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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 April 23, 2008 / 18 Nissan 5768

Radio to stay tuned to

By Anne Applebaum

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Radio Free Europe? Does that still exist?"


That was the question; the speaker was an Important Public Broadcaster visiting Europe for a few days last week. It wasn't a surprising query, as these things go, or an ignorant one. Not many other Americans know that Radio Free Europe still exists, so why should he?


Nevertheless, the query bothered me, because Radio Free Europe — the Cold War news service that was, for decades, the only source of independent information in Eastern Europe — does exist. In fact, it's as important as it ever was, at least in the 21 countries and 28 languages in which it is still often the only source of independent information: Persian for Iran, Arabic for Iraq, Dari and Pashto for Afghanistan, plus Turkmen, Azeri, Belarusian, Georgian, Chechen, Tajik, Albanian, Serbian, and Russian, among others. The fact that you haven't heard anyone mention RFE lately, let alone the achievements of its Afghan journalists, who provide much of the news in much of that country, says more about the poverty of the American foreign-policy debate in general (and this election-year debate in particular) than almost anything else. In RFE, we have an American institution that is admired, even beloved, in many difficult parts of the world, and yet we are slowly, methodically starving it to death.


Reputation to the contrary, RFE is not American propaganda radio. It is better described as "surrogate radio": a broadcasting service that supplies local, national, and international news — in radio, Internet, and sometimes video form — in countries where other local news is weak or unavailable. Most of the programming is written by local journalists who follow local politics in the local languages. Many of them live in the countries they cover, sometimes at great risk. When the Newseum opened in Washington, D.C., last week, the names of four RFE journalists, all killed in the last two years, were already inscribed on a plaque there: a Turkmen, two Iraqis, and an Uzbek. In the last year alone, RFE has dealt with staff kidnappings in Iraq and Afghanistan, disappearances in Turkmenistan, official harassment in Russia and Belarus, and blackmail from Iran.


Occasionally, RFE's journalists even have to be smuggled out of their home countries. But when this happens, they wind up in Prague, where, for anachronistic, post-Cold War-era reasons (President Vaclav Havel gave RFE a building there after 1989), the organization now has its headquarters. Once there, they can't go home; they can't get green cards; they don't speak Czech; and, now that the dollar has collapsed to a degree not fully appreciated in Washington, they can't support themselves, either. RFE, which at its peak received $230 million in congressional funding, now gets $75 million in rapidly devaluing currency. That money pays for transmitters, salaries, security, and anti-jamming technology, as well as programming and Internet content in 28 languages. To put that in perspective, as RFE President Jeff Gedmin likes to say, $75 million is also the price of four Apache helicopters.


Which is an apt comparison, since, if RFE vanishes, we may need a lot more helicopters to replace it. Many analysts — our secretary of defense among them — pay lip service nowadays to the need for "soft power," the nonmilitary initiatives and institutions that, once upon a time, helped us win "hearts and minds" in remote places, even when we wouldn't or couldn't send an army. Each of the presidential candidates has implicitly agreed, claiming that when he/she becomes president, foreign policy is going to be conducted differently, more diplomatically, and so on. But what does that entail? Will diplomacy mean we force Slovenia and Norway to send 17 more soldiers to Afghanistan? Or should diplomacy mean that we help the people who are trying to foster civilized public debate in Afghanistan as an alternative to warfare? When I was at the RFE office in Prague several weeks ago, the Afghans showed me the enormous, old-fashioned canvas mailbags that arrive every week from Afghanistan, full of letters thanking the presenters, offering arguments, making comments — and asking why there isn't more service, more coverage, more than 12 hours daily of Radio Free Afghanistan.


RFE has, it is true, a good number of admirers in Washington as well as a few constructive critics, usually people who wish it did more things better. What it does not have, however, is an advocate: someone, in Congress, in the White House, or on the campaign trail, who remembers that Americans have done "soft power" rather well in the past, that the collapse of the dollar is more than a minor irritant for rich tourists, that with better transmitters we could reach more Iranians, and that we could easily swap a few helicopters for better-informed Afghans. Yes is the answer to the Important Public Broadcaster's question: Radio Free Europe still exists. But if no one remembers to support it, politically and financially, it won't exist for much longer.

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.

APPLEBAUM'S LATEST
Gulag: A History  

Nearly 30 million prisoners passed through the Soviet Union's labor camps in their more than 60 years of operation. This remarkable volume, the first fully documented history of the gulag, describes how, largely under Stalin's watch, a regulated, centralized system of prison labor-unprecedented in scope-gradually arose out of the chaos of the Russian Revolution. Fueled by waves of capricious arrests, this prison labor came to underpin the Soviet economy. JWR's Applebaum, a former Warsaw correspondent for the Economist and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, draws on newly accessible Soviet archives as well as scores of camp memoirs and interviews with survivors to trace the gulag's origins and expansion Sales help fund JWR.

Comment on JWR contributor Anne Applebaum's column by clicking here.


Previously:

04/17/08: China learns the price of a few weeks of global attention
04/01/08: Head scarves are potent political symbols
03/26/08: The Olympics are the perfect place for a protest
03/19/08: Could Tibet bring down modern China?
03/12/08: Have political autobiographies made us more susceptible to fake memoirs?
03/05/08: Why does Russia bother to hold elections?
02/20/08: Kosovo is a textbook example of the law of unintended consequences
02/06/08: A Craven Canterbury Tale
02/06/08: French prez' whirlwind romance reminds voters of his political recklessness




© 2008, Anne Applebaum

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