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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 Sept. 15, 2005 / 11 Elul, 5765

Learning how to accept responsibility

By Ed Koch


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In Barbara Walters' interview of Colin Powell, reported in The New York Times, Powell referred to his 2003 speech before the United Nations Security Council "in which he gave a detailed description of Iraqi weapons programs that turned out not to exist [as] 'painful' for him personally."

"I'm the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world," Mr. Powell told Ms. Walters of ABC News, adding that the presentation "will always be a part of my record." Powell, however, did not blame former CIA director George Tenet, according to the Times, "for the failures and did not believe that Mr. Tenet tried to mislead him," saying, "'No, George Tenet did not sit there for five days with me, misleading me,' referring to the week he spent at the CIA reviewing the evidence on Iraq before making his presentation to the United Nations. 'There were some people in the intelligence community who knew at that time that some of these sources were not good, and shouldn't be relied upon, and they didn't speak up. That devastated me.'"

I respect and admire Colin Powell. He has served our country magnificently as Secretary of State, National Security Adviser to the President, four-star General in the U.S. Army and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the first President Bush. He clearly left President Bush's Cabinet because of his disagreements with the President's policies, and he resigned without seeking to embarrass the President or becoming a center of opposition to the President. He does not blame George Tenet for the misinformation on which he relied that he repeated to the U.N. as Secretary of State, but instead, according to The Times, calls to task "some intelligence agents [who] knew the information he had was unreliable, but did not speak up." Why shouldn't he and all of us, blame George Tenet, the former director of Central Intelligence? Tenet told President Bush that establishing that Saddam Hussein had unconventional weapons was a "slam dunk case." Tenet gave the President a personal briefing every day on Iraq and the President and Powell had every right to rely on his advice when it came to issues of national security.

So why did Bush award Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the applause of the Congress and of Powell? I haven't a clue. Nobody in his right mind believed Tenet's statement to CIA personnel. According to CNN, Tenet said, "And while Washington and the media will put many different faces on [my decision to resign], it was a personal decision, and had only one basis in fact: the well-being of my wonderful family, nothing more and nothing less." Puhleeze!

In the same interview with Barbara Walters, according to The Times, Powell said, "What we didn't do in the immediate aftermath of the war was to impose our will on the whole country with enough troops from coalition forces or by recreating the Iraqi forces, armed forces, more quickly than we are doing now."

Paul Bremer, appointed by the President as administrator of Iraq, ordered that the Iraqi army be disbanded, instead of simply changing its leadership and employing it, as we are now seeking to do, to fight the insurgents and terrorists. Bremer's decision surely was a major factor in the huge casualties suffered by the U.S. armed forces since the end of the conventional war, which now total 1,895 dead and at least 14,362 injured, with an estimated more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed by those same insurgents and terrorists. Why was Bremer also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom? Both Tenet and Bremer deserved sacking, not medals.

It would not surprise many if suddenly Michael Brown, who just resigned as director of FEMA, were awarded a medal for his recent service in New Orleans.

Colin Powell's admission that we did not send adequate military forces into Iraq in 2003 conjures up the name of General Eric Shinseki who told Congress that the occupation could require "several hundred thousand troops." According to most of the media reporting at the time, General Shinseki was sacked —forced to retire prematurely— because his opinion differed with that of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who believed and apparently still does, that the current number of American forces, 137,000, is adequate to do the job. Isn't Shinseki owed an apology by Rumsfeld and the President? I think so.

The investigations that have been launched into prison conditions at American installations criticized by the International Red Cross, in Iraq (Abu Ghraib) and in Cuba (Guantanamo Bay) have led to criminal trials, but apparently only of low-level military personnel. Why haven't high-level brass charged with responsibility for the facilities and maintaining discipline been pursued criminally for their failures and dereliction of their responsibilities? Why does it seem that we reward high-level incompetents with medals and low-level incompetents with jail?

Some will say, "Koch, you are criticizing those you have told us to vote for." Yes, that is true in this case. It harkens back to one of my rules when I was mayor. I said, "Government is not for my friends," going on to explain that to be in my government, if you were a friend of mine, you had to be far better than other applicants for the job. I expected then and continue to expect now more from my friends.

I still admire, respect and support Colin Powell, President Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld for the positive, even great, contributions they have made to the U.S., particularly their courage in taking on international terrorism. But that should not and will not stop me from being critical when their actions or inactions merit a public rebuke. If that be disloyalty, so be it.

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.

JWR contributor Edward I. Koch, the former mayor of New York, can be heard on Bloomberg Radio (WBBR 1130 AM) every Sunday from 9-10 am . Comment by clicking here.

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