eight years old when I encountered my first neighborhood bully. His
name was D-- J----; he was in high school and loomed above my
friends and me like a malevolent Colossus, smacking us at every
encounter with an unsettling, detached amusement. Running did no
good; he could bring us to the ground within a few steps.
Appeasement in the form of offerings of candy, money, whatever,
made things worse.
The turning point in my relationship with him was the day he stole
a comic book from me. It was "Giant Superman Annual #1," and it had
taken me a couple of weeks in the 1960 economy to save up the 25
cents to buy it. I made the mistake of taking it outside to show my
friends; D-- happened by, took it away from me, thumbed through it
and then tore it in half. I will never forget that as long as I
live, nor will I forget the look on his face when I tore into him,
got a lucky punch into a vulnerable area and kept punching. The
Colossus collapsed; my friends, emboldened, joined in. A few
minutes later, D-- was begging for mercy; several minutes after
that, we discontinued our administration of schoolboy justice. D--
never bothered us again.
I suspect that Sean Hannity had a similar experience growing up.
Most guys (and, in this enlightened age, an increasing number of
girls as well) do. Appeasement does not work. If you believe
otherwise, you're ignoring history. As Hannity demonstrates again
and again in DELIVER US FROM EVIL, those who ignore history are
doomed to repeat it.
The implicit message in DELIVER US FROM EVIL is that liberals
ignore the lessons of history because those lessons conflict with
their worldview. Appeasement of evildoers, as every schoolboy
knows, does not work. It did not work for Neville Chamberlain when
he was confronted with the problem of Adolf Hitler; it did not work
for Jimmy Carter when he turned his back on the Shah of Iran, a
flawed but valued Mideast ally, resulting in an upset in the
balance of power in the Middle East; and it did not work for Bill
Clinton, who basically funded the North Korean nuclear weapons
program that it promised not to build.
In DELIVER US FROM EVIL Hannity draws a direct line connecting the
policies of appeasement of the Carter and Clinton administrations
with the terrorist attacks upon U.S. soil in the 1990s and 2001. He
does so not for the purpose of casting blame but to demonstrate in
plain, straightforward prose that in this election year cycle those
who renew the call for appeasement with terrorists are advocating a
policy that has already been attempted, and found wanting.
Hannity's tone in DELIVER US FROM EVIL is grim and serious, as
befits the subject matter, paying service to the ultimate right of
individuals and nations to defend themselves against attack. He
offers a vigorous and reasoned analysis of the right of the United
States to engage in acts of self-determination without the
"mother-may-I" approach that the effete among us so champion.
Hannity also conclusively demonstrates that the United States has
been since at least the mid-twentieth century the last best hope of
the world in confronting evil in all its forms, whether it is the
despotism of Hitler and the Soviet Union or terrorism in any and
all of its forms. While Hannity's tone is not strident, he is
unapologetic in his defense of the right of the United States to
defend itself and is not afraid, unlike some commentators, to
actually name the sacred cows responsible for the present
DELIVER US FROM EVIL closes with an insightful, careful and
revealing analysis of each of the Democratic presidential
candidates. While the ascension of the Perfumed Prince as the
Democratic Party's sacrificial lamb is a preordained conclusion,
Hannity's evaluation of each candidate is nonetheless
instructional. Virtually every candidate, save one, would rather
negotiate than vigorously defend. And that one --- the principled,
if timorous, Joe Lieberman --- would sacrifice self-determination
at the altar of unilateralism. And where does the junior senator
from Massachusetts stand? As Hannity points out with devastating
documentary evidence, the pretender to the office is the veritable
definition of a man with many positions.
Accurate and dependable, DELIVER US FROM EVIL is a necessary and
readable tome, arriving just in time for the 2004 Presidential
election. This is a must read from one of the most articulate of
our contemporary commentators.
Review #2 by Jesse Kornbluth
300 pages of Sean Hannity's new book, 7 are about pre-World War II
appeasement, 46 remind us there was a Holocaust, 30 sing the
praises of Ronald Reagan, 34 excoriate Bill Clinton, and, although
the book was published after the Democrats chose their 2004
candidate, 28 pages discuss contenders other than John Kerry.
That's 120 pages of old material.
So what do you get in the "new" 180 pages that justifies a $26.95
Well, if you're a "liberal" --- or have, at this late date, any
sense of fair play --- you get a subtitle that will tick you off:
"Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism." (We'll pass over
that the comma after "despotism" is incorrect. That's not Hannity's
fault; when he looked at the cover with the blue sky and the Statue
of Liberty behind him as he posed, square-jawed in a power suit
that makes him look like a hearty stockbroker, you can forgive him
for not looking at the words.) Let's just focus on that unholy
trio, that axis of evil, if you will. Hannity's not a subtle
thinker; here, all three of his adversaries are equal. Terrorism
equals Liberalism. Osama, meet Al Gore.
Sounds good on drive-time radio when you're stalled in traffic and
you'd like to do nothing more than cap somebody's punk ass. In
print, you gotta admit: That's a little overstated. Unless, or
course, you're Ann Coulter, who is Hannity in a mini-skirt.
Page 3 holds an astonishing revelation: "To them [liberals], people
like Saddam and Osama bin Laden are not morally depraved murderers,
but men driven to their bad acts by the injustices of Western
society." Skip the ritual defaming of liberals, and consider that
sometimes a single truth is insufficient. In this case: Osama and
Saddam are, in fact, pond scum (even to liberals) --- but that
didn't seem to bother America's leaders when we pressed WMDs on
Saddam in the sainted Reagan years and deputized Osama to fight the
Russians for us in Afghanistan. I know that's one idea too many for
Sean Hannity, but maybe not for you.
Let's try another.
On page 91, Hannity discusses America's "betrayal" of the Shah of
Iran. And he has former Secretary of State Al Haig back him up.
"Although Haig admits there were human rights problems under the
Shah, he calls him 'an essentially benevolent despot…'" What
a howler: a benevolent despot! Just what the world needs more of!
So what if there are human rights violations --- like taking
suspects up in helicopters and, if they gave the wrong answers,
pushing them out the door? Hey, they were probably guilty as
[Fun game. If you run into an Iranian --- and there are many who
fled Iran for the United States rather than take a chance the
"benevolent despot" would send his thugs to their homes --- ask
him/her about Savak (the Shah's secret police). You'll probably
hear some great stories. Maybe you'll even see where Saddam got
some of his torture techniques.]
On to page 147: "An unchecked Saddam Hussein, in control of nearly
two-thirds of the world's oil supply, protected by an arsenal of
weapons…." Give Hannity credit for not once taking off his
"Bush Rules" blinders: He has never wavered in his belief that
Saddam had WMDs. "To my mind," he confides, "the fact that no
weapons have yet been found in Iraq only gives me greater cause for
concern." Because they were there, dammit. And if they aren't now,
it's because Saddam gave them to Osama (or something like
Dude, that train left the station a while ago. No one can find the
WMDs --- or any records that suggest Saddam moved them. For that
matter, you keep nattering on with the Bush-speak about "nations
that support terrorists." I know they write in words with several
syllables, Sean, but you might get jiggy with Chris Dickey and
Fareed Zakaria, both of Newsweek, whose writing of late suggests
that today's frightening terrorists seem to be operating on their
own, not as pawns of Osama or any enemy country. Or is that just
too frightening to contemplate?
The best stuff for this reader is in the epilogue, when Hannity
looks into the future --- that is, borrows Karl Rove's crystal
ball. There are countries "where evil may one day challenge us
again." They are China, Iran, Syria, North Korea and a nation unto
itself, al Qaeda. He lumps Israel and the Palestinians together,
but gives a big shout out for Israel's right "to do what is
necessary to protect [its] citizens."
And that's it. Saudi Arabia, anybody? No way. They're tight with
Bush's dad. Those Saudi who flew the planes into the Twin Towers
and the Pentagon must have been some kind of … freaks. Give
them an oil pump, and they'd never have done that evil act. (See: I
am a liberal. Those Saudis weren't evil. Just misunderstood.)
No need for Hannity's publisher to translate his book into whatever
gobbledygook the Arabs speak and drop copies on their heads. It
would be a whole lot cheaper and more satisfying to turn their
squalid, terrorist-friendly cities into giant parking lots. Ooops.
Sorry. That's from Hannity's next book. Can't wait.
Reviewed by Jesse Kornbluth on January 21, 2011