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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 23, 2011 / 17 Adar II, 5771

Libya: It's not our fight

By Edward N. Luttwak






Regardless of its good intentions, U.S. involvement will be misrepresented


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Once again the United States is bombing a Muslim country to liberate its people from their own sanguinary rulers. Once again we are told that innocent civilians are being massacred and that the United States must intervene as a matter of moral duty, in its capacity as a great and good nation. But in this case — even as part of a broader, U.N.-sanctioned coalition to enforce a no-fly zone — the U.S. should not have intervened at all.

No humanitarian appeal should ever be lightly dismissed, and indeed many Americans justifiably recall with deep regret the failure of the Clinton administration to intervene against the 1994 Rwandan genocide, when a few thousand lightly armed soldiers on the ground could have saved hundreds of thousands.

So why is Libya different? Why shouldn't the United States intervene there?

First, because it has oil and gas, and any U.S. military action will be seen by many people around the world as motivated exclusively by the urge to steal the country's resources. Absurd, of course, but the enemies of the United States will repeat that accusation, all too plausible for most people around the world, who cannot imagine that any government would be benevolent enough to expend blood and treasure to disinterestedly help foreigners, and foreigners of another religion to boot.

It is no use arguing that the military control of a territory and the ownership of its natural resources are very different things for any law-abiding occupier. That U.S. military forces made no attempt to seize, or even dutifully secure, Iraq's oil installations during or after the 2003 invasion is a fact known to few, and even when known it is dismissed as irrelevant, or as so much calculated deception. It is because the accusation is so widely believed that Iraqi political leaders have gone out of their way to negotiate oil contracts with non-U.S. companies, to demonstrate that they are not American puppets. (Shenhua Group, Sinochem, Unipec and China National Offshore Oil are all no doubt grateful to the United States for having given them access to Iraq's oil, even if they have not offered to contribute to the trillion-dollar cost of that intervention so far.) Whatever the United States does in Libya, it will only add to its undeserved but by now entrenched reputation as the predatory aggressor of our times.

The second reason Libya is different from Rwanda is its religion. Look to our experience in Afghanistan, for example. Imams all over Afghanistan routinely denounce the U.S. intervention as a disguised attack on Islam, as a means to opening the way to Christianity. That includes imams salaried by the U.S. taxpayer by way of the Afghan government, which actually disburses the funds.


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In an added twist, Afghan religious leaders often explain that the Americans promote the rights of women in order to encourage their rebellion against fathers and husbands, to thus dishonor Afghan families and weaken their resistance to conversion. Again, because no ordinary Afghan would dream of traveling halfway around the world to help Americans, or indeed anyone not of his own religion, such accusations are almost universally believed. They explain the otherwise inexplicable. True, some Afghans still say that it was because of the so-far unfound oil, gas or gold that the Americans came, but nobody believes the benevolent explanation.

Perhaps a recent terrorist attack against U.S. servicemen best illustrates the phenomenon. Arid Uka, who killed two U.S. airmen and wounded two more at Frankfurt airport on March 2, was heard shouting "Allahu akbar" ("God is great") as he fired his 9-millimeter gun. He is from Kosovo, now emerging as Europe's first Muslim state as a result of the 1999 NATO air war against the territory's former Serbian overlords.

Many of Kosovo's inhabitants are duly grateful to the U.S. for their liberation. But there are imams preaching against the pernicious influence of the United States and the West in Kosovo — more loudly of late because of a headscarf ban in its schools. Although local Muslim leaders imposed the ban, with no U.S. involvement, the imams say otherwise, while also condemning U.S.-led invasions of Muslim lands.

Indeed, Uka's stated motivation for the shooting was a purported Internet video that showed U.S. troops raping Muslim women in Afghanistan. He was unable to retrieve any such video for the German police. None seemingly exists, but he no doubt heard about it in his local mosque.

It is unforgivable to repeat the same mistakes in Libya. Regardless of its good intentions, the United States will be depicted once again as predatory and anti-Muslim, generating more terrorism in due course. Even the much-praised resolution of the Arab League that calls for a no-flight zone warned against any "invasion" and ruled out any attack on Libyan air defenses — the signatories obviously did not mind if the (presumably American) patrolling pilots were thereby exposed to antiaircraft missiles.

The U.S. military ignored this, but cruise missiles and aerial bombs do not just destroy missiles, they also kill people, and there will soon be Hezbollah-style displays of dead children for al-Jazeera. Let the Arab League or the far larger Organization of the Islamic Conference with its 57 members, which possess first-line jet fighters and troops, mount a humanitarian intervention at their own cost in money and blood.

At least the United States would not be accused of attacking Islam once again.


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Edward N. Luttwak is a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


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