Conversations with History: Institute
of International Studies, UC Berkeley
This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations
with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the
public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.
Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry
Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our distinguished
guest today is Victor Davis Hanson, who is a senior fellow at the Hoover
Institution. His most recent book is A War Like No Other: How the Athenians
and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War. His column appears regularly
in the National Review and he writes opinion pieces regularly in
the Washington Post. He is on the Berkeley campus this spring as
the twenty-second Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz lecturer.
Joining us in the studio is Thomas G. Barnes who is Professor of History
and Law Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley.
- Story of an Ancient War ... soldiers'
perspective ... evolving strategies ... upending the conventional wisdoms
of the time ... thematic approach to the story ... traditional wartime ethics
dissolve ... relevance of history to contemporary events
- The Iraq War ... massive training
exercise ... "Iraqi-ization" ... reducing the American role ... moral argument
for the war ... hopes for democracy ... offering the Muslim world a choice
... lessons in the norms of civil society ... police functions ... daily
and hourly decisions
- War's Asymmetry ... higher value
put on American lives ... culpability ... halfway measures ... timeframe
for civil society to take hold ... constraints on American patience
- The Military in a Democracy ...
ancient Greece ... wars of existential survival ... post-9/11 war should
have been declared ... communicating that values that we're fighting for
... national resolve ... need for a strong commander ... bold leaders ...
commonality of the enemy
- The War against Modernism ... within Mideast populations ... forces of
reactionism ... escalation ... modernist forces within the Arab and Islamic
- Dissent at Home ... conservatives withdraw support ... 3-year
occupation ... military becomes more sensitive to casualties ... fickle public
... do we have what it takes?
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