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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 Sept. 2, 2005 / 28 Av, 5765

A republican constitution, Iraqi style

By David Limbaugh


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Can we all not agree that the Left's favorite virtue is "tolerance"? Then why all the fuss about the Iraqis' culture- and religious-based decision not to accord women the exact degree of rights they enjoy in America? Shouldn't we be tolerant of their cultural decision? Who are we to judge? Who are we to superimpose our values on them?

I'm being partially facetious here to make a larger point. Of course it's noble for Westerners to root and lobby for women's rights in the new Iraqi republican government. But it's also important that we don't cram all our preferences down their constitutional throat.

As we know from distant and recent history, freedom-guaranteeing constitutions are worthless unless they reflect the realities of the people they are designed to govern. The Iraqi Constitution, to have any hope of meaningfulness and success, must be written to accommodate Iraqi values — or perhaps I should say to blend the competing values in an acceptable, workable compromise.

That's why the difficulties the Iraqis are experiencing in reaching a consensus document are heartening rather than discouraging. If the document had been drafted and adopted precipitously in a spirit of pseudo-harmony, with little debate, conflict and compromise, we would have far more reason for skepticism and pessimism.

Do the critics of this process have any idea how difficult was the American experiment in constitutional drafting and governance? Do they realize that even we didn't get it right the first time, having as our first (and failed) stab at constitutional expression the Articles of Confederation?

Have they forgotten the intense opposition to the Constitution led by the Antifederalists? Or that the Bill of Rights, which some consider the very essence of the Constitution, was added later over much objection?

Some doubters scoff at the idea of a republican constitution for an Islamic people whose culture and traditions may not lend themselves to political liberty and self-rule.

I admit having some concerns about the suitability of such a constitution, given Islam's ostensibly theocratic tilt. But on balance, I'm optimistic. The proposed Iraqi constitution falls way short of creating an Islamic theocracy and expressly forbids sectarianism. But, realistically, how can we expect the Iraqi framers to write Islam out of the Constitution altogether?

Other critics argue that written constitutions are largely irrelevant, as with the former Soviet Union. But the Soviet Union's constitution wasn't a bottoms-up document drafted by duly elected political representatives of the Soviet people and ratified by the electorate. It was a top-down farce cynically foisted on the people by a tyrannical oligarchy that was never meant to be anything more than a propaganda tool. By contrast, the Iraqi draft is an outgrowth and guarantee of popular sovereignty.

I am greatly encouraged by many provisions in the draft. Its preamble is American in form, but quite different in substance — the framers have adopted our framework, but tailored it to their culture and worldview, making it an Iraqi document with an American flavor, not the other way around.

But more important than the preamble's rhetorical flourishes are its republican elements, its commitment to the rule of law, its real limitations on governmental power, and its affirmative grants of "rights and freedoms."

We should understand, though, that the express grants of "rights and freedoms" in Chapter Two of the draft would indeed be worthless without the real divisions of governmental power it aims to establish.

As Justice Scalia observed in his trenchant dissent in Morrison v. Olson (1988), "Without a secure structure of separated powers, our Bill of Rights would be worthless, as are the bill of rights of many nations of the world that have adopted, or even improved upon, the mere words of ours."

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As if with that admonition in mind, the Iraqi draft separates governmental powers among the legislative, executive and judicial branches (Chapter Three), to guard against consolidation of governmental power. Likewise, the federalist division of power (Chapters Four and Five) not only seeks to accommodate the various sectarian factions and regions, but to maximize regional and local autonomy, while preserving a sufficiently powerful national unity.

There are plenty of reasons to approach this venture with caution, and there are legitimate questions about whether democracy and freedom are as compatible with an Arabic and Islamic culture as a Judeo-Christian one.

But one thing should give us great hope. The Iraqi people themselves have undertaken this project of their own volition and at enormous personal risk. If democracy and freedom were inherently incompatible with their culture, would they even be this far along in the process?

Ironically, we should be gratified by the significant hiccups in this process, without which we should be justifiably suspicious of its legitimacy. If democracy and liberty are to work in the Arab Middle East, I can think of no better, albeit imperfect, way to go about it than what we are witnessing today in Iraq.

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.

David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is the author of, most recently, "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.

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