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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 Sept. 8, 2005 / 4 Elul, 5765

Katrina's windbags

By Max Boot


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sometimes I have a strong urge to resign in disgust from the Amalgamated Federation of Pollsters, Pundits, Politicians and Pompous Pontificators. This is one of those times.

No sooner had Hurricane Katrina roared through Louisiana and adjacent states than every blockhead with a microphone or a word processor felt compelled to spout off about What It All Means —and, more important, Who Is to Blame.

Ordinary people are sitting at home, transfixed by the spectacle unfolding on their television screens. Their hearts are breaking as they watch the horrifying spectacle of an entire city drowned. Many have already contributed what they can to the American Red Cross, to the Salvation Army, to the other armies of compassion, and only wish they could do more.

What must they think of the talking heads who treat this as if it were another bit of minor grist for the political mills? As if this were another story about some politician's war record or a nominee's nanny issues. The callowness now on display goes a long way toward explaining why politicians and the media are held in public esteem somewhere above child molesters and below bankers.

Two thousand years ago —even 200 years ago —a Katrina-scale calamity would have been blamed on the gods. In many parts of the world that is still the impulse; witness the stoicism with which Bangladesh faces the regular loss of tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of its citizens from natural disasters. But, for better or worse, such resignation before the fury of nature is not the modern Western way. In our view, nature must be tamed, and therefore all disasters are unnatural. We blame anything that goes wrong not on the gods in the sky but on the gods in Washington —as if a hurricane could be caused by an excess of hot air emanating from our capital.

Pontificators of a leftist persuasion are pointing the finger of blame at President Bush and his Department of Homeland Security for not doing a better job of disaster preparation. New York Times columnist Bob Herbert claims the message of the past week is, "Bush to New Orleans: Drop Dead." Conservatives are jumping in to defend the administration and assign blame to the Democratic mayor of New Orleans and the Democratic governor of Louisiana. No doubt both criticisms have some merit: Insofar as anyone can be held accountable for last week's horrors, there is plenty of blame to go around.

But why do we feel compelled to skip so readily from this ongoing tragedy to the postmortem? It is almost as if the fourth quarter of a football game were called off so that the analysts could more quickly dissect what happened in the first three quarters. Except that this game can't be stopped. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff still has to go about his job of restoring order and helping survivors even as he has to deal with insolent interviewers who want to know when he's planning to tender his resignation.

Lest this be mistaken for a generalized anti-media rant, let me stipulate that the reporters on the ground are doing a superlative job in a difficult, dangerous situation. They are providing vital information not only for couch potatoes at home but also for officials who can act on the news they unearth.

The target of my ire is people like, well, me: those of us who are supposed to make sense of events. It's an important job but also one in which it is all too easy to sacrifice perspective on the altar of immediacy.

At this point, we simply don't know what it all means and who, if anyone, is to blame. Many of the attempts to assign blame have already been revealed as farcically unconvincing. The argument, for instance, that Katrina is the offspring of global warming ignores meteorological records that show that the number of hurricanes has been cycling up and down for decades. An even more incendiary charge —that the response was dilatory because so many victims were African Americans —is presented with even less evidence, which is to say, none at all. No doubt other nuggets of insta-analysis will also be debunked in the days ahead, while future investigations will reveal problems that no one knew existed.

Eventually it will be important to figure out what happened and why in order to prevent a repeat —if we can. (And that's a big if.)

But not now. Now soldiers and relief workers must concentrate on the tasks at hand —saving the living, burying the dead, restoring the rule of law. Everything else can wait, even in this instant-gratification world of 24/7 sound bites.

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.

BOOT'S LATEST
The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power  

The book was selected as one of the best books of 2002 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor. It also won the 2003 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award, given annually by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for the best nonfiction book pertaining to Marine Corps history. Sales help fund JWR.



Max Boot is Olin Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is also a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times. To comment, please click here.


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