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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 August 13, 2007 / 29 Menachem-Av 5767

Obama's international drama

By Clarence Page


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Leave it to Barack Obama to stir up an international incident by acknowledging something that everyone already knew.


Obama's bombshell: If we know Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan and President Pervez Musharraf doesn't act to take him out, President Obama will.


His rivals in both parties pounced, calling his stance naive and a sign of his lack of foreign policy experience. Yet they didn't disagree with the policy. They just didn't like the way Obama said it.


Sen. Hillary Clinton launched that theme earlier when he suggested that he would meet with dictators from countries such as Cuba, Iran, Venezuela or North Korea in his first year as president. First you need preconditions to such meetings, she scolded, like a wise teacher setting a prized pupil straight.


This was Clinton's comeback to all of the points that Obama has scored as a voice for a new generation of leadership. The gloves are coming off.


In this way, we see a new debate emerging in the dog days of summer. It centers on the issue of how much Obama has yet to learn about foreign policy. The former first lady and second-term senator, who has been widening her lead over Obama in polls, certainly has the edge on experience. But Obama has a big comeback of his own: If experience got us into the foreign policy mess we face today, that kind of experience is overrated.


Sen. Obama was criticised for declaring in a foreign policy speech last week, "if we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will." Various reports indicate bin Laden probably is holed up somewhere in the lawless borderlands of western Pakistan and Afghanistan, where tribal chiefs have more control than either country's central government does.


Does anyone doubt that the U.S. would launch a missile strike or an attack by Special Forces if we had actionable intelligence as to bin Laden's location? We've certainly conducted that sort of strike in other countries. In 2002, for example, the U.S. launched Hellfire missiles from a pilotless Predator that killed a top al-Qaida official and six other al-Qaida operatives in Yemen, another partner in our "war on terror." Yemen's president protested, but our relationship remained largely unshaken.


Yet Clinton and Obama's other leading Democratic rivals, Joe Biden of Delaware and Chris Dodd of Connecticut, saw an opportunity to criticize Obama and they took it. So did former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani on the Republican roster. Even so, his critics acknowledged that Obama's policy is already the Bush administration's policy. Further, none of the leading candidates disagreed with it.


So what was the problem? The issue quickly became a question of international etiquette. "You can think big," Sen. Clinton scolded Obama during a candidates' forum in Chicago. "You can think big, but remember, you shouldn't always say everything you think if you're running for president, because it has consequences around the world."


Indeed, halfway around the world, Pakistani officials had called Obama's comments irresponsible, and hundreds of protesters chanted anti-U.S. slogans and burned an American flag in protest, according to the Associated Press. That's how other countries often see our presidential campaigns. They mistakenly presume our elections are all about them. In fact, our election is about us, the American voters, and which candidate we think we can trust the most to look out for us, our families and our interests.


With that in mind, Obama is fortunate to be jousting over foreign policy during a time in the summer when voters tend to be least engaged with the campaign. It is a great paradox of this election in these times that foreign policy knowledge alone doesn't get you very far. Otherwise Biden, whose foreign policy expertise wins praise from both parties, would be doing better than the 2 or 3 percent he usually gets in the polls.


I'd feel better about acting on "actionable intelligence," as Obama put it, if I had more confidence in what our intelligence apparatus calls "actionable." As Sen. Clinton said, we've had some bad experience with actions taken on intelligence that proved to be faulty. Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction come to mind.


With that in mind, our foreign policy debate needs to be expanded into the question of how the candidates would improve our intelligence gathering. Too often we don't know whether our actions based on actionable intelligence are justified until after we have already acted.

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