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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 June 22, 2010 / 10 Tamuz 5770

Get our troops out of Afghanistan now

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The United Nations confirmed Monday it is moving staff out of Afghanistan because of rising violence there. So far this month 59 international soldiers, 36 of them Americans, have been killed, and a governor in a key district has been assassinated.

It remains to be seen whether this June will be the bloodiest month ever for U.S. and NATO troops. But it's clear things have gotten worse since President Barack Obama decided last December to send 30,000 more troops there.

Three obvious reasons why this is so are the deadline the president set for next year to begin withdrawal of U.S. troops; ridiculous rules of engagement, and the poisonous relationship Mr. Obama has established with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

In his speech at the U.S. Military Academy announcing the troop surge, the president also said the U.S. would begin withdrawing troops in July of 2011. The White House confirmed Sunday (6/21) Mr. Obama plans to stick to that, despite the fact that his military leaders have said a fixed timetable is a bad idea.

A public timetable for withdrawal is militarily insane because it encourages our enemies to wait us out, and discourages friendlies from cooperating with us for fear they soon will be abandoned.

George Will reported Sunday on an email from a non commissioned officer in Afghanistan on why the rules of engagement under which are troops operate are "too prohibitive for coalition forces to achieve sustained tactical successes."

In one instance, permission was refused to fire illumination rounds over an enemy position for fear of collateral damage, the NCO said. In another, U.S. troops suffered casualties because they are forbidden to pursue suspected terrorists into Afghan homes unless a soldier from the Afghan National Army is present.

There is much to criticize about Afghan President Hamid Karzai. But President Obama's public criticism of him was a diplomatic mistake not even rookies should make. As a result of of it, Mr. Karzai has fired the two members of his cabinet who were closest to the United States, and -- according to some reports -- begun secret negotiations with the Taliban.

As with the economy and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Barack Obama's bungling in Afghanistan has made a bad situation worse. But as with the economy and the oil spill in the Gulf, it wasn't Mr. Obama who made the mess in the first place.

The primary responsibility for the mess in Afghanistan rests with George W. Bush, who converted an astoundingly successful campaign to oust the Taliban into a nation building exercise that was likely to end in failure even before Mr. Obama's modifications to it which virtually guarantee failure.

It was also Mr. Bush who installed Mr. Karzai, who with his brother Ahmad has turned the Afghan government into a billion dollar criminal enterprise, according to the London Times.

"We are supporting a criminal state in Kabul that is likely involved with the insurgency itself," said Ann Marlowe of the Hudson Institute, who has been embedded with U.S. troops six times. "There is almost nothing to distinguish the Taliban from the Karzai mafias, whose tentacles reach down to the most obscure rural districts."

We went to war in Afghanistan because the Taliban was providing shelter to al Qaida. But al Qaida's leaders left long ago, and there's no reason to suppose they'd ever go back, their current digs in Pakistan and Iran being more comfortable, more secure, and provide better access to international targets.

We're told we need to establish a pro-Western democracy in Afghanistan because neighboring Pakistan has nuclear weapons, and it would be terrible if they fell into the hands of Islamic radicals. But since the Taliban is largely the creation of Pakistan's InterService Intelligence agency, how would a Taliban victory in Afghanistan make Pakistan worse than it already is?

Matt Waldman, currently of Harvard University, spent two and half years in Afghanistan with Oxfam International, an aid group. He says he spoke with nine Taliban commanders last year. They told him the ISI "orchestrates, sustains and shapes the overall insurgent campaign."

Mr. Obama's strategy virtually guarantees defeat in a year, but only after billions more have been spent, and dozens more Americans have died. Better to bring the troops home now. We can use them along the Mexican border.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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© 2009, Jack Kelly

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