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 Dec 31, 2007 22 Teves 5768

The democracy delusion

By Michael Goodwin

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | No sooner was Benazir Bhutto declared dead last week than the echo machine of American politics kicked into high gear. The White House, Congress and virtually everybody on the presidential campaign trail all repeated the same sentiment: Her tragic death must not derail Pakistan's commitment to democracy.

There are two possible explanations for this bipartisan chorus: Either democracy really is the answer to what ails Pakistan, or no leading voice in either party has the courage to utter the politically incorrect truth. Namely, that, for now, a freely elected government in Pakistan may not be in the best interests of the United States.

Consider that a recent poll there found that Osama Bin Laden is more popular than President Pervez Musharraf. That's not exactly fertile ground for the flowering of American idealism that lays behind the reflexive calls for one man, one vote.

Free elections demanded by Washington brought Hamas into the Palestinian government and the notion that democracy is a cure-all is proven wrong every time Lebanese voters go to the polls and award Hezbollah more seats. To judge from Thursday's simplistic reactions, we haven't learned our lesson yet.

We better get it right in Pakistan, whose military might makes the situation infinitely more dangerous. Because of its nuclear weapons and a powerful conventional army, the most important thing for regional and American security is keeping that arsenal out of the wrong hands. Musharraf, for all his failings, has managed to do that so far. We forget that success at our peril.

From the American perspective, the overarching problem is not that Musharraf has ruled with an iron fist. His wrong-headed crackdown on dissent in the last few months notwithstanding, the real problem is that he used the velvet glove in dealing with Bin Laden and Al Qaeda types hiding along the Afghanistan border and with those who have infiltrated the military.

His reasons are telling. Major moves against Islamic extremists are unpopular domestically and he risked widespread unrest merely by talking about them. Musharraf himself has escaped several assassination attempts by terror groups.

Bhutto, too, played a coy game with the worst of the worst during her two stints as prime minister. She claimed, for example, not to know that a top scientist in Pakistan was selling nuclear technology to North Korea and Libya, yet there were accusations she herself took part in some dealings with North Korea. And she was an early and avid supporter of the Taliban, seeing the fundamentalist group as good for Afghanistan. We know from 9/11 how that worked out.

It is understandable that American politicians would ignore that history in the immediate aftermath of Bhutto's death. And there is no doubt that an anti-democratic group, whether Islamist or not, is behind her murder and the chaos knocking on Pakistan's door.

Yet what is surprising is that nearly everyone who wants to succeed President Bush has latched on to his democracy answer as the cure for terrorism. His approach was best summed up by Secretary of State Rice, who, speaking in Egypt in 2005, articulated the ideal. Said she: "For 60 years, my country, the U.S., pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region here in the Middle East and we achieved neither. Now we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspirations of all people."

It's an inspiring idea, but a poor substitute for a precise foreign policy based on facts. Its one-size-fits-all philosophy has always sounded suspiciously like a liberal response to crime: more welfare, fewer cops.

Most important, democracy-as-the answer confuses Islamic terrorists with standard political movements. As these radicals have made bloody clear across the globe, they are not interested in sharing power. They don't want a seat at the table in a pluralistic society. They want the whole table and they want absolute obedience to Islamic law, as they interpret it.

It's bad enough they are creating havoc as insurgent groups in numerous countries. It would be far, far worse if they controlled the one Muslim nation that knows how to make a mushroom cloud.

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

Michael Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.


© 2007 NY Daily News