In this issue

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 April 9, 2010 / 25 Nissan, 5770

You don't win ‘hearts and minds’ by losing your own

By Diana West

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A reader e-mailed me to comment on a column by David Ignatius, who recently accompanied the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, to a shura, or local council meeting, in Marja, Afghanistan.

Ignatius wrote: "Given the weakness of the central government in Kabul, U.S. commanders are working to align American power with the most basic political structures, the tribal shuras. `Culturally, this country works,' says Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, the chief military spokesman (in Afghanistan). `People sitting down together can solve almost anything.'"

Slap a happy-face sticker on the man's briefing book to commemorate the dopiest spin ever on the primitivism, violence and misogyny of Afghan culture. My reader, naturally, had a different take from the admiral's: "So that's why we're there, bleeding and dying and spending, to facilitate Sharia law. Great, just great."

I can relate. Of course, there's nothing new here, given that the U.S.-drafted Afghan constitution (like Iraq's) has recognized Sharia law as supreme since ratification in 2004. What seems different now, or maybe just more noticeable, is an unseemly American pandering before such law — Sharia law, tribal law, any law but our own — increasingly manifested by official U.S. military policy.

I don't know how else to describe Mullen's decision to plop down, cross-legged, on a rug in a tent in Marja, where, dhimmi-like, he proceeded to take orders for public works projects from a line of Afghan "elders." As Reuters puts it, "From the litany of requests … from asphalt for roads to fertilizer for fields — one might think he was a visiting aid worker, not the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.

`We want educational centres … There is no good hospital … We want all these roads to be paved,' a man with a long black beard told Mullen."

And what did the highest military officer in the USA, as Time magazine reported, tell the turbaned locals? "Inshallah, we will provide the services as soon as possible."

Inshallah — Allah willing? This is what happens when cultural sensitivity replaces cultural identity, when the effort to win Islamic "hearts and minds" — or, updated, "the sentiments and perceptions of local communities," as Col. Christopher Kolenda wrote in Joint Forces Quarterly — ends with us losing our own. Under no other circumstances could U.S. policy continue to "bleed, die and spend" to shore up Sharia-based governments anywhere and at any level.

Letter from JWR publisher

I recently re-read a paper by a highly decorated special forces officer, Maj. Jim Gant, that is credited with helping to promote the tribal-council option in Afghanistan. Praised by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gens. David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal on down, the paper is called "One Tribe at a Time," and it describes how Gant and his team in 2003 formed an arbitrary alliance with one tribe, fighting its enemies over grudges, admiring its culture (even rationalizing its misogyny), and developing a bad case of hero worship for its old chieftain whom Gant dubbed "Sitting Bull" (for that perfect touch of cultural self-loathing).

Gant tells a story about the tribal concept of revenge in action. "When at one point, members of Hezb-e-Islami (HIG) accused (Sitting Bull) of letting Christianity be spread in his village, we both knew and understood this was a lie. However, it was the issue of his tribe's honor that caused our combined reaction of violence towards HIG."

In other words, this undoubtedly brave officer took U.S. forces to war for worse than nothing: to avenge the "honor" of an Islamic tribe besmirched by Taliban allegations of Christianity contamination. What Gant describes is the perfect PC battle of a post-modern crusade that can only end in a triumph for nihilism.

Gant's big idea is to insert small teams like his own into other tribes. "They must be able to `go native,'" Gant writes, and "steadily integrate themselves into tribal life and customs." As my reader might say: Great, just great.

Whether Gant's plan for special forces is fully implemented, one thing is as clear as a Joint Chief on a rug: You don't have to be fighting for Sitting Bull to see the horizon through the other's eyes. But that's not how you win hearts and minds; it's how you lose your own.

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© 2009, Diana West