Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Care to walk that one back, Vic?

A lot of word sandwiches, word omelettes and word salads are going to be eaten by the pro-war wingnuts in coming months. So you might wonder if leading light Victor Davis Hanson might want some fries with this:

(April 22, 2003 interview, first appearing @
By any standard, it has been a success -- destroying an enemy 7000 miles away in less than 6 weeks, while disrupting and scattering a sophisticated terrorist network worldwide. More importantly, there is a new sophistication in our thinking about a great many Arab autocracies whose conduct has been quite duplicitous, along with a new awareness about Europe. All this shows a growing sense that the administration has now sized up the nature of the conflict, who our friends are in the trial ahead, who are enemies, and who are on the sidelines waiting to jump in when they see a clear cut winner. I might have gone more quickly into Iraq after the successes against the Taliban; but I don't think such hesitation will ultimately matter much.

You might think that subsequent events since then would cause the erudite Mr. Hanson to reassess. But in his second RWN interview (undated, but as best as I can tell from context, from the Spring of this year), Hanson stuck to his guns:

I think that if we look at it in the longer historical expanse from the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime and not concentrate on any two to three week period, then the idea that a year and a half after the regime was over with --- we’d have elections pretty well under way and we would have over 2/3’s of the country pacified --- then I know it’s a tragedy that we’ve lost that many men, that was not unexpected --- but given history’s harsh judgment of other military operations and --- we’re doing pretty well. ... So the very fact that we did use military force in Afghanistan and we can press through and finish the project in Iraq, that’s going to give us some deterrence and will make the diplomatic moves at least have a longer shelf life.

A lot more seasoning in the form of qualifiers and such (and look here for a bit of reality on the "2/3rds pacified" nonsense), but no meaningful retreat there. If the events of recent weeks have led to a change in Mr. Hanson's thinking, I have not seen evidence of it.

So c'mon, Right Wing News -- aren't you going to offer Mr. Hanson another chance to dine?

By the way, the slogan @ RWN is "We dont drink the Kool-Aid, we make it." They deserve real credit for being far more accurate in that sense than the Time's woefully quaint "All the news that's fit to print."


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