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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, 2011 / 15 Adar II, 5771

Double standard seen in Arab response to Libya

By Jeffrey Fleishman





Concerns over Western involvement and possible reigniting of Islamic radicalism complicate the situation, which is also coated with hypocrisy


JewishWorldReview.com |

cAIRO — (MCT) Arab leaders don't relish attacking one of their own. But bloodshed across Libya and Western pressure have forced them into supporting international airstrikes against Col. Moammar Gadhafi, who in many ways is merely a caricature of monarchies and autocrats throughout the Middle East.

The Arab League urged the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. Now, with French warplanes and U.S. Tomahawk missiles streaking across the North African sky, the league is criticizing the air assault as Arab kings and presidents confront decades-old ironies, religious animosities and fears they will be blamed for siding with Western imperialism.

There are concerns that foreign intervention may reignite Islamic radicalism that so far has not resonated with largely secular protest movements not rooted in religion or ideology. Gadhafi has few sympathizers in the region but rallying against him is likely to pose credibility problems for regimes attempting to calm growing dissent at home.

It is a potent combination that highlights the hypocrisy and dangers of Arab politics. The Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes the Sunni-led nations of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, condemned Gadhafi's regime for killing dissidents even as Saudi troops assisted Bahrain security forces last week in a deadly crackdown against Shiite protesters.

"It's a double standard," said Mohammed Tajer, a lawyer defending detained protesters in Bahrain. "The Arab League consists of dictatorships that want to protect their own interests."

Islamists, who have found scant traction in the region in recent years, have accused Arab leaders of confronting Gadhafi to appease the West. They have conjured the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to suggest that Arab capitals are complicit in a Washington-inspired scheme to dominate the Muslim world.

It is not only religious conservatives and extremists who worry about the troubling pattern of Western intervention in Middle East affairs.

The countries of the Arab League "have overlooked their own backyards, where discontent is brewing and similar kind of rebellion is already knocking at their doors," Ajaz Ahmed wrote in the Arab News in Saudi Arabia. "They need to work out a solution ... instead of involving the foreign forces, which have a history of occupying Arab lands."


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On Sunday, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, who a week ago led the call for military action, criticized the withering airstrikes on Gadhafi's forces. "What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians."

Libya has become the dark side of the burgeoning Arab spring. The idiosyncratic and provocative Gadhafi has exasperated and threatened Arab leaders for decades. He is an easy man to demonize, providing regional capitals with a bit of diplomatic cover for supporting international action. His forces have targeted hospitals and indiscriminately bombed civilians in rebel-held eastern Libya.

There have been no "demonstrations against the no-fly zone in any Arab city," said Mustafa Alani, director of the Gulf Research Center in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai. "People might not like it but the only other option is to allow a civil war to develop in Libya; you're going to create another Somalia. They don't like military intervention but in this case it is seen as the lesser evil."

That attitude is different from the mood in 2003 when tens of thousands of protesters in Egypt and other countries marched against their governments' tacit support of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Those demonstrations were not targeted at toppling regimes; the protests today are more volatile and the leaders more desperate.

"Countries like Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Syria are in a delicate situation," said Mustafa Labbad, director of Al Sharq Center for Regional and Strategic Studies in Cairo. "They're afraid of setting a new trend in the region that could backlash on them. They wouldn't want to see foreign powers aiding rebels against their regimes. They also don't want the prospect of another Iraq."

So sensitive is attacking another Arab country that most leaders are saying little about their roles in enforcing the no-fly zone. Qatar has publicly offered its military to help in airstrikes. Saudi Arabia and other nations have been more reticent. It is not clear if weapons or aircraft from any Arab country will be tapped by a coalition coordinated by the U.S. and Europe.

The Gadhafi dilemma is the latest and most dangerous challenge to the region's established order. The leaders of Tunisia and Egypt have been overthrown. The police in Bahrain and Yemen are shooting protesters. The Arab world, which has been loath to change for generations, is confronting an unsettling burst democratic fervor that is tearing down icons and demanding free elections.

Gadhafi has drawn rebuke from Cairo to Dubai. Arab leaders have not been as harsh in criticizing Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh's attacks on protesters. More than 40 Yemeni demonstrators were shot and killed by security forces on Friday after weeks of spiraling unrest.

Bahrain's violent response to protests underlines another issue roiling the Middle East: the sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shiites. The Arab world is dominated by Sunni regimes, including Bahrain's, which was startled in February when the majority Shiite population rose up over discrimination and issued calls for reform. Protesters have complained that Arab governments have not condemned Bahrain's tactics.

Yemen and Bahrain are strategically more important to Washington and Arab interests than Libya, despite the latter's vast oil supplies.

Saleh is cooperating with the U.S. and Saudi Arabia to defeat a Qaida organization that threatens to export terrorism throughout the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which patrols the Persian Gulf and is regarded by Arab nations as a counter to Shiite Iran's growing regional influence.

Some analysts suggest the Arab world should be more active in policing its neighborhood rather than relying on Western help, which often leads to failed policies and recriminations.

"The Arabs should participate militarily in the no-fly zone (over Libya) and so far they have not because they are reluctant to do so, they want someone else to do it for them," said Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. "That is not the right position."

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© 2011, Los Angeles Times Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.