Office Hours with Victor Davis Hanson: Themistocles

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3 thoughts on “Office Hours with Victor Davis Hanson: Themistocles”

  1. First, I am generally a conservative – economically, policitally, socially. I am an ardent supporter of Israel and its absolute right to defend itself. I also am rigorously consistent and prefer to apply principles not biased feelings to any situation. That brings me to my question for you. This is a topic that I struggle with and, with your obvious historical expertise, I would like to hear your thoughts.

    Think about the settlement of our country beginning in the late 17th century. Think about our country’s interactions with the Native American population from that time forward. Native Americans (much like the so-called Hamas Palestinians) targeted and terrorized non-military entities. Farmers, settlers, travelers, trappers, explorers, etc., killed, maimed, and often desecrated in similar ways as done by Hamas. It is the assymetric warfare necessitated by having wildly unequal foes. I get it.

    On the other hand, our “official” government (military, bureaucracy, etc.) responded brutally and visited all kinds of hell on the civilian Native American poulation, not just upon their military / warriors when in direct conflict. This persists even unto today. Nobody constrained us on behalf of the Native Americans.

    Is this just simply the inhumanity of war? Collateral damage to civilian populations does not seem to matter. In history, it never did. It never does. Think Dresden. Hiroshima. Holocaust. We have to accept this fact if we accept the act of war.

  2. Carol Knollmiller

    I have been following Victor via his books, articles, podcasts and TV appearances for over 30 years now. As I turn 80 next week I can think of no other individual who has inspired me to learn about history and world affairs more than he. In fact, I have taught myself Greek and read and reread many of the Greek and Roman classics all because I wanted to acquire even a minuscule amount of his erudition.
    Thanks, Victor, for this newest learning opportunity.

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