Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Two Theories of War

In this December 1 piece, Victor Davis Hansen articulates the two points of view on the war on terror that predominate in the US, calling them the Majority Opinion and the Minority Opinion. The former is the "we've done enough, let's gracefully retire and return to Sept. 10" opinion and the latter is the Bush Doctrine.

To be honest, the Majority Opinion is far more appealing than the Minority Opinion. Far more appealing. It means that things are not as bad as they seem, that we can retire from Iraq and Afghanistan without severe consequences to ourselves (though it might spell utter annihilation for others), and that we can stop putting our troops in harm's way.

I honestly wish that the Majority Opinion were correct. I hope that it is. But on the other hand, given humankind's propensity for making bad decisions -- and the West's tendency to disbelieve in the evil intentions of other people -- I think that we have to err on the side of the Minority Opinion.

Because if the Minority Opinion is wrong, everything's OK. But if it's not...

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