Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Muslims and Islamists

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

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online


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About victorhanson

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. He recently published an historical novel The End of Sparta (2012), a realistic retelling of Epaminondas invasion and liberation of Spartan-control Messenia. In The Father of Us All (2011), he collected earlier essays on warfare ancient and modern. His upcoming history The Savior Generals(2013) analyzes how five generals in the history of the West changed the course of battles against all odds. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson, who was the fifth successive generation to live in the same house on his family’s farm, was a full-time orchard and vineyard grower from 1980-1984, before joining the nearby CSU Fresno campus in 1984 to initiate a classical languages program. In 1991, he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given yearly to the country’s top undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin. Hanson has been a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992-93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991-92), a recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for opinion journalism (2002), an Alexander Onassis Fellow (2001), and was named alumnus of the year of the University of California, Santa Cruz (2002). He was also the visiting Shifrin Professor of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (2002-3). He received the Manhattan Institute’s Wriston Lectureship in 2004, and the 2006 Nimitz Lectureship in Military History at UC Berkeley in 2006. Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, scholarly papers, and newspaper editorials on matters ranging from ancient Greek, agrarian and military history to foreign affairs, domestic politics, and contemporary culture. He has written or edited 17 books, including Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece (1983; paperback ed. University of California Press, 1998); The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf, 1989; 2d paperback ed. University of California Press, 2000); Hoplites: The Ancient Greek Battle Experience (Routledge, 1991; paperback., 1992); The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization(Free Press, 1995; 2nd paperback ed., University of California Press, 2000);Fields without Dreams: Defending the Agrarian Idea (Free Press, 1996; paperback, Touchstone, 1997; The Bay Area Book reviewers Non-fiction winner for 1996); The Land Was Everything: Letters from an American Farmer (Free Press, 2000; a Los Angeles Times Notable book of the year); The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell, 1999; paperback, 2001); The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999, paperback, Anchor/Vintage, 2000); Carnage and Culture (Doubleday, 2001; Anchor/Vintage, 2002; a New York Times bestseller); An Autumn of War (Anchor/Vintage, 2002); Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter, 2003),Ripples of Battle (Doubleday, 2003), and Between War and Peace (Random House, 2004). A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, was published by Random House in October 2005. It was named one of the New York Times Notable 100 Books of 2006. Hanson coauthored, with John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (Free Press, 1998; paperback, Encounter Press, 2000); with Bruce Thornton and John Heath, Bonfire of the Humanities (ISI Books, 2001); and with Heather MacDonald, and Steven Malanga, The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today’s (Ivan Dee 2007). He edited a collection of essays on ancient warfare, Makers of Ancient Strategy (Princeton University Press, 2010). Hanson has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Post, National Review, Washington Times, Commentary, The Washington Post, Claremont Review of Books, American Heritage, New Criterion, Policy Review, Wilson Quarterly, Weekly Standard, Daily Telegraph, and has been interviewed often on National Public Radio, PBS Newshour, Fox News, CNN, and C-Span’s Book TV and In-Depth. He serves on the editorial board of the Military History Quarterly, and City Journal. Since 2001, Hanson has written a weekly column for National Review Online, and in 2004, began his weekly syndicated column for Tribune Media Services. In 2006, he also began thrice-weekly blog for Pajamas Media, Works and Days. Hanson was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz (BA, Classics, 1975, ‘highest honors’ Classics, ‘college honors’, Cowell College), the American School of Classical Studies, Athens (regular member, 1978-79) and received his Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford University in 1980. He divides his time between his forty-acre tree and vine farm near Selma, California, where he was born in 1953, and the Stanford campus.

10 Thoughts on “Muslims and Islamists

  1. Bill Bornak on January 20, 2015 at 9:07 am said:

    What an amazing and thoughtful piece! Thank you for the historical perspective that clarifies the current situation, as well as the cultural factors at work here. Your direct math from the surveys was breath-taking — and horrible to contemplate.
    Two questions, sir, relating to your last paragraph (the prescription for the pathologies): First, there will always be a loud group claiming that inclusion and dialog and mutual respect and engagement, etc., are the only routes to resolving the issues. What is your answer to that? Secondly, shunning only works if there is an element of shame. I don’t see any sense of shame in a culture that beheads and stones its own people. Cutting off migration and goods, now that goes to the core! Thank you, again.

  2. In their heart of hearts the Muslim and Blacks support these theocrats

  3. Victor, what cool-aide are you drinking?

  4. Addition: Most, not small minority, Blacks,POTUS and FLOUS, support the likes of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson,. Only a “dreamer” believes otherwise.

  5. David Parsons on January 20, 2015 at 11:25 am said:

    This analysis makes sense. Human nature is to follow the leader who gives you a sense of pride. Pride from the fear of others, or the respect of others. Thus, warmongers naturally gain followers. If, instead of fear, the response to the warmonger is overpowering violence, the warmonger disappears, the followers find other leaders.

  6. What if… some genius folk could make a T-Rex-Godzilla-KingKong mechanical monsters, which individually could be shipped inside shipping containers, then when arrived at destination, automatically opened, grew and then ripped up the cities unfortunate enough to have ports, rail lines or roads big enough for trucks?

    Surely the Western governments could find out by satellite where these factories are located, irregardless of the country origin? And Western governments could announce the factories are targeted, and any misbehaving mechanical monsters anywhere on the planet will result in the destruction, via precision bombs, of the factories, even if in countries like Saudi Arabia, or the USA, or England, or France, or Pakistan, etc.

    In this way, those who espouse radical Jihad, and their spiritual factories… could be targeted.

    Also, pretend Saudi Arabia had the most factories distributed in and out of country, thru financial support. America could arrange the enforcement of an oil purchase embargo on that country, and any like it, so its factories stop making monsters. Blockades, even. Starve the country that kills innocent citizens.

    All of this would take, oh, about two years… not the 3 1/2 it took the US & Allies to win WWII against two of the most efficient nations on the planet.

    Hence, we conclude the allies at present have no desire, whatsoever, to have a two year war. Instead, for the purposes of Progressive alignment with George Orwell’s 1984 book, this war must be Oceana Permanent?

    Instead, the allies find it happiness to send our trigger-pullers to shoot their trigger pullers. This makes American advances in limb replacement possible. But not world peace. We could have it, but Progressive politicians insist no problem must be solved, only used to create a budget pipeline to siphon power from.

  7. Tevor Clarke on January 21, 2015 at 1:29 am said:

    To defete all the worldls islamamist requres that Islam be taken back to its basic DNA.

  8. Matt Green on January 27, 2015 at 3:25 pm said:

    To compare the situation in Europe after WWI and the Versailles treaty with the current global conflict of believe systems, is not just a stretch, it is unfitting.
    The Versailles treaty laid the groundwork to the destruction of Germany (aka “Western Society”). It was Germany that had the most vibrant scientific, cultural and social life in 1914, it was Germany that gave most Western immigrants to America.
    The conflict itself has been around for roughly 1500 years and it is just that its current upwelling is the result of Wilson’s, Roosevelt’s and Churchill’s machinations. How so? Without the Communist patronage of the Arabic world, initially in the misplaced hope that societies could be transformed, added to the Communist bloc and the later the reasoning “my enemies enemy is my friend”, this islamic fermentation pit insulated from western pressures (cultural or otherwise), is not conceivable. Think about Nasser and the Suez Canal crisis, think Israel/Egypt 1968/1972 and the ever present Russian nuclear threat. Russian nuclear capability and what it meant to the world, is harbinger of what is to come with the Iranian bomb, a multi bomb arsenal announcement perhaps two years away.
    And while we are at it, it is quite ok to gratuitously torture Nazis (Bad Nenndorf), kill them (ala Saitsev) or execute them in haste (McVeigh – ok, just an Ersatz Nazi) – even for the most handwringing liberal (and of course, PETA). They would agree to enhanced interrogation techniques if it involves the (perceived) blond, blue eyed subhumans. I find the Nazis and their ideology ludicrous, but somebody please explain Hollywood’s infatuation with the “phantom menace” Nazis. They are gone for good (and this it is) and Germany and Austria are now impotent (double meaning ), assigned by the collectivist western elite as the nutrient wafer in a petri dish of the islamic extremism.

  9. David Park on January 28, 2015 at 8:39 am said:

    If Allah existed as an omnipotent god, he could kill his enemies without having to resort to the arms and hands of merely evil men. Islam is simply another example of a clever lie obtaining holiness because enough people believed it over a longer and longer period of time. Certain religions are like ********; if your wait long enough, the true but original smell fades to a tolerableness. The Islamic State is simply an odor from the past. (This post was edited by the Moderator, no pervasive language, and no threats will be tolerated)

  10. linneamogren on February 1, 2015 at 5:47 pm said:

    Muslim support for terrorism and Islamist movements are clearly linked to successful attacks against western and non Muslim targets. Once Islamists wage terror among Muslim populations such as ISIS, support drops. This is very telling and disturbing regarding the Muslim mindset.

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