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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 Oct. 27, 2005 / 24 Tishrei, 5766

The rift on the right that isn't

By Max Boot


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The political class is either celebrating or lamenting, depending on political preference, what is being billed as the conservative crackup. Conservatives are pillorying President Bush over everything from his profligate spending to his nomination of a constitutional neophyte to the Supreme Court. Even his aggressive foreign policy, a big plus for much of the right, has come under withering fire from two prominent former officeholders.

Last week, Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired Marine colonel who served as Colin Powell's chief of staff at the State Department, gave a speech denouncing the hawkish "cabal" that has allegedly hijacked administration decision making. He reiterated those criticisms on this page Tuesday. This week, the New Yorker features an extensive interview with Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor to Bush's father, who details how estranged he has become from onetime friends such as Condoleezza Rice and Dick Cheney.

Does this mean that the "realists" who have been sidelined since 9/11 are making a comeback? Will Republicans fight a bloody battle over whether the pursuit of stability (the realpolitiker passion) or democracy (the neoconservative goal) should be the cornerstone of their foreign policy? Is fratricide in the offing?

Actually, there is a lot less disagreement than meets the eye. Most of the critiques by the likes of Wilkerson and Scowcroft are procedural. They are upset more about how policy has been formulated and implemented — and especially about their own lack of influence — than about the decisions reached.

Wilkerson made some cogent arguments about how Bush has been "courting disaster" because of his inability "to stop the feuding elements" within the administration. Of course, one of those feuding elements was Wilkerson's boss, but point taken — nobody would cite the last few years as a model of disciplined bureaucratic management.

Yet what would the realpolitikers have done differently if they had been in charge? That's not at all clear because so many self-identified realists backed the most controversial decision Bush made: to invade Iraq. Scowcroft was a prominent exception, but Powell, for one, recently told Barbara Walters that he was "right there" with Bush on "the use of force." So were James Baker, George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, George F. Will, Fareed Zakaria and the editors of the National Review and the National Interest — all the rajahs of realism.

Many of their sentiments are on display in a new book edited by Gary Rosen, "The Right War? The Conservative Debate on Iraq." In one of the articles collected in this anthology (full disclosure: it includes two of my columns), blogger Andrew Sullivan points out that "Iraq was not a Wilsonian — or a 'neoconservative' — war. It was broadly supported by the Right as a war of national interest."


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Not only did rightists of all stripes sign on for the invasion of Iraq, but most have also endorsed, more broadly, the administration's devotion to democracy abroad. No less a realist than Kissinger wrote last year, "The advocates of an important role of a commitment to democracy in American foreign policy have won their intellectual battle."

Scowcroft acknowledges the point in the New Yorker, saying, "We ought to make it our duty to help make the world friendlier for the growth of liberal regimes." He then goes on to draw a faux distinction between his view — "you encourage democracy over time, with assistance, and aid, the traditional way" — and that of neoconservatives who "believe in the export of democracy, by violence if that is required."

But that's not what neocons believe. The administration decided to invade Iraq not because of an undeniable democracy deficit but because of a supposed surfeit of weapons of mass destruction. Elsewhere — in Ukraine, Georgia, Lebanon and with the Palestinian Authority — Bush is using precisely the traditional, nonviolent approach to democracy promotion that Scowcroft lauds.

This is not to suggest that there are no differences at all between neocons and "realicons." Obviously, the former place more emphasis on human rights and less on international institutions. The latter group is more interested in solving problems through negotiation — but then that's precisely what this "neoconservative" administration is now doing in Iran and North Korea.

Bush's varied record, which defies easy labeling, makes clear that the differences between foreign policy schools are a lot less stark in reality than in theory. Much of today's internecine sniping is less the result of deep-seated disagreements than of the search for scapegoats for the mess in Iraq. But even here the realists don't offer much of an alternative. As Wilkerson noted: "We can't leave Iraq. We simply can't."

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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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