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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 Nov. 25, 2005 / 23 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

Terrorists and tyrants

By Victor Davis Hanson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As American casualties mount in Iraq, politicians at home now fight over who said what and when about weapons of mass destruction and the need for going to war. One of the most frequent charges is that President George W. Bush hyped a non-existent link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida — and that as a result, we diverted our efforts from finishing off the real terrorists to start a new and costly war to replace a secular dictator.


This charge is false for several reasons — and illogical for even more.


Almost every responsible U.S. government body had long warned about Saddam's links to al-Qaida terrorists. In 1998, for example, when the Clinton Justice Department indicted bin Laden, the writ read: "In addition, al-Qaida reached an understanding with the Government of Iraq that al-Qaida would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al-Qaida would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq."


Then in October 2002, George Tenet — the Clinton-appointed CIA director — warned the Senate in similar terms: "We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida going back a decade."


Seventy-seven Senators apparently agreed — including a majority of Democrats — and cited just that connection a few days later as a cause to go to war against Saddam: ". . . Whereas members of al-Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq."


The bipartisan consensus about this unholy alliance was not based on intriguing but unconfirmed rumors of meetings between Saddam's intelligence agents and al-Qaida operatives such as Sept. 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta.


Nor did the senators or the president ever claim that Saddam himself planned the Sept. 11 attacks. Instead the Justice Department, the Senate and two administrations were alarmed by terrorist groups like Ansar al-Islam, an al-Qaida affiliate that established bases in Iraqi Kurdistan.


More importantly still, one of the masterminds of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, Abdul Rahman Yasin, fled to Baghdad to find sanctuary with Saddam after the attack. And after the U.S.'s successful war against the Taliban, Abu Musab Zarqawi, the present murderous al-Qaida leader in Iraq, reportedly escaped from Afghanistan to gain a reprieve from Saddam.


All of this is understandable since Saddam had a long history of promoting and sheltering anti-Western terrorists. That's why both Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas — terrorist banes of the 1970s and 1980s — were in Baghdad prior to the U.S. invasion and why the families of West Bank suicide bombers were given $25,000 rewards by the Iraqi government.


Saddam worried little over the agendas of these diverse terrorist groups, only that they shared his own generic hatred of Western governments. This kind of support from leaders such as Saddam has proven crucial to radical, violent Islamicists' efforts.


After Sept. 11, it became clear that these enemies can only resort to terrorism to weaken American resolve and gain concessions — and can't even do that without the clandestine help of illegitimate regimes (from Saddam in Iraq to the Taliban in Afghanistan, the theocracy in Iran, Bashar Assad in Syria and others) who provide money and sanctuary while denying culpability.


Middle Eastern terrorists and tyrants feed on one another. The Saddams and Assads of the region — and to a less extent the Saudi royal family and the Mubarak dynasty — deflected popular anger over their own failures on to the United States by allowing terrorists to scapegoat the Americans.


Yet, for a quarter-century, oil, professed anti-communism and loud promises to "fight terror" earned various reprieves from the West for these dictatorships, who were deathly afraid that one day America might catch on and do something other than shoot a cruise missile at enemies while sternly lecturing "friends."


That day came after Sept. 11. To end the old pathology, we took out the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, pressured the Syrians to leave Lebanon, encouraged Lebanese democracy, hectored the Egyptians about elections, told Libya's Moammar Gaddafi to come clean about his nuclear plans, and risked oil supplies by jawboning the Persian Gulf monarchies to liberalize.


The theory behind all these messy and often caricatured efforts was not the desire for endless war — we removed by force only the two worst regimes, in Afghanistan and Iraq — but to allow Middle Easterners a third alternative between Islamic radicalism and secular dictatorship. No wonder that wherever there are elections in the Middle East — Afghanistan and Iraq — legitimate governments there have the moral authority and the desire to fight Islamic terrorism.


Americans can blame one another all we want over the cost in lives and treasure in Iraq. But the irony is that not long ago everyone from Bill Clinton to George Bush, senators, CIA directors and federal prosecutors all agreed that Saddam had offered assistance to al-Qaida, the organization that murdered 3,000 Americans. That was one of the many reasons we went into Iraq, why Zarqawi and ex-Baathists side-by-side now attack American soldiers — and why an elected Iraqi government is fighting with us.

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.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


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