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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 May 2, 2013 / 22 Iyar, 5773

Obama's Blink on Syria Could Bring Peril to Allies

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "We're eyeball to eyeball, and I think the other fellow just blinked," Secretary of State Dean Rusk famously said during the Cuban missile crisis.

Barack Obama has been doing a lot of blinking lately. On Syria especially.

"There would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movements on the chemical weapons front or the use of chemical weapons," he said back in August 2012. Chemical weapons were a "red line."

Presumably the president hoped that his statement would deter Bashar Assad's embattled regime from using chemical weapons. And presumably he hoped that his demand in 2011 for Assad to relinquish power would be obeyed.

Obama surely hoped back then that the Syrian dictator would be overthrown quickly, as his counterparts in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya had been. Unfortunately, Assad has proved to be tougher and more ruthless.

Last December, the U.S. consul in Istanbul reported evidence of chemical gas attacks in Syria to the State Department. Last week, it was reported that all U.S. intelligence agencies believe that sarin gas has been deployed there.

But Obama has been unwilling to change his policies significantly. He has not ordered imposition of a no-fly zone, as Bill Clinton did in Kosovo in the 1990s.

He has not pledged support for the Syrian rebels. Instead, he has indicated that intelligence "assessments" are not conclusive.

"We've got to do everything we can to investigate and establish with some certainty" — an interesting standard — "what exactly has happened in Syria," he said at a press conference on Tuesday.

"We will use all the assets and resources that we have at our disposal. We'll work with the neighboring countries to see whether we can establish a clear baseline of facts. And we've also called on the United Nations to investigate."

These are conditions that seem impossible to meet. The United Nations will not act because of the veto of Assad-supporting Russia.

Other nations' intelligence services have already chimed in, concluding that chemical weapons are indeed being used in Syria. Our ability to "investigate and establish with some certainty what exactly has happened in Syria" is limited.

This president, like his predecessors, has to make decisions based on incomplete and imperfect information. It comes with the job.

The red line has been crossed, but the president has decided not to change the game.

This could have perilous consequences. Will Israeli leaders take seriously Obama's pledge that he will not allow Iran to deploy nuclear weapons?

Will our Asian allies be confident of our backing in their disputes with China over islets in the East China Sea? Will China be deterred from attacking them?

Blinking at the evidence that Syria has crossed what he called a "red line," Obama may be hoping to avoid getting bogged down in a military quagmire there. But weakness is provocative, and appeasement can lead to a wider war.

Last week, Obama also blinked on the sequester, as Senate Democrats led the charge to give the Federal Aviation Administration explicit flexibility after the agency furloughed air traffic controllers.

He had said earlier that he would veto legislation giving administrators flexibility in adapting to spending cuts. But — blink — he signed the bill, instead.

"The Democrats have lost on sequestration," wrote the liberal Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein. By agreeing to "ease the pain," he said, "Democrats have agreed to sequestration for the foreseeable future."

That's probably right. Obama's prediction of dire consequences from sequester cuts was undermined by the administration's two most visible cuts in service.

The idea that mandatory cuts required cancelling White House tours didn't meet the laugh test. Fodder for late-night comics.

And the idea that a 4 percent cut in FAA funding required delaying 40 percent of airline flights was equally laughable.

It antagonized two classes of strategically placed frequent flyers: members of Congress and members of the press. No way they were going to tolerate needless flight delays.

Obama's acceptance of the sequester means ratcheting spending levels down in the future, just as the Obama Democrats' stimulus package ratcheted spending up.

That's a policy defeat for liberals, but the general public will probably not suffer much from Obama's sequester blink. The consequences of his Syria blink could be much more ominous.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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