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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 Dec. 13, 2009 / 26 Kislev 5770

An American triumph at Oslo

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize speech, anyone still questioning whether he is really a Christian, rather than a Muslim aligned with fanaticism, needs to seek therapy forthwith.

Anyone still unconvinced that Obama is really an American committed to his nation's values, rather than an impostor who doesn't pledge allegiance to his critics' satisfaction, should probably surrender to the asylum.

Obama's speech, an artful balance of realism and idealism, was both a Judeo-Christian epistle, conceding the moral necessity of war, and a meditation on American exceptionalism. He was, in other words, the unapologetic president of the United States and not some errant global villager seeking affirmation.

The speech was a signal moment in the evolution and maturation of Obama from ambivalent aspirant to reluctant leader.

Rising to the occasion, he managed to redeem himself at a low point in his popularity by reminding Americans of what is best about themselves.

Paying homage to champions of nonviolence, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, he nonetheless acknowledged that as commander in chief charged with protecting a nation, he couldn't follow their examples alone.

Letter from JWR publisher


"For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al-Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history, the imperfections of man and the limits of reason."

With those words, Obama aligned himself with conservatives, who believe in the fallibility of human nature and in an enduring moral order. At the same time, he left room for moral conundrum: the difficulty of reconciling two seemingly irreconcilable truths -- "that war is sometimes necessary, and war at some level is an expression of human folly."

Obama didn't mention his favorite philosopher, Reinhold Niebuhr, but Niebuhr's thoughts were woven throughout. In one example, Obama said, "We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth: We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes." Niebuhr said, "Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime."

Like Niebuhr, who during World War II abandoned his pacifist-liberal roots to become an advocate for war, Obama has left the comfortable world of consensus-building to become a war president, recently agonizing and deciding to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. His journey undoubtedly has been painful as he arrived at this unfamiliar destination: "Some will kill. Some will be killed."

No presidential candidate can ever fully anticipate the burden of the office he seeks until he sends his first troops to battle. Obama has joined the procession of others who have suffered in advance of the coming death toll. The moral conflict he expressed in words soon enough will find expression in his face.

Though the Oslo speech follows others that have inspired even his critics, this was Obama's most presidential. It marked the moment when Obama became a leader, defined as an individual who chooses the hard road because he believes it is the right one.

Some of the machinations of Obama's justifications were evident. He made a point, for example, of implying that his Afghanistan war is more justified than George W. Bush's Iraq war. Speaking of the two engagements, he said: "One of these wars is winding down. The other is a conflict that America did not seek."

He took pains to note that other wars, especially "holy wars," are never justified. And finally, "war itself is never glorious, and we must never trumpet it as such."

And so the reluctant warrior, who set out to save the world from pestilence, plague and global warming, now must also wage war against both an ideological foe as well as his own temperament. Leadership is not for cowards.

Of the 4,000 or so words Obama uttered, those most soothing to American ears, if not so much to those sitting closer, were Obama's paean to the sacrifices and gifts of his countrymen. He reminded the world that, whatever mistakes we've made, the United States has shed its blood and spent its treasure to enable democracy and to promote peace and prosperity around the world.

There is much about Obama's administration to criticize. But at certain moments, the president articulates our problems in ways that elevate us beyond our pettier differences. His Nobel Prize may have been all the things critics have listed, but Obama's response was a triumphant expression of American values and character.

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