- Historic Sites
The Longest War
The fight we’re in didn’t begin on September 11; it started thousands of years ago. It’s the struggle between East and West, and history can both encourage and help us—if we read it properly.
February/March 2002 | Volume 53, Issue 1
Multiculturalism, conflict-resolution theory, postmodernism, pacifism, and a host of other new isms and ologies all sought to achieve a kinder world where equality of results would be enforced rather than equality of opportunity ensured, where injustice, disagreement, and thus war itself could somehow disappear. History and literature, the age-old instructors of war, were often crowded out as the proper guides to the human condition; facts, knowledge, and even methodical inquiry were replaced in many of our schools by an ideology. The result was that now many of our cultural leaders know little of history, and they mask their ignorance with the arrogance of good intentions, fueled by the bounty of American materialism.
This naivéte has been tested in the present crisis by bin Laden and the Taliban and their followers, whose likes we have not seen since 1945. Our salvation will hinge on how many of our leaders read history, learn its lessons, and act out of conviction drawn from classical American wisdom and military strength.