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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 10, 2014 / 12 Sivan, 5774

The Bowe-for-monsters problem

By Christine M. Flowers




JewishWorldReview.com | When you practice immigration law, your idea of what it means to be "American" is both fluid and sacred. The fluidity comes in seeing new applicants for that great gift of citizenship with their changing faces and histories. Color, creed and cadence are interesting variations on a theme of longing to belong, but they're ultimately inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. Multicultural isn't all that it's cracked up to be, if you listen to my clients. It's simply the politics of "feel good."

On the other hand, the sacred nature of "being American" is constant and profound. And because it commands such awe from those blessed with it, there is a special obligation we Americans have to one another, a bond not of blood but of duty.

It is this bond of duty to which President Obama appealed in trying to explain why he would engage in a seemingly lopsided prisoner exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier captured in Afghanistan and held for nearly five years. The commander in chief hoped to touch that chord in each American that vibrates to the sound of "leave no man behind." It is much more than a military credo, although our soldiers are the ones most intimately aware of its significance. It is the social compact upon which our founders built and expanded this nation, the idea that we are only as strong as our weakest link.

Unfortunately for the president, and for us, this particular link is far weaker than we could have expected, and fulfilling our obligation to this particular American tests our resolve. Bowe Bergdahl is an American and is entitled to respect, in theory.

But, as a catalyst for releasing five vicious terrorists back into the world and compromising both our national safety and our promise not to negotiate with terrorists, he's a relatively worthless poster boy for bringing the boys home.

I don't know who to believe, exactly. The stories that have circulated this week are confusing, troubling and — if true — devastating for this administration. It's hard to defend trading the lives of five Taliban monsters (and really, is there any other name for them?) to rescue a man who regularly got high, had some problems with American authority to the point of slandering the government he served and then possibly deserting. Add to this the fact that six of his brothers-in-arms allegedly died in several attempts to rescue him, and his father's rather jaundiced view of the world (plus his interesting choice of facial hair), and it's not exactly a "Saving Private Ryan" redux.



Yes, flawed Americans still deserve our best efforts under the principle that we respect civil and human rights, even when those humans are barely civil. But if Bergdahl put himself in harm's way, it's reasonable to ask why we should (1) put other soldiers in danger to rescue him from his idiocy, and (2) celebrate his release when it comes at the price of injecting evil back into the world. True, he did sign up for military service, which counts for something and should at the very least garner him some minimal respect and protect him from comments like "shoot his sad ass when he lands on the tarmac."

But this is hardly John McCain, a man to whom he has been compared in what is one of the more repellent aspects of this troubling case. McCain was shot down during an expedition, and refused an early release when it was offered to him. He demanded that those who had been captured before, and who had spent longer seasons in the Hanoi Hilton, be given preference. The future-senator refused to be used as a bit of positive publicity for the Viet Cong, whereas Berghdal is most assuredly being used (whether with his cooperation or not) as a feel-good addendum to a messy, drawn-out war story. The problem is, you can't make a deserter into Sgt. York, no matter how many yellow ribbons you tie on the old, creaking oak tree.

The other thing that really bothers me in this sadly sordid tale is the probability of political legerdemain. Perhaps I'm a middle-age pollyanna, but I struggle mightily to resist the thought that our presidents, no matter what party or philosophy, use our soldiers like campaign advertisements. Here, though, I can't escape the suspicion that Barack Obama is trying to do through the back door what he couldn't through the front: close Guantanamo. After all, the flight of five thugs could signal the beginning of an exodus. If the prison empties from attrition, it is effectively closed. That was something candidate Obama promised, and couldn't deliver. And now, maybe he has.

So, an American is home, which is good. But so are five vicious killers. Not an equation I'd be celebrating.

Even those of us still clinging to our guns and religion can figure that one out.

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

Christine M. Flowers Archives

Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.

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