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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 23, 2007 / 8 Menachem-Av, 5767

Iraq dire, not deteriorating

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "The United States is ready to hold new direct talks with Iran on the deteriorating security situation in Iraq," began a short Asociated Press dispatch Tuesday.


I'm sure the reporter who used the word "deteriorating" to describe the security situation in Iraq did so without thinking much about it.


But it isn't true. It is reasonable (though it no longer may be accurate) to describe the security situation in Iraq as "bad," "grim," or "dire." But it isn't getting worse. Security has improved so much since January that after a visit to Iraq last week, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said a "sea change" has taken place.


Lest you think Gen. Peter Pace exaggerates, here is what CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr, who was with the chairman in Ramadi, told anchor Kiran Chetry:


"What's really extraordinary here is, of course, Ramadi was the heartland of al-Qaeda just a few months ago. Now, today, the streets are quiet. Rebuilding is under way. Perhaps one of the most extraordinary things is they have not had an IED attack on the streets of this city since February."


Hours before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) began his no-snooze-until-we-lose all-night session to force withdrawal from Iraq, the United States announced the capture of Khaled al-Mashhadani, the highest-ranking Iraqi in the leadership of al-Qaeda in Iraq. A few days before, Abu Jurrah, the most wanted al-Qaeda figure south of Baghdad, was killed by a precision artillery shell after a tip from local Iraqis.


These indications of progress made no impression on the "surrendercrats," who pronounced the surge a failure before it began.


Americans are being misinformed because many journalists and politicians are less interested in the facts on the ground than in putting their spin on those facts.


On July 12, the Washington Post and AP ran stories based on what their sources in the intelligence community said was a threat assessment compiled by the National Counterterrorism Center.


"A new threat assessment from U.S. counterterrorism analysts says that al-Qaeda has used its safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border to restore its operating capabilities to a level unseen since the months before Sept. 11, 2001," the AP story began.


This prompted some talking heads to tell their viewers that al-Qaeda is as strong today as it was when it flew airplanes into the twin towers.


We don't know what was in the report, because it's still classified. We do know the report was prepared for incorporation into the new National Intelligence Estimate on terrorist threats to the American homeland. The "key judgments" portion was declassified and released on Tuesday.


"We assess that greatly increased worldwide counterterrorism efforts over the past five years have constrained the ability of al-Qaeda to attack the U.S. homeland again and have led terrorist groups to perceive the homeland as a harder target to strike than on 9/11," the first of those key judgments said. Kinda different from what the talking heads led you to expect, isn't it?


The spinmeisters got carried away. Suppose I fall off a roof and break my hip. For a while I'm bedridden, then confined to a wheelchair. Now I can hobble around with a cane. My "operating capabilities" have been restored "to a level unseen" since before I fell off the roof, but they're still a far cry from what they were before I fell off the roof.


Al-Qaeda fell off the roof when we destroyed its sanctuary in Afghanistan. It has regained strength since the government of Pakistan granted it de facto sanctuary last year in the provinces bordering on Afghanistan. But it remains a shadow of its pre-9/11 self. (Since al-Qaeda has been able to reconstitute itself to the extent it has chiefly because it has had a safe haven in Pakistan, Democrats should ask themselves how granting al-Qaeda a larger safe haven in Iraq will make the terror group easier to defeat.)


George Friedman, who founded the private intelligence service Stratfor, said the NIE "was meant to pressure Pakistan, even if it looked like a total failure of the intelligence community's mission (to disrupt al-Qaeda through covert action)."


"By issuing the NIE report, [the United States] was increasing pressure on [Pakistani President Pervez] Musharraf to do something decisive about militant Islamists in Pakistan - or the United States would have to do something," Mr. Friedman said.


Mr. Friedman noted that President Musharraf did order a raid on the radical Red Mosque in Islamabad last week. "Pakistan got the message," he concluded.

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.

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

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