Home
In this issue

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 May 20, 2004 /29 Iyar, 5764

Atrocities happen in war, but self-flagellation only satiates a deranged individual

By Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Let's get something straight. We hate anyone who would torture a prisoner of war. But we also hate getting old, paying taxes, and square dancing. The point is, some things just go with the territory. Soldiers who go off to fight in a war are not going to a Bar Mitzvah. They are ordinary people who are subjected to extraordinary pressures while separated from family, friends, the Saturday night wrestling in back of a pickup truck, and the structured life a civilized society provides. Without any life experience that could prepare them for what they will encounter, they live under constant or near constant threat of attack and the daily deaths or mutilations of friends and colleagues. Worse yet, they risk their lives to free a people who are more than just ungrateful — people who have turned on them, and now often seek to destroy them.

There never was a war where the participants, who are usually barely old enough to shave, on both sides, did not commit atrocities. Yes, it happened in the last great war by both the Germans and Americans, and for the Japanese this was "business as usual." The difference between us and them is that we do not treat this as acceptable behavior, we do not condone it; we investigate, we make it public, and we punish. They celebrate it.

It is of singular importance that under Saddam Hussein, in that very same prison, Abu Ghraib, that is now being scrutinized by the American authorities, rape, murder, the cutting off of limbs, and whatever tortures the ingenuity of a highly technologically advanced society could devise were a routine daily occurrence. The whole world knew of this Arab-on-Arab torture. Yet not a peep. Now when a few individuals out of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers have acted inappropriately, the Arab world is outraged.

Ironically, in the Arab world, torture is still practiced and enjoys an historical precedent dating back to, at least 608, when the Prophet's favorite grandson had his head cut off in Iraq and sent first to Damascus and then to Egypt. Today, a thief in Arab countries worries about forfeiting his hand as well as his freedom, and a wife who is romantic with the wrong man has more to worry about than being sued in a divorce case. The message is clear: one standard of conduct for Arabs, another for Americans.

If Arabs enjoy the pleasure of a double standard, we claim no less a right. To be very clear (readers of the New York Times avert your gaze), if it is Arab discomfort as opposed to American young men and women being turned into chop meat, in our eyes it is no contest. It must be borne in mind that the abuse victims were all in cell block 1-A or 1-B, which basically means that there was evidence to believe that they were murderers, terrorists, or insurgents. If the new standards for their treatment now being put in place will prevent the obtaining of information that could have saved American lives, in our book, our politicians and military brass should have a lot more to answer for than the mistreatment of a few thugs.

Donate to JWR


If anyone questioned the necessity for our attacking Iraq the TV beheading of the 26-year-old businessman Nick Berg should have been an awakening experience. It should be clear to the world that what we are unwillingly faced with is a clash of cultures. It was not sought, it was thrust upon us on 9/11. Can any American in a modern world, where the furthest is but hours away from the nearest, feel safe where there is loosed upon the world a society where the cultural norm for a showing of dissatisfaction is the television beheading of an innocent person?

President Bush, in his address to Congress after 9/1, made the most important, and obvious but unspoken, policy declaration since the Monroe Doctrine: friend to our friend is our friend, friend to our enemy is our enemy. In the velocity of events in the modern world it cannot be otherwise.

Picture a world in which we did not take action. Of course, it would have been a more peaceful world today, and President Bush would have had an easier chance for re-election. But the same people who complain that our deficit will burden the next generation should apply the same thinking to the Iraq situation. If America had done nothing, Iraq would continue to try to shoot down our planes who were conducting fly-overs pursuant to a peace treaty. We could do either one of two things: let American planes be shot down and the pilots, if alive, subjected to Hussein-style Iraqi justice, or discontinue the flights. To allow the former would be criminal inaction by the people in Washington; in the latter case we would be humiliated before the Arab world and our timidity would be interpreted as license. If we wrote off the search for WMD, could any one this side of a lunatic asylum believe that Saddam Hussein, who has sought, and has previously used some of them (and who but for the Israelis' destruction of the facility at Osirak would have already gone nuclear) would not, fueled by his own and other Arab wealth, eventually acquire all of them?

Americans should understand that self-flagellation only satiates a deranged individual. They should also take note of Lincoln's observation that the dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the stormy present.

Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributors Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder need no introduction. Comment on this column by clicking here.

© 2004, Mason and Felder