Category Archives: Terrorism

Untrue Truisms in the War on Terror

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media

mia_farrow_charlie_hebdo_1-13-15-1In the current tensions with the Islamic World, pundits bandy about received wisdom that in fact is often ignorance. Here are a few examples.

1)  The solution of radical Islam must come from within Islam.

Perhaps it could. It would be nice to see the advice of General Sisi of Egypt [1] take root among the Islamic street. It would have been nice had the Arab Spring resulted in constitutional republics from North Africa to Syria. It would be nice if an all-Muslim force took on and defeated the Islamic State. It would be nice if Iran suddenly stopped stonings and Saudi Arabia ceased public whippings. It would be nice if Muslims dropped the death penalty for apostates.

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Muslims and Islamists

How do extremists relate to the population in which they live?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Can the West Stand Up for Free Speech?

False moral equivalence and blatant cowardice threaten our tradition of free expression.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

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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Comparing the ‘war on terror’ with WWII

by Victor Davis Hanson // World Net Daily

(Pearl Harbor via WND)

(Pearl Harbor via WND)

Over the years I’ve debated scholars and pundits on issues ranging from illegal immigration (no to open borders), George Bush’s troop levels in Iraq (don’t add and don’t subtract, but change tactics and force the Iraqis to step up), and World War II (the Red Army, for all the savagery and ordeal on the Eastern front, was not mostly responsible for winning the war, and its soldiers were no more courageous than Americans at Bastogne, Normandy Beach, Iwo Jima or Okinawa).

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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

The Biggest Lie

The Left would rather forget its old slogan, “Bush lied, thousands died.”

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Still Getting Jihadism Wrong

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

President Obama’s recent claim that Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam was nothing new. Since 9/11, we have heard from both ends of the political spectrum that jihadist terror has material causes and psychological conditions created by social, political, or economic dysfunctions. This argument is an old one, and was common in the aftermath of 9/11. Typical of such thinking was Bill Clinton’s claim that “these forces of reaction [al Qaeda] feed on disillusionment, poverty, and despair.” Left unexplained is the fact that billions of other people around the world even more impoverished and hopeless have not created a multi-continental network of groups dedicated to inflicting brutal violence and mayhem on those who do not share their faith or who block their visions of global domination.

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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

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