Taking the brave position (ScholarsAndRogues.com, 4/20/09) that the National Review Online is so bad that it makes William F. Buckley‘s print version look “semi-respectable” by comparison, former U.S. Navy Commander Jeff Huber writes that in his April 11 NRO post, “military historian and former classics professor Victor Davis Hanson comes across like a rabid war mongrel”:
Frothing over the recent Somali pirate caper involving a U.S. flagged merchant ship, Davis insists that, “To end Somali piracy, disproportionate measures against the shore should be taken–for every one pirate assault, a lethal air assault should immediately follow.” It’s perhaps understandable that Hanson doesn’t mention what Somalia offers in the way of suitable air strike targets; underdeveloped nations like Somalia don’t have any. Hanson probably doesn’t understand that, because like so many hawkish military historians, he doesn’t understand anything about the military. He doesn’t know much about warfare theory, either. He calls for extreme (though ineffectual) military measures in response to something he admits “may not be a matter of American national security” committed not by a peer competitor or a group of global extremists but by “two-bit pirates.” When a giant purposely crushes an anthill, he’s not pursuing a political objective; he’s feeding his perversions. That, like waterboarding someone 183 times, is not the sort of thing a global hegemon needs to be doing, Victor.
Calling things “even wackier at the other end of the nut farm,” Huber further points to one issue of the Weekly Standard in which both “Barnacle Bill Kristol” and Seth Cropsey call for U.S. troops “going ashore in Africa to destroy the pirates’ safe havens”–a bellicose position lamentably popular across many right-wing media.