Saturday, November 18, 2006

"Many Ingenious Lovely things are gone"

Victor Davis Hanson at NRO, from The Fighting over the Fighting :

"The one common denominator? Whatever the United States does is suspect; and journalists without responsibility for governance, either for setting policy or for its implementation, are always brighter than generals, politicians, and policy planners saddled with it.The truth is that wealthy Western elites in the media have evolved beyond worry over the basics of their civilization. They are so insulated, even after September 11, that they don’t believe there is much connection between liberty, freedom, consensual government, freedom of expression, and the everyday mundane things they depend on — whether excellent medical care, clean water, nice cars, neat electronic gadgets, eating out, or safety in their streets. A nuclear Iran, a missile-laden North Korea, a theocracy in oil-rich Iraq, an unleashed terrorist-sponsoring Syria, and an emboldened Hezbollah — all these still could still never quite take away their good life, so strong is the assurance of their never-ending comfort zone that they could not conceive of ever losing it. "

So thought King John in 1214, Xerxes at Marathon & Thermopolye, Admiral Keiji Shibasaki at Tarawa, ("a million men could not take Tarawa in a hundred years".), and the French at Crecy and Agincourt. Machiavelli says in his Discourses on Livy "...anyone wishing to see what is to be must consider what has been: all the things of this world in every era have their counterparts in ancient times...since these actions are carried out by men who have and have always had the same passions, which of necessity, must give rise to the same results". (I quote from Robert Kaplan's book, Warrior Politics. Read also his Imperial Grunts: The US Military on the Ground. Then read Victor Davis Hanson's ... anything.)

I've emailed Victor David Hanson and asked the press's ancient counterpart might be. When he replies I will post his opinion. But I think they see themselves as the Royalty of Celebrity, above accountability and human nature. Euripides' "Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad" comes to mind. But instead of padded rooms, they inhabit the rooms of each other's viewpoints. Stalin had several rooms decorated exactly the same way, same chintzy wallpaper, same stuffed chairs. He would travel to them along roads only he could use, and arrive in the same room he left. They are inbred like the Egyptian Pharohs, who married their cousins. They wield the power to shape perceptions. Their competition is the Jihadist propoganda terrorizers. They think the Republicans and conservative ideology is the enemy. God, what a mess.

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