Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Barack Obama, Empire Builder

Not since the 1930s and early 1940s have we seen so many malevolent empires on the rise.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

 

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

13 Thoughts on “Barack Obama, Empire Builder

  1. Joan Sands on January 27, 2015 at 10:31 am said:

    A frightening world we are now in.

  2. Muhammad on January 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm said:

    I fully second Professor Hanson.

    P.S: USA’s continuous coddling of Gulf monarchies is abhorring. I find the ‘grief’ that has been exhibited by Western democracies on the death of an absolute monarch who used to sodomize his people as purely disgusting.

  3. Mickey Reno on January 27, 2015 at 2:31 pm said:

    Obama hates colonialism, if it’s that type that advances American values, which he, like his pastor Jeremiah Wright, cannot appreciate and thinks are stuck in 1789.

    Turkish Islamic colonialism, well, that’s okay with him. Russian “re”colonialism gets a pass. ISIS colonialism he probably fears, but not enough to commit troops. Chinese colonialism he can’t even see, apparently, at least until we and they get Climate Change under control. What a joke.

    What a disaster of a president. I can’t wait for him to be out of office. Hell, even Hillary would have made a better president, and I can’t believe I’m saying that. That’s not to say she ought to be the next one. God knows that Obama and Hillary share a Progressive world-view. That’s a goodly part of the Progressive problem. The utopian, pie-in-the-sky notion that all people are good, that all cultures are morally equivalent, that bureaucrats and regulators know more than you do about what’s good for you, and that we can kumbayah our way to problem solving with international bullies.

    Please forgive the new verb, kumbaya. I kumbayah, Yesterday I kumbayahed. Tomorrow I will go kubayahing.

  4. Doctor French on January 27, 2015 at 3:06 pm said:

    Obama is the most incompetent american president in my Life time.
    And worst,, he will make millions in lecture as an ex president.

    Il n´y a pas de justice.

  5. Ernest Kelly on January 27, 2015 at 4:41 pm said:

    I have done a lot of research on this subject and I truly believe that President Obama is Islamic. I believe that those in the Middle East also believes him Islamic do to the simple and traditional rule that if the father was Islamic, the son is automatically Islamic. See what Jeremiah Wright says about making it comfortable for Obama to move into Christianity. (I think he was never asked to renounce Islam)

    Once you View the president as being of the Islamic religion, suddenly all of his actions make sense. Question whether his family would be in jeopardy if he made any moves against a popular Islamic Jihad.

  6. Empires of sand? Empires of Pyrrich Victory? Dueling Empires of Emperor Palpatine?

    Perhaps: Progtard Empires of Empathy for the cost of bullets to execute Christians and Hebrews?

    To which empires do you refer, professor Hanson?

  7. Finally, something I can disagree with!

    I think the inclusion of Russia is not good. The situation with Russia is not at all as clear as with the other 4 budding empires, and consequently it makes the whole argument look shaky, and thus like a red rag to a bull to the already delusional Leftists.

    China is making actual land grabs off the coast of its neighbours, Vietnam and Philippines, not to mention threatening Japan. That is pretty clear.

    Iran has been the villain of the piece in the Middle East for longer than I can remember. From helping insurgents make IEDs to kill marines in their armoured vehicles, to supporting all manner of terrorist groups.

    Turkey, NATO member bizarrely, has no intention of returning the half of Cyprus it annexed, and is content to support ships that invade Israel’s territorial waters. It was also happy to protect ISIS from Kurdish fighters. With more journalists imprisoned than any other country, its pretty clear which road they are taking.

    The Islamic State is a no-brainer.

    But for Russia, all you have is Crimea, plus a lot of hypothetical future actions. The Crimea case is not black and white, but this isn’t the place to go into that, although I am convinced a diplomatic solution was possible earlier on, which would have avoided all the past and now ongoing, bloodshed. Certainly, the actions of the EU and the US only stoked the flames of the fire, and Putin has about as much intention to be shown to be a pussy cat, as Obama has of being shown to be anally retentive or not cool. Where are all the other signs? Has Russia downed a US spy plane, held the crew, then ransomed off the plane? Has Russia grabbed parts of Alaska? Or seized any Japanese islands recently? Has Russia tried to encircle the US with early warning stations, so it can cut the strategic advantage of their missiles by a vital number of minutes (and Kennedy’s Cuba is history BTW)? You could point in desperation to Russia’s new nuclear subs, but what do you expect them to do with all their noisy old subs, re-float the Kursk?

    Instead of always casting Russia as the enemy and pushing it towards China, we should be looking at how many of our interests lie in common, and trying to understand the problems they face, and how they, from their starting point, have to deal with them, at this point in their history. The fundamental nature of our societies is not totally different from that of Russia; whereas Iran is a polar opposite, and a serious threat.

    To include Russia is what’s called to “over egg the pudding”.

  8. David Park on January 28, 2015 at 9:59 am said:

    Not only empires arising, but the resurrections of centuries worth of their mutual antagonisms and aggressions, old wars, old scores to settle over old wounds, rabidly disparate philosophies clashing. With no referee, what mighty confrontations lurk in the near future?

  9. Empires rise & empires fall. That is the only real lesson from history.

    Can America stop the ebb and flow of history, acting as some kind of benevolent world cop on the beat? I don’t know, but I doubt it. I do know that the Athenians tried to do something like that in their little backwater of the Eastern Mediterrean and look where it got them!

    Further, there is a deep strain within the American pysche (perhaps it’s an after-shock of the Vietman War) to the effect that it is pointless to interfere in someone else’s fight. The Democrats have been appealing to that sentiment for years and it has been very productive for them. Obama may be more foolish than most, but he is simply following a tactic which has been very successful in the past.

    And let’s look at this in its broader context: For decades, the American taxpayers braved tremendous dangers and made enormous sacrifices so as to stand up to the communists. When the Cold War ended, the Amercian taxpayers would have been well within their rights to think that, now that the job was done, they could return to some kind of normalcy, to go about their everyday business, without having to interfere in every hell-hole around the world, (Wasn’t that what President Bush Sr meant when he declared a “new world order”?)

    But it didn’t work out that way, did it? Seemingly, every year, the American taxpayers have been called upon to bear even more burdens and pay even more prices (paraphrasing the second worst President in living memory) to try to stop people around the world doing stupid things. So, against that background, it is not surprising that, at some point, the average Joe will say: “enough is enough”.

    Ultimately it doesn’t matter. Empires will rise and empires will fall.

    Naturally, if some development around the world threatens American security or important commercial interests, then it makes sense to stand up to be counted. And, above all else, remember that the world is a dangerous place; to quote the Romans, “Si vis pacem, para bellum”.

  10. Mark Katzman on January 30, 2015 at 4:36 pm said:

    Once again, Dr. Hanson, I think you’re correct…I’ve wondered about Iran and how they must fantasize about being the new Persia. It’s a nightmare how stupid and ignorant, and short-sighted Americans, and Euros have become. I fear the world will pay a big price for its cowardice.

  11. linneamogren on February 1, 2015 at 6:22 pm said:

    The removal of US troops from Iraq swelled the ranks of ISIS all but debunking American troops causing the creation of more terrorists. Reacting to terrorism will cause many to fill the ranks of those who have fallen but so goes all conflicts. If we are going to fight Islamist s we should expect counter punches and not whip ourselves over such responses. Now we clearly see running away and giving Islamists what they want makes things much worse than confronting them and destroying their sanctuaries.

    The removal of all troops from Iraq will go down as one of the most devastating decisions of the new century.

  12. very well said. the world is on fire ready to explode with radical jihad and Obama lit the fuse

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