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 Feb. 3, 2014/ 3 Adar I, 5774

'Leading from behind' to a new world disorder

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "I must say I am perplexed," John Kerry told grandees at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, "by claims that somehow America is disengaging from the world this myth that we are pulling back or giving up or standing down." The secretary of state, whose website keeps a running tally of the miles he has flown since taking the job (320,961 as of Friday), insisted that nothing could be further from the truth.

John Kerry gazes at the Swiss Alps during a helicopter ride from Davos to Zurich on Jan. 25. According to the running tally on the State Department website, Kerry has flown 320,961 miles since becoming secretary of state a year ago.

"The only person more surprised than I am by the myth of this disengagement," he said, "is the Air Force pilot who flies the secretary of state's plane."

I must say I would be perplexed if I thought Kerry were truly perplexed. For at the start of the sixth year of Barack Obama's presidency, the United States is indisputably less influential, less esteemed, and less assertive than it was on Jan. 20, 2009. America remains the world's great military and cultural superpower, but anyone can see that its profile on the international stage has been deliberately reduced.

Kerry is certainly a hard worker. He keeps busy; he racks up the miles. But busyness is not effectiveness. It is no myth that US foreign policy in recent years has been premised on the conviction that Washington must intervene less and be constrained more. The Obama administration may call this "leading from behind" or "pressing the reset button" or having "more flexibility." It may praise itself for recognizing that there are "Good Reasons to be Humble," as Princeton's Anne-Marie Slaughter who would later be tapped by Obama as the State Department's director of policy planning argued in a 2008 essay. The world sees it as retreat, and reacts accordingly.

To be fair, this is what many Americans say they want. In a Pew opinion survey released in December, 52 percent of respondents endorsed the view that "the US should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own." Pew has been measuring public backing for that view since 1964. Never before has it commanded majority support.

But a more modest and deferential America has become a less respected America. Power, too, abhors a vacuum. As the United States has backed away from the world's danger zones, its enemies have grown more brazen and aggressive. When Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad crossed Obama's explicit "red line" on chemical weapons last year, the president and his secretary of state issued fierce threats and then didn't carry them out. Damascus gloated at the time over a "historic American retreat." Five months later, the Assad regime is more entrenched than it was, and has found fresh ways to slaughter and terrorize its victims.


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

Obama came to office promising to pull all US forces from Iraq a promise he fulfilled with the assurance that it would "strengthen American leadership around the world." But having failed to renegotiate a status-of-forces agreement that would allow at least some US troops to remain, Washington's leverage in Iraq evaporated. Result? With America's pacifying influence gone, al-Qaeda and its allies are on the march, not only detonating car bombs and recapturing cities like Fallujah that the US "surge" helped liberate, but expanding their mayhem over Iraq's borders into Syria and Lebanon as well.

What government worries more today about crossing the United States than it did in 2008? Russia under Vladimir Putin doesn't, as it has demonstrated in numerous ways, from granting asylum to Edward Snowden to intimidating Ukraine to harassing US Ambassador Michael McFaul. China doesn't, to judge from its belligerent declaration of an air-defense identification zone over the East China Sea, or its crackdown on American journalists.

Al-Qaeda and its allies, no longer restrained by a pacifying US presence in Iraq, are again on the march, detonating car bombs and taking control of key cities in Anbar Province, including Fallujah.

Iran certainly doesn't: In the wake of the interim nuclear deal that Obama and Kerry hail as such a breakthrough, Iran's president cranked up anti-American demonstrations to their shrillest level in years, and calmly boasted on CNN that "not under any circumstances" will a single Iranian centrifuge be dismantled.

Friends and foes alike look at the United States today and see a powerful nation comfortable with its impotence and so far, at least willing to accept the new world disorder that such impotence leads to. We have been here before, and we have always had to learn the hard way that American retreat is not cost-free. Letting other countries "get along the best they can" may sound appealing in the abstract. In the real world, we invariably regret it.

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.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

Jeff Jacoby Archives

© 2010, Boston Globe