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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. 26, 2009 / 1 Shevat 5769

Still better off than most, with opportunity at hand

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Much has been made of the challenges facing President Barack Obama, who assumes office in what appear to be the early stages of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. More should be made of the great opportunities he possesses.


We Americans are more than two trillion dollars poorer, and counting, as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis, and our confidence has been badly shaken. But power is relative. The United States is more powerful today relative to our adversaries than at any time since Aug. 29, 1949, when the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb. Mitigating the damage done by greed, corruption and stupidity on Wall Street and in Washington has been the collapse of the price of oil. A gallon of gasoline sells for about half what it did last summer.


More beneficial than the relief the oil price collapse provides to our pocketbooks is the harm it does to our enemies. Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, who kicked out foreign oil companies in 2007, is now begging them to return. The International Monetary Fund estimated last fall that Iran needs an oil price of about $90 a barrel to meet its budgetary obligations. The collapse in oil prices is stirring unrest at home, and forcing Iran to reduce support for the terror groups Hezbollah and Hamas.


Last summer Russia, with petrodollars pouring into its coffers, was as big a bully as the old Soviet Union. When Russia invaded its tiny neighbor, Georgia, in August, there were fears of a new cold war.


But that action, coupled with the collapse of energy prices, has doomed the Russian economy. Russia backed off Tuesday from an attempt to bully another neighbor, Ukraine, by cutting off supplies of natural gas, because Russia needed the money from the sale of the gas more than the Ukrainians needed the gas. Foreign investment fled from Russia with the invasion of Georgia. This didn't matter so much when the price of oil and natural gas was high. But it's critical now that that price has collapsed. Alex Alexiev, a Russian expert with the Hudson Institute, estimates Gazprom needs a minimum of $20 billion a year for for ten years of foreign investment to stave off a production collapse. It won't get that money unless Russia's international behavior improves.


The Chinese are understandably upset with us for our mismanagement of their investments. But the worldwide recession brought on by the subprime mortgage crisis demonstrates that we still need to borrow their money, and they still need our markets. China can disrupt our economy by withholding investment, but only at the price of sabotaging their own. If we fail to cooperate, it'll be bad for us both. We may be reluctant partners, but partners we must be.


Most European economies are in worse shape than ours, so there is little likelihood the euro will replace the dollar as the principal currency for international transactions. The crisis has demonstrated that however bad America may be as a place to invest your money, it is still not as bad most other places.


Our economy will recover — if the president and Congress don't load it with debt for pork barrel projects of dubious merit — and likely will recover faster than economies elsewhere.


Victory in Iraq, coupled with the harm done to Iran by the oil price collapse and rising Sunni Muslim fear of Iran and her proxies gives President Obama a more tractable situation in the Middle East than President Bush faced when he assumed office. The critical mistake he must avoid is permitting Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. That would alter the world situation as swiftly and dramatically for the worse as the explosion of the Soviet bomb did in 1949.


President Obama begins his term of office with more than national and international goodwill. He inherits a strategic situation more beneficial to the U.S. than any since the collapse of the Soviet Union. If President Obama fails, it won't be because the challenges he faced were too great. It'll be because he failed to seize the opportunities he was offered.

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.

JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2008, Jack Kelly

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