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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 March 28, 2011 23 Adar II, 5771

The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya

By Dana Milbank




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The National Defense University at Fort McNair was a favorite backdrop of President George W. Bush as he laid out his Bush doctrine of preemptive war.

Five times during his presidency, Bush visited the military installation in Southwest D.C., serving up such memorable soundbites as "we're at war with cold-blooded killers who despise freedom," and "we will keep the terrorists on the run until they have nowhere left to hide," and "our immediate strategy is to eliminate terrorist threats abroad so we do not have to face them here at home."

So it was noteworthy that Obama chose the same location for his speech to the nation justifying the U.S. military action in Libya. After ten days of confusion about America's role in Libya - and in the world - Obama finally was prepared to articulate his "doctrine."

But those who were hoping for a rejoinder to "bring it on" will be disappointed: The Obama doctrine he presented Wednesday night was frustratingly nondoctrinal. Where Bush was all bright lines and absolute morality, Obama dwelled in the gray area, outlining a foreign policy that is ad hoc and situational.

"In this particular country - Libya; at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale," he argued, in a 28-minute speech marked by occasional trouble with the teleprompter. "We had a unique ability to stop that violence… We also had the ability to stop Gaddafi's forces in their tracks without putting American troops on the ground."

The policy Obama outlined was a cost-benefit analysis between the burdens of war and the need to defend American values across the globe. In the Obama doctrine, there is a tension between bear-any-burden aspirations and the constraints of an overstretched superpower.

"I have made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies, and our core interests," he said. But, he added: "There will be times, though, when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and values are. In such cases, we should not be afraid to act — but the burden of action should not be America's alone."

This is what Republicans such as Mitt Romney deride as Obama's "nuanced" foreign policy. And it's true that after the good vs. evil, binary logic of the Bush years — you're with us or you're with the terrorists — Obama's answer is vague and unsatisfying.

On the other hand, maybe the lack of a fixed doctrine isn't such a bad thing. Being doctrinaire, after all, got the last guy into quite a bit of trouble. Everybody knew what the Bush doctrine was — at least, everybody but Sarah Palin ("in what respect, Charlie?"). Yet that crisp clarity led us into war in Iraq based on false presumptions, draining resources from the war in Afghanistan and antagonizing allies.

Obama, by contrast, has been so subtle in his doctrine that he's baffling Americans. By waiting to make his case to the nation for the action in Libya, he created a vacuum and invited confusion. A new Pew Research Center poll finds that while a plurality supports the attack in Libya, 17 percent of Americans have no opinion on the question. Meanwhile, 50 percent don't think the United States and its allies have a clear goal.

At NDU on Monday night, Obama gave the assembled brass some Bush-like rhetoric, calling Gaddafi a "tyrant" who murdered opponents, terrorized innocents and killed Americans. But Obama tempered that with reminders that the military action against Gaddafi was "limited," and "narrowly focused on saving lives," and that responsibility had been transferred to reduce "the risk and cost."

He outlined his policy as a sensible middle ground between those who opposed any intervention and those who favored an all-out effort to oust Gaddafi. "Given the costs and risks of intervention, we must always measure our interests against the need for action," he said. The United States has an "important strategic interest," he said — although he didn't claim it is a vital one.

"Failure to act in Libya would have carried a far greater price for America," Obama said. Likewise, if he attempted to remove Gaddafi by force, "the dangers faced by our men and women in uniform would be far greater."

As a doctrine, Obama's is maddeningly subtle. Cost-weighting can't compete with "smoke 'em out" and "dead or alive." But that doesn't mean it's wrong.

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Previously:



03/24/11: Dems as Weiners
03/23/11: Obama's quick trip from tyrant to weakling
03/17/11: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation


© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group