In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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. 27, 2006 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan, 5767

Madness, madness….

By Paul Greenberg

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Madness, Madness….

It happened in the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, when all was anger, fear, confusion and a strange kind of determination to go on as if nothing had happened. Amidst it all, I was supposed to write a column. More daunting, it was supposed to make sense. What's an inky wretch supposed to do in those stunned circumstances?

Plagiarize, of course. Excuse me, adapt a line from an earlier time. And what better source than the ever energetic Teddy Roosevelt? He, too, had had to deal with bandits in a faraway country. In his time, specifically 1904, an American businessman of uncertain citizenship, Ion Perdicaris, had been kidnapped in Morocco by the last of the Barbary pirates, the Sherif Ahmed ibn Muhammed Raisuli. (Now there's a name to conjure with!)

TR reacted just as one would expect TR to react. He dispatched (1) a naval squadron to Tangier, and (2) a point-blank telegram laying down his terms in plain English: "Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead."

It apparently worked. After a good deal of confusion and intrigue, not to say comedy, Perdicaris came home to a White House reception.

In 2001, the culprit had a name soon to become all too familiar to Americans: Osama bin Laden, and there was nothing comic about him. He was thought to be somewhere in the fastnesses of Afghanistan at the time (and may still be) under the protection of the Taliban, just as Raisuli had operated in the Rif under the only nominal jurisdiction of the sultan of Morocco.

Borrowing a leaf from Teddy's book, I wrote a column suggesting that American policy ought to be just as simple and clear and concise as TR's:

Osama alive or the Taliban dead.

Bully! Another column out of the way.

But wait. Between the writing and the syndication, there is always a pause if you have a good editor. Mine at the syndicate explained that there was a problem.

Oh, what was that?

Well, not that he necessarily agreed with his boss, but she'd noted that Osama bin Laden and his gang, aka al-Qaida, hadn't been formally identified as the perpetrators of this horror. So how could I write that they were responsible for the attack on the Twin Towers merely because it was obvious?

I controlled myself. Or tried to.

I chose to meditate on the final scene in "The Bridge on the River Kwai," and Alec Guinness as the correct British colonel who'd completely lost touch with the larger reality, i.e., the war he was supposed to be fighting. In the end, he can only watch in horror and dismay as the fine bridge he's had his troops build for the enemy is destroyed in an Allied commando raid.

His is a madness within the greater madness that is war.

Of all the characters in the movie, just who was craziest is left up to the audience to mull. But the final words of the film recur to me with some regularity these days: Madness, madness. … Madness!

I remembered those words on being told of the risk I was running in accusing Mr. bin Laden of this crime without proper documentation. After a polite but pointed conversation with my editor's editor, the column's reference to Osama bin Laden was retained.

Still, it would have been a consummation devoutly to be wished if Mr. bin Laden had shown up in this country to file suit for libel. What a pleasure it would have been to meet him, complete with a welcoming committee from the CIA, FBI and 101st Airborne, and maybe even get a chance to interrogate him — excuse me, interview him — en route to Guantanamo.

An impossible fantasy, of course. For one thing, it would have meant denying the accused a writ of habeas corpus, and after Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, who knows what this Supreme Court might have to say about that?

Congress has just passed another statute authorizing military commissions in hopes of meeting the new requirements laid down by the Supreme Court.

There's no telling if the court will OK the use of such military tribunals even though Congress now has approved them. After all, the Supreme Court has just ignored the couple of hundred years of legal precedent on which military commissions are based. (An American commander named Washington relied on them in his time.)

Whenever I come across the argument that such tribunals are unconstitutional, and the war on terror ought to be conducted by litigation, I think:

Madness, madness….

To borrow another phrase, this one from the Hon. Robert Jackson, late an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, let's not confuse the Constitution of the United States with a suicide pact. Thank goodness Justice Jackson's generation didn't.

As if the GIs caught in the Battle of the Bulge didn't have enough problems, suppose they'd had to supply every German prisoner they took with a lawyer to file a writ of habeas corpus on his behalf — including those unlawful combatants caught in U.S. Army uniforms, the better to confuse and misdirect American forces. Yep, that's just what the laws of warfare now need: another incentive to take no prisoners.

Madness, madness….

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 Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

Paul Greenberg Archives

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.