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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, 2014 / 14 Sivan, 5774

Sgt. Bergdahl and the US departure from Afghanistan

By Victor Davis Hanson




JewishWorldReview.com | Soon we shall get to the bottom of the swap of five Taliban kingpins from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for one Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

In time we will learn whether Bergdahl really served with "honor and distinction" and was "captured on the battlefield," as National Security Adviser Susan Rice has stated. Or whether, as fellow soldiers of his platoon insist, he was a deserter who left his comrades to seek out the Taliban.

We will soon discover whether Bergdahl's serious health problems or imminent danger prompted President Obama to make the sudden swap. Or whether, as administration skeptics insist, the deal was a rushed political gambit to divert attention from the Veterans Affairs scandal -- and a way to whittle down the Guantanamo population and erode laws demanding congressional approval before such detainees are released.

Amidst the swap conundrum, the president has defended the trade by referencing history and the American experience in past wars. But here, too, what the president states is not always accurate.

Obama insisted that, "We have a rule, a principle, that when somebody wears our country's uniform and they're in a war theater and they're captured ... we're going to do everything we can to bring 'em home. ... And regardless of whatever circumstances there are, it is our obligation to bring them home."

Yet the United States has not routinely sought to bring captives home, "regardless of whatever circumstances there are." During the Korean War, and for decades afterwards while on patrol in Korea, some American soldiers simply walked across the DMZ and turned themselves over to the North Koreans.

Both in war and peace, the United States often did little to bring them back, even when the deserters had second thoughts and wanted to return. Charles Robert Jenkins stayed in North Korea for nearly 40 years after deserting in 1965. Japan sought to pressure the U.S. government to pardon him and helped obtain his release. On his return, Jenkins pled guilty to charges of desertion and aiding the enemy and was given a dishonorable discharge.

Robert Garwood left his post in Vietnam under disputed circumstances in 1965. He was not included in prisoner swaps at the end of the Vietnam War. The U.S. government made few subsequent efforts to bring him home from North Vietnam. When Garwood finally got back more than 14 years after he was detained, he was court-martialed and given a dishonorable discharge.

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Obama also declared that in "the transition process of ending a war is going to involve, on occasion, releasing folks who we may not trust but we can't convict."

That is also mostly untrue. The U.S., in most of its foreign wars, more often waited until the conclusion -- not during a "transition process" -- before exchanging prisoners. And how does the president know beforehand that "we can't convict" through military tribunals Guantanamo terrorists like those he released, as we have with others in the past?

We are also not "ending a war," but only U.S. participation in it. Most likely, after our departure in 2016, the enemy, in similar fashion to the North Vietnamese in 1975, will storm Kabul, declare victory and vitiate the long American sacrifice intended to offer the Afghans some alternative to the Taliban.

The Bergdahl affair is a chapter in a much larger story. Obama campaigned in 2008 on the premise that George W. Bush had unwisely diverted resources to the bad war in Iraq from the good one in Afghanistan. Accordingly, Obama promised to step up and defeat the Taliban. Six years later, and with the U.S. military suffering more casualties under this administration than were lost during the Bush administration, Obama now feels that America has had enough.



The president wants to quit the war, whether Afghanistan is subsequently lost to the Taliban or not. He wishes to close Guantanamo, as he promised in 2008, regardless of a law that demands congressional approval to release detainees, and despite the dangers incurred by the release of terrorists. Bringing Bergdahl home is part of sporadic negotiations with the Taliban about easing Americans out of the war, and also useful for closing down Guantanamo.

Obama is wagering that the public does not care all that much whether Bergdahl is a deserter. Or whether the administration has negotiated with terrorists such as the Haqqani network or the Taliban. Or whether the released Taliban militants will soon return to fight in Afghanistan.

Obama is also betting that Americans are sick of Afghanistan, and don't really care how American soldiers leave or what they leave behind, as long as they all leave.

We saw that in Iraq in 2011, and we are seeing it again as a backdrop to the Bergdahl swap.

Victor Davis Hanson Archives

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.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution and Stanford University.


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