Transcript: Victor Davis Hanson on Israel and Defence of the West | Jun 12, 2004

Victor Davis Hanson stands behind a dark wooden lectern giving a speech in a church. He’s in his sixties, clean-shaven with receding blond hair. He’s wearing glasses, a cream suit, white shirt and dotted blue tie.

Victor says
SOMEBODY SAID, ISRAELIS ARE
ALWAYS AT WAR.
THEY'VE BEEN AT WAR ALL THE
TIME.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Victor Davis Hanson. University of California."

Victor continues I SAID
NO MORE THAN ATHENS WAS IN THE
FIFTH CENTURY.
THEY WERE AT WAR 75 YEARS OUT
OF 100.
NO MORE THAN WE ARE AT WAR.
WE HAVE SINCE VIETNAM I THOUGHT
WE FOUGHT AT SOME PLACE CALLED
GRENADA.

The caption changes to "Israel and the Defence of the West. Holy Blossom Temple. May 17, 2004."

He continues SOMALIA, PANAMA, FIRST GULF
WAR, SECOND GULF WAR, THROW IN
BOSNIA AND SERBIA.
THAT'S WHAT STATES DO.
WAR UNFORTUNATELY, IS NOT A
THERAPEUTIC IDEA.
IT'S AN EXERCISE.
IT'S WITH US.
IT REFLECTS A TRAGEDY.
AND I THINK WE CAN GO BACK TO
THE GREEKS JUST FOR A MINUTE TO
REALIZE THAT PEOPLE WHO LOOK AT
THE WORLD NOT THEORETICALLY BUT
IMPERICALLY.
WHAT IT WAS HERCLITES WHO SAID,
WAR IS THE FATHER OF US ALL.
OR A CHARACTER IN PLATO'S
"REPUBLIC" THAT SAID, PEACE IS
A PARENTHESES.
WAR IS THE NATURAL ORDER OF
THINGS.
OR HEROCLITES THAT SAID THAT
FATHERS, IT'S A TERRIBLE
SITUATION WHEN FATHERS BURY
SONS, RATHER THAN SONS,
FATHERS.
IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THE
ACCEPTANCE OF IT IS AN
ENDORSEMENT.
BUT RATHER THIS CLASSICAL IDEA
THAT WAR WAS UBIQUITOUS.
THAT IT BROKE OUT ALL THE TIME.
WAS COUPLED WITH ITS MORALITY
WAS ADJUDICATED OR JUDGED OR
EVALUATED ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES
UNDER WHICH IT TAKES PLACE.
WHY DID THEY FIGHT?
HOW DID THEY FIGHT?
FOR WHAT CAUSE AND HOW, WHAT
WERE THE RESULTS AND WHO WON?
IN THAT WAY OF THINKING, THE
PERSIAN WAR WAS A GOOD WAR
BECAUSE A TINY STATE WAS TRYING
TO PROTECT ITSELF FROM A
PERSIAN EMPIRE THAT WANTED TO
ENSLAVE IT.
IN THE WAY THAT THE
PELOPONNESIAN WAR WAS MUCH
HARDER TO FIGURE OUT, BECAUSE
BROAD BASED, OLIGARCHIES WERE
FIGHTING DEMOCRACIES THAT SPOKE
THE SAME LANGUAGE AND IT DIDN'T
GO ON FOR TWO YEARS, BUT 27 AND
A HALF.
SO IN THE GREEK MIND EACH WAR
WAS PARTICULAR, PECULIAR.
AND BEFORE WE DISMISS THAT
ENTERPRISE IN ITSELF AS AMORAL,
TAKE A DEEP BREATH.
I KNOW IT'S UBIQUITOUS, BECAUSE
WE HAVE THESE ROMAN NUMERALS.
WORLD WAR ONE, WORLD WAR TWO.
WE SAID THAT WE WERE, WE HAD A
GULF WAR.
YOU NOTICE NOW IT'S CALLED GULF
WAR ONE?
I GUESS BECAUSE THE PRESENT
THING IS GULF WAR TWO.
IF YOU MOVE ON FALUSIA, AND
DON'T TAKE FALUSIA, I THINK
PRETTY SOON YOU'RE GONNA HAVE
GULF WAR THREE.
THERE WAS FIRST BATTLE OF
KERRY, AND SECOND BATTLE OF
KERRY, AND FIRST PUNIC WAR,
SECOND PUNIC WAR, THIRD PUNIC
WAR, NO FOURTH PUNIC WAR.
BUT NEVERTHELESS, THERE IS
NOMENCLATURE IN LANGUAGE TO
REFLECT THE UBIQUITY OF WAR.
BUT THE POINT THAT I'M MAKING
ABOUT ITS MORALITY, YOU HAVE TO
FIND THE MORAL LANDSCAPE IN
WHICH IT TAKES PLACE.
ALL OF THE GREAT ISMS OF YOUR
GENERATION AND MY GENERATION,
FACSISM, JAPANESE MILITARISM,
COMMUNISM, NAZISM, WERE EITHER
ELIMINATED BY WAR OR BY THE
THREAT OF WAR, BY PEOPLE WHO
DID NOT WANT TO GO TO WAR.
AND YOU CAN MAKE THE ARGUMENT
THAT IF YOU DO THE TERRIBLE
CALCULUS OF HISTORY, AND YOU
ADD UP ALL OF THOSE POOR,
FORGOTTEN SOULS THAT WENT TO
THE HOLOCAUST, AND ALL THOSE
PEOPLE, THAT PEOPLE DO NOT
REMEMBER THAT WENT TO THE
GULAG, AND THE 50,000,000 THAT
MAO KILLED, AND THE CAMBODIAN.
IN OUR TIME, THE RWANDANS.
THIS WAS THE WORST CENTURY FOR
WAR IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.
WORLD WAR ONE AND WORLD WAR TWO
TOGETHER KILLED 65,000,000
PEOPLE AND THAT NUMBER WAS
SMALLER THAN THE SUM TOTAL OF
HITLER, AND STALIN AND MAO AND
THE CAMBODIANS, OUTSIDE THE
BATTLEFIELD, AND NOBODY TALKS
ABOUT THAT.
IN EACH ONE OF THOSE CASES YOU
COULD MAKE THE ARGUMENT THAT
EARLY ARMED FORCES AGAINST
HITLER WOULD HAVE SAVED NOT
TAKEN LIVES.
IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU LIKE
WAR, BUT IT DOES SUGGEST THAT
WAR IS NOT NECESSARILY THE
WORST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN.
REMEMBER WHEN THE AMERICANS
WENT INTO THE BALKANS?
250,000 PEOPLE HAD BEEN KILLED
FOR EIGHT YEARS UNDER THE NOSES
OF THE MOST UTOPIAN ENTERPRISE
WE'VE SEEN IN THE LAST 50
YEARS, THE EUROPEAN UNION.
IN THE SPACE OF EIGHT WEEKS,
THE UNITED STATES VERY CLUMSILY
WENT IN AS WARS ARE CLUMSILY,
AND THEY BOMBED AND THEY SAVED
250,000 PEOPLE AND THEY WERE
IMMEDIATELY DENIGRATED AS BEING
COWBOYS, BOMBERS, ETCETERA.
BUT HAD THEY NOT DONE THAT,
THERE WOULD PROBABLY NOT BE A
MUSLIM IN THE BALKANS ALIVE TO
THIS DAY.
WHAT THEN CAUSES WARS?
IF THEY'RE FREQUENT, WHAT
CAUSES THEM?
WE HAD THIS IDEA AFTER MARX
THAT WARS ARE CAUSED BY
ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION, OR REAL
OPPRESSION.
I THINK THAT'S A VERY, MODERN
ATTITUDE.
THE ATTITUDE WOULD ALMOST BE
THAT HITLER REALLY DID NEED
LIVING ROOM, LEBANS ROM, EVEN
THOUGH TODAY, GERMANY HAS LESS
TERRITORY AND MORE PEOPLE THAN
IT DID IN 1939, AND NOT ONE
GERMAN POLITICIAN IS SAYING
THEY NEED MORE LAND.
IN THE WAY THAT JAPANESE SAY
TODAY THEY DON'T NEED MORE
LAND, BUT THEY HAVE MORE PEOPLE
THAN THEY DID IN 1932.
I REALLY DON'T THINK THAT THE
FALKLANDS WERE INTEGRAL TO THE
ECONOMY OF THE GALTIERI
DICTATORSHIP IN ARGENTINA.
AND I REALLY DON'T THINK THAT
THE PRESENT STRUGGLE IN
PALESTINE IS OVER SO-CALLED
OCCUPIED LAND, ALONE.
IF IT WERE THAN THE 1947, 56
AND 67 WAR WERE OVER SOMETHING
OTHER THAN THE WEST BANK.
AND IF THEY WERE, IF THE UNITED
NATIONS IS SO INTENT ON REAL,
CONCRETE, GRIEVANCES BEING THE
CAUSES OF WARS, THAN I SUGGEST
THEY TURN THEIR ATTENTION AND
DEVOTE, NOT HALF OF THEIR
RESOLUTIONS, BUT JUST TEN
PERCENT TO OCCUPY TIBET, OR
THEY OCCUPIED SOCKLAND ISLANDS,
OR THEY OCCUPIED CYPRUS, OR TEN
PERCENT OF GERMANY IS NOW IN
POLISH HANDS.
SO OCCUPIED LAND DOESN'T
EXPLAIN IT EITHER.
WELL WHAT DOES?
I THINK WE COULD GO BACK AGAIN
AND LOOK FOR SOME WISDOM FROM
THE GREEKS, AND THEY EVEN HAD A
SPECIAL WORD THAT THESIDES WAS
QUITE FOND OF, PROFOSUS,
PRETEXT.
IN OTHER WORDS, THE IDEA THAT
PEOPLE WHAT THEY SAY THEY GO TO
WAR FOR ARE NOT NECESSARILY
REAL REASONS.
SPARTA WENT TO WAR BECAUSE THEY
SAID THAT THEY WERE AFRAID OF
ATHENIAN POWER.
AFRAID?
BUT IF YOU LOOK AT ATHENS AND
WHAT THEY'D ACTUALLY DONE IN
THE TWO DECADES BEFORE, THEY
HAD REALLY BEEN PRETTY
ACCOMODATING.
BUT PERHAPS SPARTA THOUGHT THAT
IF THEY DIDN'T STRIKE NOW, THE
ENGINE, THE FIRST GLOBALIZATION
REALLY OF THE ANCIENT WORLD...
THE
ENGINE OF ATHENIAN CULTURE AND
POWER AND RADICAL DEMOCRACY
WOULD SWEEP THEM AWAY, SO THEY
PRE-EMPTED WHEN THEY COULD.
NOT OUT, NOT OUT OF A REAL
GRIEVANCE, BUT A PERCEPTION.
IN THE
SAME WAY MAYBE THE GALTIERI
DICTATORSHIP FELT THAT THEIR
FASCISM WAS FALLING APART, AND
THEY NEEDED A DRAMATIC
STATEMENT AGAINST A FORMER,
COLONIAL POWER, BY TAKING BACK
THE MALVINAS AND RESTORING
NATIONAL HONOUR.
AND PERHAPS, JUST PERHAPS,
PEOPLE LIKE HITLER AND PEOPLE
LIKE TOJO, AND PEOPLE LIKE
STALIN, THEY GRASP AT PRETEXT
TO EXPLAIN WHY THEY NEED TO GO
TO WAR.
WHY DID WE HAVE THE SO-CALLED
9-11?
THE WAR AGAINST TERROR?
THE FIRST THING THAT WAS
ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE WAS
PEOPLE SAID WHAT DID WE DO TO
DESERVE THIS?
AS IF WARS EVER START WITH REAL
GRIEVANCES.
IF YOU LOOK WHAT THE UNITED
STATES HAD DONE IN THE PERIOD
LEADING UP TO 911, IT WAS
PRETTY GOOD IN RELATIONSHIP TO
THE MUSLIM WORLD.
THINK OF IT.
FREED KUWAIT.
IT WAS NO LONGER THE 19TH
PROVINCE OF IRAQ.
FEDS, MUSLIMS IN SOMALIA, OUT
OF REAL POLITIQUE, BUT
NEVERTHELESS STOPPED GODLESS,
ATHEIST COMMUNISM, IN
AFGHANISTAN.
BOMBED A CHRISTIAN, EUROPEAN
NATION IN EUROPE TO SAVE
MUSLIMS.
HAD A FORMULA BASED ON 1975
CAMP DAVID AFFORDS THAT ROUGHLY
IN THE AGGREGATE GAVE ABOUT AS
MUCH MONEY TO THE ARAB WORLD,
WHETHER IT WAS THE
PALESTINIANS, JORDAN AND EGYPT
AS THEY HAD TO ISRAEL.
SO THERE WASN'T REALLY A LOT OF
REASONS TO BE MAD AT THE UNITED
STATES.
IF YOU SAY WELL IT WAS A
PALESTINIAN ISSUE.
I, I THOUGHT THAT WAS AMUSING
BECAUSE RIGHT AFTER SEPTEMBER
11TH, THE GALLUP POLL DID, I
DON'T KNOW IF YOU REMEMBER THAT
FAMOUS, POPULARITY POLL TAKEN?
I CAN'T RECITE THE EXACT
NUMBERS, BUT IT TURNED OUT,
THAT OF ALL THE ARAB COUNTRIES
POLLED, KUWAIT WAS THE MOST,
ANGRY WITH THE UNITED STATES.

The audience laughs.

Victor continues AND
THEY HAD LISTED THEIR PRIME
REASON AS OUR PREFERENTIAL
TREATMENT TOWARD THE ISRAELIS.

People listen carefully.

He continues THINK OF THAT FOR A MINUTE,
REFLECTING THIS DUCIDITY AND
IDEA THAT PEOPLE GO TO WAR OR
ARE ANGRY FOR PRETEXT, BECAUSE
KUWAIT DID NOT EXIST UNTIL THE
UNITED STATES SAVED IT, AND
THEN IT SUMMARILY DEPORTED OR
PERHAPS WE COULD SAY ETHNICALLY
CLEANSED 350,000 PALESTINIANS
IN A WAY THAT ISRAEL COULD
NEVER DO AND GOT THEM ALL OUT
OF THE COUNTRY CAUSE THEY
SUPPORTED SADDAM HUSSEIN.
AND NOW THEY WERE EXPRESSING
ANGER AT THE PEOPLE WHO
LIBERATED THEM FOR THEIR
TREATMENT, THE AMERICAN
TREATMENT OF THE PALESTINIANS.
IT SHOWS YOU THAT THERE ARE
VERY STRONG EMOTIONS THAT MAKE
PEOPLE GO TO WAR, AND THEY'RE
TIED UP, IF I COULD ONCE AGAIN
RELY ON A FUNNY SPEECH IN THE
FIRST BOOK OF DUSIDIOUS WHEN
ATHENIAN SAYS HONOUR, HONOUR
AND FEAR, AND SELF-INTEREST.
THESE ARE THINGS THAT MAKE US
WANT TO KEEP OUR, OUT EMPIRE.
THESE ARE THINGS THAT WANT,
MAKE PEOPLE WANT TO GO WAR, IT
SEEMS TO ME.
BUT JUST BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN ACT
IRRATIONALLY, COLLECTIVELY, OR
UNDER A DICTATOR OR AN
AUTOCRAT, IT'S NOT SUBJECT,
CONSENSUAL RULE, OR CIVIC
AUDIT, IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT
THEY HAVE TO GO TO WAR.
WARS ARE NOT EASY TO START.
I KNOW THAT WE, THIS IDEA OF,
THIS IDEA OF CONFLICT,
RESOLUTION SAYS IF WE CAN JUST
COMMUNICATE BETTER WE CAN STOP
WARS.
I THINK THAT EVERY, ALMOST
EVERY INSTANCE THROUGHOUT
HISTORY, MOST PEOPLE KNEW
EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE DOING
WHEN WARS BROKE OUT.
CHINA SHOT DOWN A U.S. SPY
PLANE THAT WAS WRECKLESSLY
CLOSE TO ITS BORDER IN AN ACT
OF WAR.
WE DID NOT GO TO WAR WITH
CHINA.
FOR ALL THE TRAUMA, AND THE
DANGER AND THE HYSTERIA ABOUT
THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS, THEY
HAD NUCLEAR MISSILES IN CUBA
POINTED AT THE UNITED, WE DID
NOT GO TO WAR.
MORE LIKELY, ONE SIDE GOES TO
WAR BECAUSE THEY THINK THEY CAN
GET AWAY WITH IT.
THAT THERE'S NOT CONSEQUENCES.
BECAUSE THEY THINK THAT
POLITICAL GAINS, THE SENSE OF
HONOUR, THE SENSE OF FEAR, YOU
NAME IT CAN BE ACQUIRED RATHER
CHEAPLY.
I DON'T WANT TO PICK ON THE
FALKLANDS AGAIN.
BUT IF YOU GO BACK, IT'S A VERY
INTERESTING METAPHOR OF THE
TIMES.
THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT HAD COME
IN, LED BY NONE OTHER THAN A
WOMAN, MARGARET THATCHER, AND A
SMALL, BRITISH MINESWEEPER HAD
WITHDRAWN FROM THE MALVINAS.
AND PEOPLE IN ARGENTINA
BELIEVED THAT THIS WAS A SIGN
OF WEAKNESS.
THAT THEY WOULD NOT RESPOND.
THAT A FEMALE WOULD NOT GO TO
WAR WITH A MACHISMO, IN
ARGENTINA, AND THEY THOUGHT
THEY COULD GET A VERY, CHEAP,
EASY, VICTORY, AND THEY ALMOST
DID.
SAME THING, WE DON'T WANT TO
PICK ON APRIL GLASS, BECAUSE
SHE'S BEEN PICKED ON SO MUCH,
THE AMERICAN AMBASSADOR WHO
SAID PURPOTEDLY IN JULY OF
1990, THAT UNITED, SHE WAS NOT
SURE THE UNITED STATES WOULD
OBJECT OR WOULD INTERVENE IF
THE 19TH PROVINCE OF KUWAIT WAS
REINCORPORATED IN WITH IRAQ.
THAT MAY HAVE GIVEN THE GREEN
LIGHT.
I THINK IT WAS A SOBER AND
JUDICIOUS THING FOR ISRAEL NOT
TO REPLY IN THE 1991 GULF WAR,
TO 39 SCUDS THAT RAINED IN ON
TEL AVIV AND OTHER CITIES,
WHERE PEOPLE CHEERED ON THE,
THE ROOFTOPS AND THE WORLD SAW
JEWS WITH PLASTIC OVER THEIR
HOUSES.
MAYBE IT WAS SOBER AND
JUDICIOUS.
I UNDERSTAND THE TACTIC.
I EVEN UNDERSTOOD WHEN WE SAW
THE 39 MINERETTES IN BAGHDAD
COMMEMORATING THOSE SCUDS, AND
WERE TOLD THE GREAT SLOGAN OF
IRAQ IN THE EARLY 90S WAS WHERE
WAS THE 40TH SCUD?
MEANING WHY DIDN'T MY ARAB
BROTHER HELP ME?
I THINK IT WAS PROBABLY SOBER
AND JUDICIOUS TO
GET OUT
OF LEBANON UNILATERALLY,
BECAUSE IT WAS IN ISRAEL'S
NATIONAL INTEREST.
ALTHOUGH THE MANNER IN WHICH
THEY GOT OUT IS MY POINT.
IT
PROBABLY CONVEYED A SENSE OF
WEAKNESS.
I THINK IT WAS SOBER AND
JUDICIOUS IN THE CAMP DAVID
AGREEMENTS TO BE FLEXIBLE AND
PERHAPS WHATEVER FIGURE, NOBODY
REALLY KNOWS THE FIGURE BECAUSE
EVERYBODY ARGUES,
93 PERCENT, 95 PERCENT,
97 PERCENT.
BUT WHATEVER THAT MAGICAL
FIGURE WAS, THAT WAS SOBER AND
JUDICIOUS TO DO THAT.
BUT THE PROBLEM IS I THINK IT
WAS SOBER AND JUDICIOUS AND
MOST OF YOU PROBABLY DO TOO.
BUT I THINK PEOPLE IN THE ARAB
WORLD THOUGHT SOMETHING ALONG
THE FOLLOWING.
THIS GENERATION OF ISRAELIS
LIKE THIS GENERATION OF
AMERICANS, EITHER CANNOT OR
WILL NOT RESPOND TO AN ATTACK
ON THE JEWISH STATE, AND
THEREFORE INCREMENTALLY WE'RE
SEEING A NEW GENERATION THAT
DOES NOT HAVE THE ELAN, THE,
THE AUDACITY, THE PRINCIPLES OF
AN OLDER, OLDER GENERATION.
AND WE CAN GET IN THE INTIFADA
WHAT WE COULD NOT GET AT THE
NEGOTIATION TABLE.
IN THE SAME MANNER THAT I THINK
IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT BIN LADEN
SAID, AGAIN PRETEXT, HE WENT TO
WAR WITH US IN HIS 1998 FATWA
WHERE HE SAID TO KILL EVERY
AMERICAN YOU COULD, CAUSE OF
TWO THINGS.
THE OIL EMBARGO, FOOD EMBARGO,
THE OIL FOR FOOD PROGRAM
INSTIGATED BY THE UNITED STATES
WAS STARVING IRAQI CHILDREN,
AND WE HAD SOLDIERS AT THE HOLY
SITES AT MECCA AND MEDINA.
BOTH OF THOSE ARE GONE NOW BY
THE WAY, AND WE DON'T SEE HIM
SAYING THANK YOU, YOU REMOVED
THE CONDITIONS FOR WAR THAT MY
FATWA WAS ABOUT, LET'S HAVE
PEACE.
NO, THE REAL REASON, THE REAL
REASON WAS THAT GLOBALIZATION
AND WESTERNIZATION WAS
APPEALING FASTER TO THE
APPETITES FOR 350,000,000
PEOPLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST THAT
HAD BEEN LEFT OUT BY THIS
PROCESS OF WESTERNIZATION,
GLOBALIZATION, THAT WE SEE,
TRANSFORMING AFRICA, SOUTHEAST
ASIA, FOR GOOD OR EVIL, SOUTH
AMERICA, IN WHICH PEOPLE ARE
TIED TOGETHER WITH GLOBAL
COMMUNICATIONS.
THE POWER OF THE PATRIARCH TO
DETERMINE WHETHER SOMEBODY
SHOULD MARRY OR NOT MARRY, WHO
ONE SHOULD MARRY.
RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE VERSUS
RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE, GENDER
APARTHEID, THE WAY THAT A
PERSON TREATS A HOMOSEXUAL.
ALL OF THESE LIBERAL AGENDA,
ALL THE VALUES OF THE
TRADITIONAL, LIBERAL AGENDA IN
THE WEST, IN THE UNITED STATES,
WAS UNDER ASSAULT IN THE MIDDLE
EAST BECAUSE IT FOR THE FIRST
TIME UNDER GLOBALIZATION IT WAS
BEING BEAMED INTO THE
TELEVISION SETS, ON THE RADIOS,
THE CELL PHONES, THE INTERNETS
OF THE MIDDLE EAST.
AND THE MECHANISM OF DEALING
WITH THAT FROM LARGELY, TRIBAL,
AUTOCRATIC AND ILLEGITIMATE
GOVERNMENTS, WAS SIMPLY TO
CHANNEL THAT FRUSTRATION, THESE
ARE FAILED SOCIETIES.
THE GOVERNMENTS WHO DID NOT
EXTEND SECULARISM, RELIGIOUS
INTOLERANCE, A OPEN AND FREE
ECONOMY WITH RULE OF LAW,
PRIVATE PROPERTY, THE WHOLE
AGENDA OF THE WESTERN
EXPERIENCE EITHER COULD NOT OR
WOULD NOT EXTEND THAT TO THEIR
PEOPLE.
AND THE FRUSTRATION THAT GREW
UP, NOT JUST REAL FRUSTRATION,
BUT COMPARITIVE FRUSTRATION
CAUSE THEY COULD SEE WHAT WAS
HAPPENING AROUND THE WORLD WAS
CHANNELED INTO, IN TWO WAYS.
ONE, BY BLACKMAIL TO
ISLAMICISTS WHO AS FASCISTS
ALWAYS DO FROM THE RIGHT SAY
THAT IF YOU JUST BE PURE, IF
YOU JUST RECOGNIZE YOURSELF IN
TERMS OF RACE OR RELIGION, YOU
CAN GO BACK TO A UTOPIA OF THE
CALETHID.
THAT WAS ONE MECHANISM, AND THE
OTHER WAS SIMPLY TO GIVE
BLACKMAIL TO THESE PEOPLE, NOT
TO ATTACK
THESE ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENTS,
BUT TO ATTACK WHOM?

He pauses and continues THE JEWS AND THE AMERICANS.
BLAME THEM, DEFLECT OUR OWN
FAILURES OFF ON
WESTERNERS AND ISRAELIS, THEN
WE DO NOT HAVE TO ADDRESS THESE
PROBLEMS THAT MAKE US FAILING
IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD.
AND THAT FRUSTRATION IS WHAT
WAS BEHIND 9-11.
BUT IT STILL WOULDN'T HAVE
ENDED IN 9-11, EXCEPT IF WE GO
BACK TO THIS CLASSICAL IDEA OF
DETERRENCE.
IT WOULD NOT HAVE ENDED IN 9-11
IF WE HAD NOT LOST THE SENSE OF
DETERRENCE.
BUT IF YOU COULD SAY THAT THIS
IS A QUARTER OF A CENTURY LONG
WAR FOR CIVILIZATION, AND IT
BEGAN IN NOVEMBER 1979 WITH THE
STORMING OF THE IRANIAN
HOSTAGES EMBASSY IN THE TAKING
OF THE HOSTAGES, AND YOU WENT
INTO THE MURDERING ONE DAY OF
THE 262 MARINES IN LEBANON, AND
YOU ADD THE DESTRUCTION OF THE
AMERICAN EMBASSY AND ITS ANNEX
IN LEBANON AND YOU, WE DON'T GO
THROUGH THIS SAD LITANY.
BUT IT GOES ALL THE WAY THROUGH
THE EAST AFRICAN EMBASSIES, TO
THE COBAR TOWER, TO THE FIRST
WORLD TRADE CENTRE, TO THE USS
COLE AND YOU COMPARE THAT TO
WHAT THE 98 FATWA SAID AND
MENTIONS OF THE WITHDRAWAL FROM
SOMALIA AND MOGADISHU, YOU GET
THE IMPRESSION THAT PEOPLE WHO
ARE CAPITALIZING OFF THE MISERY
OF THEIR OWN FAILED SOCIETIES,
FELT THAT IN THE CASE, AS
SIMILAR TO ISRAEL THAT THIS WAS
A NEW GENERATION OF AMERICANS
THAT EITHER COULD NOT OR WOULD
NOT RESTORE DETERRENCE.
NOW, MAYBE THEY MADE A COLOSSAL
MISTAKE IN TAKING DOWN THE TWO
TOWERS WHEN THEY PROBABLY
THOUGHT THEY WERE GONNA TAKE
OFF THE TOP THIRD AND HAVE AN
INNERVATING, CONTINUAL PROCESS
OF WEAKENING THE WEST TO
WITHDRAW FROM ITS STRATEGIC
INTERESTS AND GET, GET
CONCESSIONS THAT THEY COULD NOT
WIN ON THE BATTLEFIED.
BUT NEVERTHELESS, WHEN A STATE
IS CONFRONTED WITH AN AUTOCRACY
AND THAT STATE LOSES A SENSE OF
DETERRENCE, THEN YOU USUALLY
HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THE
INTIFADA, OR YOU HAVE SOMETHING
LIKE 911.
AND USUALLY DEMOCRACIES ARE
VERY SLOW TO ACT AND THEY BRING
PEOPLE OUT OF THE CLOSET TO
REACT TO THAT.
EVERYBODY'S ANGRY AT MR. BUSH,
AND HE'S UNSOPHISTICATED.
HE'S GOT A TEXAS ACCENT.
HE SAYS HE'S A FUNDAMENTALIST
CHRISTIAN.
BUT AT HIS TIME AT THIS MOMENT
HE KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
GOOD AND EVIL.
AND HE KNOWS, AND THAT'S THE
TYPE OF PEOPLE WHETHER IT'S
GEORGE PATTON, EVEN CRAZY
CURTIS LEMAY.
THESE PEOPLE COME OUT OF THE
CLOSET AND THEY RESTORE
DETERRENCE.
EVERYBODY IS ALWAYS, IT'S
ALWAYS STRIKING TO ME THAT
SOMEBODY, EVERYBODY CRITICIZES
ON THE CHEAP, ARIEL SHARON.
ARIEL SHARON WOULD NEVER HAVE
BEEN ELECTED.
THE ISRAELIS GOT ARIEL SHARON
OUT OF THE CLOSET AND SAID FOR
YOU AT THIS TIME, AT THIS STAGE
IN OUR COUNTRY YOU HAVE A
MISSION TO RESTORE DETERRENCE.
AND WHEN HE DOES AND HE'S
ALMOST DONE IT, BELIEVE ME IF
HISTORY'S ANY GUIDE OF THE
PRESENT, THEY'LL PUT HIM RIGHT
BACK AND DEFILE HIM AND SAY
THAT HE DID IT, WE DIDN'T.
BUT HE WILL HAVE SERVED A
PURPOSE TO RE-ESTABLISH
DETERRENCE.
THAT'S ALL HE'S SUPPOSED TO DO,
TO ALLOW, TO ALLOW A CONSENSUAL
GOVERNMENT TO REMAIN IN
EXISTENCE AGAINST ITS OWN
ENEMIES, WHICH ARE ALWAYS SELF-
INDUCED.
LEISURE, AFFLUENCE, SMUGNESS,
CYNICISM, SARCASM, ALL OF THE
EMOTIONS THAT, THAT COME OUT OF
SUCCESS, NOT FAILURE.
WHEN THESE WARS BREAK OUT TO,
TO GO ON, WHO WINS AND WHO
LOSES?
WHY IN THE WORLD, DOES LITTLE,
TINY, ISRAEL, WHO'S SURROUNDED
BY IRAQ AND JORDAN AND SYRIA
AND SAUDI ARABIA, AND NORTH
AFRICA, HOW CAN IT WIN?
THERE'S NO REASON IT SHOULD.
PEOPLE ALWAYS ASK THAT
QUESTION.
IT GETS ALL THIS UNITED STATES
AID.
IT GOT ALMOST NO U.S. AID
BEFORE 1967.
REMEMBER THAT MISSION TO ASK
WEAPONS FROM DEGAULLE IN 1967?
HE SAID YOU'RE A COUNTRY WITH
AN UNFORTUNATE HISTORY.
SORRY, CAN'T HELP YOU.
THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
GAVE ALMOST NO WEAPONRY.
IF YOU GO UP ON THE GOLAN
HEIGHTS THERE, YOU CAN SEE THE
RESULT OF TRYING TO ATTACK
SOPHISTICATED, RUSSIAN TANKS,
WITH OUTMODED, SUPER SHERMANS
AND PATTONS.
IT WAS ONLY DONE THROUGH SKILL,
NOT MACHINERY.
AND THE ANSWER IS, THAT LIKE
THE UNITED STATES AND LIKE
EUROPE UNTIL RECENTLY, AND
ISRAEL IS A WESTERN COUNTRY.
IN OTHER WORDS IT BELIEVES IN
PERSONAL FREEDOM AND INDIVIDUAL
LIBERTY AND ANNUAL ELECTIONS.
AN AUDIT OF ITS MILITARY, AN
INDIVIDUALISM, AN EQUALITY OF
THE SEXES AND RATIONALISM.
AND OUT OF THAT WESTERN
TRADITION, A FUNNY THING
HAPPENS THROUGHOUT TIME AND
SPACE.
THEY GAIN MILITARY POWER THAT'S
NOT EXPLICABLE OR COMMISERATE
WITH A SMALL POPULATION AND
STATE.
SOMETIMES IN ITS DARK
MANIFESTATIONS, THE WEST
WHETHER ITS ALEXANDER THE GREAT
ON THE INDUS, OR CAESAR WITH
40,000 LEGOINNAIRES TAKING
WHAT'S NOW NORTHWEST EUROPE, OR
CORTEZ OR THE BRITISH
IMPERALISTS.
WE'RE NOT TALKING NECESSARILY
AT THIS POINT ABOUT MORALITY,
BUT ABOUT BATTLE EFFICACY.
AND THAT'S WHY WE CAN SEE THE
UNITED STATES CAN GO 7,000
MILES AND TAKE OUT THE TALIBAN
IN EIGHT WEEKS, WHEN
AFGHANISTAN COULD NOT DO THAT
TO THE UNITED STATES.
IRAQ COULD NOT DO THAT.
AND WHY ISRAEL TODAY, WILL NOT
BE ATTACKED AGAIN.
AND ONE FOOTNOTE BEFORE WE GO
ON, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
DETERRENCE.
WHY HASN'T THERE BEEN ANOTHER
1967, 73 WAR?
BECAUSE THE ARAB WORLD FOR THE
MOMENT HAS LOST THEIR SENSE OF
DETERRENCE IN CONVENTIONAL
ARMS.
REMEMBER THIS CYCLE, 47, 56,
67, 73.
ISRAEL IS EITHER ATTACKED OR ON
THE VERGE OF BEING ATTACKED,
AND VERY QUICKLY ITS ON THE
REBOUND, AND ITS WINNING, AND A
SOVIET FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS
MISTER KISSINGER, MISTER ROSS, AND
SAYS, STOP.
AND USUALLY SINCE THEY HAD
7,000 MISSILES POINTED AT US
AND THEY THREATENED TO TAKE
ISRAEL OUT TOO, WE SAID WE HAVE
A BAD CONNECTION.

[audience laughing]

He continues SO,
KISSINGER SAID THAT IN HIS
MEMOIR, WE CAN'T HEAR YOU.
AND THEN WE IMMEDIATELY CALLED
THE ISRAELIS AND SAID, YOU GUYS
BETTER MOVE.
YOU'VE GOT 24 HOURS.
SEND SHARON ACROSS THE SUEZ.
DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO.
TO GET
A TACTICAL ADVANTAGE, AND THEN
IT STOPPED.
WHEN THE WORDS, ARABS ATTACKED
AND THEN IT WAS STOPPED BECAUSE
OF THE NUCLEAR UMBRELLA THE
SOVIET UNION.
THAT'S GONE NOW.
AND YOU
WILL NOT SEE A CONVENTIONAL WAR
IN THE MIDDLE EAST, BECAUSE THE
NEXT CONVENTIONAL WAR, THERE
WILL BE NO NUCLEAR DETERRENT TO
STOP THE ISRAELI RESPONSE AND I
THINK THAT'S WHY, IT EXPLAINS
TWO THINGS.
ONE, THIS RAPID, FANATICAL,
SEARCH FOR SO-CALLED WEAPONS OF
MASS DESTRUCTION.
THESE PROGRAMS THAT WE SAW
COMING OUT OF LIBYA, OR DR.
KHAN IN PAKISTAN.
OR WHY A COUNTRY LIKE IRAN THAT
HAS ENOUGH NATURAL GAS TO FUEL
THE ELECTRICAL OUTPUT OF THE
EQUIVALENT OF THREE NUCLEAR
REACTORS IS BUILDING A NUCLEAR
REACTOR.
IT MAKES NO SENSE.
BUT IT DOES MAKE SENSE, IF
THESE COUNTRIES ARE TRYING TO
FIND IF I COULD BE SO BOLD, A
SURROGATE SOVIET UNION TO ALLOW
THEM TO ATTACK AND THEN
WITHDRAW UNDER SOME TYPE OF
NUCLEAR UMBRELLA.
IT'S THAT, BUT THERE'S ALSO
ANOTHER DETERRENCE THAT HAS A
LONG HISTORY IN WESTERN WARFARE
AND THAT IS WHAT I WOULD CALL
ASYMMETRICAL WARFARE.
IF THE WEST IS WINS IN THE
CONVENTIONAL BATTLEFIELD
BECAUSE OF ITS VALUES, BECAUSE
OF ITS TECHNOLOGY, BECAUSE OF
ITS DISCIPLINE, BECAUSE OF ITS
MILITARY ORGANIZATION, THAT ARE
OFFSHOOTS OF THIS LARGER
WESTERN MENU, HOW DO YOU BEAT
IT?
USUALLY THE WEST IS FAR FROM
HOME IN SMALLER NUMBERS AND YOU
CAN BEAT IT IN THREE OR FOUR
WAYS THROUGHOUT HISTORY.
ONE IS TO BE PARASITIC.
CHERRY PICK IT.
DON'T TAKE ITS FREEDOM, DON'T
TAKE ITS DEMOCRACY, DON'T TAKE
ITS CONSTITUTION, BUT TAKE ITS
TECHNOLOGY.
EVERY SINGLE CANNON ON THE
OTTOMAN FLEET AT THE BATTLE OF
LEPANTO, WAS EITHER STOLEN FROM
THE VENETIANS OR COPIED FROM
THEM.
AS WERE THE COMMANDERS, WERE
MOSTLY RENEGADE ITALIANS.
EVERY SINGLE RPG, EVERY SINGLE
BULLET THAT SHOT AND KILLED AN
ISRAELI THIS WEEK OR IN, SHOT
AND KILLED AN AMERICAN IN IRAQ
WAS EITHER MANUFACTURED ON
WESTERN DESIGNS IN THE MIDDLE
EAST OR IMPORTED FROM NORTH
KOREA OR CHINA, ARE THE WESTERN
DESIGNS OR IMPORTED FROM
EUROPE, ARE THE WESTERN
DESIGNS.
IN SOME CASES PROBABLY GIVEN TO
THE PALESTINIANS UNDER THE
PRIOR ADMINISTRATION'S M16
TRANSFER PROGRAM.
IN OTHER WORDS THE ARAB WORLD
CANNOT CREATE WEAPONRY THAT
WOULD MATCH THE WEST, BUT THEY
CAN FIND MECHANISM.
THAT'S BEEN TRUE THROUGHOUT
HISTORY.
THEY GIVE THE APPEARANCE, OR
THE SIMULCON OF PERRY.
ANOTHER IS TO REDEFINE WARFARE
ITSELF AS ASYMMETRICAL.
YOU SAW THAT AGAIN WHEN YOU SAW
THIS WEEK, ISRAELI SOLDIERS ON
THE GROUND LOOKING FOR MINUTE,
BODY PARTS, WHILE THEIR
OPPONENTS WERE ON CNN HOLDING
UP BODY PARTS.
OR YOU SAW THAT AS WELL WHEN
ONE, THE WESTERN WORLD WAS
SHOCKED BY ONE BEHEADING AND
THERE WAS ALMOST NO OUT CRY IN
THE ARAB WORLD ABOUT IT.
IF A PERSON HAS TEN CHILDREN
AND ONE OF THEM CAN BLOW UP A
APACHE HELICOPTER PILOT SITTING
IN A HELICOPTER READY TO TAKE
OFF, AND TAKE OUT A 250,000
DOLLARS B.A. FROM WESTPOINT, IN A
2,000,000 DOLLARS AIRCRAFT THAT CAN BE
A VICTORY, BECAUSE OF THE
ASYMMETRICAL REACTION TO IT.
THAT WESTERNERS THROUGHOUT
HISTORY HAVE USUALLY BEEN MORE
LEISURED, MORE AFFLUENT, AND
THEY VALUE THEIR LOSSES IN
DIFFERENT CALCULUS THAN THEIR
ENEMIES.
ANOTHER IS SIMPLE CIVIL WAR.
GETTING BACK TO LEPANTO, WHAT
FLEET, WHAT COUNTRY ALLOWED THE
OTTOMAN FLEET TO WINTER IN ITS
HARBOUR BEFORE THE BATTLE OF
LEPANTO?
FRANCE OF COURSE, IN THE, IN
THE HARBOUR OF TOULON.
WESTERNERS CAN BE DIVIDED.
WE SAW THAT IN THE U.N.
WHETHER IT WAS OIL OR WHETHER
IT WAS ANTI-SEMITISM, OR
WHETHER ITS FEAR OF TERRORISM,
YOU CAN ALWAYS, THE ARAB WORLD
CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON A WESTERN
POWER, OR A WESTERN-LIKE POWER
TO FIGHT WITH EACH OTHER.
JUST AS THE OTTOMANS ALWAYS
THOUGHT THAT THE EUROPEANS WERE
DIVIDED BY ORTHODOXY, ROMAN
CATHOLICISM AND PROTESTANTISM,
IT WOULD BE MORE LIKELY TO TURN
ON EACH OTHER THAN A UNIFIED
OTTOMAN.
AND FINALLY, THERE CAN BE CIVIC
DISSENSION WITHIN HOME.
THESE ARE CONSENSUAL SOCIETIES.
SO IF YOU WANT TO CALL OFF
CORTEZ, SUE HIM IN A SPANISH
COURT, WHICH THEY DID.
IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHAT LORD
TORMSFELD'S DOING IN THE ZULU
WAR, THAN HAVE VICTORIAN
SOCIETY THAT THAT'S AN AMORAL
ZULU WAR.
WE SAW IT IN VIETNAM, AND WE
SEE IT IN ISRAEL, WE SEE IT
TODAY, AND IT'S BOTH OUR
STRENGTH AND OUR GREAT,
WEAKNESS, DEPENDING ON THE
MORAL AIMS OF THE OPPOSITION.
BUT THAT'S ONE MECHANISM THAT
YOU CAN CALL OFF THIS FEARSOME,
CONVENTIONAL POWER OF THE WEST.
AND THE RESULT OF THAT IS THAT
WE REACH THIS STATE OF POST-
MODERN WAR, WHERE CONVENTIONAL
MILITARY POWER IS SO LETHAL IN
THE WEST AND SO QUICK AND SO
PRECISE, THAT IT DOESN'T
NECESSARILY TRANSLATE INTO
STRATEGIC VICTORY.
IN POST-MODERN SOCIETY, THE
VERY FACT THAT THE UNITED
STATES CAN WIN IN THREE WEEKS,
THE VERY FACT THAT N.G.O'S AND
THE U.N. AND HUMANITARIAN
ORGANIZATIONS WOULD GIVE THE
PENTAGON A LIST OF TARGETS THAT
IT COULD NOT ATTACK BEFORE THE
WAR STARTED WAS OF GREAT VALUE,
BECAUSE AND THIS MAY SHOCK SOME
OF THE AUDIENCE, IT SHOCKS ME.
COLLATERAL DAMAGE,
UNINTENTIONAL DAMAGE, WAS NOT
NECESSARILY ALWAYS SEEN AS
INHUMANE.
IT WAS SEEN AS WRECKLESS.
IT WAS SEEN AS UNPREDICTABLE.
BUT IT WAS ALSO SEEN AS A WAY
OF GETTING THE WAR OVER VERY
QUICKLY.
SO, IF YOU WERE IN IRAQ IN THE
SUNI TRIANGLE, THE THIRD
INFANTRY DIVISION DOES NOT COME
DOWN TO TURKEY, THE WAR'S OVER
IN THREE WEEKS, YOU DIDN'T
FIGHT ANYBODY.
YOU SURELY DON'T WANT TO GO OUT
IN THE STREET AND SHOOT AT
SOMEBODY IN AN ABRAMS TANK.
YOU TEAR OFF YOUR UNIFORM.
YOU GO IN AND YOU WATCH
ALGAZERA.
YOU'RE RIDICULED FOR LOSING THE
SENSE OF WARRIORHOOD IN THE
ARAB WORLD.
AND THEN YOU DISCOVER VERY
QUICKLY THAT THESE SOLDIERS,
BEFORE THE WAR IS EVEN OVER,
THEY'RE MORE WORRIED ABOUT
SHOOTING LOOTERS OR THEY'RE
TRYING TO BUILD SCHOOLS, AND
NOW THEY'RE A MORE, CONVENIENT
TARGET.
AND YOU WERE NEVER DEFEATED AND
YOU WERE NEVER HUMILIATED AND
THE TRAGEDY OF WAR, THOSE ARE
OFTEN THE VERY PREREQUISITES
THAT ARE NECESSARY FOR PEACE.
FINALLY, TO CONCLUDE...
HOW DO
WARS END?
DID THE FALKLANDS END WHEN THE
U.N. CAME IN AND SAID LET'S
HAVE A GREEN LINE?
THERE'S EAST FALKLANDS.
THERE'S WEST FALKLANDS.
WE'LL HAVE A U.N. PEACEKEEPING
FORCE AND
BRITAIN CAN ADJUDICATE WITH A
DICTATORSHIP IN ARGENTINA ON
EQUAL TERMS?
NO.
IS THE CYPRUS SITUATION GOING
TO END WITH A VOTE OR A PARLAY?
I DOUBT IT.
USUALLY THROUGHOUT HISTORY
EITHER ONE OR TWO THINGS HAS TO
HAPPEN.
IN THE CONFLICT ONE SIDE HAS TO
LOSE AND ONE SIDE HAS TO WIN,
OR THE DIFFERENCES FOR WHICH
THEY WENT TO WAR HAVE TO BE
ELIMINATED BY A CHANGE OF HEART
OR GOVERNMENT IN ONE SIDE.
AND YOU CAN REALLY SEE THAT IN
THIS SO-CALLED, AND MUCH
MALIGNED, BUT I THINK QUITE
INTERESTING AXIS OF EVIL.
WHO WAS IN IT AND WHO WAS NOT?
GERMANY WAS NOT IN THE AXIS OF
EVIL.
THAT ISSUE WAS OVER WITH, THEY
LOST, AND THEY APPARENTLY, I
SAY APPARENTLY, BECAUSE HALF A
CENTURY IS NOT A LONG TIME.
BUT APPARENTLY, THEY'VE SEEN
THE WISDOM OF THEIR WAYS.
AND JAPAN WASN'T IN IT.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT'S NOTICEABLE?
VIETNAM WASN'T IN IT, BECAUSE
THAT ISSUE WHETHER THERE WOULD
BE A SOUTH VIETNAM, CAPITALIST,
SORT OF CORRUPT IN THE MANNER
THAT SOUTH KOREA WAS CORRUPT IN
ITS INFANCY, WITH THE CHANCE TO
EVOLVE INTO A CONSTITUTIONAL
DEMOCRACY IN A CAPITALIST
ECONOMY, THAT'S OVER WITH, IT
LOST.
AND WHO WAS IN IT?
IRAN.
I THINK THAT ISSUE HAS NOT BEEN
ADJUDICATED SINCE 1979.
THE MELOCRACY, THE THEOCRACY OF
IRAN BY ITS OWN ADMISSION IS AT
WAR WITH THE WEST AND
PARTICULARLY THE UNITED STATES,
AND ISRAEL.
AND THAT ISSUE WITH IRAN WILL
EITHER BE OVER WHEN THE UNITED
STATES IS AN ISLAMIC REPUBLIC.

People in the audience laugh.

He continues OR IRAN
IS A CONSENSUAL GOVERNMENT.
AND THAT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BY
WAR, NECESSARILY.
BUT IT HAS TO HAVE THAT CHANGE
FOR THAT, THAT ISSUE TO, TO
END.
KOREA WAS NOT IN THE AXIS OF
EVIL.
EXCUSE ME IT WAS IN THE AXIS OF
EVIL.
WHY?
BECAUSE THAT WAS A
BELLAMNTERRUPTIM, TO USE A
CLASSICAL, LATIN PHRASE.
A WAR THAT WAS NOT FINALIZED OR
FINISHED, IN THE MANNER THAT
THE FIRST PUNIC WAR, SECOND
PUNIC WAR, THIRD PUNIC WAR
WEREN'T, BUT THERE'S NO LONGER
A DISCUSSION ABOUT A FOURTH,
PUNIC WAR CAUSE THERE'S NO
CARTHAGE.
IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CONDONE
THAT, BUT THE ISSUE IS NOT
THERE ANYMORE.
AND THE ISSUE WITH US AND KOREA
WILL SIMPLY BE ONE OF TWO
THINGS HAVE TO HAPPEN.
WE EITHER IN THE UNITED STATES
IN THE WEST, HAVE TO ALLOW
NORTH KOREA THE OPTION IF THEY
WISH TO TAKE OVER SOUTH KOREA
AND CREATE A COMMUNIST UTOPIA
IN THE LINES OF NORTH
VIETNAMESE, VIETNAM.
OR THEY HAVE TO CHANGE INTO A
SECULAR GOVERNMENT AND GIVE UP
THEIR ASPIRATIONS TO BE A
NUCLEAR, RENEGADE POWER.
AND FINALLY IRAQ WAS IN THE
AXIS OF EVIL.
I DON'T THINK IT WILL BE NOW.
BUT IT WAS BECAUSE THAT WAR WAS
ANOTHER BELLAINTERRUPTIM.
JUST LIKE KOREA, JUST LIKE
IRAN, WE WENT IN 1991.
IN OUR INFINITE WISDOM WE
DECIDED NOT TO GO ADDRESS THE
REASONS WE WERE TRYING TO
LIBERATE KUWAIT, AND IT WAS,
WHICH WAS NOT JUST KUWAIT, BUT
WE HAD A FANATICAL LEADER WHO
PRACTICED GENOCIDE, WHO HAD
ATTACKED FOUR DIFFERENT
COUNTRIES.
AND PRETTY SOON WE FOUND NOT
JUST VIOLATED U.N. ACCORDS, BUT
VIOLATED THE 99, 1991 ARMISTICE
ACCORDS.
REQUIRED 350,000 SORKEES AT 20
BILLION DOLLARS TO KEEP HIM IN
HIS SO-CALLED BOX.
TRIED TO ASSASSINATE A
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
A WHOLE LIST OF THINGS THAT HAD
NOT BEEN FINALIZED, THAT WERE
STILL ON THE TABLE BECAUSE THE
WAR DID NOT SOLVE THAT PROBLEM.
THAT FUNDAMENTAL DIVIDE BETWEEN
FASCIST IRAQIS BAATHISM AND THE
UNITED STATES.
TO CONCLUDE, WHY DO WE FIND
THIS SO DISTURBING?
WHY, WHY DO WE HAVE TO THINK
WITH OUR REPTILIAN BRAINS IN
2004?
I THINK PART OF THE REASON IS
THE PROMISE OF THE
ENLIGHTENMENT, WAS THAT WE
COULD, WE COULD POSE QUESTIONS
AND ANSWER THEM ACCORDING TO
REASON.
THE MORE, WEALTHY WE GOT, THE
MORE, LEISURED WE GOT, THE
MORE, EDUCATED WE GOT, THE MORE
WE SAW WAR AS PART OF OUR
NEANDERTHAL PAST.
AND THERE IS GREAT HOPE FOR
THAT.
I DON'T WANT TO BE PESSIMISTIC
BECAUSE HISTORY SUGGESTS THAT
NOT SINCE ATHENS INVADED
DEMOCRATIC SICILY, HAVE WE SEEN
A DEMOCRATIC POWER ATTACK
ANOTHER DEMOCRATIC POWER.
THERE'S HAZY ISSUES, 1812,
PARLIAMENTARY BRITAIN, AMERICA,
THE BOER WAR, ALL, BUT TRULY,
DEMOCRATIC POWERS HAVE A VERY
SMALL CHANCE OF ATTACKING OTHER
DEMOCRATIC POWER.
AND THAT'S OUR HOPE.
BUT OUR NIGHTMARE IS THAT WE
HAVEN'T COME TO THE END OF
HISTORY, AND UNTIL WE DO IT
REQUIRES VERY EDUCATED, VERY
LEISURED, VERY AFFLUENT, VERY
SOPHISTICATED PEOPLE TO REALIZE
THAT OTHER PEOPLES IN THE WORLD
DO NOT SHARE YOUR SAME
ALLEGIANCE TO THE
ENLIGHTENMENT.
ISRAEL IS A VERY STRONG EMBLEM
FOR THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE
YOU HAVE ONE OF THE RARE PLACES
IN THE WORLD WHERE YOU HAVE A
CLEAR DIVIDE BETWEEN AUTOCRACY
AND FASCISM AND LIBERAL
DEMOCRACY.
BETWEEN A HUMANE PEOPLE AND A
PEOPLE WHO ARE OPERATING ON A
TRIBAL, TRIBAL PRINCIPLES.
I'LL BE VERY CANDID.
I HAVE NO APOLOGY FOR MAKING
THAT STATEMENT.
WE HAD ONE RIGGED ELECTION WITH
YASSER ARAFAT.
WE HAVE NOT HAD ANOTHER TRULY,
OPEN ELECTION, AT A TIME WHEN
ISRAEL HAS HAD A LOT OF
ELECTIONS.
IT REMINDS ME THAT 216 B.C.
THE
ROMANS FOUGHT A SERIES OF WARS
AGAINST HANNIBAL.
A SOMEWHAT, SOME BATTLES LIKE
THE BATTLE OF CANINE 216.
THEY LOST 600 MEN A MINUTE, AND
IF YOU LOOK AT THE CULMINATIVE
DEAD AT THE BATTLE OF TRASIMENE
TREBINY, THE RIVER TRICLENUS,
AND CANINE, YOU COULD ARGUE
THERE, THEY LOST 100,000 MEN
DEAD IN THE SPACE OF 24 MONTHS
WHEN THEY WERE AN AGGREGRIAN
REPUBLIC THAT ONLY OCCUPIED THE
MIDDLE PART OF ITALY, AND THEY
WERE FACING THE CARTHAGINIAN
EMPIRE TO THE SOUTH AND THE
MACEDONIANS UNDER PHILIP THE
FIFTH TO THE EAST.
IT WAS HOPELESS.
AND YET IN THE SPACE OF 24
MONTHS THEY HAD A BIGGER ARMY
THAN THE ONE THEY LOST.
IF YOU ZOOM IN 700 YEARS LATER
IN THE FIFTH CENTURY, THE
POLICY OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE WHEN
IT COVERED 1,000,000 SQUARE
MILES AND HAD 50,000,000 PEOPLE
WAS IT COULD NOT EVEN DEFEND
ITSELF FROM PEOPLE COMING
ACROSS THE LINE IN THE DANUBE.
AND IT PRACTICED THIS POLICY OF
APPEASEMENT OR BLACKMAIL, OR
WHEN THEY DID FIGHT THEY DIDN'T
FIGHT VERY WELL.
AND HOW, HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
AND THE ANSWER WAS THAT OF
COURSE IN THE REPUBLIC IN 216,
PEOPLE KNEW WHAT IT WAS TO BE
ROMAN.
THEY DIDN'T THINK IT WAS THE
GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD.
BUT THEY THOUGHT IT WAS BETTER
THAN THE ALTERNATIVE.
AND PEOPLE IN THE FIFTH CENTURY
DID NOT KNOW WHAT IT WAS TO BE
ROMAN.
THEY WERE NOT SURE IT WAS ANY
BETTER, AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS
IN HISTORY THEN THERE'S NO
REASON FOR ANYBODY TO CONTINUE
TO EXIST, AS A PEOPLE AND THEY
USUALLY DON'T.
AND THAT'S WHY ISRAEL IS SO
IMPORTANT AS A CANARY IN THE
MINE, AS A REMINDER TO THE
UNITED STATES THAT THIS AT ITS
DARKEST HOUR, IT STOPPED,
LOOKED AT ITSELF, AND NEVER
SAID IT WAS PERFECT BUT
REALIZED AS A PEOPLE IT WAS
BETTER THAN THE ALTERNATIVE,
AND IT FOUGHT.
AND I THINK THAT'S WHY IT'S OF
ENORMOUS IMPORTANCE FOR US TO
NOT ONLY SUPPORT ISRAEL.
BUT TO LEARN HOW A
SOPHISTICATED, AFFLUENT, POST-
MODERN SOCIETY CAN STILL DO
THAT IN THE YEAR 2004.

Watch: Victor Davis Hanson on Israel and Defence of the West