American Elephants

Bret Stephens on The Coming Global Disorder by The Elephant's Child

Bret Stephens has been the foreign affairs columnist for The Wall Street Journal for nine years. This is a speech he delivered to the David Horowitz Freedom Center Texas Retreat, last June. A very thoughtful speech. It reflects much of the thinking expressed in his 2014 book America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder.

It’s perhaps a little long for a Wednesday night when tomorrow is a work day, but do save it to watch when you have time. You will be glad you did.


Dick Cheney, Honored at the Hudson Institute’s 2012 Herman Khan Award Dinner. by The Elephant's Child

I wrote a little about preparedness, and why the remembrance of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 71 years ago should always remind us of the need to prepare. Sometimes you’re lucky and you pay for your home insurance for years and never need to find out if the insurance company really will pay up promptly and in full. But if you are prudent, you pay the price — just in case.

No one thought an enemy could bomb Pearl Harbor. It never occurred to anyone that someone would hijack corporate jets and drive them into tall buildings. You cannot prepare for every eventuality as residents of some areas of New York and New Jersey are learning now. On the other hand, you can’t spend your days worrying about what might happen. You simply try, as best you can, to prepare for known threats and possible catastrophe.

In that same vein, I enjoyed the speech that Vice President Dick Cheney gave at the Hudson Institute where he was honored at the 2012 Herman Khan Award Dinner in New York City. Dick Cheney has been a consummate public servant for many years, a patriot, and a wise voice on national affairs. I am a great admirer. The headline “Cheney Takes Flamethrower to Obama” is over the top. Cheney clearly thinks, as many of us do, that Obama is off on the wrong track, and he is worried for our country, and worried that today’s actions are creating a deplorable future situation.

I have never quite understood Democrat’s hatred for the man. But then he is enormously competent, enormously knowledgeable, and extremely capable. That would be scary for the opposition. The rough transcript is pretty close, with only a few minor errors.

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