June 17, 2009

"Our hearts are with people who yearn for universal freedom"

This is from the Transcript of an interview of Victor Davis Hanson, by Hugh Hewitt:

...HH: Okay, stepping back from the American response to a more historical long view, how often to such popular uprisings succeed, and how often, Victor Davis Hanson, are they simply rather bloodily suppressed?

VDH: Well, it depends, because they all have one predictable pattern, and that is at a critical point, the regime has to determine, whether it was the Papadopoulos government in Greece, or whether it was the Shah of Iran, or whether Pinochet in Chile, whether they want to use a necessary level of violence. And if that critical moment passes, then things get out of control. So I imagine the next 48 hours that theocracy, they're going to have to decide whether it wants to kill X number of people. And if it doesn't, things will start to, I think, get out of hand. And so it would be very important for us as Americans to lend them support and condemn the theocracy as much as we can. Europe, it's funny, we have become to the left of Europe, so Europe is out there, the EU has already been condemned by Ahmadinejad's government, but we haven't. It's very strange what's going on. I can't remember a time since Jimmy Carter where the United States was far to the left, and far less a proponent of human rights and democracy than Europe was...

I remember Jeanne Kirkpatrick and the Kirkpatrick Doctrine. She wrote that "authoritarian" dictatorships were fundamentally different from revolutionary totalitarian regimes, and that the former could evolve towards democracy. The Left howled, but I think history has proved her right. The question now is, which sort of regime is Iran?

Our policy towards Iran has been incoherent, and still is, but I suspect that that's simply because nobody knows which type of regime we are dealing with. We may find out very soon.

...HH: I asked the question last hour, I'll ask it of you, what WWWD, what would W. do? What do you think George Bush would have done by now?

VDH: Well, he would have given a statement like he did in Iraq, and like he said about Iran earlier. He would have said our hearts are with people who yearn for universal freedom, and then say it's not predicated on any particular culture. It's something we all share. And he would have come out, I think, pretty strongly. But you know, once you've apologized to a dictatorship, and you've said that we don't meddle in the affairs of a dictatorship, and we're sorry for what happened in the past, then you've sort of self-censored yourself. And that's what Obama's done, that he's already predicated that he wouldn't make, exercise moral judgment, and he wouldn't meddle. He only meddles in democracies. So if it's a democracy like Iraq, or it's Uribe in Colombia, or if it's Israel, then he will meddle and dictate and tell them what he thinks of them, but not an autocracy....
Posted by John Weidner at June 17, 2009 8:54 AM
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