May 24, 2013
May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
March 4, 2005
/ 25 Adar I, 5765
At this crossroads in Middle East history, call in the French
Place: Damascus. Scene: the office of the Syrian state newspaper. An editor has just been handed photos of the demonstrations in Beirut, where brave crowds demanded an end to Syria's occupation of Lebanon. "What should the headline say, boss?" a nervous underling inquires.
The editor thinks a moment, puffs on his cigar. "Twenty-five thousand Mossad agents riot in Beirut," he finally says.
It might have worked, once. But the entire Middle East seems to be remaking itself, and the old scapegoats have lost their power. Now Assad the Lesser finds himself under international pressure. This is a crucial moment in history, and it needs three things: momentum, pressure and the French.
Yes, the French. They come in handy here.
But! There are photos of Jacques Chirac shaking hands with various Assads; shouldn't that make us deeply suspicious? Remember, an old photo of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam somehow proved the United States sold Iraq 10 million tons of WMDs. (Which he also never had, remember.)
Ergo Chirac doing the diplomatic grip and grimace with a wizened old murderer and his chinless spawn must also mean France has some deep, dark ulterior motive here. Olives, that's it. It's all about the olive oil.
Of course the French have ulterior motives in wanting Lebanon free of Syrian control; they've long regarded the nation as rightfully belonging in their sphere of influence. Lebanon presents a fine opportunity to get a well-shod foot in the door of the emerging new Middle East. If Syria topples peacefully, then they can lecture America anew: See, that's how it's done.
Let them preen, if it makes them feel good. Welcome Back Kotteur, and all that. What's better: They come late to the party and help set the table, or they stay home and gossip about our cowboy matters? "Oh, sure, stick a fork in Bashar Assad, he's done -- but leave it to the Americans to use the wrong fork."
Why care about the Europeans at all? Because momentum is what matters now, and the more states that pile on, the better. This began, of course, with the assassination of Lebanon's ex-prime minister, which everyone now assumes was a clumsy bit of old-style Syrian statecraft. Whether Assad ordered the hit is in question; he's not regarded as having his father's brutality or craftiness. He's an eye doctor, for heaven's sake. But perhaps that means he can read the little tiny words at the bottom of the chart: uh-oh.
A few days later, Iraq TV aired a confession of a Syrian officer who admitted training the "insurgents." Uh-oh. Desperate for a little capital, Damascus coughed up Saddam's half-brother and a few dozen Tikriti miscreants who just happened to be kicking around in Syria, perhaps on an archaeology holiday. But that merely reminded everyone that Syria lets these guys hang around in the first place.
Then came terse words from Israel, announcing that it had proof Syrian elements were behind a recent suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. But this news was muted when the puppet government of Lebanon resigned en masse.
Oh, and somewhere in there Hosni Mubarak announced free, open, multiparty elections. Given Egypt's multi-millennia tradition of pharaonic rule, we should wait and see -- but at least the old man seems to be thinking ahead. There's no point in handing your country to your son if it's just going to string him up five years after you're gone.
The region, in short, has been destabilized, and three cheers for destabilization. At this rate Syria will be free, the mullahs will be toppled, and Saudi women will have the right to drive before the 2007 Benz models are unveiled. So to speak.
That would be too much to hope for, of course. Iran's nuclear ambitions are still a grave danger, Egypt is probably hunkering down to wait out the storm, and Assad could be preparing some old-style mass reprisals.
But perhaps democracy truly is the future of the Arab world. Perhaps the world may change, and the tyrants find no country that will take them in after the people have risen up. The old order's over.
Ah well. As Assad and Bogie remarked: They'll always have Paris.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in uplifting articles.
Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.
© 2005, James Lileks