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December 2, 2014

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 June 13, 2014 / 15Sivan, 5774

Obama revealed, finally

By Caroline B. Glick








JewishWorldReview.com | For nearly six years, Obama and his supporters have managed to fend off allegations that his foreign policy is even more ideological - and far more radical - than Bush's by channeling the public's aversion to pie-in-the-sky rhetoric and obfuscating facts.

US President Barack Obama is an artist of political propaganda. Both his greatest admirers and his most vociferous opponents agree that his ability to manipulate public opinion has no peer in American politics today.

So how can we explain the fiasco that is his decision not only to swap five senior Taliban terror masters for US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, but to take ownership over the decision by presenting it to the American people in a ceremony with Bergdahl's parents at the White House Rose Garden? Clearly Obama overreached. He misread the public's disposition.

This much is made clear by the immediate criticism his actions received from the liberal media. It wasn't just Fox News and National Review that said Obama broke the law when he failed to notify Congress of the swap 30 days prior to its implementation.

It was CNN and NBC News.

MSNBC commentators criticized the swap. And CNN interviewed Bergdahl's platoon mates who to a man accused him of desertion, with many alleging as well that he collaborated with the enemy. It was CNN that gave the names of the six American soldiers who died trying to rescue Bergdahl from the Taliban.

What was it about the Bergdahl trade tipped the scales? Why is this decision different from Obama's other foreign policy decisions? For instance, why is the public outraged now when it wasn't outraged in the aftermath of the jihadist assault on US installations in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, in which US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered? Politically, Obama emerged unscathed from failures in every area he has engaged. From Iraq to Iran to Syria to Libya to Russia and beyond, he has never experienced the sort of across the board condemnation he is now suffering. His political allies and media supporters always rallied to his side. They always explained away his failures.

So what explains the outcry? Why are people like Senator Dianne Feinstein, who have been supportive of Obama's nuclear appeasement of Iran, up in arms over the Bergdahl swap? There are three aspects of the Bergdahl deal that distinguish it from the rest of Obama's foreign policy blunders.

First, the Bergdahl deal was conducted in an unlawful manner and the White House readily acknowledged that it knowingly broke the law by not informing Congress 30 days in advance of the swap. This brazen lawbreaking angered Obama's loyal allies in Congress who, like Feinstein, were insulted by his behavior.

Second, Obama initiated the story and made himself the sole owner of the swap.

Obama didn't have to make the Bargdahl swap a story about his foreign policy. He chose to. As commentators have argued, if Obama had simply ordered the Defense Department to issue a press release announcing the swap the story probably wouldn't have caused more than the normal amount of controversy.

And whereas Benghazi was a story about jihadists attacking, and Obama was pilloried - and defended - for his response to an act of aggression initiated by US enemies, Obama presented the Bergdahl swap as his brainchild. So it is impossible to blame anyone else for this move, or wish it away.


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As the administration saw it, the public would rally around the leader over this feel-good story. Obama obviously believed that the Bergdahl trade would help him to surmount his opponents' criticism over the Veterans' Administration scandal and other issues.

And this is where his failure to understand the disposition of the American people comes into play.

The third aspect of the swap that distinguishes it from his other foreign policy failures is that by organizing the ceremony at the Rose Garden, and making it a story about himself, Obama denied his supporters the tools they have used in every other instance to explain away his failures and justify his counterproductive decisions.

Obama sailed into office by presenting himself as a non-ideological pragmatist. Obama recognized that the public was tired of foreign policies based on ideology. George W. Bush lost public support for the war in Iraq, and for his foreign policy goal of bringing freedom to the Islamic world more generally, when his ideologically charged rhetoric of American exceptionalism stopped matching the situation on the ground.

A year after Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq, the sight of US military contractors being lynched in Fallujah soured the public on American exceptionalism. In Obama, they hoped that they found the antidote to Bush - a man who promised to replace ideology with hard-nosed pragmatism.

In the event, Obama turned out to be even more driven by ideology than Bush was. Obama is the anti-Bush not because he matches Bush's ideology with pragmatism. He is the anti-Bush because he matches Bush's grand foreign policy based on American exceptionalism with his own grand foreign policy based on American moral deficiency.

He made this clear most recently at his commencement address at West Point last month where he stipulated that "American influence is always stronger when we lead by example. We can't exempt ourselves from the rules that apply to everybody else... ."

As to American exceptionalism, Obama sneered, "What makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions."

But while Obama's critics have pointed out the radicalism at the heart of his foreign policy from the outset of his presidency, his supporters were always able to explain it away.

Obama's appeasement of the Iranians was pragmatic.

We don't want a war there, they say.



His support for the Muslim Brotherhood is not radical. It too is pragmatic, they soothe.

And so on and so forth.

As for Benghazi, in the fog of war, the media preferred its commitment to Obama's reelection over its responsibility to report the truth of what happened.

Obama's success in getting away with serial foreign policy failures, and his success in hiding the radical ideological basis of his decisions has always owed to his supporters' ability to plausibly deny both the failures and the ideological motivation for his actions.

His Rose Garden announcement made such spin all but impossible. Americans are not particularly interested in foreign policy. But there are a few things that they won't buy.

They won't buy that a man who comes to the White House sporting a Taliban beard and praising Allah in Arabic is a normal American father.

They won't buy spin that describes a deserter as an exemplary soldier.

They don't want to free five senior terrorists and mass murderers in order to buy Bergdahl's release.

In believing that the public would side with him and Bergdahl and Bergdahl's dad against critics of the deal, Obama showed that for all his propaganda prowess, he doesn't understand the public.

The public didn't oppose the war in Iraq because they thought the US is morally deficient. They opposed the war in Iraq because Bush wasn't winning it. And the public believed that Bush's push for the abstract goal of democracy lay at the heart of the failure on the ground.

For nearly six years, Obama and his supporters have managed to fend off allegations that his foreign policy is even more ideological - and far more radical - than Bush's by channeling the public's aversion to pie-in-the-sky rhetoric and obfuscating facts. But the Bergdahl announcement at the Rose Garden ended all of that.

The reason Obama is being denounced for the Bergdahl swap is because he orchestrated a radical spectacle. Try as he may to castigate critics of the deal as partisan and cynical, Obama cannot pretend away the fact that the ceremony he arranged and oversaw was an open celebration of an American defeat, by the US president and the unsympathetic parents of an accused deserter.

And worse still for Obama's protestations of pragmatism, his decision to take sole ownership of the swap revealed his ideological myopia. Only someone blinded by a worldview in which America is morally deficient could have thought that Americans would join him and the Bergdahls in celebrating an American defeat.

And now everyone knows what makes him tick.


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JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where her column appears.

© 2013, Caroline B. Glick

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