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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. 6, 2005 / 2 Elul, 5765

Proof that nothing changed after Sept. 11

By Mark Steyn


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the Atlantic Monthly a few years back, Robert D. Kaplan went to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other failed jurisdictions of West Africa and concluded that many of the "citizens" of these "states," roaming the streets raping and killing, belonged to a phenomenon called "re-primitivized man."

Anyone watching TV in recent days will have seen plenty of "re-primitivized man," not in Liberia or Somalia, but in Louisiana. Cops smashing the Wal-Mart DVD cabinet so they can get their share of the booty along with the rest of the looters, gangs firing on a children's hospital and on rescue helicopters, hurricane victims being raped in the New Orleans Convention Center. . . . If you're minded, as many of the world's anti-Americans are, to regard the United States as a depraved swamp, it was a grand old week: Mother Nature delivered the swamp, but plenty of natives supplied the depravity.

Not all of them, of course. But it doesn't really matter if it's only 5 percent or 2 percent or 0.01 percent if everybody else is giving them free rein. Not exactly the most impressive law enforcement agency even on a good day, the New Orleans Police Department sent along some 80 officers to rescue the rape victims trapped in the Convention Center, but were beaten back by the mob. Meanwhile, the ever more pitiful governor was, unlike many of her fellow Louisianans, safe on dry land but still floundering way out of her depth, unable to stand up to the lawlessness even rhetorically or to communicate anything other than emotive impotence.

With most disasters, it's a good rule to let the rescue teams do their work and leave the sniping till folks are safe. But in New Orleans last week the emergency work has been seriously hampered by actual literal sniping, as at that hospital. The authorities lost control of the streets. Which one of Tom Ridge's Homeland Security color codes does that fall under?

After Sept. 11, many people who should have known better argued that it was somehow a vindication of government.

"One of the things that's changed so much since Sept. 11," agreed Vice President Dick Cheney, "is the extent to which people do trust the government — big shift — and value it, and have high expectations for what we can do."

Hard to see why he'd say that. Sept. 11 was an appalling comprehensive failure of just about every relevant federal agency. The only government that worked that day was local and state: The great defining image, redeeming American honor at a moment of national humiliation, is those brave New York firemen pounding up the stairs of the World Trade Center. What consolations can be drawn from the lopsided tango between slapdash bureaucrats and subhuman predators in New Orleans?

To be fair, next door, Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi has been the Giuliani of the hour, and there are many tales of great courage, like the teams from the Children's Hospital of Alabama who've been helicoptering in to New Orleans to rescue newborn babies.

The comparison with Sept. 11 isn't exact, but it's fair to this extent: Katrina was the biggest disaster on American soil since that day provoked the total overhaul of the system and the devotion of billions of dollars and the finest minds in the nation to the prioritizing of homeland security. It was, thus, the first major test of the post-9/11 structures. Happy with the results?

Muhammad Yousef Al-Mlaifi, director of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Endowment (and no, I've no idea what that means, though feel free to do your own jokes), wrote a hurricane essay arguing the novel line that "The Terrorist Katrina Is A Soldier Of Allah." You could sort of see his point. Imagine if al-Qaida were less boneheaded and had troubled themselves to learn a bit more about the Great Satan's weak spots. Imagine if they'd decided to blow up a couple of levees and flood a great American city. Would local and state government have responded any more effectively than they did last week? After all, Katrina, unlike Osama, let 'em know she was heading their way.

The nation's taxpayers will now be asked to rebuild New Orleans. The rationale for doing so is that it is a great city of national significance. Fine. But, if it's of national significance, what have all the homeland security task forces been doing these last four years? Why is the defense of the city still left to a system of levees each with its own individual administrative regime? If it's of national significance, why did the porkmeisters of the national legislature and national executive branch slash a request by the Army Corps of Engineers for $105 million for additional flood protection measures there down to just over $40 million, at the same time they approved a $230 million bridge to an uninhabited Alaskan island? Given that the transport infrastructure's already in place, maybe it makes more sense to rebuild New Orleans in Alaska.

One thing that became clear two or three months after "the day that everything changed" is that nothing changed — that huge swathes of the political culture in America remain committed to a bargain that stiffs the people at every level, a system of lavish funding of pseudo-action. You could have done as the anti-war left wanted and re-allocated every dollar spent in Iraq to Louisiana. Or you could have done as some of the rest of us want and re-allocated every buck spent on, say, subsidizing Ted Turner's and Sam Donaldson's play-farming activities. But, in either case, I'll bet Louisiana's kleptocrat public service would have pocketed the dough and carried on as usual — and, come the big day, the state would still have flopped out, and New Orleans' foul-mouthed mayor would still be ranting about why it was all everybody's else fault.

Those levees broke; they failed. And you think about Chicago and San Francisco and Boston and you wonder what's waiting to fail there. The assumption was that after 9/11, big towns and small took stock and identified their weak points. That's what they told us they were doing, and that's what they were getting big bucks to do. But in New Orleans no one had a plan that addressed levee failure, and no one had a plan for the large percentage of vehicleless citizens who'd be unable to evacuate, and no one had a plan to deal with widespread looting. Given that all these local factors are widely known — New Orleans is a below-sea-level city with high crime and a low rate of automobile ownership — it makes you wonder how the city would cope with something truly surprising — like, say, a biological attack.

Oh, well, maybe the 9/11 commission can rename themselves the Katrina Kommission. Back in the real world, America's enemies will draw many useful lessons from the events of this last week. Will America?


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JWR contributor Mark Steyn is North American Editor of The (London) Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

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