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Category Archives: The Middle East

21st Century California Reverts Back to the Wild West

By Victor Davis Hanson // Works and Days by PJ Media

I grew up listening to stories of turn-of-the-century rural Central California from my grandfather Rees Alonzo Davis (1890-1976). He was the third generation of the Davis family to have lived in my present house—great nephew of Daniel Rhoades, who had walked into the High Sierra in early 1847 as part of a party sent to help save the Donner Party. Years later, after a small strike in the Mother Lode, Rhoades became a land baron near the shores of the now dry Tulare Lake, in modern-day Lemoore (where his strange mausoleum is currently a California historical site). He died, I think, when Rees was five or six, but his Rhoades portrait still hangs in my stairwell.

Much of my grandfather’s lectures concerned the law and his appreciative sense of progress. Without law in the wild days of his preteen years, sometimes farmers, he lamented, shot it out to adjudicate competing claims over water rights from a common ditch. He referenced a land of early epidemics; his daughter, my aunt, caught a summer polio virus in 1921, and lived most of her life in the living room of my house (d.1980), courageously struggling against a disease that had left her scarcely able to move.
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The Next President Is Going to Be Hated

By Victor Davis Hanson // Works and Days by PJ Media

Everyone hates the sourpuss who says the party is over. The next president will have to tell the American people that a reckoning is on the horizon—and that it is not going to be pretty.

President Obama has created lots of mythoi about the landscape he inherited in January 2009: the Iraq war was lost and al Qaeda ascendant; the September 2008 meltdown had wrecked the economy; the immigration system “was” in shambles; and Obama would have to restore fiscal sobriety after George W. Bush (all “by his lonesome” with a “credit card from the Bank of China”) in “unpatriotic” fashion had alone piled up U.S. record debt. Read more →

How America Lost Its Groove

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary of State Clinton all had a hand in it.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Deterrence is lost through lax foreign policy, an erosion of military readiness, and failed supreme command — often insidiously, over time, rather than dramatically, at once. The following random events over the seven years that Barack Obama has been in office have led to the idea abroad that the U.S. is no longer the world’s leader and that regional hegemonies have a golden opportunity to redraw regional maps and spheres of influence — to the disadvantage of the West — in the ten months remaining before the next president is inaugurated. Read more →

Why Westerners Make Inviting Targets for Terrorists

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
China has a long record of persecuting its Muslim minorities. Russia has brutally suppressed the separatist movement of the predominantly Muslim Chechens with bombing and shelling. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered airstrikes against Syrian Muslims without much worry over collateral damage. India has zero tolerance for Islamic radicalism and hits back hard any time Muslim terrorists attack.
Given such severe backlash elsewhere, why do radical Islamists prefer to strike Europeans and Americans — from Paris and Brussels to Boston and San Bernardino?
No place has been more open to Muslim refugees than the United States and the European Union. Together they have accepted several million emigrants from the Middle East since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

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Europe at the Edge of the Abyss

America can still avoid sharing Europe’s fate. But only if we take action.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

europe-terrorism-edge-abyssBecause of what Europe has become, it now has few viable choices in dealing with radical Islamic terrorism. Its dilemma is a warning to Americans that we should turn away from a similar path of national suicide.

After suffering serial terrorist attacks from foreign nationals and immigrants, a normal nation-state would be expected to make extraordinary efforts to close its borders and redefine its foreign policy in order to protect its national interests. But a France or a Belgium is not quite a sovereign nation any more, and thus does not have complete control over its national destiny or foreign relations. Read more →

The Apology Tour of Our Next President

By Victor Davis Hanson // Works and Days by PJ Media

obama_surrenders_mobile_4-5-15-1.sized-770x415xtIn Havana recently, President Obama talked of the similarities between Cuba and the United States, as if a constitutional republic of some 240 years and a thuggish and murderous communist dictatorship were kindred souls. In Argentina, Obama both tangoed and then apologized for the nth time for his country while abroad, this time supposedly for not opposing the brutal Argentine military dictatorship at the height of the Cold War. He also advised young people that there was not that much difference between communism and capitalism—without giving them a glimpse of his own retirement plans that will make the Obamas fabulously rich by following the hyper-capitalist post-presidential get-rich program of the Clintons. Read more →

The Buck Never Stops Here

Victor Davis Hanson // Tribune Media Services

In a cover story in the latest issue of The Atlantic magazine, President Obama offers astonishing scapegoating for his own foreign policy disasters.According to Obama, the deterioration of the ISIS wasteland that is now Libya was not due to improvident administration bombing followed by a hasty departure, but was largely the fault of others. European allies, the president complained, did not do any follow-up nation-building despite the proximity of Libya. Obama depicts French President Nicolas Sarkozy as a showboater who tried to claim credit for the air campaign in Libya after the U.S. had done the heavy lifting. Obama did not stop there. Read more →

Iraq: The Real Story

Donald Trump’s account of the Iraq War is all wrong. Why aren’t his Republican opponents saying so?

Donald Trump constantly brings up Iraq to remind voters that Jeb Bush supported his brother’s war, while Trump, alone of the Republican candidates, supposedly opposed it well before it started.

That is a flat-out lie. There is no evidence that Trump opposed the war before the March 20, 2003 invasion. Like most Americans, he supported the invasion and said just that very clearly in interviews. And like most Americans, Trump quickly turned on a once popular intervention — but only when the postwar occupation was beginning to cost too much in blood and treasure. Trump’s serial invocations of the war are good reminders of just how mythical Iraq has now become. Read more →

Speak Loudly And Carry A Twig

By Victor Davis Hanson // Defining Ideas

Nations in the Middle East that once aligned with America are now indifferent. Interests who opposed the United States grow defiant. Fence-sitting countries that calibrated their policies to the perception of U.S. strength are leaning toward our adversaries. Chaos is the result.

The recent splashdown in the Straits of Hormuz of an Iranian missile near the USS carrier Harry S. Truman, along with the January 2016 detention and humiliation of a U.S. servicemen off Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf, is a reminder that the recent non-proliferation deal in no way mitigates Iranian hatred of the United States. The release of some $100 million in impounded Iranian funds will only encourage these staged humiliations. Israel and the Sunni bloc fear tepid American reactions to Iranian provocations are harbingers of likely Iranian violations of the nuclear agreement.
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Waging The War on ‘Terror,’ Vichy-style

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