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December 2, 2014

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 25, 2009 / 3 Tamuz 5769

Thuggery 101

By Victor Davis Hanson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Barack Obama came into office apparently believing that his non-traditional background, charisma and good intentions could placate dictators hostile to America and ease global tensions.


In these first six months, the new administration has made clear to Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Russia's Vladimir Putin and other strongmen like them that Barack Obama is not a mean-talking George Bush. A kinder, gentler United States has promised to push the "reset" button. In the interest of peace, an American president would finally be listening rather than lecturing, and willing to talk to authoritarian bullies without preconditions.


But so far the world's thugs do not seem to appreciate that new goodwill. Intelligence reports indicate that North Korea's Kim Jong-il is planning to launch a ballistic test missile in the direction of Hawaii between July 4 and July 8. Russia's Vladimir Putin would like to replace the dollar as the global currency.


Most recently, Obama kept relatively silent for a week after the fraudulent Iranian election and the ensuing government crackdown against protestors. He was apparently worried about offending Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs above him who truly run the country — and thereby making it more difficult to negotiate once the resistance was put down.


Obama's confusion about the world's bad actors suggests that he needs a general refresher course in the world of thugs.


Lesson One: Thugs only want America, the world's most powerful democracy — not others — to apologize. Iran's Ahmadinejad does not care whether his friends the Russians slaughtered Muslims recently in Afghanistan and Chechnya, or have meddled in Iranian affairs for over two centuries. Iranian mullahs only want Russian nuclear expertise, not their apologies.


When President Obama says he is sorry to Iran about American involvement in a coup 66 years ago, it may make us feel better. But thugs like Ahmadinejad more likely interpret our apologies as signs of our own confusion — and so a green light for more troublemaking.


Lesson Two: Being anti-American and mouthing tired charges about imperialism, colonialism or capitalism do not make a thug authentic or populist. By definition, thugs acquire power illegitimately. They keep it unlawfully. And they exercise it illegally — regardless of their professed concern for the "people" or their gripes against America.


Thugs are thugs, and they come in all ideologies, colors and religions — from Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe to North Korea's Kim Jong-il to the late Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia.


Theocratic Ahmadinejad may scream constantly about Western oppression, but that does not mean any of his loud grievances are legitimate, or that his own people see him as a romantic popular leader. Communist Fidel Castro may scream anti-American slurs, but he still spent a half-century jailing or executing anyone he pleased.


Lesson Three. The more we speak out about the harsh rule of thugs, the more oppressed people will come to respect us. Our past resistance to Ahmadinejad may help explain why the Iranian people seem to admire us more than do many in the Arab street, whose dictatorships in Saudi Arabia and Egypt we so fawningly have praised.


Lesson Four. Thugs can never be trusted — whether an Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin of the past or the rogue's gallery of today. Ahmadinejad is lying about his peaceful plans for nuclear technology. Kim Jong-il continued his nuclear program when he promised that he would not. Syria's Bashar Assad hid his nuclear reactor under construction.


Lesson Five. Most of the world's problems are caused by a handful of thugs. Any time one can be isolated and replaced by a consensual government, the world gets just a bit safer.


If Iran were to embrace a free and fairly elected government, it would likely not be threatening to wipe out Israel or funding terrorists in Lebanon and Palestine. Once Saddam disappeared, so did $25,000 payments to the families of suicide bombers on the West Bank and Iraq's plan to conquer the Persian Gulf. With the Taliban out of power, Afghanistan is less likely to be used by terrorists to take down an American skyscraper.


So, Mr. President, do not talk to a thug unless you absolutely have to. Do not apologize to — or put our trust in — one. And whenever people rise up against a thug, speak out immediately and forcefully on their behalf — and let the thug, not America, worry about the consequences of the spread of freedom.

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

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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