Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hitchens and Hanson

I have been depressed by a lot of things, as I said before, and I have been remiss about posting. But I have been reading and commenting online and have seen a lot of good stuff. Belmont Club and Michael Totten, in particular, have been good. Frank Warner has also been posting a lot. The best is his discussion of Christopher Hitchens' article, "Scorched Earth", in the Weekly Standard. FreeFrank suggests that Iraq needed the kind of cleansing violence visited on Germany and Japan in WWII in order to be open to change. I disagree and left a short response.

Victor Davis Hanson, the military historian, has a good article excoriating the smug self-satisfaction of modern America. We have it so good, he says, that we forget the fragility of Civilization. He compares our times to that of the Five Good Emperors of Rome and concludes that human progress is cyclic. I certainly agree that our happy current situation is fragile, but I am afraid that Progress is not marred by variability alone. It is, in fact, revocable. The Greek and Roman flowering was snuffed out for a thousand years. If not for the peripheral blossoms in Ireland and Baghdad and Spain, there would have been no second chance for the particular blessings of the Classical World.

8/9/2006 2:03 PM

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