His Grace Stumbles…Again

Victor David Hanson tells us “Why You Can Believe all Those Warnings About The Death of the West”

“I suggest that the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams read a little history about the British experience in India before he offers politically-correct but historically laughable sermons like the one he gave to a Muslim “lifestyle” magazine:”

It is one thing to take over a territory and then pour energy and resources into administering it and normalising it. Rightly or wrongly, that’s what the British Empire did – in India, for example. It is another thing to go in on the assumption that a quick burst of violent action will somehow clear the decks and that you can move on and other people will put it back together – Iraq, for example.

Then Mr. Hanson proceeds to take His Grace apart, limb from Christian limb:

“ONE, who is clearing the decks and moving on? And who are the “other people” putting Iraq back together? Iran? Saudi Arabia? China? The British in Basra? First, we read from the anti-war Left that the US is wasting a trillion dollars and thousands of its lives in Iraq, and yet now that we are clearing the decks and not putting it back together? Which is it?”

[Mr. Hanson should know by now that being the Archbishop of Canterbury means never having to be consistent and never, ever apologizing to anyone except designated victims.]

“TWO, Williams should read a little about British military campaigns in India, and then count the corpses.”
– – – – – – – –
[If you check the seminary curriculum you will find precious little secular history included. Why would they need it? Greek is much more important to leading your flock]

“THREE, he should also tally up the amount of money the U.S. has spent for civic and economic development in Iraq over four years, and then compare that to what Britain invested in any four-year period in their centuries-long occupation of India.”

[ Maths or statistics are not strong points in seminary training either, Mr. Hanson. His Grace is talking about relevance here, not about truth]

“FOUR, I don’t recall the British, after their second year in India, fostering nation-wide elections.”

[Well, you see, they were waiting to Gandhi to appear and make them do something. You know…until then, it was the White Man’s Burden.. Tut, tut, cheerio…]

“FIVE, if he is worried about the soul of civilization in general, and the U.S. in particular, he might equally ask his Muslim interviewers about the status of women in the Muslim world, polygamy, female circumcision, the existence of slavery in the Sudan, the status of free expression and dissent, and religious tolerance (i.e., he should try to visit Mecca on his next goodwill, interfaith tour) .”

[Oh dear. This is all about political correctness, not hard questions. His Grace has had the requisite lobotomy that accompanies investiture. He is no longer able to frame such questions, much less get them past his lips. Be gentle.]

“SIX, all Williams will accomplish is to convince Episcopalians in the U.S. not to follow the Anglican Church, and most Americans in general that, if they need any reminders, many of the loud left-wing British elite, nursed on envy of the US, still petulant over lost power and influence, and scared stiff of the demographic and immigration trends in its own country, are well, unhinged.”

[Now you’re talking Mr Hanson. We don’t need His Grace any more. African missionaries are saving what is left of the Episcopal Church in the US. In fact, the next time there is a space shuttle flight, perhaps His Grace would consider a short trip. I would certainly donate a farthing or two towards his mission. It would be more useful than anything he is doing here.]

African bishopBy the way, America’s Presiding Bishop is not too happy about this interference in her work (driving people out of the pews):

The American presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, condemned this poaching of souls on her turf as a violation of the “ancient customs of the church.” To which the archbishop replied, in essence: Since when have you American liberals given a fig about the ancient customs of the church?

Such conflicts used to be decided in the Church of England by the king putting someone in the Tower of London. That does not appear to be an option in this case.

Well, maybe that’s what ECUSA needs at 815 Second Avenue in New York City: a tower in which to put the poachers.

Hat tip: Michael B

21 thoughts on “His Grace Stumbles…Again

  1. If constant bombings in my homeland, as the Hindu majority have been forced to put up with in Mumbai and other population centers, is a welcome by-product of multiculturalist society, count me out.

    Leave them to their own countries to sort it out.

    – Sodra

  2. Although I agree with the views of GoV almost constantly, I don’t really see what’s wrong with the Archbishop’s statement.

    What George Bush has done with Iraq is to invade, remove the stronghanded man who kept order amongst a “nation” with imperially defined, unnatural borders, & then expect for the people of said “nation” to operate a functioning democracy right away.

    Iraq’s borders were defined by imperialism & therefore are completely unrelated to ethnic, cultural, and religious boundaries. As it follows, the people of the country do not have enough in common, realistically, to want to work together effectively in a democratic environment. The things each segment of the population wants are too different to be reconciled.

    I think the point the Archbishop makes is that this is not a realistic way to go about conquest. You must either administer the place yourself & take the necessary place of the strong handed ruler that you ousted, or you must resign to the fact that the borders are not sensible & divide the country into autonomous regions that make sense (a Kurdish homeland, &c).

  3. I agree with Tom. Already the fact that Victor Hanson calls the Archbishops defense of colonialism “politically-correct”, show how confused Hanson is.

    Hanson: “FOUR, I don’t recall the British, after their second year in India, fostering nation-wide elections.”

    And here he show that it’s himself that is also “historically laughable”. What’s the point of having nation-wide elections, if not the necessary institutions for a civilized society have first been built? The Brits understood how this worked. Without a stable, peaceful society under the rule of law, elections are just and empty gesture.

    This one is good to:
    Hanson: “THREE, he should also tally up the amount of money the U.S. has spent for civic and economic development in Iraq over four years, and then compare that to what Britain invested in any four-year period in their centuries-long occupation of India.”

    This is another exposure of the decadent post-modern mindset of Hanson. It reminds me of all the parliamentary PC parties in Sweden (you know all those that are to the left of Hillary Clinton) that think it’s such a dear thing to SPEND 1% of the Swedish GNP in aid to the Third World. Well, having as a goal to spend money, is typical of the degenerated post-modern times we live in. This money is largely wasted. But nobody care, as long as the money is spent.

    Message to Hanson: the point is not how much money you spent, but what results you get. And looking at the result in Iraq, I’d say that the money has largely been wasted. There’s no difference between this and the Third World aid from socialist Sweden.

    America hasn’t had an achievable goal set up for what they are doing in Iraq. They are living in a dream world. And the war has been fought in the wrong way, with e.g. embedded lawyers among the troops, saying “no, you cannot go in there and take those men because you do not have a case…”

    In both cases the reason for the faulty behaviour is that America is scared of being accused being in breach of PC dogmas. And the shrieking PC hyenas are quick to attack America for anything they do (as they do anyone who’s trying to get some good stuff done).

    But America (and the PC dogmas that got America caught in paralysis) is obviously not the only problem here. Iraq is a pretty hopeless place to work on (even more reason not to be proud of spending a lot if money there).

  4. tom and conservative swede,

    I think you’re missing the point. While VDH may be a champion for our actions in Iraq in this case all I think he was doing was showcasing the deliberate falsehoods of Williams statement for the sole purpose of demonizing the Bush administration.

  5. lowandslow:

    I’m marching in your column. His Grace is supposed to be a shepherd, not a political critic. What does he think he is a Muslim?

    It is the height of hubris to criticize anything the US is doing or not doing in Iraq considering what the good Archbishop’s country did in the very same place in its time.

    The very early failuresof the US in Iraq, which set up the cascade of later ones can be laid at the door of two treacherous entities: Turkey and the US State Department.

    Turkey reneged on its promise of space for our troops in the north, and our State Dept flunkies were deliberately setting us up to fail because it was 2003 and they were working on the Kerry election. Kerry was one of “them” and they knew it.

    You should read his father’s despicable book…he was born and bred State Dept material. All hat and no horse.

    A Chaldean Christian who was assigned to translate for these bozoes watched them undermine the efforts in the early days.

    Oh, by the way, the translator had one more reason for failure: the innocence of the American soldier…these young guys couldn’t get their heads around the level of evil and corruption they were facing.

    I think we made a lot of mistakes in Iraq but far fewer than would have been made by endless jaw-jaw dialogue…which would still be going on as Saddam continued to send his enemies through the shredders and his sons went on their daily rape routes.

    There is hell and there is Hell. Like the North Koreans peasants “loaned” to the Russians to do slave work in Siberia — when their time was up, they asked to stay in Siberia. That’s Hell (No Korea) and hell (Siberia).

    So is Iraq: with Saddam, Hell. After Saddam, hell.

    There is a definite difference in the quality of the brimstone.

  6. I agree with Tom and con swede. The Iraq invasion/liberation was predicated on a false view of human nature, of Arab Muslim nature in particular. It has been a disaster, as reality-based conservatives predicted it would be. At the time I dismissed them, but they were right and I was wrong. In fact it made me rethink my liberal assumptions.

  7. I agree with Dr Hanson. The ‘archbishop’ has the pacifism gene that telegraphs weakness and invites war. The same gene the Europeans have in not sanding behind the multitude of UN resolutions against Saddam that, if enforced and not undermined by Germany and France, would have prevented the Iraq war. It’s he same pacifism gene that has Iran laughing at EU nuclear negotiators. The same gene that has Hans Blix as the EU poster boy for backbone and fortitude. The same defective gene that has people arguing about the Iraq war as is the choice was between war and utopian bliss, offering no viable alternative as they snipe from the sidelines. When I hear this nonsense that ‘America has lost the moral high ground’, it does not surprise me that so many Americans have turned their backs on Europe. I’m not sure about the USA ever having held the ‘moral high ground’, but the pot calling the kettle black is a bit too much to bear.

    Who’s ships are off the coast of Bangladesh right now, providing humanitarian aid? Who’s ships are not there? The archbishop can stuff it.

    Dr Hanson is correct. The archbishop is representative of a serious crisis Europe is in. The ‘archbishop’ is a fool – and a bit of a very bad joke as well.

  8. VDH is just stating how the archbishop is full of shit. HE is full of shit because as VDH pointed out he is either grossly uninformed or misinformed about the Iraqi situation or crucial aspects of British colonial history that make his comments absurd and dangerous.

    A lot of the criticism I see in the comment section are very cynical. Specially the point that a very large and disproportionally important group of people are incapable free thought and democracy. Reminds me of some twisted modern form of white man’s burden which is even worse than being PC. Instead of spitting them by imposing your will, you spite them by placing them beneath your contempt and attention.

    In the mind of the “realistic” conservative, civilized behavior is exclusive to a select group of people while everybody else are savages….thus we need to screw them to our exclusive benefit or leave them alone and somehow everything will be ok.

    The only way the “realistic” conservative approach would work is if the West was an authoritative and immoral bloc like the PRC. The PRC uses the method of the boot and genocide to combat terrorism, denying whole swaths of its own citizen freedom and identity in the name of self preservation.

    Its hard to even think of terrorism when hundreds of million of potential dissenters heads are pounded into the ground by Bejing including ethnic Chinese Muslims, Tibetans, disenfranchised rural villagers. But hey…they are safe right? at what price though? would you feel safe and happy in that kind of country? What makes you think that kind of government wouldn’t screw you also? Are these methods compatible with Western democracy?

    IF you are willing to go down that path just for self preservation then I think you are at the wrong blog. Ultimately the “realistic” conservatives are realistic at all. They are ones who live in fantasy land.

  9. I will only say that I agree with our invasion of Iraq as a militarily strategic matter. Iraq is the “center four squares” on the chessboard. The nation-building aftermath I leave to you good folks to argue.

    His Grace’s attempts to take the high ground fall on deaf ears with me. The Church of England has taken farcical hypocrisy to new heights. They lost me when they took an openly homosexual bishop under their wing to protect in “Her” (or “Its”) name. They are, in the truest sense of the word, blasphemers, and I don’t take kindly to being lectured by them.

  10. First of all, I was not meaning to say that the Archbishop of Canterbury is a great guy – the Church of England is pretty much a disgrace and yet another addition to the long list of Protestant churches that have gone awry.

    I think it’s dangerous, however, to use ad hominem arguments to say something like “because this guy is total sleaze, everything he says must be absolutely wrong.”


    The fact is that Iraq is not really a natural confederation of people (Kurds, Arabs, Sunnis, Shiites…) Couple this with the predominance of The Religion of Peace, which is oh so compatible with accepting different people & compromise & democracy, and it becomes my humble opinion that expecting them to suddenly become civilised democrats once liberated is ridiculously far from being realistic. If Belgium can’t even get along, then what chance exactly does Iraq have?

    The idea that it is our moral duty to be there enforcing democracy is arrogant & presumptuous. Contemporary Western culture is ridiculously decadent (turn on American television for 5 minutes for a reminder) and to many people, it is not at all attractive. The ideological notion that we should run about the globe, irresponsibly & thoughtlessly “liberating” the world from evil dictators, is going to end up wasting insane amounts of capital/resources if we don’t reconsider this stance & adopt one that is more grounded in reality.

    As far as Iraq being the centre of the chessboard – I’m not sure. If it is, then what’s our goal with it? If we simply unleash raw democracy & rule of the masses, nobody will be happy. The Shiite majority won’t compromise with the Kurds & the Sunnis, they’ll be really unhappy, and the bloodshed will continue ad nauseum. If we’re really going to be there, we need to either be proud authoritarian rulers and have them all learn English, install puppet rulers, &c – or, we need to split the thing up and autonomise the regions that can’t get along.

  11. ginro–

    you’re right! And what a summing up they’ve done. Here’s a snip:

    Not that it is all that surprising. Archbishop Williams, after all, is the man who went on a tour of Sudan, organized by its government and bleated about Guantánamo. Not a word about Darfur or, for that matter, the treatment of Christians in Sudan.

    He is the man who voted in the Synod for disinvestment in Israel, the only Middle Eastern country that is a functioning democracy, then tried to explain it all away to the Chief Rabbi.

    To my knowledge, he has never said a word about the terrible persecution and violence Christians suffer from in Islamic countries and areas like the West Bank. This is routinely highlighted by Anglican Friends of Israel and while one accepts that Archbishop Williams is not one of those Friends, it might be quite a sound idea for him to read the website and comment on some of the more egregious cases. He is after all a major Christian leader in the world.

    I didn’t include the links EU provides to this egregiously un-Christian behavior, but it does make me want to do a post entitled, “You Might Be an Episcopalian If…” and then list the behavior of the clergy.

    Our own Presiding Bishop has a nerve complaining about what the African missionarieis are doing in Northern Virginia. She doesn’t seem to understand that her flock there have welcomed the African clergy…the woman needs a clue bag.

  12. I agree with Tom. Already the fact that Victor Hanson calls the Archbishops defense of colonialism “politically-correct”, show how confused Hanson is.

    Dymphna’s right. The archbishop has a sacred calling, not a secular one. The Bible defines these two spheres and leaves the jurisdiction of the former to the shepherds of the flock (pastors and church elders), and the jurisdiction of the latter to kings and other rulers. The church leaders are supposed to generally leave civil matters to the politicians and the like, focusing instead on looking after the salvation and souls of their respective congregations.

    We’re all a little confused about Bush’s “invade the world, invite the world strategy”, but at least we’re exterminating a bunch of terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, so we can be thankful for that. I, for one, am happy that things are looking better in Iraq, regardless of the reasons for going in, if any.

  13. PRCalDude said…
    …but at least we’re exterminating a bunch of terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, so we can be thankful for that.

    Roughly 90% of the insurgents and militants captured in Iraq in the last four years are Iraqis, who have never been a significant proportion of the al-Qaeda-type Islamic fundamentalist terrorists (unlike Saudi Arabs). So the ‘flypaper’ theory is bunk- The occupation is producing terrorists.

    Moreover, it’s making professional terrorists, who are going to be pissed, have no hope in their ruined country, and want revenge.

    Thanks, NeoCons, for directly causing more attacks.
    Just goes to show, war’s never the best solution.

  14. The occupation is producing terrorists.

    Moreover, it’s making professional terrorists, who are going to be pissed, have no hope in their ruined country, and want revenge.

    Thanks, NeoCons, for directly causing more attacks.
    Just goes to show, war’s never the best solution.


    Hmmm…which contention to address first?

    1. The occupation is producing terrorists.

    But you have no control situation ih which you can prove that dialogue and sanctions would have produced fewer deaths, and that is the point here: the constant, ugly bloody death by mini-me Stalin. He would have had time to really build up his biochemical weapons, the ones he used the Kurdish to practice on.

    2.Moreover, it’s making professional terrorists, who are going to be pissed, have no hope in their ruined country, and want revenge.

    And what was Saddam producing before in his Iraqi hell? What, we went marching in and destroyed a functioning country? They are eating better, have a better infrastructure than they’ve had since Saddam took over, kids are going to school, people can now get married, and businesses are opening, and infant mortality is down. None of that was happening under Saddam, and none of it would ever have happened without war.

    The Kurdish would laugh you off the map for your ideas. They are really flourishing.

    3.Thanks, NeoCons, for directly causing more attacks.
    Just goes to show, war’s never the best solution.

    Talk to the Iranians who have fled their country. They’re very vocal and angry we didn’t attack Tehran instead.

    Sometimes war *is* the best solution, and sometimes it’s not. Blanket statements are not reasoned arguments, they’re simply your belief.

    In this case, we don’t know the ending yet, or if it will be allowed to come to a full and final closure given our skittish Congress.

    People who think that war is *never* a solution have never had their backs against the wall. The Christians in Iraq STILL welcome the war. They would’ve been wiped out. There were 2 Jews left, but I think they’ve gone.

    War is never a solution?


  15. What the peaceniks ignore is that Saddam had provoked a confrontation from which, post 9/11, the US could not back down or take half-measures (Clinton’s Desert Fox bombing campaign 1998-99).

    Saddam bluffed he had nukes. He then kicked all inspectors out. Violating his sworn word. After the bombing he let “some” in but restricted their movements radically in violation of the agreement with Clinton. Victory: Saddam.

    He then after 9/11 kicked these restricted in movement inspectors out and acted as if he had something to hide. [Duelfer Report concluded Saddam believed bluffing he had nukes would deter any US or Iranian attack.]

    Such a bluff could not go unanswered.

  16. The problem is not that America invaded Iraq (and that part they did well), but that they never had any clue about how to deal with it after that.

    I say: just install an iron-fist marionette, like in the good ol’ days. Keep some troops in Kurdistan just in case something happens again that would become a national security threat to USA. But apart from that, get out of there and let Iraq rot just like the other Muslim countries.

    Even step three in Coulter’s plan, “Convert them to Christianity”, is much better than what they are trying to do now… Building democracy, or waiting for Godot, or whatever the game is called…

  17. The ghost of Neville Chamberlain has dispersed amongst the “mainstream” Christian denominations. The more conservative Christian denominations, found in the United States but hardly a presence in post-Christian Europe, have grounding. And Pope Benedict gives me some hope for the Catholic Church, despite its share of nutters.

    I know there are some religion-bashers here. However, the conservative Christians I have met are good folks. They may not be for the most part intellectuals, but they are grounded and do not need a rationale for being conservative and defending Western traditions. Certainly, some of their positions are Luddite (esp. v-a-v stem cells and evolution), and they would be unappealing to Pim Fortuyn-style conservatives, for obvious reasons. However, they are not dangerous. The very worst fundamentalist Christian would be middle-of-the-road in Islam. Very few conservative Christians would stone Pim Fortuyn. They would say, you have great politics that we can agree with in general, we just wish you were not gay, so we’ll pray for you.

    Pat Robertson’s endorsement of Rudy Giuliani underscores how even conservative Christians in the US, much scorned in Europe, can put aside certain sticky issues with them (e.g. abortion, gay rights) in defense of broader Western values.

    So let’s not write of all Christians. Just the ultra-liberal mainstream ones that stand for nothing. And let’s be a little bit encouraging of the natural pro-Western stance of the bulk of more conservative American Christians. If only Europe had more pro-Western conservative Christians.

  18. This is not about whether or not what we’re doing is right, it’s about whether or not it works.

    I am not really that politically concerned if there are more or less people suffering in Iraq because of our actions there. That should not be why or why we are not there.

    We should be there to do one or more of the following:

    A) Promote and propagate our culture & way of life (which by definition means eliminating theirs)

    B) Increase stability in the region (fat chance with what we are doing now)

    C) Serve our own political & economic interests by gaining control of the region

    A & C are solved with imperialism, which maintains stability as best it can through wise Western administration which in turn serves our interests in politics and economy. Imperialism also solves A since Iraqis would all be pressured to learn English to get ahead, not to mention the fact that we could flood the place with Christian missionaries.

    Imperialism may not be palatable to our liberal neighbours, however, who are all up in arms about equality & the right to self-determination. Imperialism is a realistic approach, but if we are going to be idealistic, then the only real reason to be there is because we think Saddam was really that threatening.

    I have already said it before – twice, I believe. If stable democracy is going to work in that region, the state needs to be split up in a way that represents people and not imperialist borders left over from the beginning of the 20th century.

  19. I have already said it before – twice, I believe. If stable democracy is going to work in that region, the state needs to be split up in a way that represents people and not imperialist borders left over from the beginning of the 20th century.

    I agree — the natural fault lines would open up with even a modest stab at a loose confederation. And things could revert to antebellum WWI.

    However, now there’s that pesky petrol that everyone wants…so there will have to be some cooperaton somewhere.

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