Sunday, February 24, 2008

Reading Carnage and Culture

Maybe the est takeaway from the first one hundred pages of Victor Davis Hanson's Carnage and Culture, which I just got around to reading:

"The idea of decisive battle continues in the West. The classical notion that pitched, shock confrontation is the only way to resolve wars in part explains why Americans consider it honorable and effective to bomb the Libyans when they have committed a terrorist act in Europe; or to rain down enormous battleship projectiles upon Palestinian villages openly an d"fairly" from offshore when a few of their residents are alleged to have bombed in a "cowardly" fashion American Marines asleep in their barracks. As long as Westerners engaged the enemy in an open contest of firepower, the ensuing carnage was seen as relatively immaterial: terrorists who shamelessly killed a few women and children, or states that surprised us on Sunday morning in a bombing attack on our fleet, usually found mechanized murderous armies of retaliation on their soil and daylight fleets of bombers over their skies."

~p 97

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