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O stumbles into proper appreciation of Europeans

March 24, 2012

Amazon.com: Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power (9780385720380): Victor Hanson: Books "Examining nine landmark battles from ancient to modern times--from Salamis, where outnumbered Greeks devastated the slave army of Xerxes, to Cortes’s conquest of Mexico to the Tet offensive--Victor Davis Hanson explains why the armies of the West have been the most lethal and effective of any fighting forces in the world. Looking beyond popular explanations such as geography or superior technology, Hanson argues that it is in fact Western culture and values–the tradition of dissent, the value placed on inventiveness and adaptation, the concept of citizenship–which have consistently produced superior arms and soldiers. Offering riveting battle narratives and a balanced perspective that avoids simple triumphalism, Carnage and Culture demonstrates how armies cannot be separated from the cultures that produce them and explains why an army produced by a free culture will always have the advantage. http://amzn.to/GNxa8w

Europeans all look alike to our president. But he rightly characterizes the historic ability of Europeans (and their descendants elsewhere) to fight more fiercely and victoriously than others. This is a well established commonplace of military history. Every now and then a political joke stumbles into truth and should be taken seriously. But in the case of our president, it is more comfortable to view him as a source of comedy rather than tradgedy. More pleasant to laugh than to cry.

Danish TV Host Mocks Obama for His Rhetoric | The Weekly Standard “He then roles the tape.

“That’s fairly typical of the way that Danes have punched above their weight in international affairs,” President Obama says at a press availability in the Oval Office with Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark. “It’s nice to be praised,” Buch-Andersen remarks. “We punch harder than our weight class would suggest. But how much should we read into his words? According to Obama, are we doing any better than, say, the Norwegians?”

The TV host again turns to the tape, this time showing President Obama in the Oval Office with Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg. “I’ve said this before, but I want to repeat: Norway punches above its weight,” Obama says. Back to Buch-Andersen. “Hmm. So Norway packs a punch too. But what about the Netherlands? Here, their head of government, Mark Rutte, visits Obama.”

The tape roles yet again. “We have no stronger ally than the Netherlands,” says Obama. “They consistently punch above their weight.”

The TV host continues, pointing to the similar rhetoric Obama used when Ireland’s head of state came to town, and then the Philippines. Buch-Andersen wonders aloud, “Maybe the copy key got stuck on the presidential speechwriter’s keyboard.””” [Video at link] http://bit.ly/GQ9EMi

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