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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 19, 2013/ 13 Elul, 5773

Is President Charming finally acknowledging his failures?

By Jack Kelly




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | He would restore American prestige in the world, which had been battered by the war in Iraq, Barack Obama said when he was running for president. In contrast to President George W. Bush, who relied on military force, he would exercise "smart power" to charm America's adversaries.

"He entered office chastising the Bush administration for its failure to talk with the Iranians and Syrians," said the military historian Victor Davis Hanson. "The subtext was that Bush lacked both his own charm and insight into human character that together would produce results that Texan right-wingers stuck in Cold War prisms could hardly appreciate."

To symbolize the shift from Mr. Bush's "Cold War thinking," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov when they met in Geneva in March of 2009 a big red button like the "easy" button in the Staples commercials.

The button said "Reset" in English, "Peregruzka" in Russian. It "represents that we want to reset our relationship," Ms. Clinton said.

President Obama canceled a missile defense treaty with Eastern European allies because Russia objected to it, volunteered big cuts in our nuclear arsenal. He'd have "flexibility" to do more after he was re-elected, Mr. Obama promised outgoing Russian President Dimitry Medvedev last year.

But granting aslyum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was only the most recent Russian blow.

It's not unusual for Russia to oppose American policies. But the contempt with which Russian President Vladimir Putin has treated Mr. Obama and his ministers is astounding, and unprecedented.

"Relations with Russia have fallen off a cliff, making the theatrical "reset" of 2009 look, frankly, cringe-worthy," said Frida Ghitis, world affairs columnist for the Miami Herald.

President Obama responded to Russia's latest affront by canceling a meeting with Mr. Putin scheduled for next month. That, apparently, will be the extent of U.S. retaliation.

"In Barack Obama's mind, the ultimate punishment is to deny you the opportunity to meet with Barack Obama," tweeted the humorist Iowahawk.


"Obama may think that canceling the Moscow summit sent a strong message to Putin," said the Moscow Times.

"Yet far from being a snub, Obama's no-show is probably the best news Putin has received in a long time."

Mr. Putin "openly despises your president," Russian political analyst Andrei A. Piontovsky told the New York Times.

We got an idea why during Mr. Obama's appearance on the Tonight Show Aug. 6. Host Jay Leno asked him why relations with Russia were so rocky.

He was "disappointed" with Mr. Putin's decision about asylum, the president said. "There have been times when they slip back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality. What I continually say to them and to President Putin, that's the past."

He was disappointed also with Russia's mistreatment of homosexuals, which "violates basic morality," the president said.

To lecture Mr. Putin while Mr. Putin is eating his lunch makes Mr. Obama seem pretentious and weak.

Mr. Putin "positions himself as the sort of realist that mocks Obama's pretensions," said Victor Davis Hanson. "And while most abroad accept that he is a thug, they nevertheless seem to enjoy watching Putin, in spider-and-fly fashion, deflate our moral pretenses."

Pretentiousness can be irritating. But in the conduct of foreign policy, what is dangerous is the perception of weakness.

There is an Arab proverb that goes: "When an enemy extends his hand to you, cut it off. If you can't, kiss it."

It isn't only Arabs who think this way. After four years of "smart power," America is liked less, respected less, feared less almost everywhere in the world.

As the collapse of his foreign policy becomes more evident, and its consequences more alarming, expect liberal journalists such as Ms. Ghitis to attribute it to shortcomings peculiar to Mr. Obama they'd overlooked until now.

But most liberals shared his confidence in "smart power," and his smug assumption he and they -- were so very much smarter than those "stuck in Cold War thinking."

When Ms. Clinton presented the "reset" button to Mr. Lavrov, there was a sign this assumption was unwarranted. "Peregruzka" means "overcharged," or "overloaded" in Russian, not "reset." The secretary of state meant to share a joke at Mr. Bush's expense. She'd insulted the Russians instead.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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© 2013, Jack Kelly

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