July 30, 2005

The War Nerd gets medieval on Victor Davis Hanson

in "Victor Hanson: Portrait of an American Traitor." Most of Gary Brecher's essay doesn't pass iSteve.com's family-friendly language standards, but here are some excerpts from a long stream of ad hominem abuse of the National Review columnist:

This fool passes himself off as a military historian, writing columns about Iraq and Afghanistan and everything else he feels like babbling about, but he doesn't have a clue about contemporary warfare. Every war nerd on the net knows more about what's happening in Iraq than he does. But that doesn't stop him. He teaches Classics, he's written a half dozen books on ancient warfare, and he never lets you forget that he's a professor and you're not.

In his last column for the Fresno Bee, he sneered at people who don't have Ph.D.'s for daring to have opinions about the war in Iraq: "What do a talented Richard Gere, Robert Redford and Madonna all have in common besides loudly blasting the current administration? They either dropped out of, or never started, college. Cher may think George Bush is 'stupid,' but she-not he-didn't finish high school."

Since I never even finished my AA degree, I took that kind of personally. I guess it's my fault for not getting into Yale on pure merit like Bush did...

He doesn't even suspect what a total hypocrite he is. According to his official online bio, Hanson graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1975. I don't know if you non-Californians understand what that means. UC Santa Cruz is the official sex-and-drugs campus of the whole UC system. It's so hippie-cool and mellow it doesn't even give grades, which are just too bourgeois. You just get little notes from your teachers. The kids who go there are rich brats who don't have to worry about getting a job-because graduating from there is like telling your future employers you were stoned for four straight years...

And Hanson graduated from there in 1975. I can only dream about what it must've been like to be a student at Santa Cruz back then, at the climax of the hippie days.

But you know, I could take all Hanson's hypocritical pompous **** if he only knew something about contemporary warfare. He doesn't. All he knows is that he's in favor of Gulf War II, and to defend that mess he's willing to slander Bush Sr's magnificent victory in Gulf War I. This is insane, really insane-taking America's only outright strategic victory since 1945, our most glorious campaign since Inchon, and turning it into a defeat just so you can make Bush Jr's fiasco look a little better...

There are so many evil lies here, I don't know where to start. First there's the phony comparison to Germany after WW I. There's no comparison at all. Saddam's Kuwait invasion wasn't a nationalist war like WW I, and no matter what Saddam said, every dog in the street in Baghdad knew perfectly well that the Iraqi army had been outclassed and savaged. Moreover, the Germans fought for four years and nearly won, whereas Saddam got his ass completely whipped in a three-day land war. Fact is, we did it right in Gulf War I. We neutered Saddam, destroyed his ability to threaten anybody, and left him in charge of his hellhole country. It was American diplomacy combined with military power at its finest. And this pig tries to say it was a defeat!

Hanson goes on to say that we "refused to go to Baghdad" because we wanted to please the UN. ****. We used the UN to build a huge alliance (something Bush's idiotic son didn't think was necessary), and we stayed out of Baghdad because Powell and Bush Sr. knew what would happen if we tried to occupy Iraqi cities. We're going through the consequences of that mistake right now; how can anybody pretend not to understand, by now, why it was a bad idea, and why Bush Sr. was right the first time?

What's amazing is that Hanson is actually trying to blame Bush Sr. for not jumping off the cliff first, before his idiotic son did. Like I said, it's insane-until you realize it's being done just to make Junior's disaster look good, which Hanson needs to do because he's been shilling for Bush Jr.'s war from day one. Hanson isn't just insane. He's one sleazy dude...

And all that ancient Greek stuff won't help Hanson deal with urban guerrilla war, because there was nothing like it in the ancient world. In those days conquerors wiped out cities the second they showed any sign of uppity behavior. Urban guerrilla wars were pretty quick and pretty unsuccessful: rise up against the occupier, and literally every man, woman and child gets slaughtered, and the offending city covered in salt. End of story...

But I don't really think he's insane-just a traitor, a liar willing to keep shoving American troops and money into a meatgrinder just so he doesn't have to admit he was wrong. Sooner or later we're going to have to face it: these NeoCons don't care about America any more than Stalin cared about Russia. They're not just wrong. They're traitors. [More]

For a balanced assessment of Hanson's genuine achievement as a scholar of ancient Greek warfare, the article "The Case of Victor Davis Hanson: Farmer, Scholar, Warmonger" by F. Devlin Roger in the Occidental Quarterly is terrific. The first half consists of an appreciation of Hanson's profound contribution to understanding the crucial question: Why the Greeks? What happened during the Greek dark ages (roughly 1100 to 800 BC) that transformed the fairly conventional culture that produced Achilles to the unique culture that produced Homer and a host of great men in his wake?

Hanson, an orchard farmer in the Central Valley of California, where the climate isn't too different from Greece, delivered an answer in his scholarly books such as The Other Greeks: the Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization. Devlin writes:

"We still had no plausible explanation for the Greek miracle. Thanks in some significant measure to Victor Davis Hanson, we now do. The explanation, in a word, is agrarianism. All preindustrial societies are agricultural, but only a few have been agrarian; of these latter, classical Greece was the first and most important. Agrarian societies are informed by a certain ideal, according to which landed estates should be generally small and inalienable. A plot of land should be large enough to provide a family with a decent sufficiency, but not luxury. It should belong to a family rather than any individual; the head of the family holds it in trust for the benefit of his children and his children’s children. It is his, in other words, but not his alone. He has no moral right to do with it simply as he pleases."

This is similar to Thomas Jefferson's vision for America of a society of small landowners, which he did much to bring about by eliminating primogeniture and starting the Federal Government's system of selling land cheap in relatively small parcels.

Unfortunately, Hanson the scholar has descended into the squalid marketplace with the rest of us professional bloviators with predictably unfortunate results. I don't know many people who still read Hanson's endless effusions about the Middle East anymore, but his recent short book Mexifornia shows how good he can still be when he holds himself in check. It would be a right and fitting thing for a rich man to do to pay Hanson a large annual stipend to subsidize his writing, with just one condition: he not publish more than 80,000 words per year.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The significance of ancient Greek civilization is aggravatingly over-stated. The reality is that Westerners possess an arrogant mentality that THEY are at the forefront of human civilization, and therefore, they're ancestor civilizations (the Roman Empire and the Greek city states) are superior to other ancient civilizations. This is a view devoid of reality, and as a proponent of the western delusion, Hanson in my opinion deserves the scathing review provided by the "war nerd".