In 2006, the always-worth-reading Dr. Charles Krauthammer wrote:
We’re now at the dawn of an era in which an extreme and fanatical religious ideology, undeterred by the usual calculations of prudence and self-preservation, is wielding state power and will soon be wielding nuclear power.
Dr. Krauthammer was writing about Iran, and was describing a nightmare scenario that the late Mr. Sharon, as one of Isreal’s most able leaders, dealt with, lived with, contended with throughout his life.
Consider the situation in which Israel finds itself. Israel is a modern, Western democratic state the size of Delaware set in the middle of violent, backward regimes possessed of a Dark Ages religosity and a burning desire to wipe the Jewish state from the face of the earth.
Ariel Sharon dealt with this threat throughout his adult life. He was a military officer in the infant Israel’s military starting in 1948, distinguishing himself in the Yom Kippur War and the Six Days War. Later he served as Prime Minister, steering a course largely down the middle of the road, including being one of the first Israeli leaders to openly advocate a Palestinian state.
Sharon was one of the good guys. We could use a few more like him.
Moving right along, here’s something new from another always-worth-reading scribe, this time Dr. Victor Davis Hanson: The Rural Way. Excerpt:
Hard physical work is still a requisite for a sound outlook on an ever more crazy world. I ride a bike; but such exercise is not quite the same, given that the achievement of doing 35 miles is therapeutic for the body and mind, but does not lead to a sense of accomplishment in the material sense — a 30-foot dead tree cut up, a shed rebuilt, a barn repainted. I never quite understood why all these joggers in Silicon Valley have immigrants from Latin America doing their landscaping. Would not seven hours a week spent raking and pruning be as healthy as jogging in spandex — aside from the idea of autonomy that one receives by taking care of one’s own spread?
As the product of a rural upbringing myself, I can appreciate Dr. Hanson’s concerns for his homeland in central California. The Golden State is collapsing; several of our major cities (Detroit, Chicago) are not far behind. Worse, the Imperial Federal government has spent us into insolvency. As noted in the Animal Manifesto, our elected representatives have spent us into insolvency while ignoring the decay of our vital institutions, and future generations will – rightly – damn us for it.