Category Archives: Geopolitics

Are Drone Strikes More Defensible than Torture?

Democrats are hypocritically silent about Obama’s policy of targeted assassinations.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Sloppy Thinking About ‘Torture’

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine 

photo via FrontPage Magazine

photo via FrontPage Magazine

Torture is one of those topics that often overwhelm sober reason with lurid emotion. Even people who usually are clear-eyed and rational sink into sloppy thinking and incoherent argument when it comes to torture. Peggy Noonan’s recentWall Street Journal column about the Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation techniques illustrates this phenomenon perfectly.

Noonan is usually an astute analyst, but her column on the report is riddled with received wisdom and unexamined assumptions. For Noonan, the “important lesson” of the report is not that progressives, as usual, are shameful hypocrites and partisan hacks who will damage their country’s interests for ideological or political advantage. It is not that when fighting a brutal enemy who obeys no laws of war, things are done we’d rather not do in order to save lives. No, her “lesson” is that the enhanced interrogation techniques, “torture” in her view, are “not like us” or “part of the American DNA,” and that, quoting John McCain, such techniques damage “our reputation as a force for good in the world.” These assertions, however, are based on simplistic psychology and flawed reasoning.

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War Clouds on the Horizon?

A large war is looming absent preventive American vigilance.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Liberalism in Ruins

Obama’s hubristic promises have been followed by a total discrediting of his ideology.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

By Elizabeth Cromwell

By Elizabeth Cromwell

The End of NATO

Image credit: Barbara Kelley

Image credit: Barbara Kelley

by Victor Davis Hanson // Defining Ideas

Declaring the North Atlantic Treaty Organization dead has been a pastime of analysts since the end of the Cold War. The alliance, today 28-members strong, has survived 65 years because its glaring contradictions were often overlooked, given the dangers of an expansionist and nuclear Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact subjects.

From its beginning, NATO had billed itself as a democratic Western bastion against Soviet totalitarian aggression—if not always in practice then at least in theory. NATO never had much problem keeping Greece and Turkey in the alliance despite their occasionally oppressive, rightwing military dictatorships, given the strategic location of both and the need to keep the pair’s historical rivalries in-house. If the alliance’s exalted motto “animus inconsulendo liber” (“A free mind in consultation”) was not always applicable, NATO still protected something far better than the alternative.

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Sizing America Up

In today’s foreign-relations climate, even a Jimmy Carter would seem like a godsend.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Bomb, Occupy, or Neither?

Blowing apart a problem for a while is different from ending it for good.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Incredible Lightness of Being Barack Obama

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Barack Obama’s address to the U.N. General Assembly was so insubstantial, so full of airy platitudes, and so adulterated with the gaseous clichés of bankrupt internationalism and progressive bromides that I thought at any minute he might just float away.

First was the obligatory call “to renew the purpose of the U.N.’s founding,” which apparently is “to observe and enforce international norms,” the most important being “to ensure that no nation can subjugate its neighbors and claim their territory” and to promote “the path of diplomacy and peace and the ideals this institution is designed to uphold.” Such phrases are so common and uncritically received that we forget “international norms” do not exist. Different peoples have different “norms” about, for example, the use of violence to achieve their aims. Nations will sign treaties that seemingly express our norms, but that doesn’t mean they believe in them. More often, such treaties are mere mechanisms for one nation to get what it wants from another. The sorry history of U.S. arms-control treaties with the Soviet Union and then Russia, treaties the Russians violated for decades to improve their nuclear arsenal at our expense, is just one example.

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Where Is Obama’s ‘Broad Coalition’?

Potential allies against ISIS doubt America’s commitment to being engaged abroad.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Obama’s Sort-of War

In his view, the current debacle has nothing to do with his own errors and omissions.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

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