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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. 21, 2014/ 20 Shevat, 5774

'Lone Survivor': How to make a politically incorrect movie without trying

By Rich Lowry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The movie "Lone Survivor" didn't get any Oscar nominations. If it had, perhaps it should have been nominated for Most Unlikely Politically Incorrect Picture of the Year.

It's based on the true story of a mission in Afghanistan that goes disastrously wrong. A four-man team of Navy SEALs hunting down a Taliban commander is stumbled upon by a couple of goatherds in the mountains of Kunar province. Deciding to let them go, even though it will compromise them, the SEALs are subsequently outnumbered in a fierce firefight. Three of them are killed, and a Chinook helicopter attempting to relieve them is downed, killing another 16 Americans. The only survivor is a SEAL named Marcus Luttrell, who is played by Mark Wahlberg and wrote a book about the mission.

None of this is remotely controversial material. How could anyone be offended by a movie about a Navy SEAL fighting with everything he has to save himself and his buddies and improbably surviving an epic ordeal? Yet the brickbats have been flying from the snotty left: Propaganda. Simplistic. Racist. "Lone Survivor" has run up against part of the culture that can't stand the most straightforward depictions of American heroism and the warrior ethic.

A reviewer in The Atlantic worries that movies like "Lone Survivor" "resemble multi-million dollar recruitment videos -- tools of military indoctrination geared toward the young and the impressionable." There is no doubt that the SEALs are portrayed as noble and heroic, for good reason: They were. But if this is a recruitment film, it isn't of the "sign up and see the world" variety. The implicit message is that if you become a SEAL, you, too, can be faced with excruciating life-and-death decisions in hostile territory. You, too, can fight a battle while falling down a mountain. You, too, can get shot up and killed.

A writer in Salon complains that the targeted Taliban commander "is presented as a terrible guy," and we don't learn enough about the Taliban fighters attacking the SEALs, or as he calls them, "some dudes from an Afghan village about whom we know nothing." Yes, if only we knew whether or not the Taliban commander, Ahmad Shah, had a troubled upbringing, that would change everything. Perhaps the Taliban version of the movie could present fuller, more sympathetic portraits of its fighters seeking to plunge their country into renewed medieval darkness -- if, that is, the Taliban believed in movies.



In perhaps the most preposterous critique, a critic in LA Weekly says the attitude of the SEALs in the movie is "Brown people bad, American people good." What a stupid smear. The proximate cause of the impossible situation of the SEALs is precisely their decision to let a few unarmed "brown people" go. Besides, not all "brown people" in the film are bad. Some of them are awe-inspiringly merciful and brave. Of course, the main thrust of the Taliban's war is against other "brown people," whom they intimidate and kill in their quest to dominate.

It is certainly true that "Lone Survivor" is not Fellini. What it lacks in dialogue, it makes up for in explosions and gunfire. It is about as subtle as an RPG round. But it captures something important: the otherworldly fearlessness and grit of our best fighters. If this story -- the inevitable cinematic embellishments, aside -- weren't true, you would be hard-pressed to believe it. These are extraordinary men, and the tale of their valor deserves to be told over and over again, whatever you think of the Afghan War or the broader war on terror.

Several years ago, Hollywood made a bunch of tendentious anti-Iraq War movies, all of which flopped. "Lone Survivor" is one of the few recent war movies that have been a success at the box office. It's not hard to understand why. It takes a perverse hostility to all that is great and good in the U.S. military not to find it gripping and inspiring.

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