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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 March 17, 2005 / 6 Adar II, 5765

America's new discontents

By Victor Davis Hanson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sometime in the 1960s there arose a new home-grown distrust of the United States, followed by an erosion of faith in the values of the West. Perhaps the culprit was the fiasco in Vietnam or the rise of a trendy multiculturalism that followed from it.

Our schools often insisted that all cultures were to be roughly the same. History devolved more into melodrama than tragedy. America was no longer exceptional — and thus in no position to criticize a Cuba as undemocratic or condemn the Iranian mullahs as murderously theocratic.

The enormous wealth and leisure that followed from global capitalism and democracy insulated us — creating an unreality about the sources for our privilege and naiveté about why life was so bad outside our shores.

Consequently, some utopian elites forgot the free-market origins of their own riches and why they had the freedom and leisure to be so censorious of their own culture. Maybe they were guilty over our bounty. One way of enjoying an upscale American lifestyle, while simultaneously feeling pretty terrible about it, is to castigate the history and global conduct of the United States in the abstract — without ever giving up much in the concrete.

How else could the currency speculator George Soros — whose 1992 financial manipulations almost destroyed the Bank of England and thousands of its small depositors — win praise from leftists for comparing President Bush's conduct to Nazism? The angry architects of Moveon.org were neither poor nor oppressed. Nor were they bothered that their Soros millions originated from the financial losses of others. But they did reflect that the most strident anti-Americanism is largely found among our unhappy upper-middle classes.

September 11 laid bare more of this three-decade-old pathology. Islamists were hardly romantic communists. Indeed, they were about as anti-liberal as one could imagine — murderous, patriarchal, hating liberated women, persecuting homosexuals, anti-democratic to the core and intolerant of all different ideas and religions. Yet al-Qaida, along with its sympathizers, had studied America well — and thus was wise enough to cloak a fascist agenda in our own clichés of "colonialism," 'imperialism" and "no blood for oil." That way such nihilists tapped into the self-doubt and anti-Americanism among many of our discontented advantaged, thus earning a pass if not praise.

That indictment is no right-wing caricature or exaggeration. University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill extolled the terrorists, libeling the dead in the World Trade Center as "little Eichmanns." Michael Moore applauded the beheaders and bombers of the Sunni Triangle: "Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not 'insurgents' or 'terrorists' or 'The Enemy.' They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win."

Of course, a tenured full professor like Churchill (with no Ph.D., a fraudulent resume, a litany of plagiarism — and a six-figure salary!) would not want to live under the Taliban or al-Qaida. Nor would Michael Moore under the Baathists — if his current high life is any indication. Such virulent public anti-Americanism, however, served a psychological need to reconcile a leftist's own life of largesse, through either cost-free disdain for what produced it or (safe) sympathy for those who hated it.

The wages of cultural relativism were not limited to such extremists. Legitimate disagreement and necessary debate about invading Iraq were quickly overwhelmed by a deeper furor that grew out of decades of this fuzzy relativism.

Ted Kennedy pronounced that Abu Ghraib "reopened under new management." Yet, the senator must have known that a few rogue American guards were not comparable to the systematic genocide of Saddam Hussein.

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John Kerry's campaign slurred Prime Minister Ayad Allawi as a "puppet" — although he was the victim of Saddam's Gulag and a democrat willing to risk his life for the promise of a free Iraq.

Bill Clinton also seemed fuzzy about the true nature of tyranny, and thus was clueless about murderous theocratic Iran. Recently he cooed, "Iran today is, in a sense, the only country where progressive ideas enjoy a vast constituency" — as if theocrats there allow truly popular government.

Other elites wished outright that we would fail in the Middle East. Perhaps our defeat would prove that in a postmodern world American force can only be counterproductive or destabilizing to multilateral protocols.

Thus it was not the slur of a Joe McCarthy clone, but President Clinton's own National Security Council member Nancy Soderberg, who recently lamented on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" of George Bush's developing success in the Middle East: "It's scary for Democrats, I have to say. … Well, there's still Iran and North Korea, don't forget. There's still hope for the rest of us. ... There's always hope that this might not work."

"Not work"?

How sad that our most educated and sophisticated cannot fathom that an Iraqi Kurd, an Afghan woman or a Lebanese shopkeeper simply wants the same freedom and opportunity for their children that so many of the most blessed — but bitter — in America either take for granted, feel guilty about or so cynically dismiss.

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.


03/11/05: A world gone by
03/04/05: Blood for oil?
02/24/05: Common ground
02/17/05: California: Last action state?
02/10/05: Nuclear Poker
02/03/05: Barbara Boxer's metaphor moment
01/27/05: The hard road to democracy
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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