In this issue

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 Feb. 2, 2007 / 14 Shevat, 5767

Our Blithering World: Where's the vision and leadership?

By Michael Ledeen

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Things are never the way we expect they will be, and so it is today, as we stagger and blither our way toward the inevitable decision about Iran. I had imagined that we would finally face up to the necessity of confronting the terror masters of Tehran after some dreadful event that would compel the president to pound the table and say "enough!"

Instead, it has been more like Chinese water torture, or maybe straws piling up on our national back. Never has a country strained so hard to avoid a conflict as the United States concerning Iran. They have waged war against us for 28 years, and we are only now beginning to contemplate the possibility of a response.

That is about the most one can say on behalf of our feckless national-security team, whose leaders are trying to be a little bit pregnant instead of trying to win this thing. Indeed, even in the face of a torrent of information showing Iranian support for the terror war against us, some diplomats and spooks are trying, in their usual too-clever-by-half ways, to relive one of my favorite jokes, the one about the woman accused of stealing her neighbor's pot. She says to the judge "I never took the pot. And it was a very old pot. And it was in better shape when I returned it." Our heroes deny that there is such information, and it isn't really convincing information, and even if it is convincing we shouldn't be mean to the mullahs.

This is the pattern that led us straight to 9/11. For that matter, it got us to Pearl Harbor and to Khobar Towers, and to the Beirut bombings of our embassy and the Marine barracks. It is a pattern of denial and self-deception, driven by an absolute conviction that the truth must not be passed on to people whose view of the world differs from your own. And so our kids get blown up in Iraq, while the Bushes, Rices, Rumsfelds, Cambones, Tenets, Negropontes, and their cohorts deny that we know who's doing it. Deputy Secretary of State Burns, the architect of our failed Middle East mission, goes to Israel to thump his chest and talk about getting tough with Iran, meaning tough talk and a few symbolic gestures, certainly not regime change. Such people talk about "insurgency" as if the shattered remnants of Saddam's ruined state were capable of mounting the terror war we face, when common sense points in the direction of professional intelligence services in Tehran and Damascus.

We are not alone in this suicidal self-deception. Our friends across the water, those tough-minded Englishmen who have recently decided to abolish the Royal Navy for all intents and purposes, have been frenetically seducing us into one diplomat failure after another with regard to Iran for many years now. It is no surprise, then, that the London Times yesterday quoted British officials are denying there is a "smoking gun" to show Iranian support for terrorists in Iraq. I think the unnamed officials who are saying that are either out of the intelligence loop or lying. American intelligence has known for at least a year and a half that the frightful shaped charges that have killed and maimed so many American soldiers were manufactured in Iran — they traced the serial numbers back to the Iranian manufacturer — and it is inconceivable that we would have failed to share that fact with our British allies.

I can well imagine the debates now raging inside the Bush administration over what is apparently a substantial trove of devastating information about Iranian activities in Iraq, and perhaps also Afghanistan. American officials long opposed to any serious challenge to Iran pronounced the information "a bombshell," and some of them now say they have changed their minds about going after the mullahs. So those who still want to take the diplomatic route, and continue to appease Tehran, must set up a series of obstacles: first try to keep the intelligence bottled up; if that fails, discredit it; and if all else fails join the "war is not the answer" crowd, whose credibility rests on the hope that nobody in America has read any history.

This debate has its drama, to be sure. But it is not the dramatic event I had imagined, and its outcome is still in doubt. We are not there yet; if we were, we'd have a national commitment to regime change in Damascus and Tehran. We are in the bowels of the bureaucracy, not on the high slopes of strategic vision and inspirational leadership. But that's our world.

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JWR contributor Michael Ledeen is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of, most recently, ""The War Against the Terror Masters," Comment by clicking here.

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