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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 Oct. 3, 2006 / 11 Tishrei, 5767

Cognitive Dissonance: The Bush administration on Iran

By Michael Ledeen

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | She’s a Renaissance woman, whose talents run from scholarship to music and sport. But in this interview Condoleezza Rice often seems oddly detached from the life-and-death quality of the war against the terror masters. Indeed, she doesn’t even call it a war, and the things she says about it are sometimes striking — headline quality remarks — but more often very peculiar. To begin with, she doesn’t expect us to win this “battle, if you will, or a struggle,” during the Bush presidency. Her mission for the next two years is not victory, but to put “some fundamentals in place.” I wish the interviewer had asked her to define these “fundamentals,” so that we could better judge whether or not they are worth the lives and limbs of our children. Most of those young men and women believe they are there to win, and lots of them complain that their rules of engagement seem more calculated to avoid accusations of excess than to defeat the enemy.

While the secretary says that the terrorists “have to be defeated,” she specifies that in Iraq “we just have to fight tooth and nail for the victory of the Iraqis who do not want Iranian influence in their daily lives.” This is doubly notable, first because she doesn’t say that our children have to fight for us, but for the Iraqis. And it ought to be worth a big headline or two that she defines the battle (or struggle) in Iraq in terms of Iranian aggression against Iraq. She goes further, expressing real urgency about the Iranian assault: “We’ve got a chance to resist the Iranian push into the region, but we better get about it. I mean, it’s not the sort of thing that you can just let continue in its current form.”

No top official in any Western government has previously suggested that Iran is the driving force behind the terror war in Iraq, so her statement is front-page material. Moreover, it coincided with the declaration by Major General Richard Zahner (Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence with Multinational Force Iraq) that “Iran is definitely a destabilizing force...Iran is responsible for training, funding and equipping some of these Shiia extremist groups...” It’s encouraging to see that the administration now finally recognizes the centrality of the mullahs, and eventually they may even recognize that Iran supports Sunni terrorists as well.

If, as I believe, she is entirely right in her view of the malevolent role of Iran in the region, she should be calling for tough action against the Islamic Republic. But as Stephens sadly notes, she is in the bag for negotiations and the United Nations. “The international system will agree on a level of pressure. I think it will evolve over time.” It’s hard to imagine that a serious person can actually believe that, but she insists that the diplomatic option looks better than ever. She says that the castrated Europeans have been “very strong on this,” and adds that she’s had “very good discussions” with the Chinese and the Russians about sanctions. She hopes sanctions will have an effect on Iranian officials who “do not want to endure the kind of isolation that they’re headed toward.” Stephens, shocked that Rice apparently thinks there are legitimate interlocutors in power in Tehran, presses her, and she responds, “I do not believe we’re going to find Iranian moderates... The question is, are we going to find Iranian reasonables?”

As Stephens dryly remarks, there are lots of Iranian “reasonables.” They comprise upwards of 80 percent of the population. But we are not supporting them; instead we are dithering around in negotiations designed by Europeans whose greatest fear is not Iranian terrorism, but American action in the Middle East. And when Secretary Rice starts talking about diplomacy, there is a change in focus. She’s no longer talking about the war, she’s talking about the nuclear program.

In short, she has no serious intention of challenging the Tehran regime. She did not mention the kind of political action that might yet bring down the mullahs (precisely the sort of strategy contained in Senator Rick Santorum’s Iran Freedom and Support Act that was passed late Friday night, a bill she shamefully fought by going to opposition leaders), and she seems in total denial about the total failure of the “diplomatic option.” She does not seem to have noticed that the Islamic Republic has been waging war against us for 27 years, during which time we have offered them every imaginable deal (she herself trotted out a long list of “incentives” if they agreed to suspend their nuclear enrichment program). They have rejected every one. But she’s still hunting for “reasonables.”

It is impossible not to be struck by the cognitive dissonance between this interview and the many speeches by the president in which he has all but called for regime change in Iran. I can imagine two ways to interpret this conflict. The first is that the administration really does have a plan, but does not believe public opinion is yet ready to support it. Thus, Rice’s description of Iranian action in Iraq and elsewhere in the region. Thus, General Zahner’s categorical fingering of the mullahs. Thus, the president’s many speeches. The other is that the secretary of State somehow believes that time is on our side, that the world is moving toward serious action against Iran, and that if we are only patient enough and play our diplomatic cards well, we will be part of meaningful multinational sanctions against Tehran.

It’s no way to win a war, that’s for sure. It’s not even a good way to win a battle, or, if you will, a struggle.

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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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