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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 Oct. 1, 2006 / 9 Tishrei, 5767

At Gitmo, detainees get La-Z-Boys, pastries

By Mark Steyn


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "This is not just a bad bill," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. ''This is truly a dangerous bill." And it's not just a dangerous bill. It's also "unconstitutional" and "unconscionable" and represents the loss of the nation's "moral compass."


Wow! That's quite a lot for a humble bill on military trials for terrorist (OK, "alleged terrorist") detainees. But Vermont's lefty colossus wasn't done yet in his excoriation of the Bush administration. "Even they cannot dismiss the practices at Guantanamo as the actions of a few bad people," he continued. "Before they just did it quietly, and against the law, on their own say-so, but now they are obtaining license to engage in additional harsh techniques that the rest of the world will see as abusive, as cruel, as degrading and even as torture."


Hmm. I should say a word about "the practices at Guantanamo." As it happens, I've just got back from Gitmo. (That glitch on my green card was finally straightened out.) I've visited several prisons in several countries over the years and never seen anything like this one. Granted, most of what I know about enemy detainee camps comes from what Rear Adm. Harry Harris, who runs Guantanamo, calls "bad movies and worse TV shows," and from a distance very little seems to have changed: the basic look — barbed wire and watch towers — would be recognizable to any World War II POWs. But, close up, pretty much everything else has been flushed down the toilet of history. Indeed, even the toilet has been flushed down the toilet of history: In the interests of cultural sensitivity, Gitmo cells were fitted with "Asian-style toilets," because "that's what the detainees prefer." Given that much of the matter that should be going down there ends up being flung over the guards, it seems that this sensitivity over choice of bathroom fixtures is not always appreciated.


When visitors like yours truly swing by, the camp likes to serve them the same meal the prisoners get. This being Ramadan, Adm. Harris was particularly proud of the fresh-baked traditional pastries his team had made for the holy month. And he was right: The baklava was delicious. "Baklava" is said by some linguists to come from the Arabic for "nuts" — and, indeed, in that sense this entire war can sometimes seem like one giant baklava. There was a film out earlier this year called ''The Road To Guantanamo,'' and the poster showed the usual emaciated prisoner hung by shackles against a dungeon wall. No doubt the actor in question did the full Robert De Niro and lost 40 pounds to get himself looking that cadaverous.


If they've got anything like that going on at the real Gitmo, they must be doing it behind the confectioner's sugar at the back of the pastry chef's cupboard. If you're hoping to hear about the old wooden chair under a bare lightbulb swinging on its cord, here's the reality: The detaineeare interrogated on either a La-Z-Boy recliner or a luxuriously upholstered sofa — blue plush with gold piping.


As for being emaciated, it's the only death camp in history where the soi-disant torture victims put on weight. In contrast to the undernourished thesp in the movie version, the average gain at Gitmo is 18 pounds. The Afghan detainees were the chunkiest Afghans I've ever seen. If they ever make it home, their old comrades — the lean wiry warriors of the Hindu Kush — will wonder why a party of Florida retirees has suddenly shown up. These Pushtuns are pushing a ton.


And, if you do start losing weight suddenly, don't worry. As one of the camp's medical staff explained, they offer free colon-cancer testing for jihadis over 50. If President Hillary decides to have another crack at socialized medicine in 2009, there are worse slogans than "Every American should have the right to the same health-care plan as a Sudanese terrorist who put his arm out stabbing a prison guard."


Perhaps this is what Senator Leahy means by "abusive," "cruel," "degrading" "torture." If you're used to the Afghan health system, no doubt it's profoundly humiliating to be offered free colonoscopies every time you bend down to use the prayer mat. Nevertheless, it surely requires a perverse genius to have made the first terrorist detention camp to offer homemade Ramadan pastries a byword for horror and brutality. If I had to summon up Gitmo in a single image, it would be the brand-new Qurans in each unoccupied cell. To reassure incoming inmates that the filthy infidels haven't touched the sacred book with their unclean hands, the Qurans are hung from the walls in pristine surgical masks. It's one thing for Muslims to regard infidels as unclean, but it's hard to see why it's in the interests of the United States government to string along with it and thereby validate their bigotry.


When I put this point to Adm. Harris, he replied, "That's an interesting question," and said the decision had been made long before he arrived. He explained that they had a good working system whereby whenever it became necessary to handle a Quran — because a weapon or illicit communication had been concealed in it — a Muslim translator would be called to the cell to perform the task. But I wasn't thinking of it in operational so much as psychological terms: What does that degree of abasement before their prejudices tell them about us? Mulling it over since I got back, I'd go further: It seems to me that one sign this war is over is when Muslims are grown-up enough not to go to full-blown baklava nuts over other folks touching their Qurans.


Of course, for the likes of Sen. Leahy, not only is the war far from over, it hasn't even begun. Almost every argument in this area isn't "about" the war so much as whether there even is a war. As the Washington Post reported, "The Senate joined the House in embracing President Bush's view that the battle against terrorism justifies the imposition of extraordinary limits on defendants' traditional rights in the courtroom."


Well, they're only "extraordinary" if you regard these men as traditional "defendants." If you regard them as traditional wartime detainees — rather than OJs in turbans — the only "extraordinary" aspect of this is the kid gloves with which not just their Qurans but the jihadists themselves are handled. This is the only war in American history in which enemy detainees have been freed before the end of hostilities. Of those released, at least 22 are known to have returned to the battlefield in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. The ones who remain are dangerous men, no matter how "sensitive" you are. They unscrewed the foot pads from those Asian-style toilets and used them as bludgeons to attack the guards. After listening to Pat Leahy's contribution to the debate, I wonder if the Gitmo medical facility's lavish team of mental health experts might not be more usefully deployed to the U.S. Senate.


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JWR contributor Mark Steyn is North American Editor of The (London) Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

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