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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 Sept. 12, 2007 / 29 Elul, 5767

The real ‘blowback’ behind Osama

By Jonah Goldberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On April 17, 1987, Osama bin Laden led 120 of his most fierce Arab mujahedin into battle. The attack was planned for months and billed as a major offensive for the warriors of G-d against the atheistic Soviet Red Army and its apostate Afghan puppets. The target: an Afghan government position on the outskirts of Khost.


Things went so poorly one wonders what "FUBAR" is in Arabic. None of the mujahedin positions had been supplied with ammunition, which was stuck in a car far from the battle scene. Men were so exhausted from carrying their own rockets and mortars — they didn't have enough mules — that some went back to their cave and passed out from exhaustion before the battle even started. And nobody remembered to pack those pesky wires used for connecting rockets to detonators. A lone government soldier heard the racket bin Laden's men made and kept the entire force pinned down with a machine gun until bin Laden ordered a retreat.


This sort of thing was typical among the so-called Arab Afghans, a few thousand ragtag religious misfits imported from the Arab world, interested not so much in Afghan liberation as global jihad. The real Afghans considered the Arab forces clownish and lousy fighters. They were more like the Keystone Cops than battle-hardened mujahedin.


But the following month, Bin Laden helped lead the Arab Afghans in their most successful military effort: defending their mountain lair, the so-called Lion's Den. The battle was militarily successful in the sense that the already retreating Red Army was held at bay on its way out of Dodge.


"From the Soviet perspective the battle of the Lion's Den was a small moment in the tactical retreat from Afghanistan," wrote Lawrence Wright, my source for all of this, in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "The Looming Tower." But for bin Laden and his followers, it was divine proof that the mujahedin crushed the mighty Soviets. There was, according to Wright, "a dizzying sense that they were living in a supernatural world, in which reality knelt before faith. For them, the encounter at the Lion's Den became the foundation of the myth that they defeated the superpower."


Armed with this useful myth, the Arab Afghans became the core of a new global jihadist insurgency called al-Qaida.


For years, some of the shriller voices on the left have argued that 9/11 was a classic example of "blowback" from our support of the mujahedin's struggle against Afghanistan. But the fact is, we didn't "create bin Laden" — he largely created himself. And to the extent that any superpower can claim credit for him, it's the Soviets. It was their withdrawal, not our support, that convinced the foreign fighters that their pinpricks felled the Soviet bear.


Today, a new "blowback" thesis is in the works. The Washington Post, Time magazine and the Associated Press are just a few of the news outlets that have asserted the U.S. is arming the Sunnis in Iraq. This is simply not true, Gen. David Petraeus insisted in congressional testimony Monday. But it's no surprise that many people are leaping to that conclusion because the familiar "blowback" story line is the only plausible one for millions of people who've made up their minds that the war is, was and forever shall be hubristic folly.


Similarly, opponents of the war denounced Petraeus' testimony before he said a single word, not because they know the facts better than Petraeus — please — but because anything that doesn't fit the narrative of an ever-worsening quagmire must be a lie. MoveOn.org even seems willing to suggest that Petraeus' personal motives are perfidious.


Many war supporters have certainly forced reality to kneel before faith in recent years. But reality can't stay on bended knees for very long, so those running the Iraq project have had to change course and give facts the respect they deserve.


Many Democrats, too, have been grudgingly breaking from their base's otherworldly narrative of late, though they continue to insist that a "political solution" can be had in Iraq without a concomitant military one. Even the Sunni insurgents are coming to grips with the fact that al-Qaida doesn't have Iraq's best interests at heart.


But there is one group that is under no inclination to nod to reality: al-Qaida. The jihadis' mission, as always, is to create a new reality.


If the bin Laden of the late 1980s could convince himself that his motley crew delivered the death blow to the Evil Empire, leading to the formation of al-Qaida, one can only imagine what lesson he and the bin Ladens of tomorrow would take from America's defeat in Iraq. That's a story line we should all hope won't be written.

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