Regular readers of Power Line may recall that I have occasionally declared the Claremont Review of Books to be my favorite magazine. Our friends at the CRB have just put the new (Winter) issue to bed and we’ve been afforded the privilege of previewing three pieces from the new issue this week.
The entire issue is now available to subscribers online as soon as it’s published. Subscribers can access every article individually or download the entire issue (artwork included) in PDF. If you’re not already a subscriber, this is another reason to sign up. Subscribe here.
The CRB has been one of the most persistent critics of the Bush administration’s conduct of the war from the right. In the Fall issue, for example, Angelo Codevilla deliberated on “the disaster of Iraq” and sought “to measure the occupation of Iraq against the standards of statecraft.”
Now that President Bush has found his Grant, however, the CRB has commissioned Victor Davis Hanson to set our blunders in Iraq in historical context. In his superb essay, Hanson observes the waning of the ability of the American public to cope with the errors that are inevitable in war. Hanson is by no means uncritical of our conduct in Iraq. Indeed, he compiles an impressive list of mysteries and errors. But he notes that we have until relatively recently in American history chosen to learn from our errors in war rather than to accept defeat.
In his conclusion, Hanson offers a recommendation and invokes the counsel of the statesman of freedom who thought about issues of war and peace all his long life:
What can be done about our impatience, historical amnesia, and utopian demands for perfection? American statesmen need to provide constant explanations to a public not well versed in history