Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

When Conventional Wisdom Gets Downright Dangerous

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

The problem with conventional wisdom is not that it is always wrong. The rub is that the majority of “experts” unthinkingly and habitually mouth its validity until they ensure that it becomes static, unchanging, and immune from reexamination and dissent — an intolerant religious orthodoxy that finally become dangerous.

The recent Middle East breakthroughs are a perfect example. Both the Obama and Trump administrations sought quite different ways of navigating through the nearly 75-year-old “Middle East problem,” usually framed as the Israeli–“Palestinian” question.

Obama, in radical fashion, sought to empower and elevate Iran. The so-called Iran deal, the dropping of sanctions, the nocturnal infusions of cash, the exemptions for clear violations of the deal’s protocols, the nefarious work of Hezbollah — all that and more was excused on the theory that a growing Persian Shiite Iranian nexus from Tehran to the Mediterranean was inevitable and would “balance” both Israel and the so-called moderate Sunni Arab states. That realignment might prevent a Middle East war and end the leverage of America’s former Arab allies and Israel over us.

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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.

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