Victor Davis Hanson on French Riots

Victor Davis Hanson is an excellent historian and an interesting commentator on world events. His background on discussing European affairs is superb. Still, I had to get a chuckle from this segment on the Hugh Hewitt radio program:

HH: I’m now joined by Victor Davis Hanson, military historian extraordinaire, and you can read him every Friday at National Review Online. Victor, good to have you back on the program.

VDH: Glad to be here, Hugh.

HH: You passed through Paris recently. When?

VDH: Yesterday.

HH: And did you get a sense of crisis as you walked around De gaulle Airport?

VDH: I did. I’ve never been through more security. It was…I think I had to show my passport on five different occasions.

HH: Did you go into the city at all, or was this just a change of planes?

VDH: No. I was on the way from Lisbon, so we flew over it in the morning, and then we landed. And I stayed two or three hours at the airport.

HH: What is your assessment of the significance of what is underway, the Francefada, or the intifada in France as we speak?

The man spent three hours in De gaulle Airport, so he’s got some especially prescient insights to share with us? WTF?

Now, I haven’t been to France in nearly 14 years and feel free to comment on the situation. Hanson is probably more qualified to comment than I am based on our respective academic expertise. But his three hours in an airport did not move the balance any further in his direction unless he spent them watching CNN, reading news reports, or interviewing leaders on the scene.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Eh, I think that segment is more Hewitt’s doing than VDH’s. I think VDH might be one of the last to rely on his time in an airport as justification for whether France is in the pooper.

    That being said, what WOULD VDH say to whether France is in “crisis”? No?

  2. Chrees says:

    My assessment is that VDH was answering the questions on what he was seeing while in Europe–he references the papers, the French citizens he talked to, etc.

  3. Sabrina says:

    He talks about security in the airport.

    It’s not because of riots it’s always like that.