Thursday, December 6, 2007

Victor Davis Hanson Starts Moving the Goalposts

“I have written too much about why it is a bad idea to bomb Iran now.” — Victor Davis Hanson, 12/5/2007

Serial historical revisionist Victor Davis Hanson has decided that he's had enough of the Kool-Aid for a while, and with the new NIE report on Iran definitely blowing the winds in other directions, he's decided to basically ignore the fact that he's advocated bombing Iran.

When you don't expect people to hold you accountable, this is what you do.

When you figure no one will parse previous statements, this is what you do.

The following are some examples of doublespeak and dishonesty, courtesy of Professor Hanson. Draw your own conclusions, if you please.


VDH on January 13, 2006:And Iran poses far greater risks than in the past for Israeli pilots flying in over the heart of the Muslim world, with 200-300 possible nuclear sites that are burrowed into mountains, bunkers and suburbs. Such a mission would require greater flight distances, messy refueling, careful intelligence, and the need to put Israeli forces on alert for an Iranian counterstrike or a terrorist move from Lebanon. Former Israeli friends like Turkey are now not so cordial, and the violation of Islamic airspace might in the short-term draw an ugly response, despite the eventual relief in Arab capitals at the elimination of the Iranian nuclear arsenal.


The fourth scenario is as increasingly dreaded as it is apparently inevitable — a U.S. air strike. Most hope that it can be delayed, since its one virtue — the elimination of the Iranian nuclear threat — must ipso facto outweigh the multifaceted disadvantages.


VDH on Bush meeting:"At one point during his class … Hanson related a story where he was in the Oval Office … discussing the matter of Iran [with the president]. Hanson closed his story by saying that Bush vowed to do something about Iran before his term expired."


VDH on appeasement:Instead, most experts explained why violent fanatics might have some half-legitimate grievance behind their deadly harvest each year of a few Americans in the wrong place at the wrong time. These experts cautioned that, instead of bombing and shooting killers abroad who otherwise would eventually reach us at home, Americans should take care not to disturb Iranian terrorists during Ramadan—rather than to remember that Muslims attacked Israel precisely during that holy period.


VDH saying we should NOT bomb Iran, with all kinds of caveats that suggest will will HAVE to bomb Iran, at some point:Of course, there is no reason yet to believe that Iran’s megalomaniac plans are stalled. There is much less reason to think that the world is galvanizing fast or furiously enough against the loony Ahmadinejad. But there are some positive signs that Iran is not nearly as strong as it thinks, and the general winds of the world are blowing against it, ever so slowly — and thanks in large part to careful U.S. policy and the innately self-destructive tendencies of Iranian theocracy.

Note that the loud Democratic 2008 candidates have ceased calling for direct talks with Iran (the inexperienced Obama, the exception proving the rule). They can offer no policy other than the present one. For all the dangers, the spectacle of Ahmadinejad has been a great gift to the Western world — loudly embodying, in its raw, pure form, the evil which Iranian theocracy inevitably produces.

So we should continue with the present path — and not bomb or have surrogates bomb Iran. That option is still down the road. For as long as it is possible, the best-case scenario is not a smoking Iran, but a humiliated theocracy that slowly implodes before the world, displaying in their disgrace what the mullahs did to themselves — and perhaps a small reminder of those helpful shoves from us.


VDH on the European reaction to Iran in 2005:The European way is not the answer, as we see from the farcical negotiations over Iran’s time bomb. Struggling with a small military, unsustainable entitlement promises, little real economic growth, high unemployment, falling birth rates, angry unassimilated minorities, and a suicidal policy of estrangement from its benefactor the United States, Europeans show already an 11th-hour change of heart as we see in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and soon in France.

Europe’s policy about Iran’s nuclear program can best be summed up as “Hurry up, sane and Western Israel, and take out this awful thing — so we can damn you Zionist aggressors for doing so in our morning papers.”


A little later, I'm going to take apart his entire "Lancing the Boil" article, which stands as one of the worst pieces of political prediction ever published.

But for right now, please note: some of the neo-con apologists and pro-Bush Administration cheerleaders are quietly moving the goalposts and are trying to position themselves for the new dynamic in American politics that will take hole when Bush is finally out of office.

That dynamic will probably strike fair-minded people everywhere as dishonest hypocrisy wrapped in bullshit and dipped in feckless sauce.

A tip o' the hat to Think Progress for giving me a chance to find some other examples of dishonesty and deceit.

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