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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 Oct 24, 2005 / 21 Tishrei, 5766

Does U.S. role in Iraq benefit insurgents?

By Robert Robb

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The intercepted letter from al-Qaida's second-in-command, Ayman al Zawahiri, to the jihadist leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, has been widely cited as vindicating the Bush administration's Iraq policy.

President Bush himself made that claim in his radio address last Saturday. In many respects, this claim is justified. Zawahiri describes al-Qaida as being depleted, on the run, and out of money in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. He worries that Zarqawi is making fundamental strategic errors in Iraq.

So, in the eyes of the enemy, the Bush administration's war on terror seems to be going reasonably well.

But there are other things the terrorists are saying that the Bush administration isn't eager to discuss, namely that the U.S. military presence in Iraq is the central hope for a jihadist victory.

There's clearly a significant tactical disagreement between Zarqawi and the al-Qaida leadership about the approach to the Shia in Iraq. In a letter from Zarqawi intercepted in January, 2004, he clearly explicated a strategy of attacking the Shia to provoke and win a civil war. He wrote that "the only solution is for us to strike the religious, military, and other cadres among the Shia with blow after blow until they bend to the Sunnis." In his letter, Zawahiri suggests that attacks on the Shia are damaging popular support for the insurgency.

But what Zawahiri and Zarqawi agree on is that, without the U.S. military presence to rally against, the insurgency will fail.

In his recently intercepted letter, Zawahiri writes that: "The Muslim masses — for many reasons, and this is not the place to discuss it — do not rally except against an outside occupying enemy, especially if the enemy is firstly Jewish, and secondly American. This, in my limited opinion, is the reason for the popular support that the majahedeen enjoy in Iraq, by the grace of G-d."

In his earlier letter, Zarqawi wrote that if the American forces withdrew, it would be impossible to rally the Sunni masses against the Shia or a Shia-led government. As he put it: "How can we fight their cousins and their sons and under what pretext after the Americans, who hold the reins of power from their rear bases, pull back?"

There are a couple of questions that deserve careful exploration, but which the Bush administration wants to ignore.

The Bush administration says that it will draw down U.S. military forces as the Iraqi government is capable of suppressing the insurgency without them. But what if a large U.S. military presence is sufficient cause in itself to keep the insurgency alive?

The second question is whether the Bush administration is correct that without the active engagement of the U.S. military, the jihadists will win in Iraq.

There's reason to believe otherwise. There are now 200,000 Iraqi security forces reasonably under the command of a Shia-led government. The Kurdish militia numbers an estimated 100,000. There are perhaps tens of thousands of additional members of various Shiite militias.

The Shia and the Kurds constitute 80 percent of the country's population and, with the decimation of Saddam Hussein's forces, clearly now have the upper hand in the country militarily.

The active Sunni insurgency is thought to be a force of around 20,000, with foreign jihadists, who do the suicide bombing, perhaps numbering in the hundreds.

The United States should maintain its military presence in Iraq through the next parliamentary election and the formation of a new Iraqi government. But after that, a reappraisal is in order.

Hopefully, the Sunnis will increasingly engage in the political process, insurgency support will naturally diminish, and a military disengagement can occur according to the Bush formula.

But if the insurgency does not abate, then a decision needs to be made as to whether disengagement is the most prudent course of action anyway.

The jihadists may be wrong that they can build a successful insurgency against the U.S. military presence. But they may also be right that, without a U.S. military presence to rally against, they have no chance.

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JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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