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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. 9, 2013/ 5 Tishrei, 5774

Just a little bit of war against Syria

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


JewishWorldReview.com | Waging a little bit of war is like being a little bit pregnant.

History and human experience tell us that neither is possible, yet we seem bent on believing it. Or, should I say, deceiving ourselves.

President Obama’s call to strategically strike a few targets in Syria to teach President Bashar al-Assad a lesson — and John Kerry’s assertion that this would not be war — should give everyone pause. What would we call it if another country fired missiles our way?

I remember well watching the second plane fly into the second tower on 9/11 and saying to all gathered around the TV: “We’re at war.”

We know it when we see it. Doubtless, the Syrians do too.

Our ponderous slog toward non-war, meanwhile, is scaring all the wrong people. Not Assad, who by most accounts can survive a limited strike. Not Syria’s friends, who see us as flaccid and indecisive.

Us. What can we be thinking?

According to Obama, we’re thinking “shot across the bow,” which means we’ll so frighten Assad that he’ll stop fighting for his survival. Not likely. The implication that we’ll follow suit with something worse, should he not accede to our wishes, is rendered moot by our assurances that we won’t, in fact, do worse.

Murkier still is the Senate Foreign Relations Committee resolution stating that our policy is to “change the momentum on the battlefield.”

Even as we declare non-war in the most circumlocutory sort of way, Americans are asked to place their faith in illogical assumptions and unlikely outcomes. These include that our interference in a civil war will instruct other rogues to watch out and that Assad will receive the message that the use of chemical weapons won’t be tolerated.

In a fresh round of cognitive dissonance, those who hesitate on the brink of a limited war of choice, especially Republicans, are dismissively characterized as “war-weary.” Democratic strategist James Carville put a finer point on it: Iraq Syndrome, a.k.a. “Blame Bush.” Thanks to the previous administration’s handling of Iraq — a not-so “cakewalk” of “shock and awe” — Americans are hesitant to have another go in the Middle East.

These seem to me excellent reasons for hesitation. To be war-weary is to be sane. To be reticent in light of experience is to be wise. Sane and wise seem like good starting points for adult debate, especially when the stated goals of a strike against Syria are nebulous to potentially nightmarish.

Even as regrettable as our Iraq adventure was in retrospect, absent the weapons of mass destruction Saddam Hussein wanted the world to believe he had, the clearly stated goal of a then-international coalition was to take down Saddam, who was considered a legitimate threat.

This time, we can’t even rustle up support from our most loyal ally, Britain, much less the international community, an inconvenience that puts the United States in possible conflict with international law, as Obama himself has mentioned. Speaking to CNN in late August, Obama remarked that without a U.N. mandate “there are questions in terms of whether international law supports” missile strikes.

Indeed, military lawyers tell me that using force without international sanction violates international law unless the action is in self-defense. Much as we despise what Assad has done during two years of civil war, we clearly are not in imminent danger from Syria.

As always, we have to wonder: Who is the greater threat? Assad? Or those who seek to depose him, including the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda? Administration officials insist that most of those in the opposition are moderates, but hasn’t such faith blinded us before?

As Congress convenes next week to consider whether to authorize Obama’s use of force, here are a few questions to ponder. What if:

? The Syrian response is more chemical weapons or some other hostile action?

? A couple of our planes are taken down in the event the Pentagon deploys Air Force bombers?

? We kill a few women and children? Given the ample time we’ve allowed Assad to prepare for a strike, it is probable that the weapons delivery systems we aim to hit have been positioned close to civilians. Suddenly we are no better than Assad, just another killer of innocents.

Finally, the worst question follows all of the above: Then what? The worst-case scenario isn’t necessarily inevitable, but the risk seems greater than any justification thus far offered.

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