VDH: Five lessons Obama must learn about the ‘world of thugs’

There are very few commentators around that have the wisdom of Victor Davis Hanson. I always gaining knowledge from his writings.


Obama’s confusion about the world’s bad actors suggests that he needs a general refresher course in the world of thugs.

Lesson One: Thugs only want America, the world’s most powerful democracy — not others — to apologize. Iran’s Ahmadinejad does not care whether his friends the Russians slaughtered Muslims recently in Afghanistan and Chechnya, or have meddled in Iranian affairs for over two centuries. Iranian mullahs only want Russian nuclear expertise, not Russian apologies.

Lesson Two: Being anti-American and mouthing tired charges about imperialism, colonialism, or capitalism do not make a thug authentic or populist. By definition, thugs acquire power illegitimately. They keep it unlawfully. And they exercise it illegally — regardless of their professed concern for the “people” or their gripes against America.

Lesson Three: The more we speak out about the harsh rule of thugs, the more oppressed people will come to respect us. Our past resistance to Ahmadinejad may help explain why the Iranian people seem to admire us more than do many in the Arab street, whose dictatorships in Saudi Arabia and Egypt we so fawningly have praised.

Lesson Four: Thugs can never be trusted — whether an Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin of the past or the rogue’s gallery of today. Ahmadinejad is lying about his peaceful plans for nuclear technology. Kim Jong-Il continued his nuclear program when he promised that he would not. Syria’s Bashar Assad hid his nuclear reactor under construction.

Lesson Five: Most of the world’s problems are caused by a handful of thugs. Any time one can be isolated and replaced by a consensual government, the world gets just a bit safer.

Hanson’s bottom line for President Obama:

So, Mr. President, do not talk to a thug unless you absolutely have to. Do not apologize to — or put our trust in — one. And whenever people rise up against a thug, speak out immediately and forcefully on their behalf — and let the thug, not America, worry about the consequences of the spread of freedom.


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