Victor Davis Hanson: Calls criticism on a leftwing blog "childish slander"





I used to have a great deal of respect for the Chronicle of Higher Education. But on their recent gossipy blog, they advertise a recent hit-piece by one Robert Bateman of my Carnage and Culture, that is now appearing on the website Media Matters, funded if in part and indirectly by George Soros, under an apparently regular feature of Eric Alterman’s called Altercations. The piece is embarrassing and reminds me of playground name-calling in grade school.
Carnage and Culture has been out for a number of years, and has been translated into over a dozen languages. Reviews have appeared in over fifty scholarly publications, and more mainstream magazines and newspapers, by diverse scholars such as John Keegan and Geoffrey Parker. Its general theme, that a unique 2,500-year Western military tradition has allowed European and other Western nations advantages in conventional war over a variety of adversaries is, of course, controversial.

I welcome criticism and debate, and in the six years since the book has appeared have defended the book in a variety of written venues, public debates, and radio and television shows. It has a variety of supporters and critics, and continues to sell a number of copies. But so far no one has introduced his criticism of the book by stating at the outset that I am a “pervert” and that Carnage and Culture is a “pile” “of feces”.

To write such childish slander is unprofessional—and especially unbecoming of a military officer. In the upcoming weeks, I will try to offer a point-by-point refutation of LTC Robert Bateman’ serial attacks, and begin here by replying to his initial charges that Mr. Alterman published recently. My reply is in brackets after each paragraph of Mr. Bateman’s.


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