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Europe would rather facilitate nuclear war between the U.S. and China, would rather be overrun with Muslims, and would rather lose millennia of its heritage than have to endure subservience to those stubbornly successful peasants o'er the ocean.
My ancestors knew what they were doing when they left Europe. Europeans do not fear losing their soul because, as they will be the first to admit, they have none.

I have to point out that Victor Davis Hanson is an expert on ancient Greece, but not the modern world.

PacRim Jim writes:

Europe would rather facilitate nuclear war between the U.S. and China, would rather be overrun with Muslims, and would rather lose millennia of its heritage than have to endure subservience to those peasants o'er the ocean.

Hey Paccy, I really have to take offense at that! My working-class credentials are impeccable!

@ Ralf

I had a long dialogue with EuroNeuzeit over the weekend in which I argued that anti-Americanism in Europe creates anti-Europeanism in America. Hanson is an example: he is hitting back, and whether his academic credentials pertain to modern Europe or not, his viewpoint is neither irrational nor atypical.

None of this is much of a problem so long as it is limited to words, but words beget deeds sooner or later. Some idiot gives some moron a gun and sends him to wait on a street corner in some place like Sarajevo because of words. We have gone down this road before.

I continue to believe that most Americans on the right want a friendly relationship with a Europe that is willing to spend some blood and treasure in defense of the principles that both it and the US claim to share. Some are more pessimistic than others on whether Europe will ever be willing to do that. There is, however, no American Gambetta, at least not yet, saying to speak of it never, but to remember it ever.

if you leave out the answers concerning the progress in the war on terror i think he is pretty correct. Unfortunately ... i would wish for the eu to wake up from their "ideals" and start thinking in the real world.

It would be more usefull Ralf if you would address the authors points and why you disagree with him rather than resorting to the simple expedient of attacking his credentials

Seems like the way many went after Bush and the "neo-cons" ( cue sinister music ) - never taking on their positions - rather just attacking their motives and qualifications

And an odd attack it was - you consider it a failing that his foundation for analysis is his excellent grasp of ancient history?

Personally I find Hanson a bit over the top and pedantic at times but the main thrust of his position is sound - Europe today lives in a post-modern world where war and conflict are vestiges of the past - none of this is a bad thing in and of itself of course - by applying this model outside of the EU is beyond foolish

The rest of the world is a nasty place still - with folks like Saddam or Kim who do not play by your rules

Either "Old" Europeans will wake up to this truth or not - either way the rest of us ( the CoW )should not be expected to treat this position with respect when it collides with reality.

VDH's credentials include analysis of modern clashes. He is by profession a military historian. That may exclude some amount of recent European history.

His essential argument appears to be that Europe (collectively or certain key countries) has fallen into a state where they can not find the desire, will, or ability to take moral stands beyond those that seek stability; and that in doing so, they are willing to accommodate, appease, and proffer incentives to those known to have as their agendas a change in the very stability that is acceptable to Europe (and those key countries.)

If this assertion is true, then how far can an American - European sharing of interests go? In words: as far as the diplomats want; in deeds (and money, deployment of force, treaties, etc.) not far.

While there may be a shared culture, a shared history, a shared desire for economic prosperity, there are not shared views of society's dependencies on the state; necessary steps in defense; models of taxation; views on personal liberties; or uses of aid funds.

As our interests diverge, so to do our reasons for alliance. Further, our mutual frustrations at not being able to engage each other in doing some task in the way that the other wants will build and continue to be a source of friction.


Pogue,

you are right of course. I will address his points on their own merits and failings, but unfortunately I haven't got the time right now, that's why I made my brief remarks.

Victor Hanson is doomed to be one of the greatest writers and thinkers of our time. Anyone who disparages him has no damn concept of reality in this world.
He is perfectly correct with his analysis of crusty and duplicitous european pathetics.
His background qualifies him to speak on current events as a military historian and as a man who understands history as it relates to modern developments-
Victor Davis Hanson is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Hanson was a full-time farmer before joining California State University, Fresno, in 1984 to initiate a classics program. In 1991 he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given yearly to the country's top undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin.

Hanson was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992–93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991–92), a recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for opinion journalism (2002), and an Alexander Onassis Fellow (2001) and was named alumnus of the year of the University of California, Santa Cruz (2002). He was also the visiting Shifrin Chair of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (2002–3).

Hanson is the author of some 170 articles, book reviews, and newspaper editorials on Greek, agrarian, and military history and essays on contemporary culture. He has written or edited thirteen books, including Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece (1983; paperback ed. University of California Press, 1998); The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf, 1989; 2d paperback ed. University of California Press, 2000); Hoplites: The Ancient Greek Battle Experience (Routledge, 1991; paperback ed. 1992); The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization (Free Press, 1995; 2d paperback ed. University of California Press, 2000); Fields without Dreams: Defending the Agrarian Idea (Free Press, 1996; paperback ed. Touchstone, 1997); The Land Was Everything: Letters from an American Farmer (Free Press, 2000); The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell, 1999; paperback ed., 2001); The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999, paperback ed. Anchor/ Vintage, 2000); Carnage and Culture (Doubleday, 2001; Anchor/Vintage, 2002); An Autumn of War (Anchor/Vintage, 2002); and Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter, 2003). His new book, Ripples of Battle, will be published by Doubleday in autumn 2003.

Hanson coauthored, with John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (Free Press, 1998; paperback ed. Encounter Press, 2000) and, with Bruce Thornton and John Heath, Bonfire of the Humanities (ISI Books, 2001).

Hanson has written essays, editorials, and reviews for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune, the New York Post, the Claremont Review of Books, The New Republic, National Review, American Heritage, Policy Review, Commentary, National Review, the Wilson Quarterly, the Weekly Standard, Daily Telegraph, and Washington Times and has been interviewed often on National Public Radio, the PBS Newshour, and C-Span BookTV. Currently, he is a weekly columnist for the National Review Online and serves on the editorial board of Arion, the Military History Quarterly, and City Journal, as well as the board of the Claremont Institute.

Hanson was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz (B.A. 1975), the American School of Classical Studies (1978–79) and received his Ph.D. in classics from Stanford University in 1980.

He currently lives and works with his family on their forty-acre tree and vine farm near Selma, California, where he was born in 1953.

At least we can be assured you are an active and employed German Ralf - not some leftist on the dole with tons of time to write here ; )

Seriously - of the thousands of pieces I have read about these current events - this post-modern analysis really comes closest to explaining what my own experience and understanding of history has taught me

This is a good site - a place beyond the "I hate _____ " stuff you find all over the place

I am interested in other perspectives and if you can refute Hansons, or other neo-con's, observations with some sort of consistent alternative I for one would be quite interested

Rgds, Pogue

Re. "Europe today lives in a post-modern world where war and conflict are vestiges of the past"...reminds me of another description of life in Germany, as follows: “A wonderful ferment was working in Germany. Life seemed more free, more modern, more exciting than in any place I had ever seen. Nowhere else did the arts or the intellectual life seem so lively. In contemporary writing, painting, architecture, in music and drama, there were new currents and fine talents. And everywhere there was an accent on youth. One sat up with the young people all night in the sidewalk cafes, the plush bars, the summer camps, on a Rhineland steamer or in a smoke-filled artist’s studio and talked endlessly about life. They were a healthy, carefree, sun-worshiping lot and they were filled with an enormous zest for living to the full and in complete freedom. The old oppressive Prussian spirit seemed to be dead and buried. Most Germans one met – politicians, writers, editors, artists, professors, students, businessmen, labor leaders – struck you as being democratic, liberal, even pacifist” (page 118 in William Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich). This was Germany in 1925, only 8 years before the Nazi’s took power. World history can change direction on a dime What doesn't change is Man's endless capacity for violence and self-delusion. Rather than indulging in smugness, Europeans would do better to take note of the many, many gathering storm clouds on their horizon.

And right across the border, French elections have shown huge gains by the Far Right as well as increasing enthusiasm for the Trotskyist Far Left.

It was just 3 years ago that Le Pen knocked the (supposedly mainstream) Socialist Prime Minister out of the first-round Presidential elections. And Chiraq's blatant corruption has dispirited the (supposedly) centre-right.

The government struggles to deal with mass unemployment, fears mass strikes and exerts itself only in its efforts at appeasing tyrants.

And synagogues go up in flames and Jews are attacked in the streets.

In many many ways, it is horrifyingly reminiscent of the 1930s.

VDH is one of the most penetrating and brilliant thinkers in about a century. Very unusual coming from his generation of Baby Boomers who have been the worst generation in American history.

As you can see from the above posts listing the many books he has written on a variety of subjects, he is more than qualified to talk about current events. More qualified than most world leaders.

I lived in Heidelberg as a base brat, moved back to Ann Arbor/Detroit and among other things the european years left with me is a love of football (soccer) which I still coach for a women's team.
I don't know when or how I learned to do it, but I leave little tea parties and echo chambers alone and have thrived as a "neo-con" (libs love it cuz' its so close to the other neo's)in Michael MooreOn-land. Europeans enforce their hush zone just as my college girls do when they talk about their boyfriends likelihood of being stopped at the border when returning from Cuber.Everybody in the room knows that they are talking out of there ass but we just smile and wait them out instead of putting up with their libspiel which is really just them talking about themselves. Just can't understand why Europeans insist on American's respecting their little bubble world. Americans will bypass you, plain and simple and the only reason anybody cares is because Poland and the Other Europe is about to start taking big bites out of their asses. Get drawn into big arguments about credentials and all the rest of that blather if you like but the bottom line is that America is looking out for your best interest because we're still win/win.
What ever happened to the Roxy Music Europe I wanted to go party in? You all bitch like youre from Flint.

"""VDH ... he is more than qualified to talk about current events. More qualified than most world leaders."""

Victor Davis Hanson got better credentials than I will ever have, and most likely the majority of the other visitors of this blog as well.

But that's beside the point ... what I want to say is: titles, awards, positions don't say anything about a person's ability to think clearly, about the common sense or moral integrity of a person.

I would respect VDH as much if he were "shopping car manager" at WalMart's, or a hot-dog man on some crowded street ...

I judge him by what he produces, by the articles he writes, by the arguments and sustaining examples contained therein ...

There are masses of insane academics around, sporting Ph.D.s and uttering non-sense at best and hatred for the West at worst ... compare Noam Chomsky. Every peasant got a better grasp of what's going on in this world than that professor.

Ralf, you are an idiot. Have you ever even read any of his books or are you just irritated by his ideas and putting you nose up in the air like "the old reformers, who are now dull, timid, arrogant, huffing and puffing about "standards" and "being degreed".

Uh guys.

Ralf admitted he spoke too quickly. No need to get vituperative

The bad thing for any European reading this posting and through the comments: besides some hate showing through here, it's true there is a pink bubble world in Old Europe's public opinion.

From my perspective the question arousing is this: isn't this bubble world a integral piece of the European achievements (the EU, the reintegration of the east block, the peaceful attraction of the Balkan states) of the last decades? Obviously another more nationalistic spirit including more self-esteem, a historical tradition is necessary to enforce extensive, sometimes aggressive world-wide military responsibilites. All attributes some nations of the EU (UK, Poland...) still have, but the EU as a whole not yet or never will have.

After reading the opinions in this post I think most of you expect Old Europe to change this, to become more like the US. Otherwise it will be ignored and disrespected. Judging from this I conclude you still believe that Europe as a whole can change and you are just waiting when they will come to their senses. When you expect the behaviour to change, it is necessary that the reasons for the behaviour change. The political motivations in Germany where I live are 90% of social and economic nature. The people face problems with the unemployment, the health and the pension system and feel poverty as their worst threat. To change this and hereby change the self-focussed Old European behaviour politics main focus is within Europe. Ignoring and disrespecting this means ignoring and disrespecting the social and economic reasons. It may be justified but won't help anything.

So I try to provide you another view: by addressing it's own social and economic structural problems while doing only the (in its own opinion) absolutely necessary military efforts today Europe builds the fundament for it's future abilities and willingness to engage in the rest of the world.

Jeff - excellent post and fine use of languange there - vituperative indeed :)

Lars - good comments as well. From the US perspective let me say that we have an old saying here - "All politics are local" - meaning that social issues, or fixing the roads or better schools or a hundred other things are more important to most citizens that the situation in Darfur or the Tsunami will ever be.

We, if I may be so bold as to speak for my countrymen, understand this mentality quite well. We lived in before WW2 after all - and again in the 1990's while the Islamist threat gathered force and continued to attack us abroad and at home ( the WTC was bombed in 1993 after all )

But understanding does not mean acceptance.

Its not enough to say that your average Fritz sixpack doesn't give a damn about the wider world and is more interested in those local issues

We know that

The job of a leader is to have a wider view of things and push for needed actions

Post 9-11 some leaders met the challenge - Bush, Blair, Howard of Austrailia, Belusconi and the former Spanish PM Aznar among others

But there are too many European leaders who rather than confronting the reality of the threat of islamic facism choose to look away from the problem

Why do they do this?

Maybe they feel that since the US and Israel are the targets it is not their problem - sounds familiar from a 1940 american voter eh

Or maybe they simply can't take such a position because they fear losing their positions - see Aznar right

Or maybe they actually seek a future where the US is knocked down a few pegs

I really don't know what explains it

What I do know is that the cause of 9-11 is broader than OBL or the Israeli-Pali conflict

And if I know that - it frightens me to think that the leaders of France and Germany either do not or insist on pretending they do not

Lars, Pogue,

The discussion of domestic needs relative to principaled stand on external issues is relevant to U.S. - E.U. relationship. It is perceived that the E.U. doesn't care about problems outside their borders, is ineffective at dealing with them, or expects the U.S. to use its blood and treasure to deal with any problems that get out of hand. Then the gall of complaining when the U.S. does take a matter into hand.

Victor Hanson and a university prof in Dartmouth just had a debate on this subject.

An interesting quote from the deabate:

Whether human opinion changes is irrelevant to the question of human nature, Hanson said; he thought many Americans suffer from an “ethnocentric bias” that makes Le Monde and Der Spiegel “the arbiters of world opinion.”

@Ralph:

"I have to point out that Victor Davis Hanson is an expert on ancient Greece, but not the modern world."

@Pogue:

"It would be more usefull Ralf if you would address the authors points and why you disagree with him rather than resorting to the simple expedient of attacking his credentials"

Caesar didn't have any military background when he went to Gaul, either. I've already seen your mea culpa on this one, Ralf, but just couldn't resist adding a little more salt to the wound.

Ancient history has some lessons. Reread Gibbon on the final days of the Byzantine empire, and see Europe's future. Heartbreaking.

I don't think any posters above mentioned that Victor Davis Hanson is an adviser to Dick Cheney, one of the great men of our nation and very influential (unlike most U.S. vice presidents).

A side note: one of the huge differences I see between Europe and the U.S. is the European class system. Even though American pundits like to refer to an American "working class," in fact there is no such animal. I could tell you many stories to prove this, but won't bore you with the effort. Anyway, when I was a college student, my history professors made a huge deal about the "consensus" v. "conflict" view of American history. It was obvious that they preferred the "conflict view" because I learned about all kinds of obscure U.S. socialist and anarchist organizations that later proved to amount to a hill of beans.

Now, in this new Era of the Parting of the Ways between Europeans and Americans, I see where so many of our differences are coming from. Almost all Americans, no matter how poor, think of themselves as middle class and potentially entrepreneurial. Germans and French people seem to define themselves by their class and their position in society, including having a secure welfare state. Our differences will probably grow much larger in the future.

Not only has America no working class, but the case can be made that Americans with the highest income work the most. Many of my acquaintences work on weekends and take no vacations. Catch up with that, Euroslouchers!

@Lars
Whom are you kiddin' Lars?? Germany is not concentrating on its local problems unfortunately. The plain and simple reason, our military is not helping out is because this country is run by a club of left wing pacifists. It has nothing to do with our domestic agenda, it is their (the leaders) and a large number of our citizens deluted world view, that causes this inactivity. I wish they would be concentrating on our problems. We are faced with a red-green desaster team for 7 years now, can't you see what is going on? Don't get me wrong Lars, I appreciate your try to present a different view of the game, but you are wrong. The unfortunate combination of a red-green government, a press primarily run by ex 68ers and a population that has too long enjoyed freedom and wealth for nothing is driving this country down. No, Americans don't expect us to be like them, they just expect us to act like democrats in a modern, capitalistic world system. And now they wonder indeed. We have enjoyed the fruits of it for 50 years and now we are not willing to help protect the garden. That stinks!
JR

"We have enjoyed the fruits of it for 50 years and now we are not willing to help protect the garden."

Beautifully stated! Bravo!

"....not willing to protect the garden"...a beautiful metaphor. My experience is that gardens die when seeded by agressive weeds. Just a question...when do you think Europe will see countries establish their first "Sharia" zones to keep the peace and which country(ies) will be first? I think there is a good chance that the Islamists might win: they, at least, are driven by a burning faith and their success may ultimately prove a triumph of the will. Sadly, all too many Euros that I know want out of life is to lounge and smell the flowers over a good glass of whine. Many others that I know recognize the danger, they just feel powerless to do anything to stop it. The EU constitution will disempower them even more. So they leave. It's very depressing.

Sharia will hit the UK first - there aren't as many muslims but the tendency of idiot British MP's to bestow rights on others is great

It is of relevance to know that VDH is also a farmer, a viticulturist.

Lets get real here fellas, the fault for these problems lays ENTIRELY w/ europe!
For 50 years , the euro foriegn policy took 2 simultaneous paths, lay low on foriegn policy, the path adopted by most of the EU, as long as they were able to make economic deals w/ whomever they wanted,no matter how degenerate.
The second path, that of france for 50 years has been " We don't know what we're for, but if the US is for it ,we're against it!".A stand which is completely moronic. While pursuing this policy france has been trying(sometimes w/ success)to use the EU and its members as proxies in the establishment of some sort of new french empire.
While taking the lions share of the EU farm budget to finance it.
The EU largely at the behest of france , but lately assisted by the timewarp dwelling leftist buffoons that have come to power in many countries in europe, most esp. Germany( OH for the days when you could mercilessly beat a cop and then go to the local for free beer,be feted like a hero, and get laid as well, eh Joschka?)
The trouble is, that us inferior yanks ain't buying into the B.S. anymore, france after doing for 50 yrs has finally poked the U.S. in the eye 1 too many times, and the imbeciles running germany have decided to go down in flames w/ them , and like any country the deals w/ france the germans are going to suffer the most from it.
The really stupid thing that europe is now persuing is its trying to become a seperate military entity, in a sense it has always been, but now at the behest of france mainly, it wants to become a hostile rival to the US .
So now, hypothetically were going to have British, and german soldiers and technology, coupled w/ french foreign policy, if you can think of a greater recipe for disaster, i can't.
And what are the circumstances for this radical shift? The US has in no way curtailed, the freedom of any european country in any way.A prime example is that during the cold war w/ 100,s of soviet divisions sitting across from US soldiers in germany, thriving communist parties existed in france, Italy, and greece, to name but a few. European companies in the last years have aquired literally 1000's of american companies (diamler\chrys, and siemens\westinghouse are two of the biggest that come to mind)so you can't say that we're limiting european economic developement.
The cause is infantile uncritical, fascist, hatred of the U.S. to rival economically is one thing , but has the thought ocurred to any of these euro imbeciles thought of the possible outcome of establishing a military rivalry w/ the U.S. could mean? Especially for such trivial reasons? Do people in LUX for example, want to fight against americans on their own soil for the cause of french hegemony over Europe? you euros might want to chew on that for a while.
As the old chinese proverb says " Be careful what you wish for, you may get it"

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