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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 June 12, 2006 / 16 Sivan 5766

Searching for the real al-Zarqawi

By Clarence Page


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One should not speak ill of the dead, but an exception easily can be made for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He deserves no tears but tears of anguish for those whom he murdered, maimed and otherwise brutalized.


He was a true thug among terrorist leaders, a street gangster who hijacked Islam and turned from petty crime to mass murder, including videotaped beheadings.


Although it remains to be seen just how great the impact of al-Zarqawi's death will be, it is not small. His troops comprised only a small fraction of the more than 60 insurgent groups causing mayhem in Iraq, but he enhanced his influence through fear spread with a publicity-hungry ruthlessness.


Yet, the White House reaction was noticeably subdued, compared to its champagne-cork-popping exuberance following the capture of Saddam Hussein or the killing of his two sons, Uday and Qusay. President Bush announced no turning point in the war, only an "opportunity" for the new Iraqi government to turn the tide.


His caution was well-founded. Past claims of turning points in the war have turned too against us. The president also wisely avoids any more of his early "bring 'em on" and "wanted dead or alive" cowboy talk that he says he now regrets.


And, I hope the Bush administration understands by now the tricky nature of publicity for terrorists in this media age, in which many see publicity as destiny.


For example, the White House had to figure out which al-Zarqawi had died. Was it the cunning and murderous international menace that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell and Vice President Cheney introduced to the world in 2004? Or was it the bumbling thug in gym shoes who apparently couldn't handle an automatic rifle in the captured video that the U.S. military released in April?


Both versions are valid. Al-Zarqawi was a small-timer who hit the big time in February 2003 when Powell made his case for war in Iraq to the United Nations. Powell identified al-Zarqawi incorrectly, we now know, as a major link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden who "helped establish" a terrorist training camp to produce ricin and other poisons near Khurmal in northeastern Iraq.


Vice President Cheney later claimed in his debate with Sen. John Edwards on Oct. 5, 2004, that "Mr. Zarqawi ... set up shop in Baghdad, where he oversaw the poisons facility up at Khurmal (in Iraqi Kurdistan), where the terrorists were developing ricin and other deadly substances to use."

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As the world knows by now, no ricin or other weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. But al-Zarqawi became as famous as bin Laden in world terrorist circles, enhancing his influence and recruitment. If his importance was not created by the U.S., it was inflated, first to validate the alleged Saddam-al-Qaeda link and, second, to put an easy-to-hate non-Iraqi face on Iraq's otherwise faceless and highly complicated insurgency.


"One can only imagine how astonished al-Zarqawi must have been when Colin Powell named him as the crucial link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime," writes author Mary Anne Weaver in a lengthy profile of al-Zarqawi in the latest Atlantic Monthly, now updated on the magazine's Web site. "He was not even officially a part of al-Qaeda, and ever since he had left Afghanistan (from which he fled invading American troops), his links had been not to Iraq but to Iran."


The Washington Post similarly reported in April that "The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."


Even so, al-Zarqawi's importance should not be minimized. Even though Weaver argues persuasively that he was so violent, particularly against innocent Muslim civilians, that even bin Laden and his cronies did not trust him, they never repudiated his claim to be head of "al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia."


But, as we look ahead to see just how fragmented his ruthless band may be in his wake, or who will try to take his place, it is important to remember the political events that propelled al-Zarqawi into the international spotlight. Sometimes it's better for faceless bands of terrorist thugs to remain faceless.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.

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