Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Lessons from Germany’s ‘Spring Offensive,’ 100 Years Later

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Germany lost World War I in a matter of months after near victory. The lessons from that defeat are still valuable today.

One hundred years ago this month, all hell broke loose in France. On March 21, 1918, the German army on the Western Front unleashed a series of massive attacks on the exhausted British and French armies.

German general Erich Ludendorff thought he could win World War I with one final blow. He planned to punch holes between the French and British armies. Then he would drive through their trenches to the English Channel, isolating and destroying the British army.

The Germans thought they had no choice but to gamble.

The British naval blockade of Germany after three years had reduced Germany to near famine. More than 200,000 American reinforcement troops were arriving each month in France. (Nearly 2 million would land altogether.) American farms and factories were sending over huge shipments of food and munitions to the Allies.

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03/13/2018 Angry Reader

From An Angry Reader:

You might have had that intolerable delay because of my son and I (sic). We’re (sic) you the old guy with the nasty glare? We are use (sic) to people like you. Did you ever hear the phrase, “liberty for all” or “equality for all?” You are a Trumpite, which means your (sic) special…How’s that working out for you? I love the Neo-Nazis, the draft deferments, porn stars, staff loyalty, the overt incompetency and overt racism. As a father of a son who is alive because of embryonic stem cell research and would sit in a pre-existing death care policy if you (sic) nutters had your way. By the way, science is real, empirical and not swayed by greed, racism or ignorance. The last three terms apply to you. You are a terrible historian, (sic) you are a Reactionary. And sorry you had to wait, asshole. Dos Vidanya, Stormy

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Swamp Things in the Russia Investigation

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

“The Swamp” usually refers to the vast federal bureaucratic machinery of mostly unelected top officials who exercise influence and power without worry about the appearance of conflicts of interest. They are often exempt from the consequences of the laws and regulations that affect others. The chief characteristics of the swamp are the interlocking friendships, business relationships, marriages and partnerships in Washington, and their immune response against anyone who challenges them.

Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has proven the locus classicus of a dysfunctional and highly incestuous Washington culture—so much so that it borders on being a caricature of a Washington investigation.

The Origins of the Robert Mueller Appointment
How did it come about? Mueller’s acquaintance, former FBI Director James Comey (Mueller and Comey were lauded dating back to the Bush Administration as “brothers in arms”), has testified that he was so exasperated with the president that he leaked his own confidential and likely classified memos of presidential meetings to the press via a friend in order that it “might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.” It certainly did that. And mirabile dictu, the special counsel was soon none other than Robert Mueller with whom Comey had had a professional relationship in a variety of contexts for nearly 20 years. At some point, will one of Mueller’s staff have to depose him to ask whether he ever discussed the possibility of a special counsel appointment with Comey prior to Comey’s firing?

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The New Left Trumps the Old Right

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Anti-Semitism, racism, deception, and dirty tricks: For progressives, the ends justify the means.

‘White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew, and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.”

So spoke recently our Nietzschean Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

There is almost nothing new in his latest hate-filled accusations. Farrakhan in the past has praised Hitler and derided Judaism as a gutter religion. Yet I say “almost nothing new” because the 84-year-old Farrakhan is now empowered by a new generation of leftist, minority, and feminist activists such as Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour, who coordinate marches with Farrakhan or ardently praise him.

Not long ago, Representative Danny Davis (D., Ill.) spoke up in behalf of Farrakhan, calling him  “an outstanding human being.” Davis went on to use an unfortunate choice of words: “The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question.”

“The Jewish question”?

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The Rapid ‘Progress’ of Progressivism

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

It leads to an endless race for equality and erodes prior rules.Not long ago I waited for a flight to board. The plane took off 45 minutes late. There were only two attendants to accommodate eleven passengers who had requested wheelchair assistance.

Such growing efforts to ensure that the physically challenged can easily fly are certainly welcome. But when our plane landed — late and in danger of causing many passengers to miss their connecting flights — most of the eleven wheelchair-bound passengers left their seats unassisted and hurried out. It was almost as if newfound concerns about making connections had somehow improved their health during the flight.  

Putin’s nuclear posturing part of effort to win back displeased public

This article is by a colleague of mine: Dr. Paul Gregory // The Hill

Vladimir Putin served up his election platform for his perfunctory March 18 re-election in his annual address to the two houses of Russia’s parliament on Thursday. Putin addressed two audiences — the Russian people and his external enemies, namely the U.S. and NATO.

Putin promised his domestic audience that, with him in the Kremlin, they can enjoy both guns and butter. He will maintain a strong military that can withstand any threat from the West, which Putin’s propaganda has convinced the Russian people is real.

Some three-quarters of Russians consider the U.S. a threat, and almost 60 percent fear NATO. True, military spending is up, but, with Putin’s wise leadership, living standards will rise, inflation will be dampened and poverty rates will fall.

Russia voters should be thankful to their president (according to him) for restoring Russia to its rightful status as a superpower, even though it meant a cost in terms of living standards…

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Strategika Issue 48: U.S. Military Policy in Afghanistan

Since the war in Afghanistan began in late 2001, three successive presidential administrations have claimed that the Taliban are on the verge of collapse, the Afghan military is close to securing the country, and Afghan leaders in Kabul are just one step away from providing legitimate governance.

Click here to read more at the Hoover Institution

Trump Syndromes

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Trump creates hysteria, both rabid antipathies and fervent support.

General chaos surrounds President Trump. Few dispute that. All argue over the origins, causes, and nature of these wild reactions to our president.

The Left’s Hatred

Take the Left’s loathing of Trump that arises from three sources.

First, Trump supposedly has no shame. The traditional leftist use of invectives such as “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobe,” and “nativist” appears to have had little effect on Trump — as it seems to have done on McCain (who in 2008 ruled out attacks on Obama’s personal pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright) and Romney (who passed on standing down debate moderator and rank partisan Candy Crowley).

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Trump’s Generals Are Too Valuable to Be Dismissed

Victor Davis Hanson // Town Hall

Near-daily gossip surrounds Donald Trump’s three marquee generals.

The media sometimes blare out rumors that Gen. John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, is proving to be a loose cannon and might soon be fired.

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, is occasionally rumored to be a robotic PowerPoint wonk and hawkish interventionist who soon might be terminated.

Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis is purportedly too much the centrist Democrat, and embarrassed by Trump’s antics, and thus might be leaving.

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The Real Russian Disaster

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Donald Trump has said a lot of silly stuff about Russia, from joking about Vladimir Putin helping to find Hillary’s deleted emails, to naïve musings about the extent of Russian interference into Western democratic elections. But far more important than what he has said is what Trump has done. That same caveat applies to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Start with two givens: Vladimir Putin is neither stupid nor content to watch an aging, shrinking, corrupt, and dysfunctional — but still large and nuclear — Russia recede to second- or third-power status. From 2009 to 2015, in one of the most remarkable and Machiavellian efforts in recent strategic history, Putin almost single-handedly parlayed a deserved losing hand into a winning one. He pulled this off by flattering, manipulating, threatening, and outsmarting an inept and politically obsessed Obama administration.

Under the Obama presidency and the tenures of Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, Russia made astounding strategic gains — given its intrinsic economic, social, and military weaknesses. The Obama reaction was usually incoherent (Putin was caricatured as a “bored kid in the back of the classroom” or as captive of a macho shtick). After each aggressive Russian act, the administration lectured that “it is not in Russia’s interest to . . . ” — as if Obama knew better than a thuggish Putin what was best for autocratic Russia.

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