Home
In this issue
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 7, 2011 3 Nissan, 5771

Did We Give Up on Libya?

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Obama has announced that America would stop attacking Col. Muammar Gadhafi's forces in Libya. He instead hopes that others can force out Gadhafi -- or that the dictator will leave through economic and diplomatic pressure.

It will apparently be up to NATO to finish the war -- without direct American combat participation. The relieved Obama administration had never quite explained what the mission was in the first place -- or for whom and for what we were fighting. Was the bombing to stop the killing, to help the rebels, to remove Gadhafi, or to aid the British and French, who both have considerable oil interests in Libya?

Were we enforcing just a no-fly zone, establishing a sort of no-fly zone with occasional attacks on ground targets, or secretly sending in American operatives on the ground to work with rebels? Did the Obama administration go well beyond the Arab League and United Nations resolutions by trying to target Gadhafi for a while and ensure that the rebels won? If so, did anyone care? Was the administration ever going to ask for congressional approval -- at a time when we are running a $1.6 trillion annual budget deficit and have about 150,000 troops committed in Afghanistan and Iraq? Was Libya a greater threat to our national security than Syria or Iran, or a greater humanitarian crisis than the Congo or Ivory Coast? Are our new allies, the rebels, Westernized reformers, Islamists, or both -- or neither?

The abrupt abandonment of hostilities after about two weeks has set an American military precedent. True, the United States once lost a big war in Vietnam. It also decided not to finish a war with Islamic terrorists in 1983 after Hezbollah operatives blew up 241 U.S. military personnel in their Beirut barracks. In 1993, a few months after the "Black Hawk Down" mess in Mogadishu, President Clinton quietly withdrew American troops from Somalia.

In the past, the United States has also agreed to conditions short of full victory, as with the 1953 armistice with the North Koreans that has left the Korean peninsula divided to this day. Bill Clinton also ordered missile attacks in retaliation for terrorist attacks on Americans -- both in Afghanistan and Sudan -- without much follow-up. Yet in no prior military engagement against a nation-state has the United States simply announced that it was arbitrarily and unilaterally going to stop fighting after an initial two weeks of combat operations.

I would not count on the ready departure of Gadhafi or his family.

In 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat struck back at Libyan provocations and almost invaded the country. Egypt's massive army could have smashed the Libyan military and easily removed Gadhafi, but Egypt was talked out of the war at the last minute by concerned Arab nations.

In 1986, Ronald Reagan ordered a strike against Tripoli aimed at Gadhafi himself -- who may have been warned ahead of time of the impending attack and escaped. Reagan gave up on further missions against Gadhafi.

Gadhafi fought and lost a decade-long war against Chad from 1978 to 1987. Yet despite thousands of dead and wounded Libyans, the defeat did not endanger Gadhafi's hold on power.

During his 42-year reign, Gadhafi has sent troops to help out the monstrous Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, blown up passenger jets, supported Slobodan Milosevic in the Balkan wars, ordered assassinations abroad, masterminded terrorist plots -- and always survived by using his vast petroleum fortunes to buy reprieves.

Unlike pro-Western strongmen in Tunisia and Egypt who simply left when protests mounted, Gadhafi is perfectly willing to kill thousands of his own people to retain power. After all, he is a totalitarian outlaw with nowhere to go. Usually, such monsters do not abdicate unless they are yanked out by American ground troops -- as in Grenada, Iraq and Panama -- or bombed relentlessly for weeks on end, as in the case of the NATO campaign against Milosevic.

Sanctions and pariah status usually do not matter much to brutal dictators like Gadhafi -- as the longevity of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, North Korea's Kim Jong-Il or Cuba's Fidel Castro attests.

In our defense, we can say that Gadhafi's removal was properly a European task. We can even agree that President Obama acted precipitously, without a clear-cut mission, strategy or desired outcome -- and without majority support of either Congress or the American people.

Yes, we can say all that. But if Gadhafi or his family survives in power after the United States simply got tired and quit, we will also be able to say that this sort of defeat is something quite new in American history.

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.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


Archives

© 2011, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles