May 24, 2013
May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Oct. 18, 2007
/ 6 Mar-Cheshvan 5768
Criticizing opponents is one thing, but silencing them?
"Experience keeps a dear school," Benjamin Franklin wrote in "Poor Richard's Almanack," "but fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that."
So it's no surprise that some people who in 2004 were apoplectic about what they perceived as a personal assault on a political leader should be scarcely bothered in 2007 by a personal assault on a military leader.
The former case refers, of course, to the Swift-boating of John Kerry during the last presidential campaign.
"Swift-boating," like "neocon," is a malleable political term that can mean different things according to where and how it is employed. In theory, it refers to a campaign to smear Kerry's military service record. In practice, it's applied with a broad brush to just about any objective criticism of the senator from Massachusetts.
Quote Kerry's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971, when he said U.S. military personnel in Vietnam had "committed war crimes on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command ... raped, cut off ears, cut off heads ... razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan," and you, too, might be accused of Swift-boating.
Whatever Swift-boating means, you'd think the people most appalled by it would be the people most sensitive to it. But, as Poor Richard observed, they're the ones most likely to foolishly excuse, rather than condemn from experience, the vilification of Gen. David Petraeus as a traitor.
Let's set aside for a moment that in 2004, Kerry was a presidential candidate who had made service in Vietnam his leading credential in a political campaign in the United States, while in 2007, Petraeus is the commander of a military campaign in Iraq. Is it really true that anyone who criticizes the left-wing smear against Petraeus organized by MoveOn.org is a Swift-boating hypocrite?
"For his military service, Kerry deserves our nation's eternal gratitude. Those who would impugn that service are acting beyond the bounds of propriety. Criticizing what Kerry has done since he returned from Vietnam from his false testimony about atrocities and illegal Christmas Eve incursions into Cambodia to his voting record during 20 years in the Senate is the essence of political debate in a free society."
That was from a column I wrote on Sept. 12, 2004. And this is from a column on Sept. 27, 2007:
"Everyone has the right to question reports of progress from Baghdad and the wisdom of maintaining a vast military commitment to Iraq. What no one has the right to do is impugn the loyalty of a decorated military commander. You can challenge his numbers, dispute his methodology and debate his recommendations in the toughest terms. What common decency suggests you cannot do is attack his integrity."
Hypocrisy? You be the judge. Criticizing is one thing. Silencing is something else altogether. That's what Marc Elias, general counsel for the Kerry campaign, and Joseph Sandler, general counsel for the Democratic National Committee, attempted to do in 2004 when they sent an intimidating letter to television station managers warning them not to air commercials produced by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
That kind of chilling, liberal intolerance for politically free speech has its corollary in 2007. After the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed bipartisan resolutions that criticized MoveOn.org's personal attack on Petraeus, a group of Democratic senators attempted to manipulate MoveOn's misstep into a mugging of conservative talk radio. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and 40 colleagues signed a McCarthyite letter to Clear Channel Communications Inc. CEO Mark Mays demanding that he "publicly repudiate" controversial comments by Rush Limbaugh, an inquisitor's call that met with curious silence among the self-proclaimed guardians of civil liberties.
Imagine if Dick Cheney sent a letter to New York Times publisher Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger demanding that he publicly repudiate MoveOn.org. Do you think there might be just a few liberals wailing about censorship?
Hypocrisy? You be the judge.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment by clicking here.
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.
Jonathan Gurwitz Archives
© 2007, Jonathan Gurwitz
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K