Home
In this issue
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 March 21, 2006 / 21 Adar, 5766

White House nonchalance

By Daniel Pipes



Printer Friendly Version

Email this article



A major foreign policy document was issued last week. Its analysis reflects the paradoxical strengths and weaknesses of the Bush administration's Middle East policy


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Expect the Bush administration to continue to make the Middle East the center of American foreign policy. Also expect its strategies to remain basically unchanged.

That's the message in a major foreign policy document issued last week by the White House, The National Security Strategy of the United States of America. Mandated by law to appear every four years, the NSS, 49 pages long, was written by national security advisor Stephen Hadley and his team.

The Middle East's outsized role comes across in various ways. In a covering letter, President George W. Bush opens the report by stating "America is at war" and describing the enemy as "terrorism fueled by an aggressive ideology of hatred and murder, fully revealed to the American people on September 11, 2001." The report singles out the Middle East as the region that "continues to command the world's attention" because for too long, many of its countries "have suffered from a freedom deficit. Repression has fostered corruption, imbalanced or stagnant economies, political resentments, regional conflicts, and religious extremism."

Other indications point to the centrality of the Middle East. Iraq is mentioned by name 57 times, while China is named just 28 times and Russia 17 times. The most dangerous state? "We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran," asserts the report. And the Syrian regime, which "has chosen to be an enemy of freedom, justice, and peace," will be held to account.

This focus on the Middle East makes sense, given the region's many urgent threats to the United States. Unfortunately, the NSS then insists on a rosy-tinted outlook, either understating the region's problems or approaching them too optimistically.

Circumstances in Iraq are presented as a mere challenge to be overcome. "We will work with the freely elected, democratic government of Iraq — our new partner in the War on Terror - to consolidate and expand freedom, and to build security and lasting stability" — as though the specter of civil war were not looming.

That "every time an American goes to a gas station," as Gal Luft puts it, "he is sending money to America's enemies," is a rude problem absent from the NSS, other than a vague acknowledgment that "oil revenues fund activities that destabilize [the producers'] regions or advance violent ideologies."

The report minimizes the threat of radical Islam via the fiction that a "proud religion" has been "twisted and made to serve an evil." Not so: Islamism is a deeply grounded and widely popular version of Islam, as shown by election results from Afghanistan to Algeria. Reliable opinion polls are lacking from majority-Muslim countries but repeated surveys in the United Kingdom give some idea of the harrowingly extremist attitudes of its Muslim population: 5 percent of them support the July 7 terrorist attacks in London and say more such attacks are justified; 20 percent have sympathy with the feelings and motives of the July 7 attackers and believe that suicide attacks against the military in Britain can be justified. These results are probably typical of Muslim populations globally, as recent polls of Indonesians and Palestinians confirms.

The NSS omits any mention of Turkey and Bangladesh and it refers to Saudi Arabia only in passing, suggesting that the Islamist leadership in these states poses no particular concern. The administration's grievous error in helping Hamas, a terrorist organization, reach power in January 2006 is glossed over with soothing words ("The opportunity for peace and statehood is open if Hamas will abandon its terrorist roots and change its relationship with Israel").

Thus does the NSS accurately reflect the yin and yang of the Bush administration's Middle East policy: a much-needed, relentless focus on the region's sick political culture and the threats it poses to Americans, mixed with an insouciance that current policies are just fine, thank you, everything is on track, and problems — Iraq, terrorism, and the Arab-Israeli conflict in particular — will soon enough be resolved.

Significantly, only the Iranian drive for nuclear weapons does not inspire that glow of confidence. Here, the administration is frankly worried ("if confrontation is to be avoided," states the NSS, diplomatic efforts must succeed in convincing Tehran to restrict its nuclear program to peaceful purposes). This observer wishes that comparable doubts accompanied other U.S. policies in the region.

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.

PIPES' LATEST
"Miniatures: Views of Islamic and Middle Eastern Politics"  

He's been so far ahead of the curve on radical Islam that it's scary. You read his columns here regularly, see what he can do with a lot more than 750 words! Sales help fund JWR.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum.

© 2006, Daniel Pipes