The Corner

The Vocabulary of ‘Concern’

Iran thinks it has a sort of blue-water navy. North Korea thinks it sort of has a nuclear ballistic-missile arsenal. The Taliban and the Islamists sort of think they can retake Afghanistan and topple Pakistan. Wannabe al-Qaedists in New York think they can sort of copy Islamic terrorists.

I think most can make two easy predictions about these sort of rumblings and far more to come: At some date very soon Obama will cease with the “it’s our fault,” ‘reset’ button, “Bush did it” apologetics and realize that the world cares not about the past, but only how much things can be redefined under his administration.

And, two, very soon our vocabulary of “grave concern,” “totally unacceptable,” “deepening its own isolation,” “in violation of UN resolutions,” and “inviting stronger international pressure” will become exhausted, and, as in the case of “man-caused disasters” and “overseas contingency operations,” we will have to come up with new words and phraseologies for the new mood of the times — e.g., “really grave concern,” “absolutely totally unacceptable,” “greatly deepening its own isolation,” “in extreme violation of UN resolution,” “inviting especially stronger international pressure,” etc. and on and on and on.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Yes, There Was FBI Bias

There is much to admire in Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz’s highly anticipated report on the FBI’s Clinton-emails investigation. Horowitz’s 568-page analysis is comprehensive, fact-intensive, and cautious to a fault. It is also, nonetheless, an incomplete exercise — it omits half ... Read More

Yes, Hillary Should Have Been Prosecuted

I know this is ancient history, but — I’m sorry — I just can’t let it go. When historians write the definitive, sordid histories of the 2016 election, the FBI, Hillary, emails, Russia, and Trump, there has to be a collection of chapters making the case that Hillary should have faced a jury ... Read More

Let the World Have Soccer

The United States of America did not qualify for the World Cup this year. Good for us. Soccer is corrupt, hyper-regulated, impoverished by a socialist-style fondness for rationing, and organized to strangle human flourishing. It is so dependent on the whims of referees that is in effect a helpless captive of the ... Read More