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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 14, 2009 / 20 Nisan 5769

President Pantywaist?

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "President Pantywaist" was how Gerald Warner, a columnist for the London Telegraph, described Barack Obama at the conclusion of his European tour, which he compared to Napoleon's retreat from Moscow.


Mr. Warner was particularly scornful of the president's tepid response to North Korea's provocative launch of a Taepodong 2 rocket, which conceivably could deliver a nuclear warhead to targets in Alaska:


"America had Aegis destroyers tracking the missile and could have shot it down," Mr. Warner wrote. "But Uncle Sam had a sterner reprisal in store for lil ole Kim (Jong Il, North Korea's dictator). A multi-megaton strike of Obama hot air…Watch out, France and co., there is a new surrender monkey on the block."


Others, perturbed by the administration's announcement of proposed cuts in ballistic missile defense in the immediate aftermath of the North Korean provocation, expressed the same sentiment in gentler terms.


Then Somali pirates seized the Maersk Alabama. The crew recaptured the ship, but the pirates took the ship's captain, Richard Phillips, hostage in one of the Maersk Alabama's lifeboats. The five day crisis ended happily for Americans with Captain Phillips rescued unharmed, three pirates dead, and the fourth in custody.


After Mr. Phillips, the biggest beneficiary of the successful rescue is President Obama, who now has the opportunity to mitigate, if not reverse entirely, the harsh judgment Mr. Warner and others formed of him after his Spring Apology Tour. As the crisis dragged on, and the lifeboat containing the pirates and their hostage drew ever closer to the Somali shore, many — myself among them — feared the president's reluctance to use force would result in another humiliation for the United States, akin to that we suffered when Iranian Islamists seized our embassy in Tehran during the Carter administration. But the president had authorized the use of deadly force if the on scene commander should determine that Captain Phillips' life was in " imminent" danger.


After the fact, some Obama aides and his sycophants in the news media are pretending the president was more actively involved in the rescue than in fact he was. All Mr. Obama did was to assent to standard operating procedure, procedure that every American president save Jimmy Carter and perhaps Bill Clinton would have followed.


The praise should be given to the on scene commander, Commander Frank Castellano, skipper of the USS Bainbridge, who determined that the hostage's life was in "imminent" danger — a determination which coincided with the first time the Navy SEAL snipers on the fantail had clear shots at all three pirates — and authorized the use of deadly force. Praise, too, of course, to the SEALs who made those remarkable shots.


Though President Obama was the beneficiary, not the instigator, of Cmdr Castellano's decisiveness, many conservatives are unwilling to give him any credit at all. This is unfair and untrue. Mr. Obama did not stand in the way of the use of deadly force, as Jimmy Carter might have. And Mr. Obama' s behavior throughout was presidential. He was right not to make public statements about the crisis while negotiations were ongoing. And the statement he issued after the successful rescue gave proper credit to the Navy personnel who were responsible.


In the aftermath of the rescue, the president may be enjoying a reputation for toughness and decisiveness he doesn't deserve. But it is in America' s interest that he do so. Tyrants emboldened by Mr. Obama's apparent weakness during his Spring Apology Tour may now have second thoughts about his willingness to use deadly force.


How long those second thoughts last, and whether they modify behavior in North Korea or Iran or Syria, depends on what the president does next. If he moves swiftly against the pirate base at Eyl, the image of weakness he presented earlier will be dispelled. But if there is no change in U.S. policy toward the pirates, the image of weakness will creep back.


Cmdr Castellano and the SEAL snipers have presented Mr. Obama with an invaluable gift. God willing, he will use it wisely.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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