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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 July 15, 2011 13 Tamuz, 5771

A Dumb and Dumber War in Libya

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Almost daily over the last four months we were told that Muammar Gadhafi was about ready to throw in the towel and give up.

Libya, after all, is not a distant Afghanistan or Iraq with a population of some 30 million. Yet this tiny police state of less than 7 million people, conveniently located on the Mediterranean Sea opposite nearby Europe, continues to thwart the three great powers of the NATO alliance and thousands of "Arab Spring" rebels.

In March, President Obama ordered the use of American bombers and cruise missiles to join in with the French and British to finish off the tottering Gadhafi regime. Obama was apparently stung by liberal criticism that the U.S. had done little to help rebels in their weeks-long effort to remove Gadhafi -- after only belatedly supporting the successful revolutionaries in Tunisia and Egypt.

Months ago, intervention to the Obama administration seemed a short, painless way of ridding the world of a decades-long international menace while gaining praise for helping "democratic" reformers. Oil, of course, is always a subtext in any Middle Eastern war.

But almost immediately contradictions arose. Sometimes we ordered Gadhafi to leave; at other times we insisted we were only helping the rebels. Bombs seemed to be aimed at the Gadhafi family, even as we denied such targeted killing -- and were reminded that U.S. law forbids the assassination of foreign leaders.

The rebels were variously described as would-be democratic reformers, inept amateurs, hard-core Islamists, or mixtures of all three. No one seems to have answers months later, though many insurgents share a deep-seeded racial and religious hatred of Gadhafi's African mercenaries. Who knows whether post-Gadhafi Libya will become an Islamic republic, a Somalia-like mess, another Arab dictatorship or a Turkish-style democracy?

The more NATO forces destroyed Gadhafi's tanks, artillery, planes and boats, the more the unhinged dictator seemed to cling to power. Western leaders had forgotten that Gadhafi lost a war with Egypt in 1977, lost a war with Chad in 1987, and came out on the losing end of Ronald Reagan's bombing campaign in 1986 -- and yet clung to power and remains the planet's longest-ruling dictator. Terror, oil, cash reserves and a loyal mercenary army are a potent combination.

The Obama administration asked for legal authorization from the Arab League -- the majority of whose member states are not democratic -- and the U.N., but to this day strangely has not requested authorization from Congress. As Obama sought legitimacy within international authorizations, he failed to note that no U.N. or Arab League resolution actually had allowed him to conduct a full-scale air war against Gadhafi's ruling clique. The Chinese and Russians are both happy to keep pointing that out.

Both conservatives and liberals were flabbergasted by the sudden preemptive war. Conservatives who supported the messy efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq were reluctant to champion a third one in Libya without congressional authority and with no clearly stated mission or methodology. When we entered an on-again/off-again cycle of operations, Republicans charged that a weakened, fiscally insolvent America was sort of "leading from behind."

Liberals were appalled that the president, who, as a senator, had always praised the War Powers Act, was now ordering his legal team to find ingenious ways of bypassing it. If this was to be a multilateral, un-Bush war, why then did it split NATO apart? Roughly half the members declined to participate. Both Germany and Italy soon openly opposed the effort. And now the instigator, France, seems to want to bail.

The left had also decried Western attacks on oil-exporting Muslim countries, but now liberal-in-chief Barack Obama was doing just that. Indeed, the antiwar president who promised to end the Bush Mideast wars had suddenly expanded them into a third theater. The more the war dragged on, the more the Arab world was torn between hating Gadhafi and hating Obama's bombs.

The odious Gadhafi has been an international pariah for most of his tenure, funding terrorists, killing Americans and murdering dissidents. But even as the bombs were dropped, he was a monster in the midst of rehab. By late 2010 his jet-setting family was being courted by Western intellectuals, reestablishing diplomatic relations with the United States, offering oil concessions to the West, and being praised as a partner in the war against radical Islamic terrorism.

Then, with a snap of the fingers, in early 2011 Gadhafi was suddenly reinvented as a Saddam Hussein-like ogre and dodging Western cruise missiles and bombs targeted at his person.

What is next?

The general consensus, from both left and right, is that we should finish the misadventure as quickly as possible. Apparently, the only thing worse than starting a stupid, unnecessary war against a madman is losing it.

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

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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