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Sunday, January 09, 2005 

VDH Unplugged


No one puts the state of American affairs in the context of world politics quite like the best contemporary political observer in America, Victor David Hanson.

He seems to have his finger on the pulse of current conservative American politics reading the heartbeat of those who make America the greatest nation and yet never seem to get face time on the boob tube.

Here's some excerpts but I hope you go read his article in full if you have the chance.

There is a new strange mood of acceptance among Americans about the world
beyond our shores. Of course, we are not becoming naïve isolationists of 1930s
vintage, who believe that we are safe by ourselves inside fortress America — not
after September 11.

Certainly the United States is not mired in a Vietnam-era depression and
stagflation and thus ready to wallow in Carteresque malaise. Indeed, if anything
Americans remain muscular and are more defiant than ever.

Imagine a world in which there was no United States during the last 15 years. Iraq, Iran, and Libya would now have nukes. Afghanistan would remain a seventh-century Islamic terrorist haven sending out the minions of Zarqawi and Bin Laden worldwide. The lieutenants of Noriega, Milosevic, Mullah Omar, Saddam, and Moammar Khaddafi would no doubt be adjudicating human rights at the United Nations. The Ortega Brothers and Fidel Castro, not democracy, would be the exemplars of Latin America. Bosnia and Kosovo would be national graveyards like Pol Pot's Cambodia. Add in Kurdistan as well — the periodic laboratory for Saddam's latest varieties of gas. Saddam himself, of course, would have statues throughout the Gulf attesting to his control of half the world's oil reservoirs. Europeans would be in two-day mourning that their arms sales to Arab monstrocracies ensured a second holocaust. North Korea would be shooting missiles over Tokyo from its new bases around Seoul and Pusan. For their own survival, Germany, Taiwan, and Japan would all now be nuclear. Americans know all that — and yet they grasp that their own vigilance and military sacrifices have earned them spite rather than gratitude. And they are ever so slowly learning not much to care anymore.

So an entire mythology has grown up to accommodate this false world of ours — sadly never more evident than during the recent tsunami disaster, a tragedy that has juxtaposed rhetoric with reality in a way that becomes each day more surreal. The wealthy Gulf States pledge very little of their vast petrol-dollar reserves — swollen from last year's jacked-up gasoline prices — to aid the ravaged homelands of their Islamic nannies, drivers, and janitors. Indeed, Muslim charities advertise to their donors that their aid goes to fellow Muslims — as if a dying Buddhist or Christian is less deserving of the Muslim Street's aid. In defense, officials argue that the ostracism of "charities" that funded suicide killers to the tune of $150 million has hampered their humanitarian efforts at scraping up a fifth of that sum. But then blowing apart Americans or Jews is always a higher priority than saving innocent Muslim children.

All this hypocrisy has desensitized Americans, left and right, liberal and conservative. We will finish the job in Iraq, nursemaid democratic Afghanistan through its birthpangs, and continue to ensure that bandits and criminal states stay off the world's streets. But what is new is that the disenchanted American is becoming savvy and developing a long memory — and so we all fear the day is coming when he casts aside the badge, rides the buckboard out of town, and leaves such sanctimonious folk to themselves.


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