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. 16, 2013/ 12 Tishrei, 5774

Putin has a good time at Obama's expense

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


JewishWorldReview.com | s I read Vlad’s op-ed in the New York Times, a Judy Collins tune kept replaying in my head: “Isn’t it rich? Isn’t it queer?”

The song — actually written by Stephen Sondheim, although it is Collins’s signature hit — is “Send in the Clowns,” and it seems an apt soundtrack for current events. As we’ve stalled in making a decision about how to handle Syria (two years and counting), Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have been allowed to emerge as reasonable heads of state, talking down to the United States, lecturing us about our misplaced belief in exceptionalism and making demands that mock our president.

Nice work.

Putin hasn’t had this much fun since he rode shotgun in George W. Bush’s truck. Thanks to President Obama, the good times keep on rolling. We now have a catalogue of blunders we can attach to Putin-related (Putinesca?) “diplomacy,” a term that becomes more farcical by the day.

Recall that Bush, whose international outreach often included a ride around his Crawford, Tex., ranch, once said he looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul. I have a photograph from the day in Texas that captures the two men grinning. Putin, it must be said, looks like he’s having the time of his life, and Bush looks, as he always did, confident and oblivious to the menace seated beside him.

Next we have Obama, who, in an intimate moment with then-outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, conveyed a message to incoming President Putin. Thinking the microphones were off, Obama asked for a little space until after his reelection, when he would have more wiggle room on missile defense.

“Wiggle room,” now there’s a foreign policy. As the “red line” has moved, then blurred, then moved again until now it is nearly invisible, Putin has approached the American people directly via the Times, while Assad issues orders to Washington: He’ll sign the chemical weapons agreement if the United States promises to bug off.

Brilliant.

We can’t seem to get it quite right at the helm. Either we’re saddled with a cocksure “decidinator” who is feared for his lack of pause — or we’re stuck with an over-thinker so afraid of making the wrong decision that he paralyzes himself into a pose of ineptitude.

Both profiles can be equally dangerous, depending on the circumstances, though inarguably it is better to be feared than pitied. It is painful to watch as Obama is increasingly diminished by his inability to commit to a position that he has staked out.

Certitude isn’t always an admirable trait. In fact, in political discourse, it is most often annoying if not downright wrong. Life is not, as it turns out, black and white. Diplomacy is all about exploring the shades of gray. But it is also true that the president of the United States doesn’t get to suffer the usual flaws of human comport. He doesn’t get to promise grave consequences for unacceptable behavior and then, failing to follow through, act as though everyone else’s perception is somehow at fault.

“I didn’t set a red line,” Obama has said. “The world set a red line.”

This not only is false but it sounds petulant. The president’s speech to the nation Tuesday night struck a better tone, but it was consistently inconsistent in content. Obama conveyed the sense that he really doesn’t know what he intends to do — or why.

Recognizing this, Putin now has taken the high road, scolding the United States for its “commonplace” interventions in countries not its own.

“Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it,” Putin wrote — and we know that Putin cares deeply about the United States’ long-term interest. “Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan ‘you’re either with us or against us.’”

And, it is “extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.”

Actually, Vlad, millions around the world do see the United States not only as a model of democracy but also as exceptional because, among other things, we let everybody talk. Even clowns. Sing it, Judy.

Whatever the outcome of these fire-hydrant gymnastics, a positive result (no U.S. military engagement and an enforceable chemical weapons agreement with Syria) probably will have been accidental. So be it and pass the champagne. But the larger lesson should not get lost in events: Never draw a line unless you are prepared to fight. Erasers make lousy weapons.

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.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2013, WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast