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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Jan. 27, 2005 / 17 Shevat, 5765

The hard road to democracy

By Victor Davis Hanson


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Fostering elections in Iraq is a hard road, well apart from the daily violence of the Sunni Triangle. The autocratic Sunni elite of surrounding countries prefers democracy to fail, warning us that an Iranian-sponsored theocracy will surely follow in Iraq, legitimizing a new Arab Khomeinism.



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Sunni Iraqis want exemption from, or a delay of, the election   —   even though they cannot or will not stop their own violence that imperils it. The United States earns very little credit abroad for its newfound dedication to democratic reform   —   even as realists at home warn that we should instead back the status-quo who better guarantee order that purportedly favors our own national security.


There are rarely supporters of the hard road of promoting democracies abroad until they are well established. We learned that well enough both before and after the Afghanistan war. Many swore that the Taliban could not be removed. After their demise, new critics warned that the fascists could not be replaced with democrats   —   and now suddenly they are mostly silent or indeed supportive of the new Afghanistan.


In the face of censure, the United States once bombed Christian Europeans in the Balkans to arrest an Islamic genocide, in hopes of stopping Milosevic and ushering in a democracy. Greeks and Russians were furious. The Arab world offered little thanks that we saved their fellow Muslims. Europeans who had watched the carnage on their doorstep for a near decade whined about our heavy-handed bombing. But perseverance in pursuit of principle   —   perhaps the Clinton administration's most controversial hour   —   saved thousands of lives and gave the Balkans a chance at consensual government.


America's calls for fair elections in the Ukraine only alienated a far more powerful Russia. The Putin administration remonstrated that Russia is the world's largest oil producer and a similar victim of mass terrorism and thus an ally in our war. Yet the Ukraine now has a fairly elected leader and we proved that America is not anti- Russian, but rather pro-democratic.


We are at last pressing Saudi Arabia for internal reform in the knowledge that their monarchy is a fertile ground for religious fascists who manipulate understandable popular discontent against the monarchy for their own Islamic agendas. These efforts at promoting Western-style democracy are either slurred as cultural chauvinism against Arabs or dismissed as criminally naive idealism that will ensure a far worse anti-American theocracy   —   supposedly a lose/lose proposition.


Yet a day will come when it is recognized that the American withdrawal of 10,000 troops from the Wahhabi state was a wise move   —   and should be followed by sober reassessment of American subsidies to the Mubarak dynasty in Egypt that is heading toward to a crisis of succession.


America was castigated for isolating Yasser Arafat. However, this ostracism ensured at Arafat's passing that he was not a messianic figure, but generally felt to have been an obstacle to open elections that are moving ahead. So the United States was attacked for shunning a dictatorial nationalist, but never thanked for opposing the corruption and authoritarianism that had ruined the Palestinian state.


In all these cases, the preference for the status quo offers short-term stability, while the principled insistence on consensual government proves risky and hinges on unproven reformers. Yet in the long-term, America has rarely gone wrong for being on the democratic side of history. Japanese today are not angry with us because decades ago we insisted that women vote there. Nor are Germans furious that we opposed Soviet expansion through an elected rather than a puppet Bonn government.


The war-torn Europeans understandably bristle at the option of using force for democratic change, but if Nicaraguans, Panamanians, Bosnians, Kosovars, Afghans and Iraqis had counted only on the EU's much vaunted utopian soft power, then they would be still under dictators. If in World War II Americans had acted as the present-day European Union does now, there would probably be no European Union today.


Most Americans rightly lament past Cold War support for strongmen   —   with little acknowledgement that thousands of Soviet missiles pointing at the United States once narrowed the parameters of principled action. Moreover, if it was mistaken once to support autocrats, then it is surely right now to rectify, rather than abdicate from, that wrong.


The world after September 11 has reminded us of three other lessons as well. Democracies rarely attack each other and thus the greater the number of them, the less likely is war itself. Citizens vent better through ballots than bullets. And freedom is innate to all born into this world rather than the sole domain of the West.


If the past is any guide to the future, that hard road to democracy in the Middle East will create as much immediate chaos and caricature of President Bush's new idealism as it does enduring stability and eventual praise   —   but only long after he is gone.

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.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


01/20/05: Illegal immigration is a moral issue
01/13/05: Islamicists hate us for who we are, not what we do
01/06/05: Pledging blood and treasure for popular reform in a death struggle with Islamic fascism






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