Victor Davis Hanson, writing in City Journal, details the necessity of studying conflict, despite a near-ubiquitous hesitation to do so in our modern era. (More details of this can be found in ‘The Peace Racket.‘)
“Indeed, by ignoring history, the modern age is free to interpret war as a failure of communication, of diplomacy, of talking—as if aggressors don’t know exactly what they’re doing. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, frustrated by the Bush administration’s intransigence in the War on Terror, flew to Syria, hoping to persuade President Assad to stop funding terror in the Middle East. She assumed that Assad’s belligerence resulted from our aloofness and arrogance rather than from his dictatorship’s interest in destroying democracy in Lebanon and Iraq, before such contagious freedom might in fact destroy him. For a therapeutically inclined generation raised on Oprah and Dr. Phil—and not on the letters of William Tecumseh Sherman and William Shirer’s Berlin Diary—problems between states, like those in our personal lives, should be argued about by equally civilized and peaceful rivals, and so solved without resorting to violence.”
Hanson ends with a few book suggestions to complete a primer in military history. I’ll try to grab a Kindle copy of one this weekend. (As an aside, I would add one more from Cornell’s own to his list.)
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