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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. 19, 2007 / 7 Tishrei 5768

Mugged by reality, Part II

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Nothing is easier than to second-guess other people's decisions, ignoring the inherent limitations of knowledge, the pressures of circumstances, and the dangers of alternative courses of action.


Americans in all parts of the political spectrum have made serious mistakes about Iraq.


Some have been the mistakes of honorable people — indeed, mistakes to which honorable people may be more prone than others. Other people have acted with utter dishonor and dishonesty — the most shameful recent example being the smearing of General David Petraeus as a liar before he had said a word.


Precisely because Congressional Democrats already knew that there had been progress after the troop surge in Iraq — some of their own colleagues had been there and seen it — they had to discredit General Petraeus, in order to prevent the American people from knowing it.


Democratic Congressman James Clyburn said it all in an unguarded moment when he admitted that an American victory in Iraq "would be a real big problem for us" in next year's elections.


That is why a general who is putting his life on the line every day in Iraq, and whose efforts are producing some success, has to be called a liar on nationwide television by United States Senators and a traitor in a New York Times ad.



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What of the mistakes of the Bush administration?


The book "Mugged by Reality" by John Agresto, based on his experiences as a civilian advisor in Iraq, makes it painfully clear that the attempt to create a democracy in Iraq was the biggest failure of good intentions there and the key to much else that went wrong.


The idea was that democratic nations do not fight each other or sponsor terrorist campaigns against one another. Therefore, if we could create a democracy in Iraq, we would have made a historic contribution to world peace by planting the first democracy in the Arab Middle East.


Over time, the spread of that democracy in the region would successively deprive terrorist organizations of the bases and political support needed to wreak havoc in Western nations.


Perhaps the strongest support for this theory came from the actions of the terrorists themselves, who have poured men, money, and weapons into Iraq on a massive scale, and blown themselves up in suicide attacks, in order to prevent this project from succeeding.


However, as Agresto points out in "Mugged by Reality," democracy has prerequisites — and those prerequisites are not universal, especially not in Iraq.


Of the various governments in Iraq since Saddam Hussein's regime was liquidated, he argues, the most effective was that of the American occupation authorities and the worst those elected by the Iraqis. Agresto spells this out in detail.


President Bush has rejected the idea that some peoples and cultures are not ready for democracy. He points to the large Iraqi turnout at the elections, despite the threats of terrorists. Everyone wants more freedom, he and his supporters say.


Wanting freedom, however, is not the same as wanting others to have the same freedom you have. Such tolerance is not the norm in Iraq.


Nor was it the norm in Western civilization until after Protestants and Catholics fought each other for centuries before finally realizing that neither could exterminate the other. Sunnis and Shi'ites have yet to reach a similar accommodation in Iraq.


Agresto points out how Americans' organizing the Iraqi government on the basis of competing interest groups made reconciliation harder, if not impossible.


He notes that those who founded the United States organized political power on the basis of territory, so that mutual accommodations among people with different views within given communities were a prerequisite for gaining power.


What recent progress has been made in Iraq has apparently been made by mobilizing traditional local and regional Iraqi leaders and coalitions, not by relying on the democratically elected central government. There may be a lesson there.

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