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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 7, 2012 / 17 Sivan, 5772

The Battle of Syria

By Clifford D. May






Assad's survival would be a victory for Iran --- and a defeat for the U.S.


JewishWorldReview.com | They say politics makes strange bedfellows. But even stranger are the bedfellows that national-security policy makes.

Andrew C. McCarthy, a friend and colleague, provides a stunning example. He points out that by proposing American support for Syrians who are attempting to overthrow Bashar Assad, Mitt Romney and “the McCain wing of the Republican party, and the rest of Washington’s progressive, Islamophilic clerisy” are aligning with “al-Qaeda emir Ayman al-Zawahiri and Muslim Brotherhood icon Yusuf al-Qaradawi.”

Of course, it would be equally correct to point out that wings of the Republican party opposing efforts to facilitate regime change in Syria are aligning with MoveOn.org, Vladimir Putin, and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Within the loose coalition fighting Assad, there are freedom fighters — I’m personally acquainted with some. But, yes, Islamists are in the mix as well. Should Assad fall, who will end up on top?

We can’t be certain, and that uncertainty lends weight to the anti-interventionist argument. As for humanitarian concerns, one can make the case that if the Arab League is unmoved by the massacres of Syrian women and children (their angry eyes fixed as ever on Israel), and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation doesn’t give a fig about Muslims slaughtering Muslims (a minor annoyance compared with “Islamophobia”), why should we Americans expend an ounce of energy?

My answer to all the persuasive points above: because Syria, under the Assad dictatorship, is Iran’s most important ally and asset. And Iran is the single most important strategic threat facing the U.S. — hands down.

Andy observes that the “Iranian regime is not the only virulently anti-American revolutionary movement realistically threatening to enslave the Middle East in its version of totalitarian sharia and implacable anti-Semitism.” True, but it is the only virulently anti-American revolutionary movement that is within a hair’s breadth of obtaining nuclear weapons.

In addition, Iran’s rulers have long been the leading global sponsors of terrorism, commanding Hezbollah, now masters of Lebanon, and collaborating with al-Qaeda. They have facilitated the killings of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan with impunity.

Their acquisition of nuclear arms, if it is allowed to happen, will license even more audacious behavior. Plan on this: They will threaten and perhaps lay claim to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain (where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based); bend the flexible Qataris to their will; attempt to control the Strait of Hormuz, essential to a global economy that continues to depend on Gulf oil; intervene more forcefully than ever in Yemen; increase their influence in Iraq and Afghanistan; conspire against the Saudis (chiding them for their irresolute commitment to jihad while coveting the oil in Arabia’s majority-Shiite Eastern Province); and, of course, hang a nuclear Sword of Damocles over Israel’s head.

All that would be just the beginning. Remember that without nuclear weapons, Iran’s rulers did not hesitate to attempt to blow up a restaurant in Washington, D.C. With nuclear weapons . . .  Use your imagination.

By comparison, the Arab Spring is just a rainy season. The rise of a Muslim Brotherhood party in Tunisia has exchanged one form of autocracy for another. Before you could criticize Islam but not the government; now it’s the other way around. Libya is a mess (does that surprise anyone?), but the oil is again flowing and those attempting to use Islamism to paper over ancient tribal differences have so far not succeeded. 

As for Egypt, veteran Middle East analyst Amir Taheri notes that in the first round of presidential balloting, the Brotherhood candidate drew only “around a quarter of the electorate” — hardly a ringing vote of confidence for a movement that “has acted as the main opposition for almost a century” and that has “immense resources” at its disposal.

Andy rightly observes that a substantial Egyptian voting block is “deathly afraid” of the Islamists. Let’s assume that, nevertheless, the Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Morsi, wins in the next round of voting. Will he deliver the economic progress and other goods that most Egyptians care most about? Not likely. If he fails, will that fuel doubt about whether Islam — particularly the restored seventh-century model — really is “the answer” to all that afflicts Egypt and the broader “Muslim world”? Very likely.

In this light, it should become apparent that the threat posed by Iran is more urgent, by an order of magnitude, than any other now on the horizon. The War against the West that began with Iran’s 1979 revolution, from which have sprung all the other modern Islamist and Jihadist movements (al-Qaeda’s very much included) will be won or lost — it is not a misunderstanding that can be resolved through “confidence-building measures.” That ought to prompt us to ask: What is our war-fighting strategy? On which battlefields must we engage our enemies? Which battles must we win?

The answer to these questions — not frustration with the dearth of sincere Muslim freedom fighters, justified though that is; not humanitarian concerns, laudable as those may be — should determine whether or not we provide material assistance to the Syrian opposition.

And that’s all we’re talking about here: Those facing Assad’s guns are not asking us to put boots on the ground. What they do want are the means to defend themselves, secure communications technology, and a limited number of other assets that will give them a fighting chance — though no guarantees. Providing such assistance will give us a fighting chance to influence the opposition now and the post-Assad environment later — though no guarantees.

The alternative is to stay on the sidelines, leaving the opposition to the tender mercies of Assad and his patrons in Tehran who are supplying weapons, advisers, and more. They grasp that the Battle of Syria is hugely consequential. They know that the fall of Assad would be a major blow to them. By the same token, it will be a major blow to the West if, despite Washington’s pronouncements and posturing, Khamenei, with assistance from the Kremlin, rescues and restores his most valued Arab bridgehead. And should Khamenei move from that victory to the production of nuclear weapons, we’re in for a very rough 21st century.

It is worth recalling: In World War II, we first fought the Germans not in Europe but in the remote deserts of North Africa, correctly perceived as a battlefield we could not afford to cede. And, in that conflict, we aligned with Soviet Communists because, as President Roosevelt phrased it, he was willing to “hold hands with the devil” to defeat Fascist ideologies and movements. Roosevelt was thinking strategically. He understood that national-security policy makes such strange bedfellows — always has, always will.


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Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism. A veteran news reporter, foreign correspondent and editor (at The New York Times and other publications), he has covered stories in more than two dozen countries, including Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, China, Uzbekistan, Northern Ireland and Russia. He is a frequent guest on national and international television and radio news programs, providing analysis and participating in debates on national security issues.




Previously:


05/31/12: Whose Middle East Policy Is It, Anyway?
05/24/12: What Iran's Rulers Want
05/17/12: Missile Defense Is for Wimps
05/10/12: The Real Palestinian Refugee Problem
05/03/12: The Foggiest War
04/19/12: Law Games
04/19/12: Liberate 'Zones of Electronic Repression'!
04/12/12: Dare we actually listen to the Islamists?
04/05/12: Lone-wolf terrorists are a growing threat. Moderate Muslims are among those in the crosshairs
03/29/12: The Diplomats' Dilemma
03/22/12: 'Destroy All the Churches'
03/15/12: A Guide for the Perplexed Fareed Zakaria
03/08/12: How to Stop Putting Gas in the Islamist Tank
03/01/12: (War) Crimes and Punishment
02/24/12: Al-Qaeda's Big Fat Iranian Wedding
02/16/12: Listening to the Syrian Resistance
02/09/12: Are Sanctions Working? If the purpose is to penalize Iran's rulers for their crimes and discourage civilized people from buying blood oil, yes
01/26/12: If Pakistan fails it, there must be consequences
01/19/12: How terrorists lose their stigma
01/12/12: Muslims Attacked! But they are the wrong types of Muslims, so who cares?
01/06/12: The Historian, the Diplomat, and the Spy
12/29/11: Iran and Al-Qaeda: Together again for the first time
12/22/11: The Case for Palestinian Nationalism
12/15/11: What's Islam Got to Do with It?
12/09/11: Buried Treasure
11/24/11: What Would the Gipper Do?
11/17/11: Appease, temporize, posture and gesture?
11/11/11: Brave New Transnational Progressive World
11/03/11: What's Wrong with Economic Justice?
10/27/11: Autocracies United
10/20/11: The most critical threat confronting America
10/13/11: We've Been Warned
10/06/11: Anwar Al-Awlaki's American Journey
09/22/11: Cheney Got It Right on Syrian Nukes
09/15/11: The European Caliphate
09/08/11: Disoriented: The state of too many Western leaders ten years after 9/11/01
09/01/11: Palestinian Leaders to Seek the UN's Blessing . . . for a two-state solution. For a two-stage execution
08/25/11: Better understanding of Islamist experience needed
08/18/11: The Arab Spring and Europe's fall
08/11/11: Borrowing from Communists to pay Jihadis?
07/28/11: Who's to Blame for Terrorism?
07/28/11: Do Somali pirates have legitimate gripe?
07/21/11: Why Bashar al-Assad matters to the West--- and what the Obama administration still doesn't grasp
07/07/11: MAD in the 21st Century





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