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 2, 2007 / 14 Nissan 5767

The smell of irresolution

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Here's a puzzle: Why would Al Qaeda choose the past several days, just as Democrats in Congress were voting to run up a white flag and commit the United States to defeat in Iraq, to launch a bloody wave of terrorist atrocities?

For weeks, there had been noticeably less bloodshed and chaos in Iraq's most dangerous areas. The number of civilians murdered in Baghdad, for example, had dropped from 1,222 in December to 954 in January to 494 in February. US military deaths had dropped 20 percent during the first month of General David Petraeus's new counterinsurgency strategy , while the number of suspected terrorists captured had soared tenfold.

Nevertheless, the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate chose to move ahead with legislation requiring the United States to withdraw its troops from Iraq. Of course a US withdrawal is precisely what Al Qaeda wants — Osama bin Laden has crowed that "the failure of the United States . . . in Iraq will mean defeat in all their wars." Wouldn't it have made more sense, then, for the terrorists to continue lying low, doing nothing that might queer the American retreat?

What could Al Qaeda have hoped to gain by shattering this relative lull with last week's horrific attacks? The carnage included a suicide bombing in a Baghdad market that killed at least 60 people, mostly women and children, and a triple car-bomb massacre in Diyala province that left 28 civilians dead. But why now? With Washington's top Democrats embracing the surrender agenda — Senate majority leader Harry Reid declared on Tuesday that "this war is not worth the spilling of another drop of American blood" — why would the terrorists unleash a renewed wave of slaughter and mayhem?

For that matter, why would Iran have chosen this moment to seize 15 British sailors and marines? One of the hostages was forced to write a letter urging the British government "to start withdrawing our forces from Iraq and let them determine their own future." But Britain has been withdrawing its forces from Iraq, reducing troop levels from 40,000 in 2003 to just 7,100 as of February. Prime Minister Tony Blair recently announced that 1,600 more troops will be pulled out this spring. So what was the point of Iran's unprovoked ambush?

The answer in both cases is that this is how totalitarian aggressors react to faintheartedness.

"In Middle Eastern warfare," writes retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters in the New York Post, "a classic tactic has been to retreat in the face of strength, but to attack when your enemy withdraws or shows signs of weakness." British troop pullouts and congressional cut-and-run votes prompt not fewer outrages and less mayhem, but more. The smell of irresolution doesn't satiate the totalitarians' appetite; it makes it keener.

Six years after Sept. 11, and so many people still refuse to absorb this fundamental fact of life. The United States reacted with diffidence to the kidnapping of its citizens and the bombing of its embassies, so the jihadists attacked the Pentagon and destroyed the Twin Towers. Israel abandoned Gaza to the Palestinians, and the Palestinians turned turned Gaza into a launching pad for increased terror. The new Democratic leadership trumpets its eagerness to leave the Iraqi people to the mercy of barbarians? The barbarians pocket their gains and go on killing.

Bernard Lewis, the renowned scholar of Islam and the Middle East, was recently quoted as saying that too many political leaders today exemplify "the spirit of Munich — a refusal to acknowledge the danger we face and a belief that through accommodation we can avoid conflict." He added, sadly: "I look around and I see more Chamberlains than Churchills."

But that may be unfair to the British prime minister whose name is a synonym for 1930s-era appeasement. Once Neville Chamberlain realized that Adolf Hitler was unappeasable, he declared war on Nazi Germany. Today every member of Congress knows exactly what radical Islamists are capable of. Some who voted last week for a fixed deadline to withdraw US troops from Iraq had previously warned that any such deadline would be disastrous. Senator Hillary Clinton, for example, said in 2005: "I don't believe it's smart to set a date for withdrawal. I don't think you should ever telegraph your intentions to the enemy so they can await you."

The enemy hasn't changed since 2005. Nor have the stakes in this war, nor the courage and commitment of the American troops fighting it. What has changed is control of Congress, and the air is heavy with the smell of irresolution.

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.

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

Jeff Jacoby Archives

© 2006, Boston Globe