Two snippets from Victor Davis Hanson’s latest article Our Primordial World
Of course, we are not immune to insecurities, but there are a few mitigating factors that render us less prone to hemorrhaging pride and tribal angst. First, we are the world’s most powerful state indeed, whether we like it or not, the most powerful entity in the history of civilization. With twelve carrier battle groups and another twelve marine transport carriers, we don’t have to talk ad nauseam about something as small and insignificant as the Charles de Gaul. When we refer to the Marine Corps we mean a military larger than any single land army in Europe.
Second, and regrettably, Americans are not by nature much interested in the rest of the globe, given our wealth, obsessive consumerism, and self-absorption. The world thought our weak response to past Iranian hostage-taking, the abrupt pull-out from Vietnam, and the insanely stupid withdrawal from Lebanon were catastrophic signs of American weakness as well as dangerous concessions that might encourage our enemies’ boldness. And they were absolutely right.
Apart from the model of our forefathers who crushed and then lifted up the Germans and Japanese, we could find no better guide in this war than William Tecumseh Sherman and Abraham Lincoln in that order. The former would remind us that our enemies traffic in pride and thus first must be disabused of it through defeat and humiliation. The latter (who turned Sherman and Grant lose) would maintain that we are a forgiving sort, who prefer restored rather than beaten people as our friends.
From National Review