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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 16, 2012/ 22 Adar, 5772

We'll hear Afghan 'thanks!' when hell freezes over

By Diana West




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I am looking at a heartwarming 1945 photograph of a Canadian-liberated town in the Netherlands, all joyous spontaneity and relief as townspeople (two wearing wooden shoes) celebrate their liberation from Nazi Germany. Nearly 70 years later, this snapshot in time is relevant to events currently swirling around a tragic, aberrational incident in which a U.S. Army staff sergeant apparently walked off base and killed 16 Afghan civilians.

Nazi liberation was a costly liberation. Allied air raids on German-occupied Rotterdam alone killed 884 citizens and wounded 631. Such losses were negligible next to the millions of civilian casualties during World War II caused by Axis and Allies alike.

How, I have long wondered, might Presidents Bush and Obama and all of our top military commanders explain the welcome that Allied forces received across Europe in 1945 despite the massive suffering the Allies, too, inflicted on unarmed citizens? The answer is that the liberated peoples rejected the Nazis and their ideology. So why doesn't the same logic work on "liberated" Afghans? Maybe they don't reject either the Taliban or their ideology. Maybe there's just way too much overlap on both counts.

Nah, say our counterinsurgency (COIN) strategists. The problem is too many civilian casualties.So goes the COIN mantra of at least the past three years in Afghanistan, since Gen. Stanley McChrystal came on the scene openly promoting "population protection" over "force protection." Indeed, more than anything else, the war in Afghanistan may be seen as a war on civilian casualties in which the ultimate prize is the "trust" of the Afghan people. Or, as current military commander Gen. John R. Allen likes to say, "the noble Afghan people."

A week ago, the website of international forces in Afghanistan (ISAF) ran a report on the third Civilian Casualty Conference, where new figures on civilian casualties were unveiled. "In the last four months, insurgents have caused 93 percent, or 958 civilian casualties," Lt. Gen. Adrian Bradshaw, ISAF deputy commander, reported, explaining that the majority are inflicted by roadside bombs (IEDs). "In the same period of time, 7 percent, or 72 civilian casualties, regrettably were caused by ISAF forces," he said.

The report went on to quote Bradshaw as saying "that 72 casualties are too many and that ISAF is committed to bring that number down to zero."

Ninety-three percent of the civilian casualties are caused by Taliban and other jihadist forces, and 7 percent are caused by pro-government forces. If COIN theory were correct, numbers like these should produce scenes of relief and joy as seen in my 1945 photo from Holland.

But COIN theory is, to say the least, not correct. It runs on a rigid adherence to an ideology and not on an appraisal of the facts. In the service of this ideology, the alleged actions of a staff sergeant have been greatly exaggerated in their overall relevance to this war waged by nations to serve as a crutch for COIN. Tragic as they are, the apparent murders of 16 Afghans -- a figure that wouldn't move the needle a notch in the Taliban tally of death -- now become another excuse to explain why COIN isn't working, why the Afghan people -- sorry, "the noble Afghan people" -- aren't being won over, hearts and minds.

So wed to COIN are our leaders, military and civilian, that they eschew logic, preferring to enter into the Islamic maelstrom of aggrievement and apology, promising to do better. Good "dhimmi" that we are (no one said even a cross word about six American murders by Afghan forces last month), we have just about promised to take this soldier, brain injury or not, too many COIN combat tours or not, and string him up to sate the bloodlust of the noble Afghan people -- anything to quell Islamic rage. Naturally, we will continue to send our men on ever more IED death marches (foot patrols), happily. We do it all for the noble people of Afghanistan. Do they like us yet? No? We'll do more.

They call this strategy COIN and wear uniforms, but really it's psychosis and these strategists should be wearing hospital robes.

Meanwhile, if Afghans were "with us," if they were actually against the true butchers, the Taliban, if they were concerned about which side had innocent blood on its hands and which side did everything humanly possible to prevent such violence, even at the expense of its own people, Afghan hearts and minds would have been "won" long ago.

But that will never be. In fact, guess what happens if ISAF reaches its goal of zero civilian casualties?

Nothing.

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© 2009, Diana West