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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 7, 2009 / 17 Menachem-Av 5769

Will our new Afghan policy be ‘fatal hesitation’?

By Diana West




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I saw some fresh figures on 2009 civilian casualties in Afghanistan this week from the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). They are, I'm betting, on the generous side both when it comes to counting casualties as "civilian," and counting "civilian casualties" as American-caused.


The underreported news is, air strikes in Afghanistan, widely depicted as indiscriminate American causes of Afghan outrage, account for only 20 percent of the total. Suicide attacks and roadside bombs, attributable to jihadists, killed 39 percent. Assassinations — another Taliban specialty — claimed 11 percent, while "other," divided between pro- and anti- government forces, was responsible for 29 percent. In its own reckoning, UNAMA states that "59 percent of civilians were killed by AGEs (Anti-Government Elements) and 30.5 percent were killed by PGF (Pro-Government Forces)."


This is an important finding. Civilian casualties have been widely, if not exclusively, portrayed by U.S. military leadership as the stumbling block to our winning "hearts and minds" — a.k.a. "trust" — in Afghanistan. Winning "hearts and minds," in turn, is widely portrayed by U.S. military leadership as the key to victory.


A question for our brass: If the Taliban is responsible for disproportionately more casualties than the United States — and purposely so where ours are inadvertent — shouldn't, by our brass' own reckoning, all those Afghan hearts and minds already belong to us? Could there be something else - such as the Islamic religion - causing Afghans to reject our infidel "hearts and minds" pathetically pressed on them, along with grotesque sums of money, like hopeless valentines?


These are questions the brass can't answer, can't even think about, because the answers would upend America's entire Afghan strategy. We are in a war on civilian casualties in Afghanistan to win Afghan hearts and minds. Period. And woe to statistics, let alone basic and intractable religious differences, that undermine this illusory strategy.


But there is something else Americans should become aware of regarding the military's obsession with further decreasing casualties as a means to victory. Our troops, the brass says, are the ones who are ultimately going to have to find what Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, our new commander in Afghanistan, earnestly calls the "balance."


I watched McChrystal discuss his mission to further decrease civilian casualties in an online BBC video this week. "It's a balance for the young soldier on the ground who is in combat," he explained. "One of the assets that he has that might save his life might be air power or indirect fire from artillery or mortars and we don't want to take away that protection for him."


No, we don't, General. So why are we even talking about it? The lightly hinted implication — that our troops may be called on to think twice about saving their own lives — is chilling. He went on:


"What we want to do is build into our systems, and more importantly, build into the minds of all of our soldiers that everything that they do is important in this fight, and we're here to protect the Afghan people. And we're here to protect them from everything that can hurt them, both enemy activity but also inadvertent activity by Afghan forces or ours. So we're trying to build into the culture of our force tremendous sensitivity that everything they may do must be balanced against the possibility of hurting anyone."


Tremendous sensitivity is right. "The Afghan people are the reason we're here," McChrystal explained, weirdly disconnecting the American war machine from national interests. And to gain their "support," it seems the United States will do anything, even build potentially fatal hesitation into "the culture of our force," instilling possibly dangerous second thoughts into split-second decision-making. This way, these best and brightest of ours tell us, we will placate the trumped-up boogey-man of "civilian casualties," which is the sure-fire way, they promise, to win Afghan "hearts and minds."


"Victory in this conflict is about winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people and engendering their trust," Brig. Gen. Steven Kwast, commander of 5,000 airmen at Bagram Field, told the Air Force Times last week. "When the Afghan people trust us and believe us … we will win this overnight." Just don't anyone hold his breath.

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JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist for The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.


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