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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 Oct. 23, 2009 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Stop nation-building, just save our way of life

By Diana West




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When it comes to Afghanistan, what separates President Barack Obama and Gen. Stanley McChrystal?


Not much. Neither wants to destroy the Taliban — just tamp it down to the point where an as-yet non-existent Afghan state can function. Which is why — prediction time — McChrystal won't quit when Obama gives him fewer forces than McChrystal is asking for.


McChrystal's assessment frankly states that what the general calls his "new strategy" — an intensification of "population protection" at the expense of "force protection" — is his top priority, not increased troop levels. But this strategy is ignored in the debate, and certainly by most conservatives, who only emphasize the need to "give the general the forces he needs to win." What it is that McChrystal actually wants to win — namely, the support of the Afghan people — is rarely mentioned.


And how to win that Afghan support? The man has a plan. It amounts to a taxpayer-funded, military-implemented bribery scheme. As the New York Times' Dexter Filkins recently put it: "McChrystal's plan is a blueprint for an extensive American commitment to build a modern state in Afghanistan, where one has never existed. … Even under the best of circumstances, this effort would most likely last many more years, cost hundreds of billions of dollars and entail the deaths of many more American women and men. And that's if it succeeds. "


In other words, the Afghan "surge" under consideration is for "nation-building," not war-making.


But guess what? The United States of America already tried building a modern state in Afghanistan — or, at least, building a state of modernity in Afghanistan — and it just didn't stick. And this was no fly-by-night operation. University of Indiana professor Nick Cullather describes the 30-plus years of sustained U.S. development in Afghanistan as "an `integrated' development scheme, with education, industry, agriculture, medicine, and marketing under a single controlling authority" — a massive dam project known as the Helmand Valley Authority. As historian Arnold Toynbee observed in 1960: "The domain of the Helmand Valley Authority has become a piece of America inserted into the Afghan landscape." And from the project's beginning in 1946 — designed by Morrison Knudson, builder of Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge and Cape Canaveral — to 1979 when it ended, there was no Taliban "insurgency" complicating the social work of nation-building.


But this crucial episode of U.S.-Afghan history has been erased from national consciousness, pricked only by the odd remember-when news story. Of course, these historic U.S. efforts in Helmand Province — the Taliban-spawning, opium region into which 4,000 U.S. Marines "surged" this summer — have themselves been erased from Afghanistan, which may explain the amnesia.


Still, for nation-building utopians such as Gen. McChrystal, those from Left to Right who see different peoples and cultures as interchangeable markers on a game board, reality never tempers the fanaticism. A blind faith empowers believers both to see their utopian visions and to block out the reasons they can never materialize — in this case, the specifically Islamic reasons (Sharia) Afghanistan can neither serve nor fulfill Western ends.


A similar blindness afflicted the Soviets in the USSR's war on Afghan "insurgents." Christopher Andrew, citing KGB archives smuggled out of the USSR by Vasili Mitrokhin in "The World Was Going Our Way," writes: "Islam became the unifying bond of opposition to the (Afghan Communist Party) and its Soviet backers. Afghan resistance to the regime was thus transformed into a jihad in defense of Islam whose significance was grossly underestimated by the KGB. None of the reports noted by Mitrokhin even mention the threat of jihad…" — a point I have made about the McChrystal assessment, among all too many other U.S. policy documents.


Once again, here lies the fatal flaw in our strategy. Like the doomed Soviets, the United States and its Western allies ignore the threat of jihad, a threat now on a global level unimagined in 1979 when Soviet tanks rolled into Kabul. "We miniaturize the challenge," writes Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review Online. "Thus, the war is said only to be in Afghanistan. The 'challenge' is framed as isolating a relative handful (of extremists) rather than confronting the fact that tens of millions of Muslims despise the West." And even worse, the fact that tens of millions of Muslims work to assuage their feelings by following and imposing Islamic law across the West.


In other word, nation-building in the Islamic world is a distraction from nation-saving in the Western one.

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© 2009, Diana West