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 Nov. 17, 2006 / 26 Mar-Cheshvan, 5767

Unanswered Prayers: Will the Baker/Hamilton Commission get this war right?

By Michael Ledeen

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Baker/Hamilton Commission has a chance to dramatically reshape our thinking about American foreign policy, if only it will ask the right question. They should follow the guidance of one of the last century's most brilliant thinkers, Ludwig Wittgenstein. In the Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein asks an apparently straightforward question: what do all games have in common? He ties himself in mental knots trying to get the answer, but nothing works. Finally he realizes that the question was posed wrongly. It should have been: Is there anything all games have in common? That's the real question (and the real answer is "not much"), but the language of the first question tricked him into searching for an answer that does not exist.

Our strategists are constantly asked, how can we win the war in Iraq? But it is the wrong question, and therefore has no correct answer. Read Reuel Gerecht in Friday's Wall Street Journal: "(The Baker/Hamilton Commission) cannot escape from an unavoidable reality: We either declare defeat and withdraw completely tout de suite, or we surge troops into Baghdad and fight. The ISG will surely try to find some middle ground between these positions, which, of course, doesn't exist."

Instead of trapping themselves in an imaginary quagmire, the commissioners can help us face the real war. What's going on in Iraq is not "the war," which is raging over the entire world. The real question — the life and death question — is: How can we win the war in the Middle East, which now extends from Afghanistan to Lebanon, Iraq, Israel, and Somalia?

That question forces us to devise a strategy to deal with multiple enemies instead of limiting our strategic thinking to the Iraqi insurgency alone. It forces us to confront the terror masters in Tehran and Syria as well as the killers in Iraq. If we ask how to win in Iraq alone, we are led into a fool's errand of trying to convince our sworn enemies-Iran has been at war with us for twenty-seven years —to act like friends. But if we ask how to win the war, we can see that we have many good cards to play, and many real allies, from the Iranian and Syrian people to the millions of Kurds in Iran, Iraq and Syria, to several other oppressed groups throughout the region, and even to leaders who today denounce us.

All the leaders in the Middle East know that the outcome of the war will dramatically shape their future; it may perhaps determine whether they live or die. This applies equally to the tyrants and their opponents. They all know that if we lose, Syria and Iran will have won, and will impose harsh terms on the whole region. Their words and actions are shaped by whether they think we will win or lose, and cannot be understood outside that context.

Take Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, for example. Several commentators flew into a rage when Maliki went to Tehran to kiss the turban of Supreme Leader Khamenei, as if this were an expression of Maliki's deep affection for his neighbors. It isn't, but Maliki knows they can blow him up, kidnap his relatives, and blackmail his friends. He has no reason to believe that we are going to save him from the Iranians, nor indeed that we are going to win this thing at all. From his point of view, we're bugging out of the real war, and all the talk about negotiating with Damascus and Tehran can only reinforce this belief. He undoubtedly believes — don't you? — that we are just marking time until we can dump it all in his lap. Very few Iraqi Shiites dream of living in an Iranian-style Islamic Republic, but they all know that if we lose, they will have to come to terms with Tehran. Maliki is trying to save his neck. Who wouldn't?

The same applies to the fighting on the ground. Just as Iraqi leaders must come to terms with the Iranians and the Syrians if they believe we will lose, so individual Iraqis, Sunni, or Shiite, urban or tribal, have to stay away from American soldiers. Above all, they must not be seen to be helping us. If we are going to lose and leave, anyone who helps us will lose and die.

In like manner, some Middle Eastern anti-Americanism has less to do with religious or cultural convictions — even when it is expressed in religious language — than with the brutal calculus of winning and losing. Thousands of Syrian Sunnis are now converting to Shiism, and I don't think they have had an epiphany. They see Hezbollah winning, which means Iran is expanding its domain. Some of the rage against the United States stems from a mixture of anger and fear at a country that often seems ready to pack up and go home. They must surely see the American election results as confirmation of this trend, and no amount of sweet talk from the diplomats or Karen Hughes can undo those harsh facts. The antiwar Leftists at home are not the only ones looking at Iraq as an Arabic-speaking version of Vietnam.

None of the various schemes put forward in our public debate to "solve" Iraq can work — although much can be done to improve conditions — because they all inevitably assume that Iraq can be "solved" by itself. That includes the call for more troops on the ground. Even if you believe that those troops will dramatically improve security, it still doesn't address the central question: can the people of the region believe we are going to win? They won't believe it until they see us waging war effectively, which means we have to be able to threaten Iran and Syria with defeat.

It requires an Iran/Syria policy. Iran declared war against us 27 years ago and has waged it relentlessly, but we have yet to respond. It is astonishing how many diplomats and spooks actually believe Syria is a friend, when Assad drinks our blood from the same glass as Khamenei. Serious policies must aim at regime change in Tehran and Damascus. This does not require a military invasion of either country, but it does require active support for anti-regime political groups, combined with an explicit declaration that we want an end to the tyrannies. As a starter, it would be nice to have the Justice Department indict the Iranian leaders, following the example of Argentina, which just issued arrest warrants for former president Rafsanjani and his henchmen, who presided over the Hezbollah bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in 1996.

We do not have great intelligence on Iran, but we do know a lot about the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of Iranians, thanks to public-opinion polls conducted by the mullahs themselves. Those polls show upwards of seventy percent of Iranians — that would be 50 million people, mostly younger than 30 — who do not like the regime and want it changed. Those are terrific numbers for us and terrifying numbers for the mullahs, which is why they frantically arrest, torture and kill anyone who openly criticizes them, and why they have destroyed all remnants of free press, and why they are censoring Internet use, satellite-TV access, and cell phones. They, and their Syrian allies, know where their doom lies.

A free Iran would most likely become an instant ally in the war against terror, reversing the balance of power in the Middle East in a single, non-violent stroke. Hezbollah would be deprived of its source of money, materiel and guidance, and would shrivel up, awaiting last rites. Al Qaeda, many of whose leaders moved to Iran from Afghanistan in 2002, would be similarly damaged, as would Islamic Jihad and Hamas, two of Tehran's major clients. And the information from Iranian intelligence files would turn over many rocks in many swamps, all over the world, probably including our shores.

We have many options in the war, so long as we decide we really want to win it. Baker/Hamilton can help us see the real war, and free us from the error of strategic vision that has blinkered our strategic debate ever since 2002. Let's hope.

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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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