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Victor Davis Hanson on Wars, Mistakes, and Perspective - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
December 22nd, 2008
04:15 pm

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Victor Davis Hanson on Wars, Mistakes, and Perspective
Here's an essay by (classicist and military historian) Victor Davis Hanson1 that puts the fiascos and blunders of the US effort in Iraq into eye-opening perspective.

He provides much historical background, most of which I have not encountered before (not being much into military history), but his aim is to propose an argument about current affairs, one that calls on Americans to calm down and adopt a more tragic view of war and its vicissitudes. His thesis is, I think, worth mulling over.

The one thing I found lacking in his discussion of the Iraq war is any treatment of the aspects of sheer dishonesty in the agitation for war and its first couple of years. Blunders, mistakes, plain incompetence are all one thing, but wilful deceit is another.

Anyhow, a very recommended read.


1 Hanson also co-authored the book Who Killed Homer?, which I look forward to reading.

Current Music: Wagner -- Tristan und Isolde [Böhm at Bayreuth 1966]

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From:ygurvitz
Date:December 22nd, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)

Haven't read the article yet...

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But the answer to your question is simple: Hanson writes in the National Review, which is a Neo-Conservative party organ, and which was very much pro-war in 2002-2003. I don't recall how Hanson, specifically, handled the issue, but I'd be very much surprised to hear he publicly expressed doubts at the time.
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From:ijon
Date:December 30th, 2008 10:48 am (UTC)

Re: Haven't read the article yet...

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I did not ask a question; I merely pointed out a lack in his argument.

And whether or not Hanson expressed doubts at the time, he could certainly have at least acknowledged in this recent article, in retrospect, the dishonesty surrounding the war in Iraq.
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