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December 2, 2014

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 Feb. 25, 2008 / 19 Adar I 5768

Put It Back on the Table

By Jonathan Tobin



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Willingness to deal with renewed Iran threat needs to be campaign issue


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A couple of months ago, the question of what to do about the possibility of a nuclear Iran was on the verge of becoming the No. 1 foreign-policy issue in 2008.

Though not exactly eclipsing the Iraq war, Iran's nuclear program was the red-hot focus of attention, with speculation rising as to what, if anything, the United States was prepared to do about the prospect of a radical Islamist theocracy, whose main foreign-policy goal has been to foment terrorism in the Middle East, gaining the ability to obliterate its enemies.

Then, in early December, it all went away.

The release of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran seemingly put an end to the discussion. By leading with its claim that the Iranians had abandoned their nuclear-weapons program in 2003, the top American spies neatly spiked any chance that an international coalition could be formed to impose a tough sanctions regime on Tehran.

'IRAN'S GREATEST VICTORY'
Moreover, by going public in this way, the intelligence apparatus seemed to be signaling that the Bush administration would be stopped from gathering domestic support for a foreign campaign as it had with Iraq. The NIE ensured that there would be no push against Iran, either diplomatic or military, in the last year of George W. Bush's presidency. Indeed, it had the potential to deeply influence his successor's strategies, too.

No wonder Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bragged the NIE was "Iran's greatest victory in the last 100 years."

But there was one little problem with the NIE. It was wrong.

Critics of the document (in Israel, Europe and here) pointed out that a close reading of the text showed that, despite the opening language about a decision supposedly taken in 2003 on weapons design, the rest of the nuclear program was still going full-steam ahead. With their ongoing progress toward nuclear material capability, it wouldn't take much to take the last step toward a weapon.

If that wasn't reason enough to worry about the NIE's conclusion, then surely, Iran's brazen announcement earlier this month that it had begun to deploy a new generation of machinery to produce nuclear fuel should have set off alarms.

So it was hardly surprising that in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, declared that maybe his agency's much heralded release wasn't right, after all. Indeed, McConnell acknowledged to the committee that the NIE's focus on weapons design was a mistake since he admitted it "was probably the least significant part of the program." He also confessed that Iran's uranium enrichment shows that the potential for a nuclear threat is still very real.

As for the report that had singlehandedly taken a significant foreign-policy issue off the national agenda, McConnell fessed up that "in retrospect, I would do some things differently."

No kidding.

It isn't necessarily too late to undo the damage. But though the release of the NIE led the news everywhere in early December, McConnell's mea culpa barely registered on the media Richter scale. Industrious readers of The New York Times had to find it on Page 10 of the Feb. 8 paper, after several stories trumpeting the erroneous findings had been on the front page. A search of The Philadelphia Inquirer's Web site finds no mention at all about McConnell's backtracking.

That's unfortunate because it ought to be playing a part in the story that does have the media riveted: the presidential race.

For all of the coverage devoted to the grudge match between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama while John McCain awaits the winner, this political season has been more about biography and tone-setting than getting down to brass tacks about issues. But at some point, we are going to have to get beyond the slogans and start talking about the world the winner will face in January 2009.

Attempting to figure out what exactly each would do when they find themselves facing - as each inevitably will some time in the next four years - an Iran on the verge of nuclear capability isn't easy.

All three say the right things about not tolerating Iranian nukes. All say they will support Israel, the most obvious target of Tehran's arsenal since its leaders have already marked it for annihilation.

Beyond that, some tactical differences have emerged.

Obama blasted Clinton for supporting a Bush-supported vote to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (whose most prominent member Imad Mughniyeh met a well-deserved death in Damascus last week) a terrorist organization, even though he, and everyone else in the world knows that's exactly what it is.

Obama has also differed from Clinton on his willingness to meet with the Iranians, and any other rogue regime, rather than declare it off-limits, as Bush has done. But Obama has promised that his goal would still be to stop Iran and protect Israel.

WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?
That's left some observers to scratch away at the few kernels of information we have about their foreign-policy predilections, such as the identity of their advisers.

On this score, Obama has taken a hit with former Carter administration national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, as well as former Clinton administration staffer Robert Malley. Neither are particularly friendly to Israel's interests, though Malley, who was an apologist for Yasser Arafat and an advocate for dealing with Hamas, has astonishingly drawn support from a number of former colleagues who vouch for his "pro-Israel" credentials.

With McCain, there is a clear difference since he says "the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamic extremists," and vows to wage war on them in Iraq and anywhere else. As for Tehran's nukes, he has joked that his policy is to "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" (sung to the tune of the Beach Boys classic hit "Barbara Ann").

Whether he would actually do so is a matter of speculation, especially given the fact that many of the foreign-policy advisers linked to his campaign, such as Brent Scowcroft, are from the "realist" school that shrinks from that sort of assertiveness.

What all this leaves us with is a frustrating lack of information on what is, in all likelihood, the most important decision that the next president will take.

That makes it all the more important that the press and the public begin to press the candidates for specifics about their ideas on this subject. Given the stakes involved, we can't wait until next year to find out more about their thinking. The latest revelations about the NIE make it imperative that the time to learn about their Iran policies is before November.

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 S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here.

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