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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 July 29, 2005 / 22 Tammuz, 5765

Life in post-identity America

By Diana West


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Will the American identity — the save-the-world American, the quiet American, the ugly American, the generous American, the can-do American — disappear during the long war on Islamic terror? In the following three quotations of the week — random, but not unconnected — you can see it slipping away, the victim of a debilitating cultural amnesia. Which may be pretty tough stuff for the middle of the summer, but that's the way 2005 goes.

The first quotation is a headline: "Poll Shows Americans, for First Time, Divided on Use of A-Bombs in 1945." According to this Associated Press poll, commissioned to mark the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a "historical switch" has taken place. The strong majorities that always supported the use of "the bomb" to end World War II in the Pacific have, for the first time, dwindled to an almost even split, with 48 percent of Americans "strongly" or "somewhat" approving, and 47 percent "strongly" or "somewhat" disapproving.

Whether this shift is inspired by plain ignorance or a civilizational death wish, it hardly reflects a robust culture bent on military triumph, let alone survival. In their disapproval of the Truman decision that spared a million American casualties (the projected cost of an invasion of mainland Japan), 47 percent of Americans reveal a lack of will, even in historical terms, not only to prize American lives, but also to support the hard decisions to save them. If not defeatism exactly, such national torpor, stemming from an unrequited empathy with the enemy, tends to make any victory ambiguous. Remember Iraq, where, upon liberation, the American flag draping Saddam's toppled statue had to be whisked away in deference to similar, politically correct tendencies. And that was just the beginning.

We muddle through, but the terrible tendencies remain — as revealed in a stunning installment of In the Red Zone, a blog from Iraq by journalist Steven Vincent. Mr. Vincent reports from Basra, where he says crooks and corruption are the problem, not terrorism. There, a Gary Cooper-esque U.S. Air Force captain is in charge of awarding contracting jobs of up to $1 million. Mr. Vincent's Iraqi friend Layla has her doubts about the bidders: How does the captain know, she asks, that he isn't funneling money to extremists or religious parties that have put a woman's name on their letterhead to win a bid?

And here goes quotation No. 2: "I certainly hope none of these contracts are going to the wrong people," he replies, continuing: "But should we really get involved in choosing one political group over another? ... I mean, I've always believed that we shouldn't project American values onto other cultures — that we should let them be. Who is to say we are right and they are wrong?"

Et tu, Captain America? It's one thing to get this mindless mantra from a Montgomery County public school teacher with rings on his toes and multiculturalism on his agenda. Maybe projecting American values onto certain cultures is a stupid idea, but clearly that's their loss. Meanwhile, there we are, doling out the dollars. Just listen to Layla: "These religious parties are wrong! Look at them, their corruption ... the way they treat women! How can you say you cannot judge them? Why shouldn't you apply your own cultural values?"

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Why, indeed. Do "American values" still exist? Or have they been re-educated out of existence? Maybe their absence is what explains the insipid mania for Democracy, The Process, across the Middle East, regardless of whether terrorists run for office or sharia is the law of the land. Such non-judgmentalism is everywhere, even informing Security, The Process, at home.

Or, rather, especially informing Security, The Process, at home. Consider quotation No. 3, from a New York Times editorial on commuter safety measures, which — post 9/11, 3/11, 7/7 and 7/21 — are a brave new way of life. The topic is pretending to search for bombs, which is what we do in post-identity America. "The police officers must be careful not to give the impression that every rider who looks Arab or South Asian is automatically a subject of suspicion. ... Those who are selected simply because they are carrying packages should be chosen in a way that does not raise fears of racial profiling — by, for example, searching every fifth or 12th person, with the exact sequence chosen at random."

Anything to avoid "fears of racial profiling" — even death by murder-bomber. As the captain said, who's to say? In the Exact Sequence Chosen at Random We Trust. If we deny their identity long enough, our own will cease to matter.

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JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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