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 May 27, 2005 / 18 Iyar, 5765

Idle Chavez threats are best ignored

By George Friedman

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has broached the idea of developing a nuclear program. Speaking on his regular "Hello President" program on May 22, he said: "We must start working on that area, the nuclear area. We could, along with Brazil, with Argentina and others, start investigations into the nuclear sector and ask for help from countries like Iran." The statement, which follows a visit to Caracas by Iranian President Mohammed Khatami in March, was intended to be noticed — and it was.

The question is why he would have said it.

The United States regards Venezuela, under Chavez, as a hostile power. Chavez has charged that the United States is trying to overthrow him, perhaps by invasion.

Washington has made it clear that removing Chavez would be a desirable goal, and has moved to publicly fund anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela. What its less-public plans and intentions might be are unclear, but there is little doubt the United States would like to be rid of Chavez. Meeting with Iran's president did not endear Chavez to the United States, any more than making oil deals with China did. But then, Chavez does not intend to endear himself to the United States.

Raising the nuclear red flag, particularly in an Iranian context, would appear to simply invite an American response. On the surface, Chavez appears to be taking an unnecessary risk in provoking the United States to act against him with a better public justification. One of the claims frequently made by Chavez's critics is that he is — not to put too fine a point on it — nuts. That is too convenient an explanation. Chavez is too effective a politician and has run too many rings around the United States to be written off that easily.

Chavez is, first and foremost, trying to maintain control of Venezuela. When the United States treats him as a major threat, it is actually strengthening his position. He can generate national pride simply by being taken seriously by Washington. By asserting — and frequently demonstrating — that the Bush administration wants to unseat him, he signals his importance. The visit of significant world leaders to Caracas further strengthens his position.

Venezuela is not going to be a nuclear power in Chavez's lifetime. Nevertheless, the ability to speak seriously about becoming a nuclear power gives him a credibility with his political base that he always wants to shore up. If he is fortunate enough to be threatened by Washington, that simply makes his significance — and his popularity — soar.

This is not only the case in Venezuela. It is also the case in Latin America as a whole, where appearing to resist the United States gives Chavez more credibility still.

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Having support in the region — especially support against U.S. interference from countries such as Brazil — increases the survivability of his regime. It would be difficult to unseat Chavez, a democratically elected president, in Venezuela; doing so against the wishes of major regional powers would make the move much more costly.

Raising the issue of a nuclear program, therefore, helps Chavez secure his regime against Washington. Chavez knows the United States is not about to invade Venezuela; the Bush administration has no appetite for a war of occupation there. The U.S. move against Chavez would be covert. But for a covert move to succeed, it must not have massive blowback in the rest of Latin America. Everything that Chavez can do to increase his prestige and credibility in Latin America decreases the probability that he would be overthrown by any covert plan. If the plan were made public, the blowback would be intense and, paradoxically, increase Chavez's power.

Chavez isn't about to build a nuclear device, with or without Iran. He isn't even going to build a peaceful nuclear reactor anytime soon, if ever. And the United States isn't going to invade or launch a pre-emptive strike against a mythical nuclear capability. But Chavez has learned from North Korea and Iran that merely discussing nuclear weapons can provoke behavior from the United States that increases domestic support for the regime and causes foreign powers to circle their wagons solicitously.

It is unlikely that Washington will fall into Chavez's trap. The Bush administration knows that this is empty talk. But as such, it costs Chavez nothing and — who knows? — someone in Washington might utter a threat against him. That alone would whittle away at what little vulnerability Chavez now has. We expect Washington to remain silent on the issue, but there is always the unnamed source in the White House standing by to say something well, nuts.

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George Friedman is chairman of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., dubbed by Barron's as "The Shadow CIA," it's one of the world's leading global intelligence firms, providing clients with geopolitical analysis and industry and country forecasts to mitigate risk and identify opportunities. Stratfor's clients include Fortune 500 companies and major governments.

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