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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 May 21, 2007 / 4 Iyar, 5767

Petraeus and PC-policy-making

By Diana West


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "This fight depends on securing the population, which must understand that we — not our enemies — occupy the moral high ground."

                      —Gen. David Petraeus, May 10


Oh, they must, must they?


With his single sentence, Gen. David Petraeus reveals what's wrong with our Iraq policy. Success depends not on our own actions, but on a politically correct expectation of how Iraqis will react to those actions. It seems that victory depends on something over which we have no control — the point of view and behavior of people in Iraq.


Consider the "surge." Even if our troops achieve the goal of "securing the population" by securing Baghdad, success still rides on subsequent Iraqi behavior: whether murderously competing Iraqi sects decide to come together and sing "Kumbayah" — what you might call a big "whether."


Somehow, I'm practically alone among conservatives in believing this to be a dangerously ill-conceived policy (Surrender-crats aren't worth discussing here), and I think I know why. The Iraq policy itself is an outgrowth of another dangerously ill-conceived policy of our leaders to avoid any rational assessment of the Islamic culture that informs the point of view and behavior of people across the Fertile Crescent in the first place.


In other words, most people with even an elemental understanding of institutional Islamic antipathies toward non-Muslims and non-Muslim culture would balk at spending blood and treasure for Gen. Petraeus' "hearts and minds" strategy. Such a criterion, sadly, disqualifies our deeply Islam-challenged elites, all of whom seem to have missed the fact that "moral high ground" in Islam makes room for suicide-bombing terrorists. No wonder our guys are having trouble.


Still, we persist in ordering American forces onto Iraq's meanest streets to "win over the trust and allegiance of the civilians," as a Weekly Standard report on Gen. Petraeus' counterinsurgency plan recently put it. What goes unconsidered is why, after all the lives and limbs our troops have already lost in Iraq, after all the lollipops our troops have already passed around Iraq, Iraqi "trust" and "allegiance" aren't already ours for the asking. Could it be that most of the Muslims who make up about 99.99 percent of the Iraqi population simply don't trust infidel armies? Could it be that they only offer allegiance to fellow-Muslims?


Such questions never enter into PC policy-making. The problem, PC-policy-makers maintain, is ours alone. Maybe we did topple Saddam Hussein, fight Islamic terror troops, and bring democracy and air conditioners to a benighted land. But that's not enough to win "hearts and minds," or so the PC-theory goes. And that's where the new counterinsurgency strategy comes in — killing the enemy, while, as the Standard wrote, "spending time with the [Iraqi] people, getting to know them, and building relationships with them."


Is this a war plan, or a Miss Universe contest?


Recently, I came across a heart-stopping story from "A Man Called Intrepid," William Stevenson's book about World War II intelligence operations. It concerned a ghastly, brilliant British air raid on Copenhagen in spring 1945. The objective, next door to a school, was a Gestapo prison. There, Danish underground leaders were being tortured, thus compromising the entire underground network, bonafide nuclear secrets, and potentially resulting in the diversion of 200,000 German troops to fight American forces. The air raid was a stunning success. It was also a terrible tragedy. Not only did the British lose 10 airmen, but 27 teachers and 87 children were killed, with many more civilians badly injured.


The battlefields then and now have few parallels, but imagine, for a moment, that 87 children were killed in an important air raid in terror-riddled Baghdad, not Nazi-occupied Copenhagen. Imagine, also, the ensuing mayhem and media amplification of an "irreparable blow to the battle for Iraqi 'hearts and minds.' "


Now, back to the historical account: One of the raid's planners, Ted Sismore, later returned to the bombed school in Copenhagen to offer an explanation. "The parents of the dead children, to his astonishment, gave him comfort. They wanted me to know the raid was necessary.' "


The Danes knew his heart, and were of one mind. This could hardly be more different from Iraq for many reasons, including cultural ones separating Islamic and Western cultures. Gen. Petraeus decrees Iraqis "must understand that we — not our enemies — occupy the moral high ground." But does their political-religious culture even permit such an understanding? We must face up to this question if we ever want a winning war plan.

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


JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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