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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 June 15, 2006 / 19 Sivan, 5766

Critics cried foul when Bush compared his foreign policy to Harry Truman's — They should check the record

By Max Boot


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When he delivered the West Point commencement address last month, President Bush compared his efforts to stand up to terrorists to Harry Truman's efforts to stand up to communists during the early years of the Cold War. Liberal pundits were outraged. How dare this Republican cite a sainted Democrat as his inspiration? Commentators such as Peter Beinart, the former New Republic editor, suggested that Bush should instead learn from Truman about the need to recognize the limits of American strength, eschew grandiose rhetoric and unilateral action and encase American power in a "web" of multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and NATO.

This is a refrain that has been heard since 2001, and it is worth correcting the historical record before this mythology becomes accepted as fact. The reality is that Bush is far more multilateral and Truman was much less so than commonly assumed.

For all of Bush's diplomatic stumbles, he has won the assistance of many allies in Iraq, the Horn of Africa and beyond. Much of the military effort in Afghanistan is being turned over to NATO, which, at Bush's urging, has gotten involved in a conflict outside Europe for the first time. Bush also has been active in pushing free trade, just as Truman did, through treaties (which many Democrats now oppose) such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement. Bush, like Truman, has increased foreign aid. And in his approach to the North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs, Bush has been scrupulously multilateralist. Not successful but hardly unilateralist.

Truman, for his part, was less multilateralist than some of his admirers claim. True, he did preside over the founding of the United Nations, and he sometimes expressed grandiloquent hopes for this "parliament of man." But in practice his viewpoint was closer to that of his hardheaded secretary of State, Dean Acheson, who believed that the U.N. Charter was "impracticable" and who scoffed at the idea that "the way to solve this or that problem is to leave it to the United Nations."

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Acheson did make effective use of the U.N. in 1950, when he secured a resolution authorizing an armed response to North Korea's invasion of South Korea, but only because the Soviet delegate was boycotting the Security Council. In any case, Truman had already committed air and naval forces to combat before the vote. As he wrote to Acheson, a U.N. failure to act would not have altered his plans — "we would have had to go into Korea alone." Truman was equally clearheaded about the U.N.'s limitations in an earlier crisis — the British cutoff of aid to Greece and Turkey in 1947, which left those countries exposed to communist aggression. Truman told Congress: "The situation is an urgent one requiring immediate action, and the United Nations and its related organizations are not in a position to extend help of the kind that is required." So the U.S. offered $400 million on its own.

The same pattern is evident throughout Truman's presidency. The decision to nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki? A unilateral U.S. initiative. The Marshall Plan to aid European recovery? Ditto. The 1948-49 airlift to break the Soviet blockade of Berlin? More unilateralism.

Even when Truman seemed to be the most multilateralist, there was usually more to the case than met the eye. Consider the Baruch Plan — which he floated in 1946 — to turn over all nuclear facilities and materiel around the world to international control. This seemed like an incredibly generous offer because the U.S. was the only atomic power at that point. But it contained "poison pill" provisions — mandating, for instance, "immediate and certain punishment" of violations, not subject to a Security Council veto — that astute observers realized would make it unacceptable to Josef Stalin. Truman never seriously considered unilaterally giving up the U.S. atomic arsenal, as liberals such as Henry Wallace urged.

This is not meant to denigrate Truman's diplomatic initiatives. The creation of NATO in 1949 was particularly important. But not nearly as important as the decision to keep U.S. troops in Europe, even before NATO existed.

Multilateral camouflage like NATO can make the exercise of U.S. power more palatable, and it should be employed wherever practicable. But, whether in the late 1940s or today, progress on tough problems requires American action, alone if need be. That's something that both Bush and Truman understood — and that too many liberals still haven't come to terms with.

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BOOT'S LATEST
The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power  

The book was selected as one of the best books of 2002 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor. It also won the 2003 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award, given annually by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for the best nonfiction book pertaining to Marine Corps history. Sales help fund JWR.



Max Boot is Olin Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is also a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times. To comment, please click here.


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