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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 Sept. 1, 2010 22 Elul, 5770

A grim speech for a grim war

By Roger Simon




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It was shocking how little awe there was.

President Obama announced Tuesday night “that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended” in a grim little speech from the Oval Office. He spoke for 18 minutes and managed to avoid asking - - let alone answering - - any essential questions about the war such as: Did it make America safer, and was it really worth it?

For almost the entire speech, Obama remained impassive. He was not awesome.

He was very clear when it came to praising the troops. “At every turn, America’s men and women in uniform have served with courage and resolve,” he said, in a statement nobody would dispute.

But surely war should be about more than showing off the valor and prowess of our troops.

War should be about protecting America. And while Obama made that case when he spoke about the war in Afghanistan - - “We will disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda, while preventing Afghanistan from again serving as a base for terrorists” - - he did not make that case for Iraq. Because he could not.

The Iraq war started over an appalling mistake or an outrageous lie: that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that a madman, Saddam Hussein, was sitting in his palace with his finger on the nuclear button.

As we all now know, there were no such weapons. And in that sense, the war, which was launched by George W. Bush, began as a fraud. But the price we paid was very real: Almost seven and a half years of combat, more than 4,400 Americans dead, more than 35,000 wounded, and more than $700 billion spent by U.S. taxpayers.

But in his speech, President Obama let President Bush off the hook for all of that. “From this desk, seven and a half years ago, President Bush announced the beginning of military operations in Iraq,” Obama said. “Much has changed since that night. A war to disarm a state became a fight against an insurgency.”

Oh. Was that all? But what did that “war against an insurgency” result in? A country in chaos without a government. (No, I am not talking about the United States; I am talking about Iraq.)

There used to be spoils to war. Territory won, reparations received. We don’t go to war for those things any more. But what did we win in Iraq? What did the enemy lose? Go down any Main Street in America and find me 10 people who can answer that. Find me one.

In the end, we got shattered bodies, shattered minds, and ended lives.

We did manage to hang Saddam Hussein, who, in the end, looked like somebody’s ditzy, pajama-clad grandfather. Yes, he was a terrible dictator. But how many terrible dictators does America do business with every day?

And was the price of getting rid of him worth it? President Obama did not say.

On Monday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked what our victory in Iraq was going to look like.

“In thinking about victory in a war, I think we are used to the pictures of some type of ceremony on a battleship at sea,” Gibbs said. “I don’t think you’re likely - - based on the wars that we’re involved in - - I don’t think you’re likely to see those scenarios.”

No more awe, in other words. Not in war and not in peace.

In the trickiest part of his speech, Obama, having pivoted from war to the economy, tried to bundle them together.

“As we wind down the war in Iraq, we must tackle those challenges at home with as much energy, and grit, and sense of common purpose as our men and women in uniform who have served abroad,” he said. “They have met every test that they faced. Now, it is our turn.”

But is our economy still teetering on the brink because ordinary Americans lack “energy,” “grit” and a “sense of common purpose”? Or is it because corporate fat cats and predatory lenders duped a nation while lining their parachutes with gold?

In speaking of our military, Obama said, “They stared into the darkest of human creations - - war - - and helped the Iraqi people seek the light of peace.”

Good. Now maybe we should send the troops to Wall Street and see what good they can do for our people.

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