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 May 16, 2011 / 12 Iyar, 5771

Obama's inexcusable indecision on Syria

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | John Kerry finally got a clue on Syria last week. Is it too much to hope that the Obama administration might follow suit?

For years, the senior senator from Massachusetts has been an advocate of appeasement with Syria. He has insisted that Washington and Damascus have "shared interests" that justify warmer ties, and has championed diplomatic and financial incentives to coax the regime of Bashar al-Assad away from its partnership with Iran and its support for terrorism. Kerry has repeatedly traveled to Damascus to woo Assad, and was confidently predicting not long ago that "Syria will move, Syria will change, as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States and the West."

But last week, with Syrian tanks shelling residential neighborhoods and the death toll in the government's savage crackdown on popular protests nearing a thousand, Kerry woke up to reality at last. He conceded that the Syrian dictator "is obviously not a reformer now" and that continued engagement with the bloody regime in Damascus is pointless. Given the carnage in Syria, it should never have taken Kerry so long to abandon his delusional belief that the House of Assad is anything but a tyrannical gang of thugs. But at least he abandoned it. That's more progress than the White House has made.

"The defining characteristic of the Obama administration's response to revolution in the Arab world has been its slowness," the Washington Post editorialized last month. Nowhere has this diffidence been more pronounced -- or less defensible -- than in connection with Syria.

Under the 40-year rule of the Assads, Syria has been distinguished only for its sociopathic foreign policy and its unremitting hostility to the United States. During the Cold War, it was a reliable supporter of the Soviet Union; today it is a close ally of the brutal theocracy in Iran. It undermines and destabilizes Lebanon, which it regards as a part of "Greater Syria." It is an implacable enemy of Israel. It actively supports Hamas and Hezbollah, the Middle East's deadliest terror organizations. It violates nuclear non-proliferation agreements, and with North Korea's help constructed a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor. And during the US war in Iraq, it dispatched thousands of jihadists to kill American troops.

If ever a government deserved America's contempt and condemnation, the Syrian government does. If ever a popular uprising deserved American encouragement, the Syrian uprising does. Yet the Obama administration, which (eventually) pressed Egypt's Hosni Mubarak to resign and (belatedly) condemned Moammar Qaddafi's onslaught against protesters in Libya, remains indecisive and incoherent on the ferocious Assad crackdown in Syria.

Instead of seizing a historic opportunity to stand with Syria's people, the White House makes excuses for Syria's rulers. Assad and his clique "have an opportunity still to bring about a reform agenda," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an Italian interviewer on May 6. "People do believe there is a possible path forward with Syria." Does Clinton expect anyone to believe that? Can she possibly believe it herself?

So far the United States has responded to the killings and mass arrests by freezing the assets of a few Syrian officials -- not including Bashar al-Assad. "This sharpens the choice for Syrian leaders who are involved in the decisions," an administration official told reporters. "Assad could be next."

But Assad knows he has little reason to worry. The Obama administration has not recalled its ambassador from Damascus, or expelled the Syrian ambassador from Washington. The president has yet to denounce the atrocities in Syria with anything like the forceful outrage of his statements on Libya. No wonder Assad's spokeswoman brushes aside the administration's views on Syria as "not too bad," and shrugs off the milquetoast sanctions as nothing to worry about.

For week, throngs of Syrian protesters have been chanting, "Al-sha'ab yoreed isqat al nizam" -- "The people want to overthrow the regime." They are publicly proclaiming the illegitimacy of their cruel government, and risking their lives each time they do so. They are not asking for outside military intervention. But surely they are entitled to the vigorous, vocal support of the president of the United States. He is called the leader of the free world for a reason. Does he understand what that that reason is? If so, this is the hour to show 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