Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

These Are Historic Times

Is it to be Lincoln or Sisyphus?

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

By May 1864, Abraham Lincoln was in real trouble. The spectacular victories of the past year at Gettysburg and Vicksburg were mostly forgotten — in the manner that we no longer talk much about the amazing campaign in Afghanistan or the historic three-week drive on Baghdad. Read more →

The Great Divide

Looking back on the fires of 9/11.

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

So many things about September 11 have coalesced to define the attack as a singular event in American history. Three thousand Americans did not die in a fire, earthquake, or flood. Read more →

Hoping We Fail

Who loses and who wins in the high-stakes poker in Iraq?

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

It is not hard to determine who wishes the United States to succeed in rebuilding Iraq along lines that will promote consensual government, personal freedom, and economic vitality: Hardly anyone. At least, few other than the Iraqi and American people. Read more →

Phase Three?

The enemy is growing desperate.

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

After the first two conventional military victories in Afghanistan of November 2001 and this spring in Iraq, the recent bombings suggest that we are now entering a third phase: A desperate last-ditch war of attrition in which our enemies feel that bombing, suicide murdering, assassination, and general terrorism against Westerners the world over might still achieve what conventional military operations did not. Read more →

The Awakening

We need a clean slate in the postbellum world.

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

What is a base? Is it something lke the facility in Saudi Arabia that enrages the local population, provides a rallying cry for unhinged Islamists, protects a medieval monarchy from an emerging consensual society in Iraq, and can’t be used fully in a time of war? Read more →

How We Collapse

The home front is more worrisome than the battlefield.

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

Democratic critics keep deconstructing federal reports about intelligence lapses that might have led to the tragedy of September 11. While they fault the administration — in some cases correctly — for an apparent lack of vigilance, they do not dare explore the real heart of the disaster. Read more →

Our Summer of Discontent?

Looking for symptoms of defeat

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

The forces that win or lose wars are insidious, cumulative, and often hard to discern. Read more →

War Folklore

Don’t listen to the latest groupspeak.

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

Just as we migrate from Scott Peterson to Kobe Bryant and back to Jessica Lynch, so too did the snowy peaks of Afghanistan bow out to the sandstorm-induced pause in Iraq and that in turn to 16 words of the president’s speech. Read more →

The Corrections

Our rocky return to a much-needed balance in foreign policy.

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

The Greeks were fascinated with the need to adhere to the mean (to meson). The idea became commonplace that there was a sort of natural equilibrium in things that tended to pull events, emotions, and people themselves back to the center, away from both hubris and inaction. Read more →

War’s Bitter Laws

The rules of war existed long before we entered Iraq.

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

Here at the millennium, the conditions under which war must be waged by Western states appear to be like none other in the history of conflict. Read more →

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