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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 August 24, 2004 / 7 Elul 5764

Is Bush an Israeli shill? Or a Saudi one?

By Bret Stephens


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Will the Bush-bashers make up their minds already!?


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Pretty soon, the Anyone But Bush crowd is going to have to decide: Is the American president an Israeli shill or is he a Saudi shill? Does he do the bidding of the insidious pro-Israel neocons or of the insidious pro-Arab oil lobby? Is his foreign policy everything his father's was not — and therefore disastrous — or is it an extension of it — and therefore equally disastrous?


A long time ago — this would have been 2002 and the early months of 2003 — the first set of views held sway. "The Bush administration paints a rosy scenario for the upcoming war in Iraq," wrote University of Chicago professor Fred Donner in the Chicago Tribune. "It is a vision deriving from Likud-oriented members of the President's team — particularly Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith." On MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews observed that the war party consisted of "conservative people out there, some of them Jewish, who... believe we should fight the Arabs and take them down. They believe that if we don't fight Iraq, Israel will be in danger." In the pages of The Nation, the venerable organ of Leftist certitude, writer Jason Vest spun elaborate theories about the nefarious influence of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, or JINSA, on administration policy.


At the same time, alarms were being sounded about some of the lunatic ideas making the rounds at Club Neocon. In July 2002, Rand Corporation analyst Laurent Murawiec gave a briefing to Mr. Perle's Defense Policy Board, in which he called Saudi Arabia "the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent" of American interests in the Middle East. Tom Ricks, the Washington Post reporter who broke the story about the briefing, noted the anti-Saudi line was gaining traction in such magazines as The Weekly Standard and Commentary, which, he helpfully added, "is published by the American Jewish Committee."


The president's critics went into a tizzy. Crown Prince Abdullah had only recently proposed an Arab-Israeli peace plan, and the Saudis were still in pretty good odor. Mr. Murawiec, wrote Jack Shafer in Slate, "lights out for the extreme foreign policy territory," and sounds like "an aspiring Dr. Strangelove."


Finally, 2002 was the year when administration critics rediscovered the sublime genius of Bush pere and his foreign policy team. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, former Secretaries of State James Baker and Larry Eagleburger, and retired General Norman Schwarzkopf all cautioned against the rush to war. Invidious comparisons were made between their statesmanlike prudence and the callow impetuousness of Bush fils.


HOWEVER, THAT was then. These days, everyone knows that President Bush is nothing if not his father's son — not to mention Prince Bandar's poodle.

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"The links between the House of Bush and the House of Saud," wrote Michael Steinberger in the October 2003 issue of the American liberal monthly, The American Prospect, "are deep, overlapping and notoriously opaque: The Saudi investment in the Carlyle Group, the private equity firm whose rainmakers include George Bush Senior; the Saudi bankrolling of Poppy's presidential library; the lucrative contracts the Saudis doled out to Halliburton when Dick Cheney was at the company's helm. The main law firm retained by the Saudis to defend them against the 9-11 families is Baker Botts — as in James Baker, the Bush family consigliere. And, of course, there's oil, the black glue connecting all the dots."


These arguments were picked up in Craig Unger's bestselling House of Bush, House of Saud, and amplified in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. For Mr. Unger, the point of departure is the White House's post 9-11 decision to allow members of the bin Laden clan to leave for Saudi Arabia, while Mr. Moore makes much of the $1.4 billion Saudi Arabia paid over the years to Carlyle-connected enterprises.


True, the guy who gave the go-ahead for the flight of the bin Ladens was Richard Clarke, neither pere nor fils was ever shown to have profited from a Carlyle-orchestrated/Saudi-connected deal, and Carlyle is run by Carter administration official David Rubenstein. Also, the Clinton administration, like every administration since Franklin Roosevelt's, had been close to the House of Saud: In his memoirs, Bill Clinton reports that in February 1994 "We got a piece of good news when Saudi Arabia agreed to buy $6 billion worth of American planes, after intense efforts by Ron Brown, Mickey Kantor and Transportation Secretary Frederico Pena."


But never mind. What's really interesting is how much Messrs. Moore, Unger and Steinberger sound like those scary neocons of yesteryear. "The desert kingdom leads the way in financing and inciting Muslim holy warriors the world over," wrote Mr. Steinberger in his American Prospect article. So what's the difference between him and Mr. Murawiec? Answer: politics.


"It wouldn't take much for the Democrats to turn [the Saudi] issue into a political bonanza...." Steinberger writes. "The Saudi issue is a winning one on every count for the Democrats, and they need to take advantage of it — now." Which is just what Mr. Moore has done.


Of course, Mr. Steinberger is right — as Mr. Murawiec was right — that Saudi Arabia is no friend of the United States. He is also right that the Bush administration hasn't formulated a muscular or even coherent policy toward the Kingdom, and so is vulnerable to criticism on the subject.


Then again, wasn't one of the main points of the war in Iraq to remove US military bases from Saudi Arabia, and therefore extricate America from an entanglement begun during the first Bush administration? And don't the shortcomings of administration policy stem in part from the neuralgic reaction by the Arabist wing of the State Department to Mr. Murawiec's ideas and the ideology he represents? Presumably, if the neocons had been allowed to run the show in the Bush White House, the 82nd Airborne would now be stationed in Mecca selling tickets to the next Hajj. Maybe that's something we can soon look forward to in the Kerry presidency.


In its review of Fahrenheit 9/11, al-Jazeera.net noted "the implicit suggestion that the Saudi government is somehow driving the Bush administration's policies toward the region flies in the face of Washington's unprecedented support for Israel as well as strong regional opposition to the invasion of Iraq."


It's a good thing at least some people have got their stories straight. Because either you believe the Jews are behind it all, or you believe the Saudis are. But not both. This is one conspiracy theory on which flip-flopping is not allowed.

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© 2004, Bret Stephens