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 22, 2011 / 18 Nissan, 5771

Why did generals listen to Greg Mortenson?

By Diana West

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | To say that the memoir "Three Cups of Tea" is the basis of the bitter pill that is American counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy in Afghanistan is a falsehood and gross exaggeration -- like much of the book itself, as it turns out. But it is a fact that the 2006 mega-seller, "required" reading for the U.S. military in Afghanistan (not to mention a large chunk of the nation's schoolchildren and college students), has washed that strategy down, swirled it around and given its key tenets a weird charisma in the person of author Greg Mortenson.

What -- since "60 Minutes" unmasked Mortenson and his book as a colossal fraud -- now?

I don't mean what about the Montana Attorney General's office inquiry into Mortenson's Central Asian Institute (CAI), the tax-exempt charity he founded 15 years ago to build schools in AfPak, and which, according to Gordon Wiltsie, a former CAI board member who served as board treasurer, "Greg regards … as his personal ATM."

Or the thumping, 75-page smackdown "Three Cups of Deceit" (wherein Wiltsie's statement appears) that author-turned-whistleblower Jon Krakauer posted online to elaborate on the fabrications and Mortenson's shocking financial practices.

Or the fact that Viking, publisher of the 5 million copies of "Three Cups of Tea" in print, announced that charges against its golden goose are being "reviewed."

Or even all the schoolchildren across the country who in 2009 donated $1.7 million to Mortenson's program Pennies for Peace (P4P). That same year, Krakauer writes, CAI's outlay for the things P4P is supposed to pay for -- teachers salaries, school supplies, etc. -- came to $612,000. "By comparison," he writes, "CAI spent more than $1 million to promote (Mortenson's books) and another $1.4 million to fly Mortenson around in chartered jets. Donors unknowingly picked up the tab."

In a much larger sense, so did we all. That's because Mortenson is not just another flim-flam artist who turned a good yarn into fool's gold (and no book royalties for CAI, by the way, Krakauer reports). He's also a Gandhi-like guru to the Pentagon who preaches to top brass that "extremism" can be defeated by "education." Mortenson's Big Idea is teaching hearts and minds, and it slides neatly into any Pentagon PowerPoint on "population-centric COIN."

Mortenson's unusual life as counselor to generals started back in September 2007, when then-Lt. Col. Christopher D. Kolenda "reached out" to him. Kolenda's wife had sent "Three Cups" to Kolenda in Afghanistan where, as the New York Times put it, "Kolenda knew well the instructions about building relationships with elders that were in the Army and Marine Corps' new counterinsurgency manual, which had been released in late 2006. But `Three Cups of Tea' brought the lessons to life."

By the end of 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported, Mortenson was in the Pentagon for a private meeting with Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen. By the summer of 2009, Mortenson had met with Mullen several times, Mortenson wrote on his blog, "to consult on new approaches to strategic policy in Afghanistan." And "in the frantic last hours of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's command in Afghanistan" last year, the Times reported somewhat breathlessly, Mortenson was among those the general "reached out" to via email en route from Kabul to Washington. This, the Times wrote, showed the extent to which military leaders "have increasingly turned to Mortenson … to help translate the theory of counterinsurgency into tribal realities on the ground."

But what happens now that a bunch of those theory-translating realities turn out to be fake?

Ladies and gentlemen, we've been had. But not by Mortenson. The military culture that grabbed Mortenson's "Three Cups" and didn't let go was already lost, already in thrall to the Leftist theories and see-no-Islam strategies that have turned U.S. foreign policy into the Great Society with guns. Independently, Mortenson dressed it all up with a heady mix of popular appeal and ever-so-high purpose. Education, not terrorism; ploughshares, not swords; love, not war. Clear, hold and build, build, build!

From COIN to "Three Cups," it's a perfectly irresistible way to avoid the facts and features of jihad culture where such institutional naivete leads to stratospheric waste, fraud and mounting casualties.

Anything to keep the teacups from getting chipped.

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© 2009, Diana West