In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 Sept. 7, 2009 / 18 Elul 5769

Too Much Gained in Afghanistan To Exit Now

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As he campaigned for the presidency, Sen. Barack Obama argued that Afghanistan should become "the central front in the battle against terrorism." Obama has delivered on that issue. U.S. troop levels have more than doubled since the beginning of a troop buildup first begun under President George W. Bush.

The price for that promise is not cheap.

For the moment, more troops mean more combat. As Institute for the Study of War President Kimberly Kagan noted at a Brookings Institute event last month, "As those new troops come in, as we have seen, violence will go up. They did so in Iraq. They will do so in Afghanistan because we are going into areas that the enemy effectively has controlled. So we mustn't conflate or confuse a rise in violence with success or failure."

But others see the rise in casualties — 47 U.S. troops were killed in combat in August, the deadliest month since the beginning of the war eight years ago — and charges of ballot fraud during the August presidential and provincial council elections as signs of failure.

At a White House press conference Monday, CBS News' Chip Reid asked White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, "Is it possible that you're simply losing control in Afghanistan and it's going to continue to spiral out of control?"

Also last week, Washington Post conservative columnist George F. Will cited the rise in U.S. troop casualties and unquestioned corruption in President Hamid Karzai's government, then called for Obama to reverse course in Afghanistan. Will wrote, U.S. "forces should be substantially reduced to serve a comprehensive revised policy: America should do only what can be done from offshore, using intelligence, drones, cruise missiles, air strikes, and small, potent special forces units, concentrating on the porous 1,500—mile border with Pakistan, a nation that actually matters."

The very notion of recommitting the NATO strategy in Afghanistan to unmanned drones goes against the philosophy of the top NATO commander, U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whose strategy calls for winning Afghan hearts and minds, in part by reducing collateral deaths from air strikes. As the Washington Post's David Ignatius reported, McChrystal's classified report to the president on Afghanistan includes the headline: "Protecting the people is the mission. The conflict will be won by persuading the population, not by destroying the enemy."

McChrystal also is working to professionalize Afghanistan's inadequate military and police forces — much as Gen. David Petraeus worked to beef up Iraq's national security forces.

On the left, the pressure to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan is even greater. At a Chronicle editorial board meeting Wednesday, Rep. Jackie Speier, D—Hillsborough, complained about the cost of the war and the lack of an exit strategy. "To me," Speier added, "Pakistan is almost a greater threat."

Fariba Nawa, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area and dual citizen of Afghanistan and the United States, said that the Will/Speier emphasis on Pakistan is "offensive to me — let's go to Pakistan, a country that really matters." They don't get it, she added, "Pakistan and Afghanistan are connected."

"My gut feeling as an Afghan is that if the U.S. troops leave again," Nawa told me, then civil war will return, women will lose precious freedoms, aid workers will be killed and Afghanistan will return to its pre—9/11 state. Or as Brookings Institute senior fellow Bruce Riedel argued, "We abandoned Afghanistan twice before. We know what happens. The first time we got Sept. 11 and the al-Qaida base in Afghanistan. The second time, we got the mess we're in here."

If U.S. troops leave, Riedel opined, "The triumph of jihadism or the jihadism of al-Qaida and the Taliban in driving NATO out of Afghanistan would resonate through the Islamic World."

Nawa cites Afghan support for the NATO mission. She sees more people in school, relatives working at good jobs and women making advances in cities. "If we leave," she cautioned, "then you're going to have all that progress gone to waste."

Nawa has worked in Iraq and Afghanistan. At a Commonwealth Club event in March, Nawa noted that unlike in Iraq, most Afghans supported U.S. intervention from day one. "They don't consider the U.S. being there an occupation," she said.

And: "They want the U.S. to stay and to help them build their country." Think of the damage to America's reputation were the Will view to prevail. A precipitous pullout would cement this country's reputation as an unreliable ally that helicopters into countries with money and promises, then rotates out when the body count rises, leaving behind those who have risked their families by helping our mission.

If Washington were to bolt now, then what country in the world would have reason to trust us? As unpleasant as the situation in Afghanistan is, this is no time to go squishy.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders' column by clicking here.

Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2009, Creators Syndicate