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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 Sept. 16, 2005 / 12 Elul, 5765

The Bush Doctrine, unpacked

By David Gelernter


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Bush Doctrine is an unfinished song that breaks off suddenly in the middle. I like the direction it's headed, but it needs finishing — right now. The American public needs to hear and understand the whole thing.

The U.S. will not win in Iraq, the Bush presidency will not succeed, the Republicans will not hold the White House in 2008 unless softening public support for the Iraq war firms up. And that won't happen unless the Bush Doctrine is made absolutely clear. The doctrine keeps the war effort alive.

Bush put it this way in his second Inaugural Address: The U.S. must "support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in the world." But hasn't the U.S. always been anti-tyranny and pro-democracy? The president hasn't explained why now is the necessary moment to act on these long-standing beliefs.

Sometimes Bush suggests that his doctrine responds to the mass murders of 9/11. But Saddam Hussein was America's enemy long before 9/11. Many tyrannies have been our enemies, including the Soviets in the Cold War, Germans and Japanese in World War II, the German and Austrian empires in World War I. And tyrants have been terrorizing their own peoples since long before 9/11. Once again, why launch this campaign at this historical point?

And why target tyranny in Afghanistan and Iraq but not in China, Vietnam or Saudi Arabia? Can a moral doctrine apply to some evil-doers and not others?

All these questions have good answers.

Consider the first: why now? There's a clue in that same second Inaugural address: "After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose." The Bush Doctrine responds to the end of the Cold War, not to 9/11. The Soviet collapse marked the start of a unique period in world history. Suddenly the climate was right for a rare plant like the Bush Doctrine — tough but idealistic — to germinate and even flourish.

Suddenly the U.S. was the world's only superpower. Balanced at the summit of history, right at the giddy top, we were freer than ever before to defend our interests and promote our ideals all over the world. But this state of things is delicate and transitory. I hope it lasts for centuries, but I wouldn't bet on it. We can't ignore America's unique position; we can't assume it will last. This is our moment. If we fail to make the most of it, we will never be forgiven or be able to forgive ourselves.

And it's not only that the U.S. wields more power than any nation ever has before. The Cold War's end was also a grim moment for tyrants everywhere. The Soviets could no longer prop them up and, with the threat of the Soviet Union neutralized, the U.S. no longer needed to. Tyrants lost their anti-Soviet value.

Ponder our attack on Hussein and you'll see that 9/11 was a trigger, but our real motivation was the end of the Cold War. True, the Iraqi tyrant was a logical target post-9/11. He was a cheerleader for international terrorism and its billionaire bankroller, a famed preacher of anti-American hatred, a confirmed warmonger and mass murderer. But if the Sept. 11 attacks had happened before the Soviet collapse, we wouldn't have touched him. At least not directly. He was a favorite Soviet client. An attack would have risked world war. Once the Cold War was over, we were free to respond to 9/11 by ridding the world of Hussein.

But what about the doctrine's moral coherence? Why are we targeting some evil regimes and ignoring others?

Because our strength is great but not unlimited. The Bush Doctrine doesn't excuse the president from protecting U.S. security and interests first and foremost. So we can't do all the good we would like to, which doesn't absolve us from doing as much as we can. Overthrowing tyrants, in this sense, is like showing charity. We have no power to give to everyone, no right to give to no one. The United States cannot sweep away every tyrant. But if we don't sweep away some, don't do what we can for the tortured peoples of this Earth, what are we doing at the top?

I'd rather have a superb doer than talker in the White House. Bush is a superb doer. Clinton was a superb talker. But right now it is essential that the Bush Doctrine is clear. It is time to talk — plainly and fully, before it's too late.

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.



Yale professor David Gelernter is a senior fellow at the Shalem Center, Jerusalem. To comment, please click here.


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© 2005, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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