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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 April 29, 2005 / 20 Nissan, 5765

With Syria leaving Lebanon, can democracy be soon behind?

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The last of 14,000 Syrian troops left Lebanon Tuesday, four days ahead of the deadline set by the United Nations Security Council. Nearly 30 years of occupation was over. Maybe.

Lebanese from all walks of life cheered as the Syrians packed up.

"We are very happy to see them go," Rafi Tamorian, 25, a resident of the ethnic Armenian town of Anjar, headquarters since 1976 of Syria's intelligence service, told the British newspaper the Times. "They have been treading on our hearts for too long."

"The Syrians don't understand this country," the administrator of a hospital in a village in the mountains overlooking Beirut told American web logger Michael Totten. "We want democracy here. We want to put an end to the past. They can't just go around killing people. We're not going to put up with it anymore."

The Syrian retreat from Lebanon had two catalysts. The first was the assassination of popular former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on Feb. 14th. The other was the Iraqi election Jan. 30th.

The assassination of Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, brought Christians, Muslims and Druze (an offshoot of Shia Islam) — until recently driven by civil war — together in outrage against the Syrians. The example of more than eight million Iraqis marching peacefully to the polls gave the Lebanese the courage to take to the streets to protest against their occupiers.

Journalists skip lightly over this latter point to avoid giving President Bush the credit he is due.

The assassination of Hariri also brought together the United States and France. The Bush administration was the driving force behind the resolution the Security Council passed last fall demanding that Syria end its occupation. As is customary with UN resolutions, enforcement lagged. But Hariri had been a close friend of French President Jacques Chirac.

Rattled by massive demonstrations, the rare unity of the U.S. and France, and the unaccustomed vigor with which UN Secretary General Kofi Annan pressed their demands, Syrian strongman Bashir Assad agreed on March 5th to pull all his troops out by May 1st.

He's kept his promise, sort of. Among the Syrians who crossed the border Tuesday were several bus loads of intelligence agents, but Assad has left plenty behind. The Lebanese government remains in the hands of Syrian puppets. And as long as the terror group Hezbollah — supported with money and weapons by Syria and Iran — remains the only sectarian group in Lebanon with an armed militia, Syria will continue to have a heavy hand in Syrian affairs.

So Lebanon's democrats still have a rocky road ahead before independence can be won. But despite the obstacles Assad is sure to strew in their path, the outlook is mostly bright.

With the 14,000 Syrian troops gone, elections slated for the end of May almost certainly will be held on schedule. And though they'll cheat, through gerrymandered districts and such, the puppet regime almost certainly will be turfed out by the nationalist coalition that Hariri had begun to form in life, and which has been cemented by his death.

The first and most immediate benefit for the U.S. is the discomfiture of Syria, the smallest wheel on the Axis of Evil. The loss of his de facto colony is both insult and injury to Bashir Assad. The loss of prestige for the weak-chinned despot has set off rumblings both among the general populace, and among coup-minded members of his Baath party. More important, the loss of Lebanese loot will be a severe blow to Syria's sclerotic economy.

The more important benefit is what liberty and democracy in Lebanon portends for the rest of the Middle East. There is no country in the Arab world more ethnically and religiously diverse than Lebanon, and no country where ethnic and religious divisions have, in the recent past, been more bitter.

Totten, who is in Lebanon working for Spirit of America, a pro-democracy group, notes that a symbol of the nationalist movement is the Christian cross and the Muslim crescent moon, fused together.

"They truly believe that they are resolving the clash of civilizations here in Beirut by proving that Christian and Islamic civilizations can coexist in peace and friendship," Totten said. "These people are fighting not only for themselves and their own country, but — sometimes consciously and sometimes not — on my behalf and for my country, too."

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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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