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 April 24, 2009 30 Nisan 5769

Honor Thy Veterans

By Suzanne Fields

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A guest at a cocktail party in Cleveland Park, the fashionable Washington neighborhood of middle-class liberals ("progressives," they want to be called this year), tells about two young men of her acquaintance who happily traded military service for a college education.

One young friend is a new graduate of Duke (more than $30,000 annual tuition) and is about to depart for Afghanistan; the other has just returned from his tour of duty in Iraq. Both owe their education to the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, the once reviled "ROTC."

The guest's story sparks a lively conversation. "They didn't do it for the perks," the first guest says. "They just wanted to serve their country." A second guest nods in agreement. "People like us depend on young men like that," she says.

"Yes," says a skeptical third guest, "but I'd rather find the money to send my son to college, as expensive as that is. The Army is not for him."

Attitudes, once frozen in concrete, do change. But only in degree. These are not the bitter years of the 1970s, when hostility to the Vietnam War fueled hostility to ROTC and everything military. Such attitudes were the price of admission to Cleveland Park cocktail parties. Now, even "progressives" understand that Afghanistan may be a rotten place for a war, but that's where the war on terror is, even if President Obama, with his celebrated gift of language, insists that we call it an "overseas contingency operation."

But despite lip service appreciation for the military, many Americans show little deeply felt respect for the men and women who volunteer to put themselves in harm's way to defend the rest of us. We applaud the three Navy SEALs who took out the pirates holding an American hostage, but who can name a hero or a heroic battle in the godforsaken mountains of Afghanistan? When they come home and wear their uniform on the streets, they're pretty much ignored.

During World War II, soldiers were invited into the homes of strangers for Sunday dinner; the choicest cuts of chicken and roast beef were put on the plates of the men in uniform. Civilians picked up the checks of soldiers and sailors on their way out of a restaurant. Hollywood went enthusiastically to war, with dozens of volunteer stars dispatched to remote battlefields.

Much of that is gone from here to eternity, in the memorable phrase of James Jones' famous novel. We're much too sophisticated and hip to indulge heartfelt sentiment. More common is the casual contempt for veterans expressed by Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, in singling out returning soldiers as a threat to the peace and good order of the country. "Returning veterans," her department said in that infamous report issued in her name, "possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to right-wing extremists."

This sounded menacing until the fine print revealed no facts, no data, no research to back up the claim that unnamed "extremists" were out to enlist such veterans. The report emerged almost a year after, and FBI investigation found that only 19 veterans from the war on terrorism between 2001 and 2008 actually joined extremist movements. The police might find that many "vegans" and radical environmentalists are out to disturb the peace — and in fact an animal rights activist has just made the FBI's "Most Wanted" terrorist list.

Unfortunately, the Homeland Security report reflects a pervasive mindset in the Obama administration, which imagines the suspicious nighttime creaks and noises in the wee hours are the sounds of right-wing extremists plotting mayhem. Napolitano's apology, so called, blames the veterans for "misunderstanding" her meaning, which seems clear enough to the rest of us. Seven U.S. senators wrote to her, asking for her evidence of a coup brewing in the barracks, so maybe she will clear up her meaning. I'm not betting on it.

The public was rightly outraged by the exposure of poor medical treatment for the broken and wounded veterans returning to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from what sure seems like war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The outrage should be extended to the remaining covens of disrespect of military service. The ban on ROTC on the elite campuses such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Brown and Stanford remains a shame of academe that some are attempting, however belatedly, to redress.

Representatives of both the military and the Ivy League schools meet occasionally to arrive at some kind of reconciliation. Diane Moore, a liberal, pacifist-leaning professor at Harvard, concedes that she misread the military when she was younger and clashed with her father, a World War II veteran. In her maturity, she realizes that her "privileges" were paid for by his "sacrifices."

Larry Summers, a prominent member of the Obama administration, recalled when he was briefly president of Harvard the burst of patriotism that followed 9-11, and hoped it would "reignite our respect for those who wear uniforms." Alas, we're still hoping.

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

Comment on JWR contributor Suzanne Fields' column by clicking here.


Suzanne Fields Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields