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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 23, 2010 / 11 Tamuz 5770

Obama the Isolationist?

By Tony Blankley




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Is it possible for an American president to carry out accidentally an isolationist foreign policy? That odd question crossed my mind last week as I talked with various foreign-policy experts about the Middle East, Russia and Afghanistan. There can be no doubt that by his words and his travels, President Obama intends to be anything but an isolationist president. He proudly called himself a citizen of the world while in Berlin during the campaign. He has gone out of his way to travel the world, speak to the world and reach out for the favorable judgment of all the peoples of the world.

And yet, wherever one looks, one sees American influence visibly and voluntarily shrinking. Consider three world hot spots: The Middle East, Russia and its near abroad, and Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In the Middle East — whether you talk to Jew, Arab, Turk or Kurd, to Sunni or Shia — the de-Americanization of Middle East policy increasingly is the emerging factor to be reckoned with. The uncertainty of the American trumpet, the indecisiveness of the American hand and the modesty of the American goals are freeing the strong and forcing the weak in the area to prepare to fend for themselves. American ineffectiveness (under both George W. Bush and Mr. Obama) in the face of Iran's nuclear quest drives nuclear acquisition plans throughout that unstable zone.

We saw the effect of reduced American influence most recently in the matter of the flotilla to Gaza. With America playing "honest broker" instead of Israeli ally — the net result was an absence of American deterrence to anti-Israeli instincts. Israel backed off, and her enemies notched a victory and are planning for future, more intrusive challenges to Israeli sovereignty. In the absence of a stern American presence, all the murderous forces indigenous to the region are being let loose.

Our imminent departure from Iraq is another dangerous case in point. As Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — who is in charge of the withdrawal — reaffirmed recently, we will reduce troop levels to 50,000 even if no new Iraqi government takes shape:

"It's going to be painful; there's going to be ups and down. But I do think the end result is going to be that we're going to be able to keep our commitment (to leave)."

Speaking recently, however, at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Mr. Obama said that the U.S. commitment to Iraq endures and that as U.S. troops depart, "a strong American civilian presence will help Iraqis forge political and economic progress." Well, we can hope so.

However, a senior Israeli military adviser last week described to me what Israel expects to see as the United States pulls most of its remaining troops out of Iraq. Iran will start to reassert her claim to oil-rich southern Iraq (populated mostly by Shia Iraqis) — the cause of the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s.

Turkey will challenge — with military force — the Kurds in the north of Iraq to the oil-rich lands around Kirkuk while also using the opportunity to repress Kurdish moves toward a de facto independent Kurdistan in what is now parts of Iran, Iraq and Turkey. The Kurds have thrived since the U.S. invasion of Iraq as America's best friends in the area. With American withdrawal, the Kurds are likely once again to be brutally repressed — this time by the Turks rather than Saddam Hussein. How much value Mr. Obama's "strong American civilian presence" will be to the Kurds as they face Turkish tanks and attack planes remains to be seen.

Next, consider revanchist Russia's drive to re-dominate the lands of her old empire. I was at a Washington think-tank seminar last week on America's "reset" Russian policy. The scholar on the panel representing Russian interests was so glowing in his compliments for the new Obama policy that he couldn't avoid chuckling, and by the end of the discussion, it became something of a running joke that Mr. Obama's Russia policy (including withdrawing missile defense from Poland and the Czech Republic, restraint in Georgia, acquiescence to new Russian influence in the Ukraine, ambiguous nuclear disarmament agreements, etc.) fit Russia's desires to a T. Once again, it is the weakness or absence of strong American diplomacy that is the coming hallmark of developments in Russia and her border area.

Most strikingly, this danger can be seen in Afghanistan and Pakistan. At the operational fighting level, increasing American irrelevance was vividly and heartbreakingly described by George F. Will in his superb column on Sunday, in which he described our Army's new rules of engagement, which are making our troops the laughingstock of the battlefield. No patriotic American can read George's description of those rules and not feel something between nausea and fury — or both.

At the strategic level, the story is the same. I had breakfast last week with a veteran military/diplomatic adviser whose counsel has been sought by a wide range of American officials from Richard M. Nixon to Colin L. Powell to senior Democrats in the Senate and administration. He was just back from a visit to Pakistan, where both the Pakistani army and the intelligence services are preparing for American withdrawal. Whatever Mr. Obama meant by his firm commitment to start drawing down by July 2011, all players in the region are assuming America will not be a long-term player — as I discussed regarding Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai in this space last week.

This newly modest American diplomatic/military stance in Central Asia (after our unprecedented big buildup after Sept. 11, 2001) is putting in motion increased assertiveness by all the traditional players (India, Pakistan, Russia, Iran, China) along with the increased confidence of the radical Islamists and drug merchants in the region.

In April 2009 in Strasburg, France; London and Istanbul, Mr. Obama, in his triumphant tour of Europe, proclaimed that America could no longer carry the burden of world leadership alone. Others would have to join in. In the ensuing year, we have begun to see the effects of that vision in practice.

The characteristic aspects of Mr. Obama's new foreign policy in action might fairly be described as: (1) a refusal to assert American will, which leads to (2) an American policy that is described but not implemented by force and, thus, (3) acquiescence to the assertion of will by other nations or forces.

Though this may not be intentional isolationism, the result is turning out to be pretty much the same thing. Each of these impending disasters, among others, is on its own timeline — but they all point to the same conclusion: a world no longer guided by a powerful, benign hand but rather a world that is the target of malignant grabbing hands and pounding fists.

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Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2010, Creators Syndicate

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