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 Oct. 27, 2004 / 12 Mar-Cheshvan 5765

In praise of the President's faith

By Jonathan Rosenblum

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

https://www.jewishworldreview.com | Religion looms larger over the upcoming American presidential election than at any time since 1960. George W. Bush's born-again Christianity, critics charge, renders him oblivious and uninterested in empirical reality. Worse, that faith leads the President to view himself as G-d's anointed whose judgment cannot be questioned and needs never change in light of shifting circumstances. (A recent New York Times Magazine devotes nearly a dozen pages to these claims, which, incidentally contradict other familiar liberal tropes, such as Bush the helpless captive of Zionists in the Defense Department.)

Yet it was the allegedly rigid Bush who quickly grasped the new world revealed by 9/11. Old strategies of deterrence, he noted, are irrelevant against shadowy terrorist networks with neither territory nor citizens to protect. He understood the relationship between rogue states and terrorist networks: the former offer terrorists the sanctuary, training and technology they need. Finally, Bush realized that the "realist" fetish with stability in the Middle East had only turned the region into a swamp breeding men bent on death and destruction.

Most important, Bush apprehended the theological basis of the battle with radical Islam. His own faith gave him insight into the diabolical power of a deformed Islam.

He understood that there can be no compromise between the lovers of life and the lovers of death (in the mullah's terms), and that the battle between Islamism and the West will be determined as much by will as firepower. Islamists lay claim to every inch of land ever under Moslem control, and seek the imposition of sharia over the entire globe. Those goals are non-negotiable.

Bush, like Ronald Reagan, has been ridiculed for describing enemies as "evil." But how else describe those who behead and gleefully hold aloft the severed heads of "infidels" as a recruiting tool to attract others with the same savage propensities, or regimes that starve millions of their own citizens while developing and transferring nuclear weapons and missiles, or those who gas hundreds of thousands and bury the victims in mass graves.

Donate to JWR

The terminology of good and evil helps clarify the nature of the struggle. Yet the premises of Bush's foreign policy depend on no article of religious faith. Those premises have been articulated in a series of foreign policy addresses almost Churchillian in their power. (Norman Podhoretz, not usually identified as a Christian fundamentalist, applauds Bush's world view at great length in the September Commentary.)

Meanwhile the President's critics remain trapped by their own religion - what might be called the rationalist folly. "Rationalists" view all people as basically alike - each seeking to maximize his share of the desired goods. That model, however, cannot account for the power of religious belief, positive or negative. It must continue searching for the "real causes" of religious fanaticism - e.g., poverty, Israeli settlements. Since no rational human being seeks death, rationalists cannot comprehend societies that have elevated martyrdom to their highest value.

Teresa Heinz Kerry's sunny prescription for dealing with terrorists expresses the na´ve optimism of rationalism: "The way we live in peace . . . is not by threatening people, is not by showing off your muscles. It's by listening, giving a hand, by being intelligent. . . " Yet expressions of understanding for Islamist terrorists and sympathy for the backwardness of Moslem societies only inspire the Islamists' contempt and further fuel their rage.

Attachment to old paradigms prevented John Kerry from comprehending the meaning of 9/11. "[It] didn't change me much at all," Kerry admits in a October 10 New York Times interview. " He simply placed Al Qaeda into the framework of international crime cartels, with which he was familiar as "a former law enforcement official." His goal, says Kerry, is a return to a pre-9/11 world in which terrorism was no more than a nuisance, like prostitution or illegal gambling.

Kerry's words fully capture the limits of the liberal imagination in the face of faith-driven terrorism. The analogy to crime syndicates is ludicrous. Drug lords may be bad guys, but they are also profit-seekers. Make their business unprofitable and you have defeated them. Not so, theologically-driven terrorists whose goals are unlimited and who do not mind dying to achieve them.

There can be no return to the illusions with which we lived prior to 9/11. Tens of thousands of potential Islamic terrorists, many already living in the West, have access to weapons capable of killing thousands. One or two successful terrorist attacks could plunge the world into depression and turn Western countries into security states.

Defensive measures and a law enforcement approach of rounding up the bad guys will not suffice. The United States has had no success stopping the flow across border of illegal drugs or immigrants, and will be no more able to interdict every terrorist or WMD. Only by taking the war to the terrorists and, in the long run, transforming the societies in which they breed can the West ultimately prevail.

President Bush's religious faith cannot dictate strategy or tactics in the struggle ahead, but, at least, it has helped him recognize the life and death nature of that struggle. Without that recognition no viable strategy can emerge.

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

JWR contributor Jonathan Rosenblum is a columnist for the Jerusalem Post and Israeli director of Am Echad. He can be reached by clicking here.


© 2004, Jonathan Rosenblum