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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 Jan. 29, 2007 / 10 Shevat, 5767

Empty words from the U.S. Senate

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sometimes, it's useful to take politicians at their word. George W. Bush has announced that he's sending an additional 21,000 troops to Iraq, to provide security in Baghdad and Anbar province. Gen. David Petraeus in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee said that it's impossible to achieve that goal without additional troops. He also said, in response to a question from Sen. Joseph Lieberman, that a congressional resolution disapproving of the additional troops would not have a positive effect on military morale.


We don't know whether this "surge" of troops to Iraq will achieve its goal, but we do know that Petraeus is held in high regard. Armed Services voted unanimously to confirm him.


With that in mind, let's look at the decisive words in the resolution approved with a 12-to-9 majority by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and which seems sure to be approved by a majority of the Senate. "The primary objective of the United States strategy in Iraq," reads the resolution, "should be to have the Iraqi political leaders make the political compromises necessary to end the violence in Iraq." Compromises with whom? The al-Qaida forces? What compromises would satisfy them? With the Baathist Sunnis? Ditto. With Sunni and Shia militias? Maybe some would be satisfied by "political compromises." But some probably won't.


Sometimes, the only way to stop the bad guys is to capture or kill them or threaten credibly to do so. It's not a bad idea to pressure the Iraqi government to act against the sectarian killers — there's evidence it's already doing so. But if they don't have enough military strength to stop the violence — and no one says they do — those efforts could be too little.


Here the resolution fudges. "The United States should transfer, under an appropriately expedited timeline, responsibility for internal security and halting sectarian violence in Iraq to the government of Iraq and Iraqi security forces." It also says it is "not in the national interest of the United States to deepen its military involvement in Iraq, particularly by increasing the United States military force presence in Iraq."


So we shouldn't fight any harder, and we shouldn't send in any more troops to accomplish something — the restoration of order in Baghdad and Anbar — that Petraeus says can't be accomplished without more troops and different tactics.


This seems to envision that we keep doing just what we've been doing until the Iraqi forces grow stronger — the same course of action that these senators say has failed. Then we should hand over responsibility to the Iraqi government "under an appropriately expedited timeline" — classic bureaucratic language, which can mean in practice anything you want it to. And then everything will be fine.


Or at least if others cooperate. The resolution states that "greater concerted regional and international support would assist the Iraqis in achieving a political solution and national reconciliation" and "the United States should engage nations in the Middle East to develop a regional, internationally sponsored peace and reconciliation process for Iraq."


Yes, it would and should. But it would and should also help the average porcine altitude if pigs could fly. Like the Iraq Study Group, the senators supporting the resolution are expressing pious hopes that very unlikely things will happen, that the governments of Iran and Syria will nurture tranquility and democracy in Iraq, that the French or the United Nations will come up with a recipe for Iraqi reconciliation that has somehow eluded us unsophisticated Americans. The pigs are up to 30,000 feet now.


"The main elements of the mission of United States forces in Iraq," reads the resolution, "should transition to helping ensure the territorial integrity of Iraq, conduct counterterrorism activities, reduce regional interference in the internal affairs of Iraq and accelerate training of Iraqi troops." Another bureaucratic fudge word — "transition" — which means that the resolution leaves the timeline for these things entirely open.


So the upshot of the resolution is that we should keep doing for some undetermined period of time pretty much what we have been doing, though it hasn't been working, and we should not do the different things that Petraeus thinks have a chance — he's not guaranteeing success — of working.


What the resolution tells us is that most members of Congress, echoing what they think is the view of most voters, yearn to return to the holiday from history that we thought we were enjoying between the fall of the Berlin Wall and Sept. 11, 2001. And that they have no idea at all of how to get there.

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