Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Departure of Mattis and Engagements in the Middle East

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

The near-destruction of ISIS in a matter of months (losing 99 percent of its landed caliphate), the restoration of sound defense budgeting, a reestablished sense of deterrence, and stable recalibration with allies were the signature achievements of James Mattis. And it seems a mistake not to have him finish a four-year stint at Defense.

No doubt continued U.S. deployments in both Afghanistan and Syria loomed large in Trump’s sudden decision to leave the latter even if it would cause Mattis’s departure, as well as the sense that as 2020 looms he wants MAGA orthodoxy throughout the cabinet.

The abrupt pulling of U.S. troops out of Syria is likely a mistake — given that for the size (about 2,000 troops on the ground) and cost of the deployment (few casualties), we were keeping ISIS moribund, somewhat checking Iran as well as Russia, and protecting the Kurds and what was left of the democratic Syria resistance. True, Syria was a mess, unlike a relatively stable Iraq in late 2011 (see the comments of Vice President Biden and President Obama), when the U.S. likewise abruptly left and opened the door for ISIS.  Yet Syria’s future now is either going to be much more of a mess or soon a calmer colony of Russia and Iran.

No doubt the U.S. will likewise be reexamining the soon to be 18-year-long slog in Afghanistan.

Read the full article here.

The Liberal Arts Weren’t Murdered — They Committed Suicide

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

The great culture wars on the campuses of the 1980s were largely lost by traditionalists. And the question then became not if but when the liberal arts would die off as a result. What is strange nearly 40 years later is that the apparent outrage over what was clearly foreordained is now becoming fact. What did academia expect, given its years of academic specialization and politicized indoctrination?

Recently the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point announced plans to drop liberal-arts majors in geography, geology, French, German, two- and three-dimensional art — and historyThe Atlantic ran a well-meaning essay by Adam Harris on the controversial move, “The Liberal Arts May Not Survive the 21st Century” — again, a topic much in the news recently. The article’s chief thrust is that insidious efforts to promote STEM vocationalism — the need to prepare young people for careers requiring extensive math and science skill sets — has driven out the need for more in-depth focus on the liberal arts, in a climate in which crass Republican state legislators, in allegedly vindictive and short-sighted fashion, demanded catastrophic cuts in state public higher-education budgets.

The Stevens Point campus highlighted a popular perception that emphases in literature, history, or languages lead nowhere for cash-strapped graduates but to more debt and fewer jobs. Yet what the article on official university policy misses is why students do not concentrate in the liberal arts in the fashion of the past.

Read the full article here.

The Globalist Mindset: They Hate You

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Against what or whom is the contemporary Western public pushing back?

The French non-Parisians against new green taxes on already unaffordable gasoline? Broke southern European Union nations against the financial demands of German bankers? The Eastern Europeans against French and German open-border mandates?

The British masses against both the EU and their own government that either cannot or will not follow the will of the people and implement Brexit? The American populists against outsourcing, offshoring, and illegal immigration?

The common target of all these populist pushbacks is an administrative and cultural elite that shares a set of transnational and globalist values and harbors mostly contempt for the majority of their own Neanderthal citizens who are deemed hopelessly unwoken to environmental, racial, gender, and cultural inevitabilities.

Read the full article here.

Comey Continues to Display His Lack of Credibility

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Fired former FBI director James Comey is at it again.

Last week, Comey testified before members of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In a single appearance, Comey, on 245 separate occasions, while under oath, stonewalled questions with “I don’t know,” “I don’t remember” or “I don’t recall,” according to a congressional interrogator, Rep. Jim Jordan. (R-Ohio).

If any private citizen tried Comey’s gambit with federal IRS auditors or FBI investigators, he would likely be indicted for perjury or obstruction.

Why did Comey, the nation’s former top-ranking federal investigator, avoid telling “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” while under oath?

The answer is, unfortunately, obvious. Comey has been called to testify before members of Congress on numerous occasions. He has written a long book and gone on an extensive book tour, and his paper trail is long.

Read the full article here.

 

The Dangers of Asymmetry

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

It is strange how suddenly a skeptical Wall Street, CEOs, and even university and think-tank policy analysts are now jumping on the once-taboo Trump bandwagon on China: that if something is not done to stop China’s planned trajectory to global hegemony, based on its repudiation of the entire post-war trade and commercial order, then it will soon be too late. In a wider sense, at some point on a variety of fronts, Americans got fed up with perceived lopsidedness, and their ensuing exasperation started to change status-quo thinking and policy — whether China’s flagrant cheating, the recent illustration, via the “caravan,” of rampant hypocrisies about illegal immigration, or weariness with the asymmetries with the Islamic world.

China

China in its planned trajectory to world global supremacy makes two assumptions about the United States:

  • that China can weld government-run market capitalism to autocratic government to improve on supposedly chaotic Western democratic and republican government and indulgent human rights;
  • that the Western world will continue to excuse Chinese violations of global commercial and trade norms, on their misplaced theories either that the more successful the Chinese become, the more they will evolve to a democratic and transparent society and join the Western liberal community and follow its post-war international norms, or that there is nothing the West can do about a fated Chinese supremacy.

Read the full article here.

Defeat and the Dossier Explain Everything

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Donald Trump’s former consiglieri Michael Cohen, along with being charged with tax avoidance and improper business deals, allegedly is guilty also of trying to leverage money and attention by exaggerating his influence with candidate and later President Trump.

In other words, Cohen to spec followed the standard creepy daily fare for Washington and New York wannabe fixers. But did we need Robert Mueller’s 18 months and $40 million to uncover and redirect to federal attorneys what was largely self-evident? Could not the U.S. government long ago, without the prompt of a special counsel, have uncovered that Michael Cohen did not fully pay his taxes—in the manner of an Al SharptonTimothy Geithner, and Tom Daschle?

The diabolical Cohen also tried to enforce, extend, or create non-disclosure agreements (Swampese for hush money) with two women from Trump’s past. The two reappeared out of nowhere in 2016, apparently to translate their alleged Trump hookups of a few hours in years past to notoriety and additional profit in the new age of “President Trump.”

Read the full article here.

Putin’s latest Ukraine stunt may blow up in his face

Please read this piece by my colleague Paul Roderick Gregory in The Hill

Germany postures itself as the conscience of Europe. It takes in floods of refugees and scolds those who do not. It claims to guard European unity against the nation-state and ridicules the United States for electing a real estate developer as president.

But Germany, the self-declared paragon of European values, is also Germany Inc., the land of the “Putin Versteher” (Understander). Germany Inc. is poised to give the Kremlin its greatest “pipeline politics” victory.

The $10 billion Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline has the necessary German approvals. Once in operation, NS2 will make Germany Europe’s hub of cheap Russian gas.

Germany’s Putin Versteher echoed Putin’s claim that NS2 is “undoubtedly absolutely free from politics … a purely commercial project.” This claim is not true. NS2 is designed to split Europe in two, while imposing considerable economic losses on Ukraine, whose failure is a top Putin priority.

Read the full article here.

The Rise Of The New Old Left

Victor Davis Hanson // Hoover Institution

In the 1960s, campus radicals were branded the New Left. The media saw the mélange of radicals like Bill Ayers, David Delinger, Jane Fonda, Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman, Herbert Marcuse, Jerry Rubin—as well as hippies, the Black Panthers, the gay liberation movement, La Raza, women’s liberation, draft resistance, and the anti-Vietnam War and new ecology movements—as a new counter-culture, quite different from the narrower “Old” unionists, Trotskyites, Comintern orthodox communists, and Stalinists of the 1930s-1950s.

Sixties radicals claimed their enemies were not just the old corporate bosses and greedy bankers, but rather the entire “Establishment”. The new targeted status quo was supposedly a racist, sexist, homophobic, nativist, and white cohort. By 1968, the “Man” was ritually accused of war-mongering, polluting, and exploiting—as well as just being “repressed”, “irrelevant”, “boring”, “square”, “uptight”, and “out-of-it”.

Sixties radicals saw even the Old Left, with its folk-song protest music, loyalty to Moscow, support for world communist revolutions, and never-ending labor strikes, hopelessly puritanical and dreary. For their part, these old, class-struggle Leftists, who came of age in tougher times, were not so interested in New Left trademark agendas and indulgences of a pampered boomer generation like abortion, LSD and marijuana, sustainable living, identity politics, rock music, free speech, and back to nature living.

Read the full article here.

Nothing Exempt: 102. Dr Victor Davis Hanson

Listen in on my most recent interview with Nothing Exempt:

#podcast today is a special interview with guest Dr Victor Davis Hanson he is a columnist, author, and overall #HighIQ We explored the #demographic problem in California and the direction of the state. The tail end of the conversation discusses the #intervensionism of American foreign policy with talk on right vs wrong.

Listen to the interview here.

The Perpetual Presidency

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Former President Barack Obama recently continued his series of public broadsides against his successor, Donald Trump.

Obama’s charges are paradoxical. On one hand, Obama seems to believe that he, rather than Trump, should be credited with the current economic boom and the emergence of the United States as the world’s largest energy producer. But Obama also has charged that Trump’s policies are pernicious and failing.

Apparently, Obama believes that all of Trump’s successes are due to Obama, and all of Trump’s setbacks are his own.

Obama certainly forgets the old rule: Presidents, fairly or not, get both credit and blame for everything that happens on their watch, from Day One to the last hour of their tenures—even when wars abroad, technological breakthroughs, natural disasters and market collapses have nothing to do with their governance.

Trump ran on the promise of a “Make America Great Again” economic renaissance. He pledged massive deregulation, fair rather than free trade, and tax reform and reduction.

Trump jawboned against outsourcing and offshoring, and praised rather than lectured private enterprise. He sought to reindustrialize the Midwest and promised to open new federal land to fossil fuel production, complete proposed pipelines, and lift burdensome restrictions on fracking and horizontal drilling.

Read the full article here.

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