majority of this group has privately stated that they would like to see America push out the Imam’s who are in charge of the government in Iran.  The country at one time was a pro-western nation and had a large population of Jews. That was until the fanatics laid hold of the nation and made it their headquarters.  Iran has backed terrorism against America and against Israel for over twenty four years. My friends indicate that Iran has many more chemical weapons that Saddam had and is developing nuclear capability.  Iran is now heading up the protest in Iraq to get the American troops out so that the Shiite Muslims can begin to take over the nation of Iraq.

The second nation, Syria, is the heart of the Islamic terrorism. There are over 150,000 radical anti-American and anti-Israeli fanatics who scream of a day when they can destroy the west.  Israeli intelligence has followed the trail of the weapons into Syria. According to these sources there are two biological trucks that Saddam brought over into Lebanon, through Syria, prior to the war. They are in the hands of the fanatics at the present.  The prophet Isaiah predicts that Damascus, Syria will be totally destroyed. Damascus is the oldest city in the world and it has never been destroyed in the manner seen by the Biblical prophet (Isaiah 17).  I personally believe that Israel will destroy Damascus because of a chemical or nuclear terrorist attack that will be traced back to the Syrians. Note that the Syrians, known as the Assyrians in the Bible, are not mentioned in the great war of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38 and 39). Has something happened to Syria before this war? Only time will tell.

Then there is terrorism on American shores.  Many people are beginning to feel a measure of security since it has been some time since a major attack within America.  Let me remind you that the terrorist hit the Trade Centers and failed to bring them down and waited about five years before the second attack.  The sleeper cells know that American intelligence is monitoring their moves, including many Mosques.  They are waiting until there is a “let up” in expectations.

One phase of the war has been won but the war continues.

Perry Stone, Jr.

6 posted on 05/28/2003 10:19:18 PM PDT by JudgeAmint (from DA Judge!!)
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To: JudgeAmint
I enjoyed that. Thanks.

>>>Everybody knows that the Reagan Administration, the first Bush Administration, is where the whole military dynamism started again. Mr. Clinton cut a third of the forces. If we had to fight this Gulf War in the same way that we fought the first, we wouldn’t have been able to do it, because he’d cut so much of those traditional forces.

To be exact, defense spending under Clinton was cut 37%, from 1992 to 2000. Spending for DOD went from 4.8% of GDP in 1993, to 3.0% of GDP in 2000.
Stats come from OMB figures

7 posted on 05/28/2003 10:19:31 PM PDT by Reagan Man
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To: Reagan Man
BTTT
8 posted on 05/28/2003 10:20:37 PM PDT by JudgeAmint (from DA Judge!!)
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To: JudgeAmint
That info is only avail to rush 24/7 subscribers. Are you allowed to post that? When I followed the link it asked me to subscribe.
9 posted on 05/28/2003 10:26:11 PM PDT by College Repub (http://www.theskyiscrape.com)
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To: JudgeAmint
I've had a terrible day with a friend in the hospital...This was wonderful therapy. Thanks for the post!!!!
10 posted on 05/28/2003 10:35:36 PM PDT by lainde
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To: SlickWillard
BUMP
11 posted on 05/29/2003 12:18:56 AM PDT by KayEyeDoubleDee (const vector<tags>& oldTags)
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To: JudgeAmint
Hanson: No, for me the watershed event was when Carter allowed the Iranian hostage situation to go on. Then you had the Hezbollah bombings of the Marines in Khobar Towers...

I believe Dr. Hanson is mixing up Beirut with Saudi Arabia. The Beirut attack was against the Marine Battalion Headquarters at the airport in 1983. Khobar Towers was an attack against an Air Force barracks/dorm in Saudi Arabia in 1996.

Semper Fi,
12 posted on 05/29/2003 4:06:54 AM PDT by 2nd Bn, 11th Mar
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To: Utah Girl; Dog
Wow!
13 posted on 05/29/2003 4:18:47 AM PDT by Molly Pitcher (Is Reality Optional?)
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To: College Repub
Posted on the public side...I don't subscribe. Thanks for your police monitoring though.
14 posted on 05/29/2003 8:00:55 AM PDT by JudgeAmint (from DA Judge!!)
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To: sphinx; Toirdhealbheach Beucail; curmudgeonII; roderick; Notforprophet; river rat; csvset; ...
Victor Davis Hansen interview with Rush ping

If you want on or off the Western Civilization Military History ping list, let me know.
15 posted on 05/29/2003 8:08:51 AM PDT by Sparta (Tagline removed by moderator)
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To: JudgeAmint
Hot stufffff!!! Right off a tha press!!
16 posted on 05/29/2003 8:19:46 AM PDT by dennisw
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To: Sparta
Thanks for the ping Sparta.
17 posted on 05/29/2003 8:23:29 AM PDT by SAMWolf (This tagline is umop apisdn)
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To: Sparta
Good read. Thanks for the ping.
18 posted on 05/29/2003 9:02:04 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: dennisw
Check out the Perry Stone blip..very interesting...comments?
19 posted on 05/29/2003 9:06:03 AM PDT by JudgeAmint (from DA Judge!!)
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To: Sparta
That was great. Thanks for the Ping.
20 posted on 05/29/2003 9:12:18 AM PDT by MattinNJ
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To: JudgeAmint
Bump for later!
21 posted on 05/29/2003 10:07:21 AM PDT by F-117A
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To: JudgeAmint
He said good things.
22 posted on 05/29/2003 2:13:50 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: Sparta
Do you think one of the objectives of the Administration is to remake the Middle East?

No not just the middle east, the world.
Say what you will, But George Bush dreams big.
It's my opinoin that somewhere someone (Bush, Cheney, the night cook in the whitehouse mess) SOMEONE really grabed on to the fact that we are the woulds only superpower. And that for all practical proposes we can pretty much have our way in the world. And George Bush intends to mske the best use of this short window of opportunity that exists now.
Weather it will work out or not...that's something that will be decided by history.
23 posted on 05/29/2003 9:42:11 PM PDT by Valin (Age and deceit beat youth and skill)
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To: JudgeAmint
Bump
24 posted on 05/30/2003 4:58:05 AM PDT by Valin (Age and deceit beat youth and skill)
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To: JudgeAmint; Sparta
Thanks so much for your post, ping. Great.
25 posted on 05/30/2003 5:07:11 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; SJackson
Flag
26 posted on 05/30/2003 5:48:24 AM PDT by Valin (Age and deceit beat youth and skill)
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To: JudgeAmint
Rush and VDH...how can you go wrong???!!! God Bless 'em both everyday!!!
27 posted on 05/30/2003 6:09:14 AM PDT by Ga Rob ("Life's tough...it's even tougher when you're stupid"....The Duke)
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