Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Victor Davis Hanson...Optimist?

Today in a piece in Commentary from KKRB favorite VDH is an article where he seems to think Europe will pull their collective heads out of their asses and do something to actually defend themselves.

I'm not so sure Europe has it in them anymore. To take from the last paragraph of the piece, I think Europe is still more Chamberlain than Churchill, and I'm not sure it is going to change anytime soon. I do hope VDH is right, though.


Blogger Jeff said...

Politics aside, VDH has an incredibly recognizable rhetorical style, which I assume must be the result of the classical education.

I think the only point I would agree with in terms of Europe's response is the tightening of immigration policies, which has already happened in Holland, and which was beginning to happen in Scandinavia even before the cartoon hubub.

I think the military/intelligence shifts could possibly happen, but only if the US were to stop subsidizing Europe's defense, which I guess is possible somewhere down the line.

That said, I think his whole "the more liberal we are, the more they hate us" thing is just a fantasy. Poland has NO Muslim presence at all, which isn't surprising. It was a completely closed society until recently, and there is certainly nothing like the economic opportunity or welfare state to attract Muslim immigrants there. So, muslims riot and burn shit in the countries where there are significant numbers of them around to do so. It doesn't have anything to do with the "liberalism" of those countries per se, unless by that he means the mere fact that they were let in in the first place.

3:15 PM  
Blogger hurtleg said...

I don't think your argument disproves that "the more liberal we are, the more they hate us". You have proved that there have to be angry muslims present for angry muslims to riot.

Muslims can hate the Poles for their new liberalism, but if none are there to protest, we don't see it.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"I don't think your argument disproves that "the more liberal we are, the more they hate us".:

It doesn't, but then the burden of proof (or disproof) isn't on me, it's on VDH. And since islamic fundies attack not only liberal western states, but also middle eastern states, from Saudi Arabia to Egypt (who often deal with them as harshly as VDH would like the western powers to deal with them) I don't think he has much of a case. It's likely that fundies/al-quaeda will eventually attack Denmark/Danish interests now, given all the attention it's been getting, but that still won't prove his point. So far, the main targets of their attacks have been states that have high-profile interventions in the region, making that the real criterion for being attacked. He offers no proof for his contention.

12:31 PM  

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