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 June 8, 2006 / 12 Sivan, 5766

Iran's nuclear scorpion

By Victor Davis Hanson

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Why did the United States suddenly reverse course and agree to negotiate directly with the Iranians over their development of a nuclear arsenal?

There are a few reasons. It's an election year, and the Bush administration knows the American public is in no mood for even a hint of more hostilities in the Middle East. After failing to talk sense to the Iranians, the embarrassed multilateral Europeans want us to buck up their dialogue. The Russians and Chinese — for both commercial and mischievous reasons — have warned America they'll stonewall at the United Nations unless we begin horse-trading with Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And, finally, it's always smart to allow a loudmouth like Ahmadinejad enough public rope to hang himself.

So, if negotiations occur — a big if — what can we expect?

For that answer, it's worth remembering the scorpion scene in "The Appaloosa," an otherwise forgettable Western from 1966. For excruciating minutes, the hero, played by Marlon Brando, arm-wrestled the talkative, confident villain who had tied a scorpion to the top of the table. In the same manner, we will go back and forth with the Iranians, each sounding off until one side's arm weakens, hits the table and gets stung.

The Iranians know from recent history that their acquisition of a bomb would have little downside. They figure that had the Israelis not destroyed Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981, Kuwait would still be the 19th province of Saddam's untouchable Iraq.

North Korea is the model of a rogue nuclear state. It thumbs its nose at the international community, but over the years has still earned billions in aid money (essentially bribes) from the U.S., South Korea and China. Only the bomb allows an otherwise failed, murderous regime in Pyongyang to achieve status with nearby democracies in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

Then there's Pakistan, a so-called American ally that, thanks in large part to its nuclear-weapon capability, can shrug off our pleas to ferret out Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

With a few nuclear missiles, Iran knows it could dictate the strategic landscape of the Persian Gulf — bullying Gulf sheikdoms over border disputes and petroleum output and claiming the forefront in the Islamist struggle against Israel. A "Persian bomb" wins national prestige and quells dissidents at home, while ensuring enough unpredictability to keep oil prices sky-high.

For those reasons, a nuclear Iran would be a Western nightmare. Periodically, we would have to reassure states within missile range of Tehran, from Germany to Saudi Arabia, that the United States is willing to go to war to keep them safe — and thus they need not go nuclear themselves.

Given these circumstances, why would the U.S. and Iran ever face off at the negotiating table?

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Because each thinks the breathing space works in its own favor. Iran views talking with the U.S. as a reprieve from the threat of a military strike — or at least American-inspired embargoes and sanctions at the U.N. If the mullahs can sweet-talk the Americans while secretly pressing ahead to get the bomb, they might get home free yet. Indeed, in 2008, with the "cowboy" George Bush out of office, the next U.S. president might deal with Iran's nuclear aspirations as America did with Pakistan's in the 1990s — stern lectures but little action.

The U.S. wants more time before a showdown as well so that we can make a better case to the international community that the oil-exporting theocracy really wants more than peaceful nuclear power.

Time also provides a window to learn exactly where Iran is on the road to full uranium enrichment, and perhaps even to allow Iranian dissidents to strengthen, or nearby democratic Iraq to stabilize, or our own military to refine its 11th-hour plans.

Such a breather would be reminiscent of the Paris Peace Talks with the North Vietnamese, from 1968 to 1973, in which each side thought protracted negotiations would favor its cause. The U.S. always insisted on a free autonomous South; the North never gave up its dream of a unified communist Vietnam.

In that impasse, we thought talking and periodic ceasefires would buy time for the South Vietnamese to strengthen enough to resist the inevitable aggression to come. The North Vietnamese were equally convinced the American public in the interval would grow ever more tired of the Vietnam "quagmire" — and then they could pounce.

After endless negotiations, the Watergate scandal and the Senate's curtailment of aid to the South, North Vietnam patiently waited for its moment and then renewed the war. By 1975, the communists had won what they could not in 1968.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad surely remembers that precedent. No wonder he wants us to arm-wrestle over his nuclear scorpion.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


© 2006, TMS