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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 August 27, 2009 / 7 Elul 5769

War — What War?

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan headed to Martha's Vineyard this week, where President Obama is vacationing. Once again she is protesting our two wars abroad.


But Sheehan is a media has-been. ABC's Charlie Gibson used to cover her anti-Bush rallies in Crawford, Texas. Now he says, with a sigh, of her recent anti-Obama efforts, "Enough already."


The war in Iraq is scarcely in the news any longer, despite the fact that 141,000 American soldiers are still protecting the fragile Iraqi democracy, and 114, as of this writing, have been lost this year in that effort.


But after the success of the surge, there are far fewer American fatalities each month — eight in July, five in August. Former anti-war candidate Barack Obama is also now President and Commander-in-Chief Obama — with Democratic majorities in the Congress.


Public opinion and media attention about Iraq were always based largely on two factors that transcended whether Americans felt the removal of Saddam Hussein was wise and necessary — or misguided and wrong.


First was the perception of costs to benefits. In May 2003, after a quick, successful American invasion, a Gallup poll revealed that 79 percent of the public supported the war — despite our not finding weapons of mass destruction. But by December 2008 — more than 4,000 American fatalities later and at the end of the Bush presidency — only 34 percent, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, still felt the war had been worth the effort.


Second was how the changing public mood affected politics. In October 2002, the Republican-controlled House and Senate, with plenty of Democratic support, voted overwhelming to authorize the Iraq war.


Congress cited 23 reasons why we should remove Saddam. The majority of these authorizations had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction.


Yet as the subsequent occupation became messy and costly, prior Democratic support evaporated. In both the presidential campaigns of 2004 and 2008, running against what was now George Bush's war was seen as wise Democratic politics.


From all that, we can draw more conclusions about the present media silence and absence of public protests over the Iraq war. As long as Barack Obama is commander-in-chief, and as long as casualties in Iraq are down, there will be no large public protests or much news about our sizable Iraq presence. The cost and the attendant politics — not why we went there — always determined how the Iraq war was covered.


Afghanistan is more complicated. So far this year — for the first time since our 2001 removal of the Taliban from power — more Americans have been killed there (172) than in Iraq (114). The Obama administration recently sent more troops into Afghanistan to reach our highest level yet at 32,000.


Yet so far there have been none of the public protests that we used to see in connection with Iraq. Why?


Over the last few years, we have become used to the idea that Afghanistan was "quiet." Indeed fewer were killed there in most years than in some of the bloodiest single months in Iraq.


Democrats also ran on the notion of Afghanistan as the "good war." It was the direct payback for the Taliban's involvement with Osama bin Laden. It garnered United Nations support. And it had been neglected by Iraq-obsessed, neo-con George Bush.


Many anti-war candidates also thought the "good" Afghan war was largely over, while the "bad" Iraq one was hopeless — already "lost" in the words of the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, D-Nev.


In addition, Afghanistan — landlocked, backward, with a harsh climate and little natural wealth — was always the harder challenge for fostering constitutional government. Iraq has ports, a central location, oil riches, flat and open terrain, and an educated populace.


So now we have public confusion about both wars. George Bush's "wrong" war is largely won and Iraq's democracy fairly stable. But the good war in Afghanistan is becoming Barack Obama's and heating up — more American troops, more American casualties and little political stability.


If the past is any guide to media and public reaction, some predications seem warranted. Obama will enjoy far more patience, since the anti-war left and a liberal media will go easier on a kindred president.


Yet if casualties peak, the American people will sour on Afghanistan as they did on Iraq. Then even Obama, I think unfairly, will be blamed in the media for a war that Americans used to think — as in the case once of Iraq — was necessary and just.


And even reluctant Charlie Gibson might have to return to covering Cindy Sheehan's latest pursuit of a beleaguered American president.

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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