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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review January 16, 2008 / 9 Shevat 5768

Chavez, Ahmadinejad are dangerous, but both have suffered setbacks

By Mark Bowden

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sometimes the best way to deal with your enemies is to just leave them alone.

Take Venezuela's blowhard president, Hugo Chavez, and Iran's piously pugnacious Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Both are dedicated anti-Americans who are flush with oil money and cannot seem to make much of the opportunity. Both furnish fresh reasons for us to rejoice that our enemies are dumber than we are.

I find myself actually warming toward Hugo, whose brazen effort to get the Venezuelan people to anoint him dictator was slapped down in a nationwide referendum last month. In addition to his clever rhetoric - who can forget his comment about a whiff of "sulfur" in the U.N. chamber after President Bush had departed? - you have to like a would-be tyrant who tries to cement his ascent to president-for-life with a national vote, and then loses.

He still bears watching, if only for entertainment value, but any dictator who abides by the results of a real election is a vast improvement over the 20th-century variety.

Chavez did not take this path out of the goodness of his heart. He has fresh memories of an attempted coup in 2002, and as the election showed, his ambition to rule a la Fidel Castro faces serious opposition. He dares go only so far. He is becoming a bolder caricature of himself, looking less like a Latin American Hitler and more like Charlie Chaplin.

In an interview last week with supermodel Naomi Campbell, the latest in a parade of lefty celebrities granted audiences with him, Hugo invited her to feel his muscles. Naomi dubbed him her "Rebel Angel."

His most recent effort to further the cause of pan-Latino socialism was clumsy but produced results. In December, he made a great show of brokering the release of three beleaguered kidnap victims in Colombia, playing on his solidarity with the world's least popular, least adept, and least noble revolutionary movement, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, or FARC. Accompanying the Rebel Angel on this mission of mercy was Hollywood's most famous political fabulist and doper, Oliver Stone himself, who is (or was) planning to make a documentary film of the humanitarian triumph.

It fizzled when the guerrillas reneged on the deal, which came as a surprise only to those who have been paying no attention to Colombia whatsoever. One of the hostages the guerrillas had promised to hand over to the Rebel Angel they did not even have - a child born to a kidnap victim in a "relationship" with one of her captors. The tawdry and murderous FARC hadn't released the child; they apparently had simply lost interest in him, discarding him at age 1, half dead with malnutrition and disease, and with a broken arm. Now 3, he was found to be living with a foster family in Bogota.

Hugo managed to get the boy's mother and another hostage out on Thursday, bringing great joy to two families and saving face, but not before discovering how slippery and unreliable his abductor-allies are. He attributed the setbacks not to the FARC, but to the Colombian government of president Alvaro Uribe, which had warned him in advance that the FARC was not to be trusted.

Ahmadinejad's setback was not quite as self-inflicted. There were reports from Tehran last week that Ahmadinejad might be on the outs with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The country's spiritual tyrant has been distancing himself from the former student revolutionary turned politician, whose leadership has made sensational and occasionally bizarre international headlines. Ahmadinejad has proved expert at lowering the hemlines of the nation's women, but less so at lowering the country's spiraling inflation. Despite sitting on one of the largest deposits of oil in the world, Iran continues to import gasoline and sputter toward economic decline.

The Iranian president is the inadvertent (but predictable) victim of the recent U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, which found that the country's secret nuclear-weapons program had been suspended in 2003.

There is a wonderful lesson in this. The estimate contradicted the Bush administration's warlike rhetoric about Iran. This no doubt caused some red faces in the White House, which had been selling a wholly different story, but it had the additional and inadvertent effect of pulling the plug on Ahmadinejad, whose game for the last four years has been provoking the United States in order to raise his stature at home.

It worked like a judo move. The sudden and unexpected removal of pressure from our side caused Ahmadinejad to fall on his face. He has found himself without The Great Satan as a foil for his rhetorical nonsense. My hopeful guess is that Iran's leadership will tilt back in a more moderate direction in coming years, and Ahmadinejad will go back to making trouble with his Revolutionary Guards.

There is a persistently juvenile quality to him and the guards that dates all the way back to the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, an act that has done more to damage Iran's standing in the world than any in modern history. The deadly game of chicken with the U.S. Navy in the Strait of Hormuz on Jan. 6 was more of the same. Ahmadinejad and his ilk are dangerous, but mostly to themselves and Iran, a fact that at long last may be dawning on even the mullahs in charge.

When your enemy is paddling toward falls, just wave.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Mark Bowden is author of "Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam" and a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Comment by clicking here.



Previously:

05/31/07 Apply pressure, and wait
03/20/07 Military spies have different functions from their CIA counterparts. In the war on terrorism, they are needed
02/14/07 Despite its pious hypocrisy, Iran must be consulted



© 2008, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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