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December 2, 2014

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 Sept. 18, 2007 / 6 Tishrei 5768

Mugged by reality

By Thomas Sowell


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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.



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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.

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