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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 June 24, 2005 / 17 Sivan, 5765

The power of Presidential solidarity

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "A reader living in Moscow," writes National Review's Jay Nordlinger, "sent me a photo from a rally in Azerbaijan, which showed a youth holding up a poster of President Bush with the words, 'We Want Freedom.' The reader commented, 'It's good to remember whom people turn to when they're desperate — and it ain't Kofi Annan."'

Indeed. It is fashionable in some circles to invoke the United Nations as the touchstone of moral authority, but realists know better. They look to the United States, not the UN, as the great moral engine in world affairs. Like the Lebanese who waved a US flag during the demonstrations in Beirut earlier this year, like the "Goddess of Liberty" in Tiananmen Square in 1989, the young Azerbaijani with his poster is a reminder that America and its message of freedom and individual dignity have an almost limitless capacity to inspire those who are denied them.

In his recent bestseller, "The Case for Democracy," former Soviet refusenik Natan Sharansky recalled how Ronald Reagan's "evil empire" speech electrified prisoners deep inside the Soviet gulag:


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"Tapping on walls and talking through toilets, word of Reagan's 'provocation' quickly spread through the prison. The dissidents were ecstatic. Finally, the leader of the free world had spoken the truth — a truth that burned inside the heart of each and every one of us."

A US president's words of solidarity can powerfully encourage those who battle against the lies and intimidation of despotism. When Bush invited Sharansky and his co-author, Ron Dermer, to discuss their book with him in the Oval Office last November, they urged him to leverage that power by speaking directly to the world's dissidents, making it clear that he is an ally in their struggle for freedom.

It was advice Bush took to heart, as his January inaugural address made clear. Addressing himself to "all who live in tyranny and hopelessness," he promised: "The United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."

And so Bush has made a point of reaching out to prominent dissidents, such as Maria Corina Machado, a critic of Venezuela's increasingly authoritarian president, Hugo Chavez. In 2003, he met with a group of Cuban dissidents, among them Mario Chanes de Armas, an early ally of Fidel Castro who was imprisoned for 30 years after he denounced the revolution's turn to repression.

Last week Bush met privately in the Oval Office with Kang Chol Hwan, who survived 10 years in one of North Korea's horrific slave labor camps. Bush had read "The Aquariums of Pyongyang," Kang's searing memoir of his experience, and wanted to convey to the author — and to Kim Jong Il's evil regime — how seriously he regards North Korea's abuse of human rights. "He kept on repeating how deeply sorry he was about the situation," Kang told The New York Times. "To hear a president say these deep things made me feel that he cared." Compared to the policies of his predecessors, Bush's promotion of democracy as a matter of national security, his blunt talk about dictatorships, and the honor he shows dissidents are revolutionary. Think of Gerald Ford in 1975, refusing to meet with the Soviet writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn for fear of irritating Moscow. Or of Jimmy Carter in 1979, kissing Leonid Brezhnev on both cheeks and praising the shah of Iran as "deeply concerned about human rights." Or of the first President Bush in 1991, urging Ukrainians not to free themselves from the Soviet Union and allowing Saddam Hussein to savagely crush the Kurdish and Shi'ite uprisings that followed the Gulf War — uprisings that Bush himself had encouraged.

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Meanwhile, the current President Bush just sent his secretary of state to deliver a remarkably tough message to the autocratic rulers of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. "It is time to abandon the excuses that are made to avoid the hard work of democracy," Condoleezza Rice told an invitation-only audience in Cairo on Tuesday. She condemned the recent imprisonment of three Saudi dissidents, whose only offense was to peacefully petition for a constitutional monarchy. "That should not be a crime in any country," she said.

As for Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak's decision to hold an election — it is "encouraging," but real progress means ending the violence against democracy activists. Freedom for opposition groups to assemble. No intimidation of voters. "The Egyptian Government must fulfill the promise it has made to its people — and to the entire world — by giving its citizens the freedom to choose," said Rice. "Egypt's elections, including the parliamentary elections, must meet objective standards that define every free election."

Every American president speaks of freedom and democracy. Bush is the first to make their promotion the cornerstone of his foreign policy. His critics are legion. But from the slave camps of North Korea to that young man in Azerbaijan, so are those fervently hoping he succeeds.

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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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