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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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, 2011 / 9 Elul, 5771

Disoriented

By Clifford D. May






The state of too many Western leaders ten years after 9/11/01


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "What went wrong?" That was the title of Bernard Lewis' landmark book on Islam's thousand years of global dominance followed by the decline of the caliphate between the 17th century, when Muslim armies were halted at the Gates of Vienna, and the early 20th century when the Ottoman Empire collapsed. This fall from grace left deep scars -- grievances expressed most lethally on Sept. 11, 2001, soon after Professor Lewis' book was completed.

Ten years later, the question we might be asking: What has gone wrong with us? The atrocities of 9/11 were said to be a new Pearl Harbor that would once again "awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."

Instead, many if not most of our political leaders fight fitfully and without conviction, uncertain about both the nature and the gravity of the threat. One example: Lady Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former head of MI5, Britain's storied intelligence service, last week called the 9/11 attacks "a crime, not an act of war." She did not explain why she thought using hijacked planes as missiles to destroy the political, military and financial centers of the Free World was akin to a bank robbery. She did not cite other instances in which common criminals seek no monetary benefit, kill themselves during the commission of their crimes and call that "martyrdom." She did not say whether she thought Osama bin Laden, as a criminal suspect, should have been entitled to a presumption of innocence rather than bullets through the chest and head.

She did, however, note what she imagines to be "the causes and roots" of the many acts of terrorism carried out by Muslim militants in the name of Islam, including, as usual, "the plight of Palestinians" and the belief that the West is "exploiting their oil and supporting dictators." According to the Guardian newspaper, she added that terrorist campaigns could not be solved militarily so she "hoped there were those — she implied in western governments — who were considering having 'talks with al-Qaida.'"

A second example: National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said in a recent speech that he and President Obama know what the Iranians are against but "what are they for?" Have Donilon and Obama read nothing that Iran's revolutionaries have written? Have they heard nothing that Ayatollah Ali Khameini and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have said? Let me boil it down: They are for restoring to Islam the power and glory it enjoyed a millennium ago. They are for the defeat of the Great Satan and the Little Satan and anyone else who defies Allah's will as they interpret it.


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Manningham-Buller, Donilon, Obama and so many others — they are smart people. So, again, what has gone wrong? I think they have become disoriented. I use the word advisedly.

The "Orient" is the east. Not so long ago, the study of the Middle East and Islam was a discipline called Orientalism. The greatest modern Orientalist was — and for my money remains — Professor Lewis, now 95 years old and still sharp as a scimitar.

In more than three dozen books, he has detailed the history and cultures of the great Islamic empire founded by fierce and determined conquerors who, starting in the 7th century, pushed west to Spain and east to the Philippines, defeating, among others, Christians and occupying their lands including, in 1453, the Byzantine capital of Constantinople (now called Istanbul).

These forces marched north into the European heartland as well but their ambitions were frustrated in two historic battles. The first was the Battle of Tours in 732 when Charles Martel, leading the Franks, stopped the powerful forces of the Umayyad Caliphate from overrunning what is now France as well as other Western European territories.

The second was the Battle of Vienna in 1683 when Jan Sobieski, King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, seeing the Turks close to breaching the walls of the city, led his outnumbered troops in a daring counter-attack. The date was September 12. Pope Innocent XI hailed Sobieski as the "Savior of Vienna and Western European civilization." The Ottoman commander, Kara Mustafa Pasha, was strangled with a silk cord by order of the commander of the Janissaries, the home guard of the Sultan.

In the Occident, Lewis has noted, the phrase, "that's history," has come to imply irrelevance. Not so in the Orient where the past weighs heavily on the present. "The Muslim peoples," Lewis wrote, "like everyone else in the world, are shaped by their history, but, unlike some others, they are keenly aware of it."

If many of our leaders fail to comprehend all or any of this, part of the explanation may be that the intellectual waters have been muddied. In 1978, Edward Said, a Columbia University professor of comparative literature with no background in history, political science or anthropology, published a book titled "Orientalism," an assault on Lewis and other Western scholars. Said's contention was that Europeans and Americans were not competent to understand Muslims and their civilization and that their attempts to do so should be dismissed as a manifestation of neo-colonialism.

Those concerned with the rise of militant movements within the Islamic world, Said charged, were racists, reactionaries and hysterics. His views were quickly embraced on the left and came to dominate the Middle East studies departments of American and European universities. Small wonder that the attacks of 9/11 were not anticipated by most academic experts or the diplomats and intelligence analysts who had studied under them.

It should not go unmentioned here: As much as Lewis has been denigrated by Islamists and their apologists, he also has been roundly criticized by some on the right who see no hope for a reformed Islam — an Islam as distant from Khomeinism, Wahhabism and bin Ladenism as 21st century Christianity is from the Inquisition.

But few Muslims are likely to fight for such reform until and unless Islamic militancy is decisively defeated. And that cannot happen so long as the West's leaders fail to recognize 9/11 for the act of war it was, so long as they think they can sweet-talk self-proclaimed jihadis into being reasonable, so long as they remain persuaded that the global conflict now underway is a crime or a mystery and has nothing to do with the powerful currents of history and faith.


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Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism. A veteran news reporter, foreign correspondent and editor (at The New York Times and other publications), he has covered stories in more than two dozen countries, including Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, China, Uzbekistan, Northern Ireland and Russia. He is a frequent guest on national and international television and radio news programs, providing analysis and participating in debates on national security issues.



Previously:


09/01/11: Palestinian Leaders to Seek the UN's Blessing . . . for a two-state solution. For a two-stage execution
08/25/11: Better understanding of Islamist experience needed
08/18/11: The Arab Spring and Europe's fall
08/11/11: Borrowing from Communists to pay Jihadis?
07/28/11: Who's to Blame for Terrorism?
07/28/11: Do Somali pirates have legitimate gripe?
07/21/11: Why Bashar al-Assad matters to the West--- and what the Obama administration still doesn't grasp
07/07/11: MAD in the 21st Century





© 2011, Scripps Howard News Service