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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 Oct. 3, 2007 / 21 Tishrei 5768

War on terror?

By Robert Robb

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | John McCain now has a very sharp focus to his claim on the presidency: He's the only warrior in the race.


McCain has a gripping video and New Hampshire television ads featuring his experience as a P.O.W. His most recent policy speech last week was devoted to the immediate battle in Iraq but just as much to what McCain called the "long war against Islamic extremists."


If you are in an existential war, you need to be led by a warrior, was the message: "Tough talk or managerial successes in the private sector aren't adequate assurance that their authors have the experience or qualities necessary for such a singular responsibility."


Simply put, McCain has fought in circumstances in which life or death was at stake. None of the other major contenders in either party have.


It's a powerful and emotive pitch, and likely to find traction in the Republican primaries.


It raises, however, the most critical question of our time: Are we in a consuming war against Islamic extremists, in which either they survive or we do, or is terrorism primarily a risk that needs to be managed?


Certainly al-Qaida has declared war against the United States and its citizens. And the 9/11 attacks were an act of war.


The U.S. Congress in effect declared war on al-Qaida with its use of force resolution.


So, the United States is currently at war with al-Qaida.


But is that the same thing as being at war with Islamic extremism generally? And is the war existential, either they survive or we survive? Al-Qaida certainly intends to pose an existential threat to the United States. It seeks the establishment of an expansionist Islamic caliphate with universal sovereignty or hegemonic influence.


A strategic response, however, needs to be based not only on an assessment of its intentions but also its capabilities.


Al-Qaida's quixotic caliphate is supposed to begin with the overthrow of what it regards as heretic regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. After 9/11, there were intensified al-Qaida attacks in all three countries.


However, the al-Qaida challenge appears to have been suppressed and none of the regimes currently seem at risk — although their lack of democratic consent of the governed makes them inherently fragile.


The size and structure of al-Qaida are difficult to gauge, particular after the fall of the Taliban scattered its senior leadership. The 9/11 Commission estimated that 10,000 to 20,000 would-be jihadists had gone through its training camps in Afghanistan. Other estimates have as many as 60,000 receiving some degree of training.


However, the nature of the jihadist threat has changed since 9/11 and the fall of the Taliban, as recent thwarted plots illustrate. In Britain, local medical professionals tried to engage in car bombings. In Canada, local Muslim young men plotted to blow up parliament and behead the prime minister. And in the United States, a convenience store clerk, a roofer, a cab driver and a pizza delivery man, foreign-born but long-time residents, planned a terrorist attack on Fort Dix.


How do you conduct a "war," in the literal not the metaphorical sense, on that kind of activity?


The Bush administration is attempting to conflate the Sunni jihadism of al-Qaida with Shiite militancy into a seamless threat of Islamic extremism against the United States. The real world is more messy and muddy.


Some Islamic terrorist groups have only regional, territorial ambitions, and do not share al-Qaida's fantasy of establishing a unified and internationally dominant caliphate.


And some of the Islamic extremist groups are in conflict with each other. Al-Qaida sought to assassinate Hasan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader.


Moreover, some of our supposed allies in this struggle also engage in Islamic extremism. The domestic practices in Saudi Arabia and its export of Wahhabi instruction can only fairly be described as extreme.


Part of the effort to protect the country against terrorist attack will require military action. But the scope of that military action, and its relative importance compared to other anti-terrorism activities, will differ depending on the construct — whether the country regards itself as in an existential war with Islamic extremism generally or facing the need to manage a highly troubling and dangerous risk from specific Islamic terrorists.


There is no more important question for the country. Regrettably, I suspect it will be largely finessed, rather than directly addressed, in the upcoming presidential campaign.

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

JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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