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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 Oct. 18, 2007 / 6 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

Criticizing opponents is one thing, but silencing them?

By Jonathan Gurwitz


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "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.

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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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