Victor Davis Hanson: Obama’s Amazing Achievements





[Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author, most recently, of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern]

By bombing Libya, President Obama has accomplished some things once thought absolutely impossible in America:

(a) War-mongering liberals: Liberals are now chest-thumping about military “progress” in Libya. Even liberal television and radio commentators cite ingenious reasons why an optional, preemptive American intervention in an oil-producing Arab country, without prior congressional approval or majority public support — and at a time of soaring deficits — is well worth supporting, in a sort of “my president, right or wrong,” fashion. Apparently, liberal foreign policy is returning to the pre-Vietnam days of the hawkish “best and brightest.”

(b) Europe first: Many Americans have long complained about the opportunistic, utopian Europeans. Under the protective U.S. defense shield, they often privately urged us to deal with dangerous foreign dictators — while staying above the fray to criticize America, at the same time seeking trade advantages and positive global PR. But now the wily Obama has outwaited even the French. He has managed to shame them into acting, with a new opossum-like U.S. strategy of playing dead until finally the Europeans were exasperated — almost as if the president were warning them, “We don’t mind the Qaddafi bloodletting if you, who are much closer to it, don’t mind.” The British Guardian and French Le Monde will be too knee-deep in the Libyan war, busy chalking up Anglo-French “wins” and worrying about European oil concessions, to charge America with the usual imperialism, colonialism, and militarism. We are almost back to the 1956 world of the Suez crisis....


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