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 May 15, 2009 / 21 Iyar 5769

Photos or No Photos, It's Hard to Picture Obama Winning Over U.S. Enemies

By Jonah Goldberg

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If President Obama is sincere in his expressed desire to block the release of photos of alleged prisoner abuse in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, congratulations are in order.

But I'm taking a wait-and-see approach. Obama himself admits that he's merely hoping to delay the release of the photos. Meanwhile, Andrew McCarthy, a fellow at the National Review Institute and terrorism expert, makes a compelling case that Obama is trying to vote "present" once again. After all, if Obama truly wanted to block the release of these photos in order to protect American troops, he could issue an executive order taking them beyond the reach of the courts and the Freedom of Information Act. Instead, Obama's heading back to the courtroom to re-litigate the matter. This way, if the courts reaffirm that the photos must be released, Obama can say, "My hands are tied." Even the Associated Press sees Obama's maneuver as a way to "pass the buck to the courts." We'll see what happens.

It seems that Obama is on something of an intellectual journey. Up until his May 13 decision to change course on the photos, it seemed fairly clear that he had a solid theory of how to sell America to the world: apologize. Admit to some of our harshest critics' and enemies' theories of American wrongdoing and they will love us for it, particularly if you can pin it all on George W. Bush in the process. This approach, at least rhetorically, came straight out of the antiwar left. It assumed that our foreign enemies and our critical allies and the domestic left all share a similar critique of America, which is high-proof nonsense.

The strategy hardly seems to have yielded many tangible results with our critical allies, like France and Germany, who've largely scoffed at U.S. leadership, even in the age of Obama.

And as for our enemies, the strategy falls apart even more. After all, the Taliban's successes have mounted during Obama's tenure, and there has been an uptick in Iraq violence as well. This isn't to say Obama's to blame; he's not. It's simply that the new era of hopeful-changiness has meant nothing to our enemies.

Let's start at the beginning. Modern Jihadism has its roots in the writings of Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian radical intellectual who was sort of the Rousseau of Jihadism.

Qutb's hatred for America was nurtured during a visit to the United States, specifically over a long stay as an exchange student in Greeley, Colo., in 1949-50. At that time, Greeley was a Rocky Mountain Mayberry. Clean, polite, orderly and without a single bar in the whole town, Greeley was nonetheless for Qutb a grotesque den of iniquity. What really stewed his bowels was a sock hop where teenage girls danced with boys to the libidinous strains of "Baby, It's Cold Outside." The mixing of sexes in churches was "animal-like."

The Islamism practiced by followers such as Osama bin Laden has changed little since Qutb's execution by Egyptian authorities in 1966. Bin Laden and his gang are the world's most powerful puritans. Iraqi Sunnis turned against al-Qaida in no small part because the foreign fighters wanted to ban smoking and throw drop cloths over every Iraqi woman. Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers who was not squeamish about dying, or about carving up innocents with box cutters, had one desperate request before he died: Make sure no women touch my underwear after I'm dead.

Or consider the Uighurs — Jihadists from the Muslim hinterlands of China — the Obama administration is planning to release into D.C.'s Virginia suburbs and put on the public dole. At Gitmo, these detainees were allowed to watch television because they were deemed nonviolent. While watching a televised soccer game, the camera showed women with exposed arms, and the Uighurs went ballistic, picking up the TV and smashing it.

In short, these people can't be won over, at least not without apologizing for a lot more than George W. Bush. Admitting a few mistakes or releasing a few photos won't convince them we've turned over a new leaf, because their hatred of America stems from a hatred of modernity itself.

Meanwhile, giving the Jihadists propaganda tools to help them say "see, we were right" won't curtail recruitment, it will fuel it. At least that's what Obama's most senior military advisors reportedly told him.

It's good news that President Obama is open to such arguments. It remains to be seen whether he's actually persuaded by them.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

To comment on JWR contributor Jonah Goldberg's column click here.

Jonah Goldberg Archives

© 2006 TMS