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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. 10, 2013/ 6 Tishrei, 5774

Unbelievably small and incredibly unpersuasive

By Rich Lowry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Now that John Kerry is the secretary of state, his gaffes can launch major diplomatic initiatives.

A reporter in London asked what Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could do to avoid war. Kerry responded: "He could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week -- turn it over, all of it without delay and allow the full and total accounting. But he isn't about to do it, and it can't be done."

The State Department quickly noted that the secretary was merely making a rhetorical point. But the Russians immediately embraced the Kerry flourish as a serious proposal. It was "welcomed" by Damascus and spoken of warmly by the U.N. secretary-general and the British and French governments.

In her highly anticipated remarks on the Syria crisis, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said action on the Kerry gaffe-turned-plan would be an "important step." In his briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney triumphantly noted that there wouldn't have been so much diplomatic progress absent the "credible threat" of force.

Never mind that Kerry punctuated the launch of his unintended Syria peace plan with the words "it can't be done." In a storm, any port will do, and during a catastrophic meltdown of an administration's case for war, so will any diplomatic fig leaf.

Not all of Kerry's gaffes in London rose to the level of game-changing diplomacy. He said the strike on Syria would be "unbelievably small." Surely, Kerry was making another one of his rhetorical points, that compared with, say, Dresden or "Shock and Awe," the strike on Syria would be a much more circumscribed affair. But "unbelievably small" is not a rallying cry.

An anonymous administration official resorted to an analogy to children's cereal. As USA Today paraphrased his explanation: "If Assad is eating Cheerios, we're going to take away his spoon and give him a fork. Will that degrade his ability to eat Cheerios? Yes. Will it deter him? Maybe. But he'll still be able to eat Cheerios."

A military strike to change Assad's options in breakfast flatware is even less stirring than Kerry's assurance of unbelievable smallness. At the beginning of what is supposed to be the administration's full-court press for a strike, it has done more to open itself to mockery than to persuade, more to set back its case than to advance it.

Part of the problem, besides simple incompetence, is that the administration has dual, and conflicting, audiences. The president's political base wants a strike to be as symbolic as possible, while the rapidly diminishing number of Republican supporters want it to be as robust as possible. Please one side and you alienate the other.

And then there's the mismatch between rhetoric and means. The natural language of American warfare is highly moralistic and a little apocalyptic, which is why our enemies are always compared to Adolf Hitler. John Kerry said that Assad has joined Hitler in using poison gas. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoked the Holocaust in his case for bombing. But if we are really confronted with such evil, why do we seek merely to "degrade" Assad's capability before watching him continue his slaughter by means we find less outrageous?

The case for a strike comes down to a matter of national credibility that is more likely to move Henry Kissinger than the public. Voters are not in the mood for any more Middle Eastern entanglements, so the administration is performing before a hostile crowd. It's always easier to look at the top of your communications game when you are not up against a howling head wind of public opposition.

If he's not already, the president may soon wonder why, with the Syria vote, he built a pyre, threw his presidency on it and asked Congress to decide whether to light a match. Considering the gravity of the possible defeat before him, any escape hatch can look attractive, even one provided by his secretary of state's careless words.

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© 2012 King Features Syndicate

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