April 30, 2004

Victor Davis Hanson

Friday and time for another essay by Victor Davis Hanson. Today's is a call for perseverance in the form of a speech. A speech that President Bush needs to give: bq. What the President Might Say It is about more than just Fallujah. bq. We are presently engaged in a world war for our civilization and its vision of a just and humane society. Our values will either endure this present struggle and indeed be invigorated by the ordeal, or like once great civilizations of the past we will stumble in the face of barbarism and lose all that we hold dear. Across the world in places as diverse as Madrid, Fallujah, Kandahar, Thailand, Amman, and Bali agents of intolerance and religious fascism seek to terrorize and thereby eventually destroy the promise of a free and tolerant mankind. We must be as determined to defeat them as they are to destroy us. bq. Americans believe that freedom and consensual government far from being the exclusive domain of the West are ideals central to the human condition and the shared aspirations of all born into this world. That is the great hope we embrace now in Iraq, that as we rout those who advocate fundamentalism and intolerance, millions of others will gain confidence and join the struggle for democratic change. But until then, even as we speak, millions, sometimes in fear and silence, are watching our present efforts. They are uncertain of the outcome. They wait to pledge their allegiance to the victor, hoping, but not yet convinced, that we can defeat those who would impose tyranny and intolerance on any who would seek to reform and escape from their present misery. He also talks about our dependency on middle-0eastern oil and the need for a better energy policy: bq. More concretely, we must wean ourselves from the imported petroleum of the Persian Gulf, whose dollars so often fuel and subsidize the fundamentalists who have killed thousands and wish to kill still thousands more Americans. Let us in a bipartisan manner agree on a new energy strategy aimed precisely to curb the appetite for imported oil that has so often served as our own nemesis. bq. Surely conservatives can agree to reasonable mileage standards for new cars that will have the eventual practical effect of reducing our nation's daily consumption of oil. By the same token, surely liberals can agree to explore our own Arctic Circle for known petroleum, under careful environmental scrutiny to ensure that such resources are extracted with more care at home than they are currently extracted abroad, in areas where our own environmental protocols have no sway. bq. We Americans cannot expect to drive cars that consume more gasoline than they need nor demand of others to tap their own fragile environment for resources that we desire but would not do the same for at home. Meanwhile, we must enter on a new Manhattan project, a similar wartime effort to find new sources of energy to fuel our transportation, homes, and commerce, so that never again can agents of destruction and barbarism seek to hold the United States hostage, and use the fruits of our own commerce from which to buy the very weapons to destroy us. Good stuff all of it... Posted by DaveH at April 30, 2004 10:19 AM