Victor Davis Hanson - Observations about the War
October 6, 2007 5:04 PM   Subscribe

Last week’s quiet; Better News?; The U.S. military; The complexity of the effort; Mythologies "A common slur is that Halliburton is looting the treasury and contractors in Iraq are greedy profiteers."
posted by rockhopper (36 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Single link op ed screed on a subject we covered just a few days ago -- mathowie



 
The same guy --

Conservative Commentator Says Progress Being Made in Iraq
"The United States may not be winning hearts and minds in the Arab world, but a conservative political commentator scheduled to speak at the University of Utah Wednesday says the U.S. has helped spread democracy in the region.

Historian Victor Davis Hanson points to Libya giving up its weapons of mass destruction and the establishment of a constitutional government in Afghanistan as signs of progress."
Riiiight!!! Democracy on the march!!!
posted by ericb at 5:10 PM on October 6, 2007


SLOE. Adios.
posted by ibmcginty at 5:11 PM on October 6, 2007


wow never heard that before...
posted by twjordan at 5:11 PM on October 6, 2007


And Hanson calls the US military the "moral upper crust of American society." Riiiight!!! What about the Republican Theocrats? Aren't they the "moral upper crust?"
posted by ericb at 5:14 PM on October 6, 2007




Victor Davis Hanson on Columbia University for inviting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at their campus: Just Rename It Madhouse University.
posted by ericb at 5:16 PM on October 6, 2007


"I confess after spending 16-hour days with our soldiers in impossible conditions one wonders whether the entire country of Iraq is worth the loss of just [one] of these unusual Americans."

I got an answer for ya doc: No. Iraq is not even worth the loss of even one, ordinary, boring, reservist from Brookpark, Ohio, much less the MAs and PhDs you're so proud of.

A common slur is that Halliburton is looting the treasury and contractors in Iraq are greedy profiteers.

Thou sayest it.
posted by Faze at 5:16 PM on October 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hanson -- go back to growing your raisin grapes!
posted by ericb at 5:18 PM on October 6, 2007


Also, before this gets deleted, here's a WSJ, NY Post, pro-war conservative calling Halliburton greedy profiteers.

Oh no! Which view is politically correct for conservatives? There's no way for them to know what to think! Poor dears!
posted by ibmcginty at 5:19 PM on October 6, 2007


The military is pulling out all the stops. Some examples. They have flown Vietnam-era veterans to lecture on counter-insurgency in their school at Taji, in addition to clinic psychologists and veterans of recent wars from Panama to Afghanistan.

They'd have done well to pull out one more stop: Robert McNamara. He'd have remarked how America learned at great cost that the Vietnamese were fighting not for Communism, but for control of their own country.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:23 PM on October 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's great news! Shut up facts!
posted by odinsdream at 5:24 PM on October 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hansen shows up weekly on the op-ed page of my local dead-tree newspaper, and I usually read his opinion until he reaches his second blatantly and easily-proven false declaration. I rarely finish his column. Anyone who relies on V.D.H. for "truth" and "moral guidance" is a fool and a sheep.

A common slurfact is that Halliburton is looting the treasury and contractors in Iraq are greedy profiteers. Fixed that for you.
posted by wendell at 5:25 PM on October 6, 2007


... Halliburton is looting the treasury and contractors in Iraq are greedy profiteers.

... Halliburton is looting the treasury and contractors in Iraq are greedy profiteers.

... Halliburton is looting the treasury and contractors in Iraq are greedy profiteers.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:30 PM on October 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I suspect this SLOE was put up purely to cause ill will.
posted by edgeways at 5:31 PM on October 6, 2007


Yeah, everything's hunky-dory in Iraq.
posted by blucevalo at 5:36 PM on October 6, 2007


SLOE?

It's his thoughts during a visit to Iraq. Not quite an op ed.
posted by rockhopper at 5:41 PM on October 6, 2007


SLOE= single link op ed
posted by R. Mutt at 5:43 PM on October 6, 2007


ok ... wanna be sloe
posted by R. Mutt at 5:44 PM on October 6, 2007


Some Pajamas Media dicktard sez Iraq war is goin' great!
posted by jefbla at 5:50 PM on October 6, 2007


Man, you guys are so pessimistic.

In six months, things are going to be much different.
posted by blacklite at 5:50 PM on October 6, 2007


Yeah, it's an OE. Just because he's on vacation doesn't mean it's not.

Label me one conservative (and lover of the ancients) who can't fucking stand VDH and his whole assholish crew.
posted by koeselitz at 5:54 PM on October 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


A common slur is that Halliburton is looting the treasury and contractors in Iraq are greedy profiteers. I again found the opposite to be true.

That the slur isn't common? You must be an idiot then, because I say it constantly.

Because it's true.
posted by quin at 5:55 PM on October 6, 2007


Or, to put it more clearly:

The 'common slur' be damned. (Never mind that that common slur is more in the mouths of soldiers than anybody else. In the words of an explosives specialist I heard interviewed the other day: "I tell them, 'I can't stand fucking civilians. Get the fuck away from me.'") It's true; it's not really the fault of the contractors. They're doing what they and I believe is good work for a good cause; they're putting themselves at risk; and a good chunk of them are putting good food on the table for their families.

I'm pissed off at the idiots who decided that it was a good idea to pay contractors enough so that people who are under contract are getting between five and ten times as much as people who are in the armed forces. What the fuck? Does anybody have any clue how bad that looks?

And, to add to it, just how much fucking money we might be saving if we doubled everybody's pay and just did the job ourselves? Nobody seems able to give me a satisfactory answer on this.

Oh, and Victor Davis Hanson's work on Thucydides? Pure shite.
posted by koeselitz at 6:02 PM on October 6, 2007


Hey, there's one passage on that page which I've no doubt is unequivocally true:
All comments are filtered by the site owner before they appear to the public. Until then, they are held for moderation.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:03 PM on October 6, 2007


koeselitz: here's a pretty rad excerpt from some VDH Peloponnesian War fanfic he's been working on. It reminds me of the Tek Jansen segment on Colbert:
The great victory over the Spartans at Leuktra is a year past. It’s now winter, and the Boiotians are still debating whether to take the war home to Sparta. After hearing the Athenian Kallistratos and his Boiotian ally Eteokles damn the notion of a katabasis southward, the general Epaminondas addresses and wins over the assembly to march out the next day. In the tumult following that voice vote, the old sophist Alkidamas steps up to offer one more thought to the unruly crowd before the Boiotians leave. ...

“No man born knows who is by nature a slave, this curse that so often makes the strong and wise unfree and the weak and dull their master. Beware of those who say the Messenians know nothing of letters as if they were man-footed beasts of dim wits and animal grunts. They are unfree because they live next to the Spartans, as we the Boiotians, and Kallistratos and his fancy Athenians might well have been as well—had our borders butted such a race of granite as those who wear the red capes. Oh yes, the Messenians will be free. But their rebirth will be thanks only to the black spears of the Boiotians. In the year to come, they will have their free city of Messenê—for nature has made no man a slave.”

With that final reminder to the hoplites, the strong arms of the phalanx, Alkidamas stepped down and abandoned the politics of Boiotia for good, for this man of action now had business himself in the Peloponnese.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:06 PM on October 6, 2007


Faze: "I got an answer for ya doc... Iraq is not even worth the loss of even one, ordinary, boring, reservist from Brookpark, Ohio, much less the MAs and PhDs you're so proud of."

Aww. And we thought anti-muslim hatred was dying down, but here it is cropping up again.
posted by koeselitz at 6:06 PM on October 6, 2007


Not wanting American soldiers to die for zero benefit to the US or Iraq != anti-Muslim hatred.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:08 PM on October 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow, ibmcginty. That's a pretty... well, interesting thing you found there.
posted by koeselitz at 6:09 PM on October 6, 2007


Well then say that. Sorry, but when VDH says "I wonder if it's worth american lives," I think he's probably talking in terms of "muslim and iraqi culture/arab lives aren't worth even one american life." The correct response shouldn't be "that's true." The correct response should be "hell yes it is, but this isn't the fucking way to do it."

Sorry if I'm nit-picking, but VDH makes me pissy.
posted by koeselitz at 6:11 PM on October 6, 2007 [1 favorite]



And, to add to it, just how much fucking money we might be saving if we doubled everybody's pay and just did the job ourselves? Nobody seems able to give me a satisfactory answer on this.


I'm pretty sure that the reason we have so many contractors is because those in charge think the military has everyone they're going to get without a draft and that they don't have enough soldiers to fill all the required roles. So, in turn they have to private contractors and insane rates because they got themselves into a situation they couldn't actually handle.
posted by drezdn at 6:12 PM on October 6, 2007


BTW, if anyone needs a example of profiteering gone utterly fucking insane, just google the following phrase, including the quotes:

halliburton "burn pits"

Or just watch Iraq For Sale.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:14 PM on October 6, 2007


The scale of the American miscalculation is striking. Before the Iraq war began, its neoconservative architects argued that conferring power on Iraq's Shiites would serve to undermine Iran because Iraq's Shiites, controlling the faith's two holiest cities, would, in the words of then Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, be "an independent source of authority for the Shia religion emerging in a country that is democratic and pro-Western." Further, they argued, Iran could never dominate Iraq, because the Iraqi Shiites are Arabs and the Iranian Shiites Persian. It was a theory that, unfortunately, had no connection to reality.

Iran's bond with the Iraqi Shiites goes far beyond the support Iran gave Shiite leaders in their struggle with Saddam Hussein. Decades of oppression have made their religious identity more important to Iraqi Shiites than their Arab ethnic identity. (Also, many Iraqi Shiites have Turcoman, Persian, or Kurdish ancestors.) While Sunnis identify with the Arab world, Iraqi Shiites identify with the Shiite world, and for many this means Iran.

There is also the legacy of February 15, 1991, when President George H.W. Bush called on the Iraqi people to rise up against Saddam Hussein. Two weeks later, the Shiites in southern Iraq did just that. When Saddam's Republican Guards moved south to crush the rebellion, President Bush went fishing and no help was given. Only Iran showed sympathy. Hundreds of thousands died and no Iraqi Shiite I know thinks this failure of US support was anything but intentional. In assessing the loyalty of the Iraqi Shiites before the war, the war's architects often stressed how Iraqi Shiite conscripts fought loyally for Iraq in the Iran–Iraq War. They never mentioned the 1991 betrayal. This was understandable: at the end of the 1991 war, Wolfowitz was the number-three man at the Pentagon, Dick Cheney was the defense secretary, and, of course, Bush's father was the president.

Iran and its Iraqi allies control, respectively, the Middle East's third- and second-largest oil reserves. Iran's influence now extends to the borders of the Saudi province that holds the world's largest oil reserves. President Bush has responded to these strategic changes wrought by his own policies by strongly supporting a pro-Iranian government in Baghdad and by arming and training the most pro-Iranian elements in the Iraqi military and police.
The Victor?
posted by y2karl at 6:21 PM on October 6, 2007


Given the, ah, documented tendency of the current WH occupiers to pay for positive news press I wonder how much $ the fellow got for his shiny attitude. (see in the record industry this is called payola and is illegal, in politics its not called anything)
posted by edgeways at 6:37 PM on October 6, 2007


Victor Davis Hanson is an Imperial War Academic whose tongue has been stuck in Bush's asshole since 2001. Fuck him, I hope he burns when the judgment comes.
posted by chlorus at 6:40 PM on October 6, 2007


A single link to a crappy post in Hanson's blog? Are you kidding me? Maybe tomorrow you could link to Instapundit or Malkin. Do not want.
posted by octothorpe at 6:40 PM on October 6, 2007


Anti-war in geek speak.
posted by nickyskye at 6:44 PM on October 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


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