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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 March 26, 2008 / 19 Adar II 5768

On the verge of victory

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In a speech in West Virginia last week, Hillary Clinton described Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, as "an extraordinary leader and a wonderful advocate for our military."


Just seven months ago Sen. Clinton indirectly called Gen. Petraeus a liar (it would, she said, take a "willing suspension of disbelief" to believe what the general was saying about progress in Iraq since the troop surge began). This most recent Clinton flip-flop illustrates the sea change that's happened in Iraq since then.


Last Wednesday al Qaida released a videotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden. He made no mention of Iraq, which is odd, because the Iraq war began five years ago that day, and bombast about Iraq had been the chief subject of his earlier videotapes. But on this anniverary there were no threats, no boasts of victory, perhaps because even supporters of al Qaida would now find such boasts hollow. (Al Qaida issued a second videotape Thursday in which Osama did mention Iraq, mostly to suggest it would be a swell place from which to launch attacks on Israel.)


Maybe the best indication that things are going better in Iraq is its virtual disappearance from television newscasts. In the first ten weeks of this year, news of the war accounted for just 3 percent of newspaper and television news stories, compared to 23 percent the year before, according to a survey conducted by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.


Nearly 4,000 American service members and about 100,000 Iraqis (most of them in the suicide bombings for which al Qaida has become infamous) have been killed since March 19, 2003. Has it been worth it?


Iraqis apparently think so. Last week ABC and the BBC released results of a poll conducted in Iraq last month. In it 55 percent of Iraqis said their lives were going well, up from 39 percent last August. Forty nine percent of Iraqis think the U.S. invasion was justified, up from 37 percent in August.


The Iraqis have been freed from an oppressive tyrant, and are the recipients of billions of dollars of economic aid. But has it been worth it for us?


The Bush administration had both short and long term strategic goals for invading Iraq; some publicly stated, some not. All are on the verge of being met.


In the short term, the president wanted to go on offense against al Qaida, rather than wait passively for another attack. The most significant fact in the war on terror is there has been no successful attack on our homeland since 9/11. This is chiefly because most of al Qaida's energies and resources have been directed elsewhere. Iraq has proven to be a graveyard both for al Qaida's most experienced operators, and for its reputation in the Muslim world.


Also in the short term, Mr. Bush wanted to improve the behavior of Saudi Arabia, and to send a signal to hostile regimes the U.S. military was not to be trifled with.


"The United States invaded to change the psychology of the region, which had a low regard for American power," wrote George Friedman, president of STRATFOR, a private intelligence service. "It also invaded to occupy the most strategic country in the Middle East, one that bordered seven other key countries."


In the longer term, the president believed the threat would last forever if the Arab world remained dysfunctional.


"The deepest purpose of the Iraq war was to break this pattern, to kick-start reform and political change, economic and cultural modernization and maybe even the first shoots of democracy in the Arab world," wrote UPI editor Martin Walker, a Middle East expert.


The war in Iraq has achieved its strategic purpose, said Prof. James Robbins, director of the Intelligence Center at Trinity Washington University. "Saddam Hussein is no longer a threat, and Iraq has a new constitution and a democratically elected government."


It isn't just in Iraq's fledgling democracy where that goal is being achieved, Mr. Walker wrote.


"To look at the Middle East today is to see a region transformed," he said. "The center of gravity is no longer the Levant, trapped in the obsession with Israel and the Palestinians, but the Gulf states, where oil is no longer the sole source of wealth. Dubai as a trading port and tourist center, Qatar as a media and medical center, Saudi Arabia with its new universities, are countries going through a cultural and intellectual revolution."


The cost of the war in Iraq has been high, much higher than it ought to have been because of the many blunders made in prosecuting it. But the strategy was sound.


And now — thanks chiefly to Gen. Petraeus — a historic, transformational victory is nigh.

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

JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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