Home
In this issue
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. 28, 2006 / 6 Tishrei 5767

A war we have to win

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The consensus in the intelligence community is that the war in Iraq has worsened the threat from radical Islamic violence and hurt US efforts to combat terrorism. So, at any rate, say The New York Times ("Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat") and The Washington Post ("Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Hurting US Terror Fight"), which reported on the most recent National Intelligence Estimate in front-page stories on Sunday. Is it true?


The NIE was a classified document until Tuesday, when President Bush declassified some of its findings. The Times and Post stories were written, it appears, by reporters who hadn't read the document they were characterizing. The papers' headlines were unequivocal, but the stories themselves never actually quoted the NIE. They merely passed along the spin — and advanced the antiwar agenda — of the anonymous sources who chose this moment to leak secret intelligence for political purposes.


Has the Iraq war undermined efforts to defeat the jihadis? Maybe, but the Times and Post stories don't come close to making that case. They claim that new terrorists are being enlisted at a growing rate and that America's presence in Iraq has become a major terrorist recruitment tool. Well, yes: If you go to war against fanatics in Iraq, the fanatics will point to Iraq as a reason for their war. That hardly adds up to a weakened campaign against al-Qaeda and its accomplices. D-Day and the battle of Midway triggered some of the most ferocious fighting of World War II and resulted in tens of thousands of additional Allied casualties. But would anyone say that they undermined the drive to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan?


After 9/11, the United States went to war against Islamic totalitarianism; since 2003 that war has focused most dramatically on Iraq. It stands to reason that Iraq is therefore the focal point in the jihadis' war against the West. President Bush has made that point repeatedly, quoting Osama bin Laden's declaration that the war in Iraq is "the most serious issue today for the whole world" and will end in "victory and glory or misery and humiliation." Has US military action in Iraq inflamed the global jihad? Undoubtedly. But just imagine how galvanized it would be by a US retreat.


In any case, National Intelligence Estimates are best taken with a grain or salt. As Andrew Cochran of the Counterterrorism Blog points out, the 1997 NIE on global terrorism — the last before the 9/11 attacks — mentioned bin Laden only tangentially as a "terrorist financier" and made no reference at all to al-Qaeda. The October 2002 NIE, which played a key role in the decision to go to war in Iraq, bluntly declared that "Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade." Intelligence agencies are not infallible.


But this much we do know: There has been no successful terrorist attack on the United States in the years since 9/11, whereas the years leading up to 9/11 saw one act of terrorism after another, including the bombing of the World Trade Center, the destruction of the US embassies in Africa, and the attack on the USS Cole. That suggests that the Bush administration is doing at least something right — something the Clinton administration, on whose watch bin Laden and al-Qaeda launched and escalated their terror war, failed to do.


Could 9/11 have been prevented? That in essence was what Chris Wallace asked former President Bill Clinton during his now-notorious Fox News interview on Sunday: "Why didn't you do more to put bin Laden and Al Qaeda out of business when you were president? . . . Why didn't you . . . connect the dots and put them out of business?"


From the ferocity of Clinton's response, you would have thought he'd been accused of using a 22-year-old White House intern for sex. Purple-faced with rage, he blasted Wallace for doing a "nice little conservative hit job on me." He fumed that he had "worked hard to try and kill" bin Laden and that "all the right-wingers" who criticize him for doing too little "spent the whole time I was president saying, 'Why is he so obsessed with bin Laden?' "


But Wallace's question was no "hit job." And no one ever accused Clinton of being too obsessed with bin Laden. On the contrary: The eight years of his presidency, like the first eight months of Bush's, were marked at the top by a tragic inattention to Al Qaeda. The 9/11 Commission Report records the exasperated reaction of a State Department counterterrorism officer to Clinton's refusal to retaliate for the bombing of the Cole: "Does Al Qaeda have to attack the Pentagon to get their attention?"


Unfortunately, the answer was yes. Only after 9/11 did the United States muster the will to begin fighting the jihadis in earnest.


Was Iraq the best place to fight them? There are passionate views on both sides of that question, and history will have the final say. What we know for sure today is that we are at war against a deadly enemy, one we must defeat or be defeated by. How goes the war on terrorism? Far better now than it did when our eyes were closed.

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.

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

Jeff Jacoby Archives

© 2006, Boston Globe

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles