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. 8, 2006 / 17 Kislev, 5767

It's a war, not a buffet

By Jonah Goldberg


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In Washington, sometimes it's preferable to be wrong in a group than to be right alone.


Nothing demonstrates the triumph of this truism better than the release Wednesday of the final Iraq Study Group report. The commission's chairman, James A. Baker III, could not have been more obvious if he had used hand puppets to illustrate what he thought was most important about this supposedly momentous occasion: the fact that all the report's authors actually agree with its contents.


Their product, Baker gushed, is "the only recommended approach that will enjoy, in our opinion, complete bipartisan support, at least from the 10 people that you see up here." Whoop-de-do. No one in the media was sufficiently motivated to ask the emperors why they had no clothes on, or to raise the simple question, "Who cares?"


Instead, viewers at home (all three broadcast networks broke in to cover the "news" live) watched as one commission member after another grew misty-eyed over their own statesmanship. Former Clinton Chief of Staff Leon Panetta waxed lyrical about how this document represented "one last chance at unifying this country on this war." Heads sagely nodded at the relentless self-adulation of commissioners who put their "partisan differences" behind them in the spirit of unanimity, unity, bipartisanship, comity, handholding and all around mutual respect and love.


(It's no wonder one of their key recommendations is to form an international Iraq "support group." Who can resist the image of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whining about how his father never loved him, only to be interrupted by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia complaining that the Zionists ate all the good doughnuts?)


At the end of the day, the report reflects the man who put the deal together. Baker is a deal maker, a power broker, a difference splitter. And that's the real spirit of the Baker-Hamilton commission.

Donate to JWR


Some people want more troops in Iraq, so it calls for some more troops at first - so as to better train the Iraqis. And then, because other people want far fewer troops, it calls for a timetable for far fewer troops by 2008. Because no foreign policy commission could ever be complete without blaming the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for something, the group throws a bone to that crowd as well. And because Baker thinks everything is a negotiation, he sees nothing wrong with chatting up everyone - including terrorist militias and our enemies in Iran and Syria.


The commissioners are latter-day Laodiceans, whom the Book of Revelation describes as "neither cold nor hot (but) lukewarm." As a result, most of the report hits stratospheric heights of banality. For example, the commission put aside partisan differences to reach the startling conclusion that "Syria can establish hotlines to exchange information with the Iraqis." If it requires consensus to deliver such Solomonic wisdom, then I say "feh" on consensus.


The group also recommends that "Iran should stem the flow of arms and training to Iraq, respect Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity and use its influence over Iraqi Shia groups to encourage national reconciliation." Phew. Thank goodness Vernon Jordan signed on to that one. If only nine out of 10 had agreed, some people might have concluded that maybe Iran shouldn't do that stuff.


In short, Baker did not seek to find a solution for Iraq at all. His mission was to stuff a grab bag with enough mundane blather that nine graybeards plus Sandra Day O'Connor could assent without really risking anything. Indeed, former Justice O'Connor was a perfect choice given her preternatural gift for reaching decisions with no discernible principle to them other than the need to please everybody a little. Yogi Berra once said, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." That, it seems, was the commission's approach.


According to The New York Times, the findings are "a compromise between distinct paths that the group has debated since March." And because "everyone felt good about where we ended up," according to one member of the commission quoted in the Times, they must have gotten it right. Right?


Unfortunately, that's not right. Nowhere does the commission ever seriously consider how to win the war in Iraq. Why? Because winning is no longer a possible consensus position. And pulling out isn't a consensus position either. So rather than a real strategy about Iraq, we get Laodicean tripe about how the Iraq Study Group is our last best hope to unite Americans. I'm sorry, but that wasn't its mandate.


Some have labeled the commission's plan of handing off Iraq to the Iraqis a replay of Nixon's Vietnamization. But the similarities go beyond that. In fact, the commission is making the same core mistake that was made in the Vietnam era: treating a war like a political problem to be haggled, spun and bartered. It may not seem like it because Baker (AMPERSAND) Co. claim so often to be transcending politics in the name of unity. But in fact, their political values trump everything, including the war.

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.


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

Jonah Goldberg Archives

© 2006 TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles