In this issue

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, 2006 / 5 Mar-Cheshan, 5767

Bush's efforts in war are being hampered not only by the media, but his own administration

By Caroline B. Glick

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

While President clearly knows what he wants to do, he is hard pressed to succeed

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A jihadi snuff film produced by an Iraqi group called the Islamic Army of Allah, and aired on CNN and on Wednesday in Israel, shows a jihadi sniper knocking off American soldiers one by one.

Being a propaganda flick whose goal is to demoralize Americans and their allies and recruit new soldiers to the army of jihad, not surprisingly, the video doesn't show how the US forces reacted to the sniper fire. The American forces in the film are powerless victims. If they are smart, they will cut and run before it is too late.

The video is effective because it effectively tells a complete lie. US forces in Iraq are far from helpless. They have won nearly every engagement they have fought with insurgent forces in Iraq. And their capabilities get better all the time.

Today, the public debate in the US revolves around one question: When are we leaving Iraq? The conventional wisdom has become that that US operations in Iraq are futile. Due in large part to politically driven press coverage, Americans have received the impression that the US cannot succeed in Iraq and that consequently, their leaders ought to be concentrating their efforts on building an exist strategy. Comparisons between the war in Iraq and the Vietnam War are legion.

Last Wednesday, President George W. Bush was asked whether it is possible to make a comparison between the recent sharp rise in violence in Iraq and the Tet offensive in Vietnam in January 1968. Bush responded by noting that then as now, "There's certainly a stepped-up level of violence, and we're heading into an election."

During the Tet offensive, the North Vietnamese attacked forty South Vietnamese villages simultaneously with a massive force of 84,000 troops. The offensive failed utterly. 45,000 North Vietnamese soldiers were killed, no ground was taken. Yet, when then US president Lyndon Johnson declared victory, the American people didn't believe him.

Walter Cronkite, the all-powerful anchorman of the CBS evening news had told them that the US had lost the offensive. Who was the president to argue with Cronkite? In March 1968 Johnson announced that he would not seek reelection in the November election.

So when the media wonders if one can compare the battles in Iraq today to the Tet offensive, what they really want to know is if they have successfully convinced the American public that its military has lost the war in Iraq.

Over the past several weeks, Bush has been waging a political offensive to convince the public that their military is winning the war in Iraq. On Wednesday, Bush gave a press conference on Iraq and later reinforced his message in a meeting with conservative columnists.

Bush made four major points in those appearances. First, he explained that the US is at war and described the nature of the war. Iran, he said stands at the helm of enemy forces. Iran's senior role was made clear he said, through its sponsorship of this summer's Hizbullah and Palestinian war against Israel. One of Iran's central goals — shared with Syria and its terrorist proxies — is to destroy the forces of moderation and democracy in the Middle East.

Secondly, Bush asserted that Iraq is a vital front in this war. In his view, the only way the US can lose that war is if it leaves, "letting things fall into chaos and letting al Qaida have a safe haven." Bush argued that if the US leaves Iraq, Iraq will come to the US, to Iraq's neighbors and indeed to the entire world.

Thirdly, Bush argued that the US can only win the war if the American public supports it. The only way to ensure the public's support is by showing that America is winning. Bush said that showing success is difficult because while its benchmarks for victory — political freedom, economic development and social progress — are amorphous, "the enemy gets to define victory by killing people."

Finally, Bush argued that to defeat Iran, Syria and North Korea, the US must have international support for its efforts. Countries like Russia, China and France must understand the dangers and agree to isolate these regimes with effective international sanctions.

While Bush clearly knows what he wants to do, he is hard pressed to succeed. Not only are the Democrats and the media trying to undercut him, members of his own administration — and particularly Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her colleagues at the State Department — are subverting the President's agenda.

For example, there is Alberto Fernandez, the Director of Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Fernandez's job is to defend the US in the Arabic media. Yet, in an interview with Al Jazeera last week, Fernandez said that the US had been "arrogant" and "stupid" in Iraq. In September he reportedly said that Americans and others "are trying intentionally to encourage hell in the Arab world."

Then there is Rice herself. Rather than promoting US victories in Iraq, Rice is turning the Iraqi government into a scapegoat for the ongoing jihad. If the government doesn't get its act together, she intimates, the US will feel free to wash its hands of the matter. It won't be a US defeat, but an Iraqi failure. That is, far from extolling American success, she is paving the way to justify an American defeat.

At the same time, rather than explain Iran's central role in the war, Rice courts the mullahs. Ignoring Iran's sponsorship of the Palestinians, Rice waxes poetic comparing the Palestinians — who chose Hamas to lead them — to the American founding fathers and to the civil rights movement.

On Wednesday Bush explained that the relative level of violence is not a determinate of victory or defeat because the enemy can use ceasefires to rearm. In his words, "If the absence of violence is victory, no one will ever win, because all that means is you've empowered a bunch of suiciders and thugs to kill."

Yet contrary to Bush's clear view on the matter, State Department officials work around the clock negotiating ceasefires. Indeed, one of the capstones of Rice's diplomatic efforts is the August ceasefire in Lebanon under which Israel is prevented from defending itself and Hizbullah is moving swiftly to rebuild its forces.

In Iraq, this dangerous penchant for negotiations is what enabled Muqtada al-Sadr's pro-Iranian, pro-Hizbullah Mahdi Army to emerge from its April 2004 offensive against Coalition forces intact and free to become the powerbroker in Shiite politics that it is today. The fact that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki felt it necessary to condemn the joint US-Iraqi attack against al-Sadr's forces in Baghdad Tuesday is a testament to al-Sadr's power.

Today the only high-level US diplomat who believes that the purpose of diplomacy is to advance US national interests and not to achieve agreements for their own sake is US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton. Just this week Bolton effectively prevented Venezuela from being elected to the Security Council.

Rice does not support Bolton. According to Senate sources, Rice played a major role in preventing Bolton from receiving Senate confirmation for his appointment. As a result, he will likely be forced to leave the UN next month.

Rice's machinations have made her popular with the media. But her popularity comes at the expense of public and international support for the US's war goals. Her actions and those of her State Department colleagues have contributed to the anomalous situation where while US forces improved their capabilities in Iraq, the American public became convinced that the war is going badly. Rather than fearing the US, Iran, Syria and North Korea behave as though the US is a paper tiger. Rather than support America, European "allies" increasingly see their national interests best served by distancing themselves from the US as much as possible.

The situation can be reversed. The media is no longer the power it was in Cronkite's day. Were the administration to challenge the networks, the networks would be forced to adjust their coverage to reality.

Last week CNN broadcast the Iraqi sniper video. The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Duncan Hunter reacted by blasting the broadcast and calling for the military to bar CNN reporters from embedding with US forces in Iraq. Hunter said that by showing the film CNN was collaborating with America's enemies and consequently, CNN reporters should enjoy no support from US forces in Iraq. His attacks were widely reported and there can be little doubt that CNN will think long and hard before broadcasting another enemy propaganda movie.

For Israel, the results of the American debate over the future of the war in Iraq are of critical importance. A US retreat will place Israel in grave danger. The eastern front, whose demise the military "experts" were quick to announce in 2003 to justify slashing the defense budget, will make a comeback — replete with massive quantities of arms and tens of thousands of trained jihadi soldiers who will believe that they just won their jihad against the US. Moreover, if the US retreats, the IDF will find itself facing a US-armed and trained Shiite army. That is, if the US withdraws, Israel could potentially find itself facing an enemy force better trained and equipped than the IDF.

The leaders of the Democratic Party today compete amongst themselves to see who can be more defeatist. If in the November 7 elections the Democrats take control of both houses of Congress, or even just one of them, the push for a US retreat will grow stronger.

Whatever the results of the elections, Israel must hope that for his last two years in office, President Bush will take firm control of his administration — first and foremost by curbing Rice and her State Department associates — and lead a concerted, unabashed diplomatic and public opinion offensive.

If Bush does this, he will gain wide public support and sufficient support from the international community to move ahead in the war. If Bush does not take control of his administration, the Vietnam War analogy will become an accurate one for Iraq, and Israel will find itself playing the role of Cambodia.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post.

© 2006, Caroline B. Glick