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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 March 25, 2008 / 18 Adar II 5768

In search of an American President with brains and guts

By Paul Johnson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Watching the run-up to the U.S. presidential elections from proud and self-indulgent yet weak and cowardly Europe, I am disturbed that so little attention has been paid to electing a President who will have the courage to provide leadership — and, if need be, resolute action — in an increasingly dangerous world.


I stress the word "dangerous" because for nearly two decades the world has looked relatively safe. Since the collapse of Soviet communism, the disintegration of the Soviet empire and the emergence of the U.S. as victor in the Cold War, the nightmare of nuclear Armageddon has faded. We've been living in a period of comparative calm, under the watchful protection of the democratic and liberty-loving sole superpower.


This conjunction tempted one or two theorists to predict the end of history as an ideological struggle and the start of a future in which liberalism (democratic market economies) would slowly but inexorably become permanent and universal. I never believed this, not even in the first joyful flush of the Soviet collapse. I simply thought that history, far from ending, would become more complicated, bringing with it new dangers and anxieties. From a 2008 perspective, I'd say that was an understatement. We are once more living in a vertiginous world.


I'm not talking about the threat of Muslim fundamentalism. Thanks to some strong leadership from George W. Bush, that danger has been contained. Muslim extremists will not overthrow our societies. Fundamentalism will gradually lose its support and power as the majority of Muslims — who want a better life just as much as most other people do — reject its anarchism.


No, what worries me most are the new moves and strategies being executed by the big players on the world chessboard. First and foremost is the revival of Russia. The huge expansion of China's industrial economy (as well as those of other rapidly expanding former Third World powers) has effectively doubled the demand for energy, sending the price of oil skyrocketing. Of all the oil-producing countries, Russia has benefited the most, politically and psychologically.


The Russian people oscillate between a love of freedom, ending in anarchy, and a profound respect for strong leadership, ending in tyranny. They have recently gone through the anarchic phase and are now enthusiastically embracing Vladimir Putin's brand of ruthless opportunism. Putin is not shackled by an ideology. He believes in nothing except power. He's not a Communist but a former secret policeman. He is constructing an empirical police state, which tightly controls Russia internally in the name of restoring order, and is stretching its insidious reach worldwide through scientific assassination and new forms of sophisticated industrial espionage.


This is a formidable regime to deal with, not least because Putin is popular in Russia. He is restoring his nation's self-respect, which was cruelly damaged by the loss of its European empire and by the independence of the vast and rich Ukraine, as well as other territories in the Caucasus and Asia. Putin is using Russia's new wealth to rebuild its armed forces, sending off its newly efficient navy and its fleet air arm on exploratory missions on the high seas. The increasingly strident tone of Putin's observations about the world also receives positive play at home.


Now, I'm not saying that Russia is — or is likely to become — a rival superpower to the U.S. Russia has many weaknesses — demographic, economic and cultural. But it is again a major factor in world politics. An index of Russia's returning strength is the growing terror of its immediate neighbors and their anxiousness to take shelter under America's nuclear-and-Star-Wars umbrella.


The old 19th-century adage remains true: Russia is never as strong as it looks; Russia is never as weak as it looks. For nearly two decades we foolishly exaggerated its weaknesses, yet now that it appears strong again, we must not overestimate its strength.


Which of the leading U.S. presidential candidates is likely to provide the kind of firm, consistent and cerebral policies that will contain and render safe this newly invigorated Russia? From a European viewpoint this is the key question of the election. It is linked to other factors that have been looming but are now moving to the center on the world chessboard: the burgeoning economies of China and India. What policies should the U.S. adopt regarding them, separately and together?


China has taken the traditional road to economic superpower status by investing heavily in industry. China is also investing much of its new wealth in its armed services. India, on the other hand, is investing mainly in high tech, something at which its people seem to excel and which flourishes in a free society.


I have no doubt that in the long run India will emerge the stronger and richer of the two countries. In the meantime, however, China carries more weight. Rivalries are bound to flare up. During the next presidency the U.S. may have to decide which of the two to back, as well as figure out what repercussions that choice will have on its handling of a newly assertive Russia.


In short, the next American President will be obliged to make some courageous and complex decisions — probably early on in his or her Administration. Courage in complexity is the requirement voters should be looking for now.

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.


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Eminent British historian and author Paul Johnson's latest book is "American Presidents Eminent Lives Boxed Set: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant". Comment by clicking here.



Previously:

03/18/08: Technological warfare against mice won't work. Try cats
03/11/08: What is a genius? We use the word frequently but surely, to guard its meaning, we should bestow it seldom
03/03/08: Fiction as a crutch to get one through life
02/26/08: Impatience + Greed = Trouble
02/13/08: Shakespeare, Neo-Platonism and Princess Diana
02/07/08: Where Industry Has Failed Us
12/19/07: People who put their trust in human power delude themselves
12/12/07: What is aggression?
12/04/07: Pursuing success is not enough
11/07/07: Are famous writers accident-prone?
10/31/07: Courage needed to disarm Iran
09/20/07: Who Will Say ‘I Promise to Lay Off’?
07/24/07: Greed is safer than power-seeking
04/02/07: Benefactors must be hardheaded
03/07/07: American idealism and realpolitik
11/28/06: Space: Our ticket to survival
10/24/06: Envy is bad economics
10/11/06: Better to Borrow or Lend? Rethinking conventional wisdom
08/22/06: Don't practice legal terrorism
08/08/06: A summer rhapsody for a pedal-bike
08/03/06: Why is there no workable philosophy of music?
07/11/06: Historically speaking, energy crisis is America's opportunity
07/06/06: The misleading dimensions of persons and lives
06/06/06: First editions are not gold
05/23/06: A downright ugly man need never despair of attracting women, even pretty ones
04/25/06: Was Washington right about political parties?
04/12/06: Let's Have More Babies!
04/05/06: For the love of trains
03/29/06: Lincoln and the Compensation Culture
03/22/06: Bottle-beauties and the globalised blond beast
03/15/06: Europe's utopian hangover
03/08/06: Kindly write on only one side of the paper
02/28/06: Creators versus critics
02/21/06: The Rhino Principle

© 2006, Paul Johnson

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