May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Sept. 18, 2007
/ 6 Tishrei 5768
Mugged by reality
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In a world where the tragedy that is Iraq is usually discussed only in media sound bites and political slogans, it is especially gratifying to see an adult, intelligent, and insightful account of life inside Iraq by someone who lived there for nine months in the early days of the occupation in 2003 and 2004, and who saw the fundamental mistakes that would later plague the attempt to create a viable Iraqi government.
John Agresto, a career American academic and former college president who volunteered to go help create a better higher education system in Iraq, learned a lot about Iraqi society in general and about American attempts to create a better society there.
His recently published book is titled "Mugged by Reality" and is subtitled: "The Liberation of Iraq and the Failure of Good Intentions."
What is refreshingly different about this book is that it does not take the Bush administration line, the Congressional Democrats' line or anybody else's line.
Agresto is not out to prove some theory or push some pet scheme but to convey what he saw with his own eyes and discerned from his own experiences with both Iraqis and Americans in Iraq.
He makes no claim to infallibility but in fact admits to being forced to change his mind by what he saw.
Initially a supporter of the invasion, he now says that he would not have been a supporter if he had known beforehand how the occupation would be mishandled and the results that followed. But he also recognizes that we cannot unring the bell and simply leave, for that would lead to even worse consequences, not only in Iraq but elsewhere, not only to others but to ourselves.
The worst mistake, in Agresto's view, was the failure to establish law and order in the wake of the military victory, before undertaking the grandiose project of attempting to create democracy in Iraq. From this fundamental mistake, many of the other tragedies followed.
| OWN DR. SOWELL'S LATEST BOOK …|
at a discount
by clicking HERE.
In the absence of law and order, there was widespread violence, looting, rape in short, the war of each against all that Hobbes warned about, centuries ago.
As for democracy, Agresto understands that the right to vote is no guarantee of freedom, toleration or respect for the rights of others. Without those prerequisites, democracy can mean tyranny at home and terrorism abroad.
Apparently the American civilian authorities in Iraq did not understand this or else they let that understanding be overridden by political considerations. By setting up a government based on warring factions, they made cooperation in the national interest a very unlikely prospect.
Today, when more and more Iraqis are rejecting the outside terrorists whom the media keep calling "insurgents," and when our military is restoring more order than Iraq has seen in a while, the most intractable problem is the very government we set up.
General David Petraeus is mentioned only a couple of times, and briefly, in "Mugged by Reality." But those brief mentions seem to be revealing.
Right after the success of military operations in Iraq, General Petraeus' 101st Airborne had control of the city of Mosul. According to Agresto, "he ran it in radically different ways than the rest of Iraq was run" and Mosul was "calm" in contrast to other parts of Iraq.
Then, after control of Mosul was passed on to others, it "began to rival the worst sections of Baghdad for attacks on Coalition forces and violence against Iraqis."
One of the ways in which Petraeus ran Mosul differently from the way things were done in the rest of Iraq, according to Agresto, was not to get rid of existing public officials wholesale, despite their being members of the former ruling Baath Party.
Somebody has to run the basic institutions that make civilized life possible and you can't just get rid of those who know how to run those institutions before you have someone qualified to replace them. Apparently General Petraeus was pragmatic enough to understand that.
We may, belatedly, have found a man and an approach that work.
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.
Comment on JWR contributor Thomas Sowell's column by clicking here.
Thomas Sowell Archives
© 2006, Creators Syndicate
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K