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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. 12, 2007 / 29 Elul, 5767

Washington pols don't want to lose (a majority, seats, a campaign, power)

By Jonathan Gurwitz


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Welcome back to Capitol Hill, Gen. Petraeus. I'm sure you have fond memories of the last time you were here. It was January, and President Bush had just appointed you to be the new commander of Multi-National Force Iraq.


The senators couldn't say enough good things about you. A true officer and a gentleman, as well as being a scholar. All that talk about counterinsurgency operations and what you intended to do in Iraq really impressed them. They showed their bipartisan support for you and your mission, voting 81-0 to confirm your new command assignment.


No sooner had you left, however, than the generals in Congress went to work on their own strategy. The House passed a nonbinding resolution, 246-182, to deny additional troops for your counterinsurgency plan. And three weeks after they had confirmed you and your new strategy, 54 senators, most of them Democrats, voted in support of the same measure.


As a professional soldier, you would never comment on that bit of effrontery. Our political system wisely subordinates the military to civilian authority. That system has, over the past 218 years, spared the nation many calamities that have afflicted our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere and friends around the world.


But an excellent system doesn't ensure people with excellent purposes. So allow me to point out the obvious.


As a military commander, your primary objective is, understandably, victory. As incumbent politicians, the little Caesars in Washington have as their primary objective not losing: not losing a majority, not losing any more seats in the minority, not losing a campaign, not losing power.


That's how you get 54 senators who praise you to the heavens turn around and consign your mission to hell. That's how you get Sen. Barack Obama endorsing an immediate withdrawal from the fight against al-Qaida in Iraq but also talking tough about entering a fight against al-Qaida in Pakistan.


That's how you get Sen. Hillary Clinton telling the New York Times that the United States has vital national security interests in Iraq yet shouting at every whistle stop that if the current president doesn't end the war in Iraq, she as president will.


Since your last visit, your critics have become a little more forthright, if also a little more ugly. Back in April, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had already decided the war in Iraq is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything. Asked on CNN if he would believe you if you reported progress in Iraq, Reid said, "No, I don't believe him, because it's not happening."


A group called the National Security Network, headed by the former national security adviser to the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign, amplified the smear campaign against a man who has devoted his life to defending the country by holding a press conference last week on the subject, "Is Petraeus cooking the books?" MoveOn.org took out a despicable ad in the New York Times asking, "General Petraeus or General Betray us?" Next, perhaps, PETA will inquire whether you kick your dogs.


So you see how this is going to go, general. Iraq is complex. You know there can be progress on the security front and disappointments on the political front. But reporting good news — any good news — makes you either a liar or a stooge because it deviates from the narrative that most Democrats and a few Republicans have written for the next 14 months — that is, until the next general election.


Of course if they really believed you were a liar, they'd cashier you instead of sending you back to Iraq. If they really believed Iraq was a lost cause, they'd cut off funding for the U.S. military presence rather than passing defense budgets and supplemental appropriations with hundreds of billions of dollars for continued operations.


They won't do either. Not because the military geniuses in Congress are heartened by modest signs of progress or hold even a slim hope for something that might resemble stability. Rather, it's because they're fearful that if you're right, they might lose.

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JWR contributor Jonathan Gurwitz, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, is a co-founder and twice served as Director General of the Future Leaders of the Alliance program at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In 1986 he was placed on the Foreign Service Register of the U.S. State Department.

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© 2007, Jonathan Gurwitz

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