Home
In this issue
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 Dec. 17, 2007 / 8 Teves, 5768

The specter of victory

By Paul Greenberg


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A specter is haunting the Democratic Party. The long-awaited defeat of American forces in Iraq, on which so many critics of this administration have built their fondest hopes, seems to have been delayed again and — unsettling thought — may not even materialize. Even the dreaded word, Victory, is being whispered.


Who would have thought it? Besides, of course, that dwindling minority of Americans who never gave up on the valor of America's armed forces — and the flexibility of their commanders, including their much-despised commander-in-chief. (This president's ratings in the polls have dropped almost as low as Harry Truman's during the Korean War.)


The turnaround in Iraq, aka The Surge, is proving embarrassing for the kind of critics of the war who dare not admit being embarrassed. To do so would be to entertain the unthinkable thought that they might, just might, have been wrong.


This is no time for critics of the war to go wobbly. Their outward confidence in American defeat must be preserved, at least till next November. Even if all the indicators they used to cite as evidence that the war was lost have begun to go in the opposite direction:


The number of enemy attacks has fallen month after month since the Surge began to take effect.


Mortar and rocket assaults in Iraq, however highly publicized and bloody awful in themselves, are down to their lowest rate in almost two years.


The number of civilian deaths has fallen dramatically. Iraqi refugees are returning in growing numbers despite continuing risks. Once again they're voting with their feet, this time in favor of a better, not worse, Iraq.


This new strategy in Iraq is really an old one. It amounts to the systematic application of classic counter-insurgency tactics under a new commanding general in Iraq, David Petraeus, who wrote the Army manual on the subject. The results have been dramatic, and quicker than anyone might have hoped:


In once chaotic provinces like Anbar, an alliance with Sunni tribesmen is paying off as old enemies become new allies. American commanders and diplomats on the ground are no longer waiting for the ever-dithering "government" in Baghdad to pacify the country; they're making a separate peace, and it seems to be taking hold.


Even in Shi'ite Iraq, the new strategy emphasizes a patchwork of practical alliances with one militia or another rather than depending on the theoretical and only theoretical sway of a central government that hasn't governed in some time.


The result of all this is that al-Qaida is in undeniable retreat, even rout, all across Iraq as ad-hoc arrangements that work have replaced airy schemes that don't.


Every war will surprise you, as an American commander named Eisenhower once said, and doubtless this one will continue to surprise, too. But by now only the ideologically blinded can deny that the Surge is showing signs of success.


Those who urge an immediate withdrawal from Iraq have already written the sad history of that war, if a bit prematurely. Why should Democratic leaders trouble to revise it now, after having convinced so many Americans that defeat is unavoidable? It's so much easier to pretend that nothing has changed than to take new facts into account. It would be embarrassing. Better to stick with denial.


Even when the Surge was still an untried plan, even before it was formally announced, the Democratic Party's leadership was almost uniform in assuring the country it would never work:


"Surging forces is a strategy that you have already tried, and that has already failed," Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the leaders of the Democratic majorities in both the Senate and House, confidently predicted in a January letter to the president. And they were but two members of the whole, partisan chorus in Congress. There were many others. For notable example:


"A 'surge' of American troops will do nothing." —Chris Dodd, December 24, 2006


"Senator Lugar said a little while ago that he's not confident the president's plan will work. I tell you what: I'm confident it will not work." —John Kerry, January 24, 2007.


"The surge was supposed to bring stability. It hasn't and it won't."—Ted Kennedy, May 1, 2007


"The surge has led to nothing but a surge in Americans dying." —Bill Richardson, June 19, 2007


". . . (t)he president is still losing the Iraq war." —Jim McDermott, June 25, 2007, as the Surge was beginning to show results


"Today a majority of the Senate sees that the surge is not working. Do we change course now or wait until September? I believe the answer is clear." —Dianne Feinstein, July 17, 2007


"We don't need a report that wins the Nobel Prize for creative statistics, or the Pulitzer for fiction." —Rahm Emanuel, September 7, 2007


"The reports that you provide to us," Hillary Clinton told Gen. Petraeus directly on September 11, 2007, "really require the willing suspension of disbelief."


But even the consistently vitriolic John Murtha, perhaps the harshest congressional critic of the administration's conduct of this war, let it slip just last month: "I think the Surge is working."


But he quickly backtracked, explaining that the new strategy was working only militarily, and that the war would have to be won by the Iraqis politically.


Good point. Only the congressman doesn't seem to have noticed, or can't admit, that the Surge has a political component, too — even as Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Ryan Crocker are making peace with one Iraqi faction after another.


It would be as foolish to proclaim victory in Iraq now as it was for all these politicos to proclaim defeat for so long. But something has changed and is changing in Iraq. That much is clear. Yet these leaders of the opposition remain in denial.


How strange: Those who long have been critical of this president and commander-in-chief for being so rigid, so inflexible, so unaffected by the changing facts on the ground, can't seem to recognize how flexible this same George W. Bush is finally proving. By now this "inflexible" president has changed his secretary of defense, his commanding general in the field, and the whole American strategy in Iraq — while his critics don't seem to have changed at all.

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.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles