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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 Nov. 22, 2006 / 1 Kislev, 5767

Recycled Trash Makes Poor Policy

By Jonathan Tobin



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Revival of Baker and the Saudi 'plan' won't work any better than Bush Doctrine


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With the Republican defeat in the congressional midterm elections and the widespread perception that America is losing in Iraq, the notion that the Bush foreign-policy doctrine is now officially dead has moved from theory to fact.


What was the Bush doctrine?


In short, it was the belief that the United States was in a war against the evil of Islamist extremism, that nations were either with us or against us in that war, that America had the right to act unilaterally, and/or pre-emptively to fight its enemies and that the only way the bad guys would be defeated was by the spread of democracy.


The embrace of this doctrine led America to not only invade Afghanistan and Iraq, but to alter its policy on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Rather than allow American strategy to be dictated by Arab powers whose anti-democratic domestic rule and ambivalence towards Islamic terror outside of their own borders rendered them on the wrong side of the us-vs.-them divide, Bush embraced Israel, defended its right of self-defense and refused to meet with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat.


Why has the Bush doctrine failed?


Surely, not because most Americans no longer think our enemies are evil or question whether we really have any enemies. Nor, would any but those on the far-left actually think that an American president ought to receive permission from the United Nations or, heaven help us, France, before acting to defend ourselves.


Nonetheless, the death of the Bush doctrine cannot be refuted because of two key points.


One is that the war that the United States has waged in Iraq is locked in a bloody stalemate with no easy conclusion anywhere in sight. Americans like their wars to be relatively bloodless (at least in terms of American blood), swift and easily defined as victory.


Iraq is obviously none of those things. The fact that the enemy there only has the capacity to commit acts of terrorism (albeit on a horrifying scale) — and has no chance for victory other than the very well-placed hope that we will tire of the carnage before they do — cuts no ice with most Americans who want no part of a long-term counter insurgency against a barbarous foe in that awful place.


The other failure of the doctrine involves the promotion of democracy since it is obvious that it is not taking root in Iraq. The Palestinians, whom Bush thought would also embrace democracy, did so only by electing a terrorist group whose doctrine calls for holy war to the death with both Israel and the West.


Perhaps more Iraqis and Palestinians should have read Natan Sharansky's book The Case for Democracy, which the president recommended to one and all. Maybe more Americans should have read it, too. But that still leaves us with a situation in which his policy goals seem to be sunk.


Many of the so-called neocons — the architects of this ambitious strategy — are leaving or have left their posts, and the return of the "realists" is widely predicted. The convening of an Iraq-policy study group led by former Secretary of State James Baker and others, such as former national-security adviser Brent Scowcroft, is seen as merely the process by which the administration of Bush the younger will give way to the wiser, supposedly more realistic heads that ran things during the administration of Bush the elder.


This will all presumably mean a return to a belief in engagement with evil regimes, such as those of terrorist-sponsoring Syria and an Islamist Iranian regime whose apocalyptic nuclear ambitions are no secret.


Charged with finding a way out of Iraq, the Baker group is believed to be ready to recommend, not only an olive branch for Iran, but pressure on Israel. Only by satisfying the Arabs on Israel, it is thought, can America find a way to exit Iraq.


This is a position that has already been articulated by Bush's only serious ally on Iraq, Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair. Combine that with the fact that even Israel's friends in the White House appear to have lost confidence in an Israeli leadership that seems to lack Ariel Sharon's decisiveness, and whose Lebanon strategy (or lack thereof) let its American allies down and you have the makings of a shift in the wind on Israel.


Multilateralist diplomacy appears to be the new-old currency of the realm as even nonstarters like the 2002 Saudi fake "peace plan" have been lobbed back into the court of public opinion, along with similarly ridiculous schemes prev iously mooted by European diplomats who mean Israel as little good as the royal house of Saud.

REALISM NOT SO REALISTIC
The return of Baker, as well as the Saudi, plan should be setting off alarms among those who have been Bush's chief critics. The pessimists about democracy and Iraq turned out to be right about the administration's blithe dismissal of the perils of its idealism. But history did not begin or end with the last few years. If the neocon strategy made sense, it was chiefly because the Bakerite realism had failed disastrously in the preceding decades.


Is our collective attention span so short that we have forgotten how a policy of relying on supposedly stable and authoritarian Arab regimes got us in the mess that led to the 9/11 attacks? And did the pre-George W. Bush decades of American pressure on Israel to make concessions lead to peace or even moderate Palestinian demands? Clearly not, as the historic blunder that was the Oslo peace process proved.


Every step back from an aggressive support of Israeli self-defense will be rightly perceived as a victory for Arab extremists who will be emboldened to commit more violence, not less.


Even an all-out American betrayal of Israel — something that neither the Bush White House nor the Democratic Congress would countenance — would not help us out of our Iraqi pickle. Islamists there aren't fighting for a Palestinian state or even just for the extermination of the Jewish state. They want much more, and are honest enough to tell us as much if only we will listen.


The truth is that while the George W. Bush doctrine may have failed, it was no more or less of a failure than that which preceded it. And, despite many well-aimed barbs about Iraq, none of Bush's critics seem to have a viable alternative concept to deal with Iran, the Palestinians or Iraq.


In none of those cases does merely calling for more engagement or yapping about the need for peace (as many on the Jewish left do nonstop) constitute a strategy. Indeed, the Baker ideas and the Jewish "peace" camp's nostrums about more pressure on Israel are just "staying the course" on concepts that were proven fallacies even before George W. Bush took office.


It may well be that the Bush doctrine is dead or dying, but those who are so enthusiastically sitting shivah for it need to do better than to merely recycle "peace plans" that were long ago consigned to the trash bin of history.

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JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here.

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